Since their introduction several years ago, online auctions, such as eBay, have been one of the hottest destinations on the World Wide Web. Auction sellers are attracted by the prospect of a broad venue for their products and the possibility of high profits resulting from emotion-driven bidding wars.

Bidders on online auction sites are drawn to the unique shopping opportunities and potential to purchase hard-to-find items at low prices. One technique many successful auction bidders employ is called sniping.

Auction sniping is waiting to place your bid until seconds before the auction closes. In most cases, the last-minute bid precludes competing bids and assures the sniping bidder the winning bid at the lowest price. Some web sites estimate that sniping occurs on 5 percent of all eBay auctions that close with bids.

While this technique is not without controversy (mostly from disgruntled sellers or competing bidders) it is permitted on most online auction sites including eBay. In fact, an eBay Community Development representative related eBay’s position on one of eBay’s message boards:


Topic: Re: Snipers How To Workshop

Just for the record, contrary to what some people think, there’s no rule against “sniping,” or bidding in the last moments of the auction. You will hear all kinds of debates about which method (proxy bidding or sniping) is more effective, and eBay would recommend proxy bidding, but bidding at the last moment of the auction is perfectly acceptable and legal. :)

eBay Community Development

There are several advantages to sniping on auctions. The first is that the sniper prevents counter-bids and is more likely win the auction. The most significant advantage is that sniping prevents emotional bidding wars. These are events that auction sellers dream about — two or more bidders start running up the price of a listed item because they get caught up in the excitement of the moment. More often than not, the sniper will win the auction at a lower price if they do it correctly.

There are some problems associated with sniping manually. First, you must be online to bid when the auction closes. This may not be convenient if the bidding for that PEZ dispenser you’ve been drooling over ends in the middle of the night or while you are at work. Second, depending on your connection speed, your last second bid may be submitted too late. The auction might close before your bid reaches eBay.

Not to worry though, there are several software and web-based solutions to automate the sniping process for you.

Sniping software programs, such as iSnipeIt reside on your computer. You simply enter the item number you wish to bid on and input your maximum bid. At the appropriate time, the sniping software connects to the internet and places the bid for you. This requires your computer to be on, the sniping program to be active, and a connection to the internet. One advantage to having sniping software resident on your computer is increased security. Most desktop applications don’t require your eBay ID and password to reside on servers continuously connected to the internet. However, the timeliness of your snipe depends on your connection speed and your internet service provider. This can be a problem for some people.

Online services such as AuctionStealer mitigate these connection issues. They have high-speed connections to the internet and can place your last second bid regardless if your computer is on or not. While web based services are generally more expensive than a desktop software application, their reliability is remarkable. An advantage to online sniping services is that they respond quickly to frequent changes in eBay’s web site that can disable a desktop software program. The hapless auction sniper who is attempting to use a desktop solution is often out of luck until the programmer modifies his or her code and the user installs the update.

Sniping online auction sites such as eBay can be of great benefit to the bidder. It saves them money and greatly increases the chances that they will win the auction. Give it a try on the next auction you bid on!

Snipe on eBay for FREE with AuctionInsights’ free automated bid sniping service. Click Here


58 Responses to “How to Snipe on eBay”

  1. Ed Dennis on December 17th, 2005 8:12 am

    I use a web based sniping service and find it remarkably successful. I will add a bit of wisdom that might help in rare situations. If you find an item on an auction site that you really want (especially high ticket items), it may be beneficial to bid once early in the auction. This early bid will put you on the bidding list and allow you some priviledges should your snipe bid tie another bidder as ties are broken by who bid first. It would seem that “who bid first” has nothing to do with the final bid but with which bidder entered the process first. Also, when placing a snipe bid pay particular attention to the bid interval. If an auction requires a five dollar $5 increase for new bids and your snipe is $4 more than the previous bid you loose. A little homework goes a long way to successful sniping.

  2. Glenn on September 7th, 2006 2:55 am

    Extra advice when sniping. Study the bidders habits and their incremented bids ,especially in the last 10 minutes. Most tend to round off to a dollar figure. Smart ones might put .88 cents in an attempt to win. If, for example ,in the last few minutes the bids are going up in 10 to 15 $ lots , multiply your last bid by 3 to 4 times the going rate and try to end it with minimal seconds left to go. Just hope there isn’t another sniper there doing same as you.

