eBay Snipe Review
eBay Auction Sniping Explained
This article was updated in Oct. 2011.
Sniping auctions is when you wait until the last few seconds of an auction to bid. Bidding at the last moment does not allow other bidders to raise their bids. Also, when you snipe you do not let others know you are interested in bidding on the auction.
Being an auction sniper can save you considerable money. I have seen auctions where bidders engage in a bidding war and bid back and forth against each other. I have also seen auctions where someone bids early in the auction, then someone else comes in and bids in ten dollar increments until they beat the earlier bid.
As an auction sniper, you don't have to worry about another bidder coming in and bidding the auction up. There is no time for additional bids.
Here Is An Example I Found On Ebay
Auction Bid Sniper Facts
You cannot snipe an eBay auction if you do not know what you are willing to pay. Then again, if you do not know the value of something, you should not be bidding anyway. You should always check to see what other items are available on eBay, and search completed auctions to get an idea of what similar items sold for. Failure to check for other auctions is the biggest reason for over paying on eBay.
Back when I first started sniping auctions, I would sit at the computer and manually bid about 20 seconds before the auction ended. This was a hassle. I kept a calendar so I could keep track of the bids. I had to make sure I was at home so I could bid.
A few times I forgot to check my calendar, and missed bidding on items I wanted. Once, I lost my Internet connection just as I was setting up the bid and lost an item I wanted for my collection. There had to be a better way.
Auction Sniper Programs
Auction snipe programs are a better way. There are sites that will automatically submit your bid in the last 10 seconds of an auction. I have been using different sites for years. They are easy to use and very reliable.
With a sniper program, you set up the snipe and the software does the rest. Your computer doesn't even need to be on. Now I go through the auctions I want to bid on and set up snipes every few days and let the programs do my bidding for me.
eBay Snipe Program Review
Below is a list of eBay auction sniper sites. I tested most of these auction sniper programs and have ranked them based on my experience.
Some of the sites have browser add ons. These are toolbars you add to Internet Explorer in order to make sniping easier. I did not install browser add ons. While the sniper toolbars make sniping easier, I do not install programs to my computer because of the chance of screwing up my computer.
Some of the sites will send a notice when a snipe you set up will not beat the current bid amount. This will allow you to raise your snipe to a higher level. Some of them will send you an email after the auction ends telling you the result of your bid. I prefer to set up a snipe and then walk away.
Choosing An Auction Sniper Service
Some of these sites charge flat fees for monthly or yearly time periods, others charge a percentage of the bid amount whenever you win an auction with their service. If you buy lots of items or buy a expensive items using a snipe program that charges a percentage will cost you more than one of the flat fee sniper services.
All of the auction sniper programs I tested correctly submitted the bids within the last few seconds of the auction.
Auction Sniper SitesNote: the links below are NOT affiliate links. I don't get paid for linking to these sites. Bid-O-Matic
I've been using this program for a few years. This is a program you download and install on your computer. You must have your computer on when the auction ends. It's free, and works well. It's written in German, but has an English installation option. Note: I lost a few items when I first started using the snipe program, because I assumed the button that said "Automatic Mode Off" turned the program off, and "Automatic Mode On" meant it was on. It's backwards. Green "Automatic Mode On" means the program will snipe for you. I put a post it note on my monitor when I'm sniping to remind me not to turn the computer off. Justsnipe
This was my favorite for years. In 2010 they had intermittent problems connecting with eBay and a few of my bids weren't placed. JustSnipe explained this as a problem with eBay, and say it's been corrected. Up to five snipes a week are free. If you need more than five snipes a week, it's only five dollars a month. That makes it the cheapest snipe program available. Doesn't rely on browser add-ons, but instead uses a simple bookmark button. Even if you are not familiar with putting bookmarks on your toolbars, the process will only take a few minutes. extremely easy to learn. ESnipe
Charges 1% of the final auction amount for all successful bids up to a maximum fee of ten dollars per auction. Percentage based services seem to be more expensive in the long run unless you buy cheaper items. AuctionBlitz
A neat feature of this system is it will track a group of snipes and when you win one automatically cancels the others. This is a great feature if you want to buy software or a movie or something. This site has a free version that offers 15 snipes a month, and a paid version called "priority service" that allows unlimited snipes. I tested this service in 2003, and while the pricing has changed since then, it doesn't seem to be a good option unless you're interested in groups. Bidnapper
Paid service with free trial. I tested this in 2003, and was interested in the shadow feature. Back then the shadow allowed you to see what others were bidding on. Now it just shows you the negative and neutral feedback of a seller. ToolHaus offers a similar feedback checking service for free. I don't recommend paying for a snipe service when there are plenty of reliable free ones to choose from. HammerSnipe, HammerTap, AuctionStealer, AuctionTamer, HammerSnipe PowerTool, BidTamer
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