My cell phone is on the fritz and I’ve been trying to snag a cheap one on eBay, but I keep getting outbid. I finally remembered bid sniping software, which I used to use all the time. I logged into my old AuctionSniper.com account, and to my delight I still had some free snipes left! They give you 3 free snipes when you sign up, and another 3 every time you refer someone to the service.
What is bid sniping?
Bid sniping is simply waiting until the last minute of an auction to place a bid. The idea is to get the your bid in, without giving other bidders the chance to re-bid and raise the auction price. The easiest way to do this is with automatic bidding software like AuctionSniper.
Another reason why I like it is that it takes the emotion out of bidding. You must sit down, read the item description carefully, run some price comparions, weigh the feedback rating of the seller, calculate the total cost with shipping, and decide calmly – what the maximum price I am willing to pay? Then, you just fill out the snipe form and walk away. No more bidding wars or rash decisions.
What are the risks?
The main risk is that the auction software will go down, and your bid will not be placed. So sniping is not for that one-of-a-kind item you’ll never see for auction again. But it’s perfect for buying more common items like digital cameras or DVDs.
Also, part of sniping is choosing how close you want to cut it. You can have the program place your bid however many seconds before the auction end you want. But choose at least 5 seconds due to internet traffic, because otherwise your bid might not make it in time. I usually just stick with 7 seconds, and have never missed a snipe.
Finally, you have to give these guys your eBay username and password. So there is the chance they could lose it or abuse it, but I’ve used them for years and they use SSL certificates and are Verisign authenticated, so I’m not really worried about it. For added protection, use their secure login form when signing in.
So… is it free?
I’ve personally never paid for a snipe, but if you run out of free ones, they charge a reasonable fee of 1% of the final auction price, with a minimum of 25 cents and a maximum of $9.95.
So if you haven’t already, try it out! Remember, the first 3 are free. I’m sure that there are other similar sites out there, I just haven’t tried any of them.
By Jonathan Ping | eBay | 2/4/06, 11:37pm