  3. JRS on October 15th, 2006 8:47 am

    I never bid until the last 2min of auction. Simply put I enter the maximum I am prepared to pay and to date have never lost an auction and have only ever payed an extra couple of bucks more than previous totals. Most people I think bid a buck more to win and then when outbid bid another buck more, proxy bidding goes straight over the top and they just can’t get the bids in quick enough and you will win everytime.

  4. Pilman on October 18th, 2006 10:46 am

    I generally place a bid at about 5 minutes left to see if anyone else will bid just to get an idea what others will bid. Normally i’ll check how much cash i’m willing to spend at most and within 2 seconds left on the auction I manually enter my ammount, generally 50-100 dollars more than i’d like to spend yet have the cash to spend if I have to, this in turn allows me to win the auction while maintaining a low winning price most of the time.

  5. Cheesenegro on October 25th, 2006 10:51 pm

    Snipers are foul spongers. You ruin the ebay experience for those of us in Australia etc where we cant be online to bid in the middle of the night. I hope you all die a prolonged and painful death!

  6. Pommie on October 27th, 2006 12:18 am

    “You ruin the ebay experience for those of us in Australia etc where we cant be online to bid in the middle of the night.”

    What, there’s a law against it?
    The software is often automatic (especially online services), auctions can end any time of day and night, and (even though I’ve never attempted to snipe an auction) it’s perfectly acceptable (read the article). If you don’t understand the thing you criticise, you run the risk of invalidating your comment…

  7. Paul on November 4th, 2006 7:53 am

    There seem to be as many tactics for bidding, and winning, eBay auctions as there are bidders. I have been an active buyer and seller on eBay for more than six years and I have participated in several thousand transactions. I can say with confidence that each bidding system has merit-depending on the item up for auction and the psychological mindset of the bidders.

    Auctions are as much a study in psychology as they are a way to purchase an item. Understanding the psychology of the average bidder will win you more auctions. I know, I have both a degree in psychology and a background in statistics.

    Being the first to bid, if you make a strong bid, has a tendency to discourage many folks who EXPECT to be able to bid a few dollars more than the present bid and become the new high bidder. This strategy will occasionally backfire…especially with the frustrated newby…..resulting in many, many multiple bids, running the price of the item up until they have bested you; thereby satisfying their ego to win. Walk away from those auctions. That other bidder now had made winning personal, and it means nothing but trouble for you.

    Sniping too, especially web based sniping, can be very helpful in winning the auction.

    CAVEAT: If there are two or more web based snipers bidding on one item, because the web based products have the ability to make multiple bids in the final seconds of an auction….well, just like a computer can perform a difficult mathematical calculation quickly, the bid run-up in the last seconds of the auction will be the same. States simply, with two or more snipers on the same auction you have completely lost your advantage…..and, you won’t realize it until the auction is over and find that perhaps the bid was run up 50% or 100% over what the high bid was just 15 seconds before auction’s end. The winning web-based sniper, in this instance, will have probably spent a lot more than they should have….unless the item is a one of a kind, rarely seen item.

    Fortunately, as little as 5% of eBay auctions are won via the sniping routine and even fewer are won by web based sniping. Consequently, if you are going to snipe….and you are going to do it regularly, web based sniping IS the most cost effective.

    For the vast majority of auctions the best thing you can do is RESEARCH! Few people make use of the free research tools offered by eBay, before bidding. Looking at the prices a group of similar/identical items which have sold in the past 30 days is invaluable. You can get a good sense of exactly how much it will take to win the bid. You needn’t worry about other folks finding the same information….as I said, few folks take advantage of the research tools available and therefore, the final pricing statistics are a relatively accurate and repeatable picture of the average, in-the-dark, bidder. Sure, there will be a few spikes, up and down, in the final prices but statistics will be on your side. So, Folks, hit eBay’s “Advanced Research” button and click on “Completed Listings Only”.

    As a seller, I am aware that successful sniping many times has the effect of decreasing the final selling price of my item. In most instances I accept sniping as a fact of life and just live with its effect…as most other sellers do as well. However, if I am pretty sure that my item will sell, and how much it will sell for, (REMEMBER, SELLERS NEED TO DO RESEARCH TOO!) I will usually set a Buy-it-Now price (the price I’d really like to get) just a bit higher than my minimum bid price…no more than 10% to 15% higher. Anyone truly interested in your item will almost always be willing to pay the little more to be guaranteed the auction winner.

