Popular pieces of memorabilia or hot cards often go from bargain to bonanza in the final seconds of an auction. If you’re not using a ‘sniper’ you’re probably losing out on a lot of items.
by Anthony Kristovich III
If you buy items on eBay, a sniping service may be the single best investment you can make. It will save you the cost many times over. I’m sure you’ve experienced the "been-sniped" syndrome. Up until 10 seconds before auction end, you have the top bid. Piece of cake, you think. You even bump up your bid by a few bucks to be sure. The auction ends, but after refreshing the auction page, you see you were beaten. Someone bid at the last second. That guy must be fast! Only that guy is asleep in bed, and an auction sniping program outbid you for him. The only way to compete is to use the same advantage of an eBay sniper.
3 types of eBay bidders
There are basically 3 types of bidders. The first is the minimum bidder. This is the person that bids the next minimum bid, and when outbid does the same minimum bid. This only drives up the price of the item as most bidders like this are not serious about the item.
The second type of bidder is the emotional bidder. This is the one that keeps outbidding the other person no matter what, and only cares about winning, no matter how much they are actually paying for the item. This is great for the seller and eBay(they get final value fees), but not so great for the buyer, as the price can be triple what the item is worth. Team this up with the minimum bidder and the prices really skyrocket.
The third type of bidder is the smart bidder. They use a sniping program. They choose the price they feel is the most they are willing to pay for the item, put that in, and set it and forget it. This way, there’s no bidding war. If the item goes for too much, there will be another coming along just like it and probably an even better deal.
Why an eBay sniper is the best way to bid
eBay wants you to believe that you should use their proxy bidding system. While it is true that you can put in your maximum bid and the program will auto-bid against other bids on your behalf, you don’t want your bid to go in until the final seconds of the auction. Until your snipe goes in, eBay has no idea you are bidding. Your competitors have no idea you are bidding. You just swoop in and snipe the item at the last moment.
The only way to lose is if someone else is willing to pay more. If someone is willing to pay more, no matter what you’ll lose, that’s just how eBay works. Most people are either minimum bidders or emotional bidders, though. Consider also. that the more an item sells for, the more eBay makes. This is why you won’t see them admit that a sniping service is a way to get better deals.
There are even more benefits from using an eBay sniper. For one, an item is more attractive to other buyers once it has bids. They think, ‘it must be a bargain or no one would be bidding’. When an item has no bids, most people are looking for the reason why nobody is bidding and will likely not bid for that exact reason. Waiting until the end of the auction to bid means the item is less likely to gain the attention of other buyers, giving you a chance at an even better deal.
Another benefit is that you have time to think over you bid and change your mind if needed. eBay does not like bid retractions and doing it more than once may get your permanently banned. You may realize the next day that you really don’t need the item, or that the bid you had in mind is a little more than you want to pay for it. With a sniping service, you can change the bid that will be put in, or even cancel it. You’re not committed to buying the item until just a few seconds before the end of the auction.
Whether you use an on-line sniping service or one that runs on your home computer, you get better deals, less work, and a more enjoyable eBay experience. Just a few dollars for a piece of software that can do all that for you is an incredible deal and should be had by everyone even semi-serious about eBay.