    More aggressive, and perhaps more effective for a seller concerned about sniping, is prominently placing in the body of your eBay ad a NOTICE that you reserve the right to end the auction early and sell to the high bidder. This puts snipers on notice that any sniping technique probably won’t work. The other 95%, the non-sniping bidders, will likewise know that they aren’t going to be outbid in the last seconds and they will be more willing to bid high and bid early.

    So, enjoy the bidding process, become savvy about the psychology of auction bidding and use whichever technique you feel will work best in a given situation. It takes time, usually many months of active eBay activity, to really get a sense of what is likely to happen in any given auction. Be assured though, enough folks do their RESEARCH that when you see an item, late in the auction, that has a very low price-and presuming the item and the sell are both legitimate…chances are that auction is going to be sniped at the end.

    Good luck and happy bidding.

  8. george on January 10th, 2007 5:39 am

    a quote from one aussie ebay user.

    “Snipers are foul spongers. You ruin the ebay experience for those of us in Australia etc where we cant be online to bid in the middle of the night. I hope you all die a prolonged and painful death”

    im also in australia and use a web based sniping system. id rather win the auction at a much reduced priced than get into a bidding war with someone else.

    if your using the excuse of “boo hoo…im in australia and cant stay up” then your not fed dinkum about winning a particular auction

  9. Paul on January 28th, 2007 10:27 am

    I found it is most beneficial to use sniping for items of unknown value. Items of known value – not so, I rather use ebay proxy bidding (as ebay increments benefit early bidders more in such cases).

    I use Gixen
    for sniping, it’s absolutely free.

  10. Electric Oxygen — Safely Ignored on February 10th, 2007 7:30 pm

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  11. me on April 5th, 2007 7:06 am

    If you don’t want to be a victim of sniping then enter a high enough maximun bid so you don’t get screwed. Most snipers win when they out bid you by a dollar or just slightly more. Snipe Away!!!!

  12. jordz on April 6th, 2007 3:33 am

    If your a buyer I think sniping is a way of protecting you.

    Just put in how much you are willing to pay for an item straight up, while you are level headed and n ot in competion mode. If you get outbid then you didn’t waste your money by overbidding. If the sniper was willing to pay more then you then thats how it is. You were always going to lose to them they didn’t steal it from you. Don’t just try and bid a few dollars above the current price constantly because especially when the item is going quite cheap at the time its just gonna premote a bidding war and push the price up.

    I have sold and bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of items off ebay and have made quite a good living off of it.

  13. conkerking on April 10th, 2007 7:57 am

    To the sour aussie… if you want it that bad, set your alarm clock and get up in the middle of the night to bid, it won’t kill you.

    Sniping is part of the fun of ebay, I sniped a guitar amp with two seconds to spare last night (gotta love broadband!) and it was a kick. The second placed bidder (who probably thought he was home and dry with his bid two minutes from closure) was probably weeeping, but hey, it’s all part of the rough and tumble of capitalism…

  14. Damn we love a good deal. at on April 16th, 2007 7:49 am

    […] and I would say I won about 3 out of every 10 auctions. Frustrated from losing, I found out about SNIPING sites. Basically, these sites will submit your bid in the last minute pretty much ensuring that […]

  15. Frugalist » Hacking eBay: 37 Tips, How-to’s, and Tutorials on April 19th, 2007 7:53 am

    […] to "Snipe" an Auction The term "snipe" means to outbid someone on an auction right before it ends and before they get a chance to make a counter bid. With a fast Internet connection, you might […]

  16. Loulou on May 17th, 2007 11:49 am

    A very simple modification to ebay rules solves the sniping problem and is beneficial to sellers and frustrated bidders. If a winning bid is placed during the last 5 minutes, the closing time is extended by 5 minutes. With this rule, everyone has a fair chance to outbid the highest bid, ebay auctions would then be like ordinary auctions. Yes, theoretically this could result in an everlasting auction but as the bidding price must increase, it will never happen.

  17. Nochkin on May 25th, 2007 8:46 am

    Another advantage is that some auctions ending at the time when you are not home, sleeping, dating, cooking, fishing or doing some other things and can’t sit next to your computer and wait to snipe manually.
    I think if eBay will start extending the time then most fun of eBay will be lost and many people won’t be using eBay for their purchases.
    eBay has a good reason to allow sniping. Go eBay! :-)

  18. R on July 15th, 2007 8:49 am

    Sniping is for cowards, and you snipers said it best yourself: you don’t want to get into bidding wars.

    Can’t take the real heat can you? Try a real LIVE auction sometime….oh wait, that’s why you’re doing this.

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    […] won them in two eBay auctions. I hadn’t intended to buy them, I always get sniped out of whatever I bid on, so I expected them to go to someone else at the last minute. Five arrived […]

  20. snyp on August 1st, 2007 11:48 pm

    R wrote…. “Sniping is for cowards, and you snipers said it best yourself: you don’t want to get into bidding wars.”

    Would LOVE to bid against you, Cobber. You’re so childishly emotional I could run your bid up way beyond your means then leave you holding the bag.

    Ever pay twice as much as you wanted to because you just couldn’t “let that sucker win”? Sure you have…

    Sniping does away with emotion and saves YOUR sorry butt from your low self esteem. You ought to be thanking us…… :-)

  21. pauly62 on August 7th, 2007 11:22 am

    ive come to need a sniper to work on more than one auction site. just about all of them seem to be geared to work directly with ebay though. anyone got another one that will work with preferably multiple auction sites? ps people who use snipers arent usually emotionally envolved with items and are therefore much more rational when it comes to bids.. when you live by the snipe you shall also die by it LOL

  22. ratyoke on August 9th, 2007 2:18 pm

    “Sniping is for cowards, and you snipers said it best yourself: you don’t want to get into bidding wars.”

    Who wants to get into bidding wars and pay more than an item is worth? I want to get items for as cheap as I can. I use ebay because there are things I want, not for entertainment.
    If you decide on the maximum you want to spend and enter that amount, it doesnt matter if you do it as soon as the auction starts or a second before it ends. The highest bidder will win. Its just safer to bid at the end when there is less chance of people pushing your bid up little by little.
    It doesn’t matter if I try to snipe if you have entered a higher amount than me, the highest bidder wins, not the last bidder.

  23. ebaynewbie on August 9th, 2007 7:33 pm

    As an ebay buying newbie, it’s very quickly clear that if you want the item, the simplest thing to do is snipe, bidding what you are prepared to pay and be done with it. There is a risk of the seller closing the auction early, but what’s the point of registering interest and allowing the price to be bid up. It’s not a game, it’s a marketplace! Ask questions of the seller, which shows him there is interest so he’s less likely to withdraw.

    And as a Pom to the whinging Aussie, I got up at 4:45am last Sunday in Sydney to win the item I wanted from the UK :)

  24. Cheesenegro on August 12th, 2007 10:11 pm

    To those of you whom addressed my comment. Im not talking about sniping software, you whinging half-baked nesbits. Frankly, I dont want to run sniping software or sign up to a sniping site. Play fair – or Ill snipe your cobblers off, ya filthy bunch of McNasties.

  25. Mike on August 13th, 2007 4:55 pm

    Snniping is just common sense and only to be used by people with a logical brain and not by people who go berserk bidding on items and paying ridiculous ammounts for them. Please carry on with this insanity and pay £20 for that £5 CD, makes sense to me since I am selling it to you, haha.

  26. AuctionInsights - eBay Tips & Auction Tools » Should Sellers be Concerned about Auction Sniping? on August 29th, 2007 8:48 am

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  27. Tim on September 10th, 2007 4:40 pm

    I only have dial up and i am from Australia like the other guy but i set my alarm and got up at 3am to snipe an item i so desperately wanted.

    There was about 58 secs to go in the auction and i hit refresh on my browser window to get an update on how long was left to go but it was taking too long to load up so i thought blow it and hit the confirm bid button anyway. Must have been about 40 secs to go at this point. By the time the page had finished loading up it said i was the highest bidder and with only 1 sec to go. :O :O :) How’s that for a snipe, lol.

    I checked the bid history after the auction and someone had placed a snipe right before me with only 6 secs to go and i sniped him with crappy dial up and left him with only 1 sec left. LOL

    And i snapped a picture to prove it.

    All these people who don’t like snipers. Its snipe or be sniped. You don’t need broad band to snipe.

  28. M on October 12th, 2007 3:25 pm

    People who bid incrementally either don’t understand the concept of proxy bidding or get too emotionally involved in the auctions they are bidding on. If all eBay users were logical and cool-headed, there would never be more than one bid per bidder on any auction; the logical and cool-headed way to bid, of course, is to bid the maximum amount you’d be content paying and then don’t revisit the auction page until after the auction has ended. This is exactly how snipers approach the bidding process, but because some people bid incrementally, the easiest way to circumvent foolish bidders is to snipe.

    Sniping is simply a way for logical and cool-headed bidders to deal with the foolish or overly emotional bidders out there.

  29. Sniping Newb on November 3rd, 2007 10:10 pm

    Hey guys, i’m new to sniping. I was just wondering, can you do it manually. For example, say there are 5 seconds left..and you bid one dollar more than the highest bid? Though can you do that? Or do you have to bid by increments (esp for items over $200).

    Another question i have is. as eBay uses proxy bidding, if your sniping can you just put a ridiculously high amount.say $50-$100 over the possible winning bid? As, if you snipe with this new Maximum bid it is unlikely that anyone else would bid so high, and so thorugh the proxy bidding your bids would only go up by increments.


    Sniping Newb

  30. P- on November 6th, 2007 11:46 pm

    Newby to both eBay & sniping. Am trying to get my head around eBay’s proxy bidding. so let me ask a hypothetical question. Suppose the bid stands @ $10 with one second left. And two snipers manage to submit 2 competing bids, one for $999 & the other for $1000.

    My question is – is the “Time left” the time left for submitting and getting the bid accepted, or is it the time left for eBay to calculate the winner? My understanding of the way eBay works is that next bit will be $10.50, then $11, then 11.50 (etc. using the automatic increment) If it takes longer than the remaining 1 sec to run up the increasing bid chain to hit the $1000 bid, will eBay EVER stop incrementing the bids (because of the clock) before the max submitted bid is calculated?

  31. A Sniper on December 18th, 2007 10:23 pm

    In answer to you question, eBay calculates the winning bid based on the second highest bid. So no matter how much time is left the person with a bid higher than the second highest bid wins. In answer to Sniping Newbs question, the answer is yes. You can manually snipe but why would you want to when there are free sniping services like You don’t even have to create an account or anything. Just go there and schedule a bid. It’s so easy and anyone who is paying for sniping is just a sucker.

  32. ebay sniper on December 20th, 2007 5:54 am

    P, eBay will increment once automatically, not every increment step. So it takes basically no time to go to $1000 from $10.
    In your situation the other sniper wins (with $1000 snipe).

    Newb, why don’t you just bid your max instead of “dollar more” or “ridiculously high bid”? “Dollar more” is not good because someone might have “five dollars more”. “ridiculously high bid” is bad because someone might also put “ridiculously hight bid”, but little bit lower than yours so you have to pay “ridiculously high price”.
    The best way is to put your max you are willing to pay using sniping.

    There are bunch of free snipers to help out there.
    I use for years, it’s free and accepts your ebay user/password, no registration. But if you want to use some other ones then make sure you do google on it to see if these are in good standing. I would not want to give my password to sniper which opened a few days ago.

  33. Laurence D'Arabia on January 9th, 2008 1:41 pm

    Three years ago,I refurbished my entire apartment, from door handles and cupboard catches to fridge freezers, dishwashers, baths, sinks and 60’s mod furniture all from eBay. And all using an online sniper.
    I reckon I never lost an auction because each time I searched my brain, heart, wallet and “completed auctions” and bid the out and out ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM PRICE I was prepared to pay for each item, and then used an online sniper to do the bidding on it.
    If after that the item went for more than my maximum bid, I hadn’t lost, as I wouldn’t have paid that much anyway! That’s where the psychology behind working out your absolute maximum bid comes in.

  34. Tracy on February 1st, 2008 7:39 pm

    I decided to use an auction sniper after being outbid several times over A YEAR on 2 different items. 1) A chanel makeup bag for my daughter and 2) A reasonable priced camcorder. I had missed the ‘outbid’ by a couple of hours.
    In the case of the camcorder, my first was stolen from my garage when my daughter was almost 2. It took several years for me to have the money to get another. I bought it on Ebay and it came with a cracked lens. It took 3 months to get my money back form a vindictive seller. On the third try,I bought one over Ebay from Silicon Valley sales- brnd new, but a piece of junk (blurry pics and video). It took 5 months to get that credited back to my paypal buyer credit account. After that, my Paypal and buyer credit account was frozen due to a wonderful vacuum/shampooer system I sold for a friend. The buyer did not like ‘how it looked’ and tried to return 14 days past the deadline for returns. They paid via american express via paypal. 5 MONTHS LATER, american express found in my favor, but my regular paypal and paypal buyer credit was frozen and I couldn’t get anything.

    2) Have been trying to get a Chanel makeup bag for my daughter since September. I kept getting outbid, since I can’t watch it every minute and then, near christmas, I finally won one and had to send a money order due to my paypal status and the buyer stated she never received the money order.

    For those 2 items, I finally said, ‘screw this’ and used a sniper.

    However, for anything else, I will accept the regular process.

  35. Mike L on February 18th, 2008 7:40 am

    If you are frugal, sniping is not the sure fire way to win auctions either. I expect someone’s used junk to be half of retail or less. This simply is not the case on ebay. So my expectations are not in line with reality, and I rarely win my snipes. (I guess I have found too many things, new in the package, at garage sales for a dollar or two). Like others have said, you simply need to enter your absolute max bid, and not expect to get a “deal”, but rather to just get it slightly cheaper than new.

  36. Doug Feiring on February 18th, 2008 1:48 pm

    I agree. While sniping is the best technique to win a particular auction, it doesn’t save you as much money as the new cross-bidding tactic.

  37. The Walrus Blogs » Ebay and Craigslist: Cross-Listed Bedfellows » Web 2.0 Museum on May 14th, 2008 2:30 pm

    […] might only be because I found my French snow-shovelling saviour on Craigslist and yesterday I got sniped while trying to buy some Edwardian shoes on eBay. Do you know how hard it is to find size-11 shoes […]

  38. ebay sniper on May 24th, 2008 9:43 am


    Cross-sniping tactic won’t work really well when someone is sniping.

    I think you better use group sniping (continue bidding until you win one) with some low snipe amount.

    I know some people just set several auctions (sometime up to 30-40) and just wait until they win one item :)

  39. ebay sniper on May 24th, 2008 9:46 am

    I’m sorry, I meant “cross-bidding tactic”, not “cross-sniping tactic” in my first sentence above.
    Although, the name “cross-sniping tactic” sounds attractive :)

  40. Cassandra on May 24th, 2008 7:48 pm

    Am I losing out to a sniper? I have recently lost out on three items of clothing on ebay, but the circumstances seem peculiar. Each item had zero bids, two items had been previously listed with no bidders. I did not have an overwhelming desire to be the “winning bidder” but I liked them and thought they were priced well. Each time I bid a couple of hours before the bidding ended, because I could not be at my computer at the ending time and I was waiting to see if anyone else bid since I didn’t really want it if the item was bid up. Each time the item was sold for a few cents over my bid and the winner made their bid within a few minutes/seconds of the bid closing. Are these people using a program that looks for auctions that have only one bidder? How can I avoid this happening? It is very frustrating.

  41. RichG on May 27th, 2008 12:36 am

    Ive got a question for all you super snipers out there.

    Last week I bid $50 on an item with EBgoSniper with 5 seconds left and this guy still snagged it off me for one dollar more. This item was worth at least $200

    Him US $51.00 May-11-08 17:59:55 PDT

    Me US $50.00 May-11-08 17:59:55 PDT

    Him US $35.00 May-11-08 10:21:55 PDT

    Him US $27.05 May-11-08 17:59:17 PDT

    Him US $24.55 May-11-08 17:59:04 PDT

    Him US $21.05 May-11-08 17:58:54 PDT

    Him US $19.05 May-11-08 17:58:19 PDT

    Him US $16.75 May-11-08 17:58:07 PDT

    Him US $15.00 May-05-08 09:00:58 PDT

    Him US $7.95 May-04-08 18:00:00 PDT

    The same item is up for bid again this week (different seller) and it looks like the same guy is bidding on it again. I think the buyer is an Ebay reseller. I want to get it for the least amount I can. I am thinking that he placed a higher overall bid than I did and that is why he won.
    My question is:
    If he bid say $100 max on the item and I put a snipe bid again for $200 with 5 seconds left would I win the item for $101 or would I have to pay $200, my max bid. ( I dont understand the incremental bidding. Does it look like he employed incremental bidding? I really want this item!

    P.S Would it be better for me to bid earlier?


  42. Doug Feiring on June 1st, 2008 7:00 am


    If he bid say $100 max on the item and I put a snipe bid again for $200 with 5 seconds left would I win the item for $101 or would I have to pay $200, my max bid.

    eBay’s proxy bidding system will only require you to pay the amount required to win. In your scenario, you would only pay $102.50 (because the minimum bid increment is $2.50 for auctions between $100 – $250).

    Would it be better for me to bid earlier?

    Sometimes it’s a good strategy to combine a low early bid with a snipe late in the auction. The early bid kind of stakes your claim on a particular listing and lets other potential bidders know that there will be competition for that auction. They might just move on to easier pickings (auctions without bids) and leave that one to you. They won’t know that your bid is low unless they place a higher bid themselves – because your max bid is a secret. The programmed snipe will help ensure that you win the auction if there are competing bids.

    I really want this item!

    If you really want it, make sure you bid what you are willing to pay. The proxy bidding system will ensure that you only pay the minimum bid increment above your competitor’s maximum bid.

  43. Doug Feiring on June 1st, 2008 7:21 am


    Am I losing out to a sniper?

    Sounds like that’s exactly what’s happening. If your tired of getting beat by snipers, why not try automated sniping yourself for free? Fight fire with fire.

  44. BMW on July 17th, 2008 12:18 am

    I am an ebay newbie and decided to do a little research before I started selling. I have been “sniped” (now I know what its called!) and once I accidently beat a sniper by just putting in my max highest bid. It was the exact same amount but my bid was in first.
    The info you guys have given here is fantastic. I’m slowly getting me head around the whole ebay thing.
    Could anyone give me some info on a couple of the best sniping tools you guys have found?
    What are the risks of web based over computer based?
    Do all web based snipe tools require critical info such as user name and i.d.

  45. free ebay sniper on August 5th, 2008 8:59 pm

    Get a try with free snipers first. You won’t need to pay after that.
    I personally had experience with those I can recommend:

    While gixen allow you to have mirror bidding, myibay gets you more possibility and convenience to set your snipes.

    Myibay is a free ebay sniper.
    Gixen is almost free, there is a little fee only if you want to support it.

  46. LeeHarvey on September 12th, 2008 3:48 pm

    This may just be a philosophical observation, but it seems to me that the idea that sniping is an irrational economic behavior in a proxy-bidding environment is nonsense- I may put in a maximum bid of $150 for an item, and get it sniped out from under me even though I would have been perfectly willing to pay the extra five bucks to beat the winning $152.50 snipe. Expending the time and effort to determine down to the penny that you would be willing to spend $157.83 for an item instead of just putting in a nice round figure of $150? THAT sounds like irrational behavior to me.

    Today, I finally won an auction on an item that I’ve been trying to get for a few months now, and the only reason I got it at the price that I did (even though similar items have sold for similar prices in that time) was because I contacted a seller who had some inconsistencies in his description and worked out what the item actually was. The first time I had this item sniped out from under me, I would have been perfectly willing to beat the winning bid, but it was only after coming back to the computer to find that I had been outbid within the last 10 seconds of the auction (after the winning bidder had incrementally increased their bid until they beat mine in the time leading up to this) that I had the chance to say ‘why yes- I would have paid five dollars more’.

    Perhaps I’m just not of the mindset to do well in online auctions, but to me it seems that the possibility of sniping negates the rationality of establishing some arbitrary maximum to which proxy bids will increase.

  47. critterdoc on December 10th, 2008 9:04 am

    As a fledgling ebay sniper I’d appreciate advice on auctioninsights.auctionstealer’s priority service. I understand the added fee but am not clear on how or why adjusting the time that the bid is placed offered as a subscriber option.

    Beyond getting bids in closer to the end of an auction, does electing or subscribing to priority service provide a smarter and more efficient bidding engine? How?

    Does setting bid time as close as possible to the end-auction-time increase the risk of the computer not getting one’s high bid limit under the wire?

    How does acceptance of the priority service option for individual items listed in the Current Auctions screen effect the number of remaining free points in the current time period?

    Many thanks!

  48. M. Williams on December 10th, 2008 5:28 pm

    I’ll be happy to answer these questions for you.

    1. Adjusting Buffer Time: With the free service your bid is placed anywhere from 10 – 25 seconds before the auction ends. This number is random and is generated when the bid is scheduled. Most people will agree that 25 seconds allows other bidders to see your bid and bid themselves. Therefore using a lower snipe time and setting it to your preferred time puts you in control.

    2. The fact is that bids are sometimes missed. With that said, the number of 3 second bids that are missed is almost exactly the same as 20 second bids. This is because when a network hiccup occurs or eBay is sluggish, this will affect any bid.

    3. When you sign up using PayPal, all current items will be updated to the Priority Service. The default buffer time of 10 seconds will be applied to all of them. If you would like to change that, just edit each item and set a new buffer time. NOTE: You will also have an unlimited number of snipe points. Once your payment is processed this all happens within a few seconds (Make sure to pay by PayPal balance or with the Credit Card on file with PayPal).

    Finally, the PS offers better / faster support service and access to other premier service (Bid Groups, Snipe Tool, etc.). Hope you will give it a try and see what you think.

  49. eBay sniper on February 17th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Most of free services allow you to change your time as well.
    As a matter of fact, access to premier services (Groups, Snipe tools, etc) is available on free services too.

  50. Biscuitbum on October 25th, 2009 9:44 pm

    While I was reading the comments I finally found someone who got to the nub of the thing. If I place a forcing bid high enough, no ammount of sniping will beat me. The highest bid will win. I have done this in the past when I really had to have an item, but I am not on ebay purely for fun or because I like the bidding process. I see something I want and I want it with the minimum of fuss. Therefore I use a sniping service (usually successfully) and I am very happy.

  51. How to Snipe Items at Auction Online | on November 24th, 2009 4:45 pm

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  52. gman on September 18th, 2010 8:22 pm

    I do not think i would give my ebay user name
    and password to any one

  53. Burt on January 20th, 2011 2:21 pm

    Just remember that sniping isn’t magic, you still have to have the highest bid to win. Unless, 2 bids are the same or there isn’t enough difference between them to meet ebay’s minimum bid increment. In this case, the 1st bid in wins.

  54. Emma on September 3rd, 2011 5:31 pm

    I’ve never sniped but it sounds interesting. I’ve heard that there are programs that, when you enter the highest bid you’re willing to pay, it’ll cancel out the other bids and say, you bid five dollars and the item only would have gone for three dollars without your snipe, you only pay three dollars of the five you bid. Is this true?

  55. Kayla on September 10th, 2011 1:48 am

    I just started using Snip and I don’t understand what it means when it asks what the buffer you want is? Can anyone help?

  56. Chris on October 9th, 2011 3:09 pm

    For those who question the usefulness of sniping:

    Another benefit of sniping I do not think mentioned above:

    It can help combat shill bidding. The seller or his buddy would not have time to max your bid out and then cancel their’s, leaving you the high bidder, maxed out.

    Also, if you decide you no longer want an item, you can just cancel a snipe (maybe up to five minutes before the end of the auction, depending on which service or software you use). If you bid on eBay and then change your mind, you will have to file for a bid retraction. Do that too many times and you can be blocked from bidding on other auctions.

  57. Bert on January 23rd, 2012 2:12 am

    Sniping not only requires putting your best bid at the last minute.

    I also requires additional time to study the demand for that item, how good the condition of the item to new or “Buy Now” ones, your probable competitors who will also bid (based on the bids from the other but similar item), the feasibility of bidding or just buy them now if your study concludes that the difference is just very small.

    The above processes requires an effort and thinking. From these data, you can stategized on how much will you bid or just buy them immediately.

  58. Bert on January 23rd, 2012 2:25 am

    And I do them manually without using any sniping program, 5s before the time ended, enough delay until my bid arrive to eBay US servers and others will not have enough time =). Note that I’m bidding from other country.

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