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Author Topic:   EBay Snipers are mean
Alpha Geek

Posts: 301
From: Detroit/Windsor
Registered: Feb 2002

posted August 06, 2002 18:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Rednivek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So, twice I tried to bid on an Apple Laserwriter on EBay and I get these last minute snipers who take it out. I thought that maybe they did it with software, but after the 2nd one I got an email from the sniper putting it in my face.

Since the email was addressed to me, I can post it, and will do so here.

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Alpha Geek

Posts: 301
From: Detroit/Windsor
Registered: Feb 2002

posted August 06, 2002 18:31     Click Here to See the Profile for Rednivek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The outbid notice from ebay:

you have been outbid on the following eBay item:
LaserWriter Pro 630 <47k 20Mb OSX G3/G4 OK!
Item name: LaserWriter Pro 630 <47k 20Mb OSX G3/G4 OK!
Current price: $123.50
End date: Monday, Aug 05, 2002 06:50:21 PDT

Safety Tip:
It is against eBay policy for a seller to contact you about buying a similar or identical item outside of eBay. This type of transaction is not covered by the services we provide to protect you - such as feedback, insurance and dispute resolution. For your own protection, please do not participate.

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Alpha Geek

Posts: 301
From: Detroit/Windsor
Registered: Feb 2002

posted August 06, 2002 18:32     Click Here to See the Profile for Rednivek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And the email after the guy sniped it:
Subject: nice try

From member: [email protected]

But I was watching...wanna buy my old Laserwriter 4/600?

This email was sent by an eBay member via eBay's email forwarding system.
If you reply to the email, your response will go directly to the member and
not through eBay.

eBay does not tolerate spam (i.e., unsolicited commercial email) and is
taking steps to protect members from this abuse. In addition, solicitations
to buy or sell items outside of eBay violate eBay rules and are not covered
by services that protect members such as feedback, insurance, escrow, and
dispute resolution. If this is an offer to buy/sell items outside of eBay,
please do not participate. Enter the following link into your browser to learn more. Link:

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Alpha Geek

Posts: 339
From: Cyberspace, Delta Quadrant
Registered: Sep 1999

posted August 06, 2002 18:42     Click Here to See the Profile for Janeway   Click Here to Email Janeway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a prick.

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Uber Geek

Posts: 933
From: under the mouse pad
Registered: Jun 2000

posted August 06, 2002 19:06     Click Here to See the Profile for quantumfluff   Click Here to Email quantumfluff     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sniping is the really only effective way to win a bid. I can't fault him for that. He is, however, wrong to contact you to try to sell his old printer.

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Super Geek

Posts: 187
From: AppleDale, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

posted August 07, 2002 00:15     Click Here to See the Profile for Hikaru     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hey Sniping is the reason I HATE e bay
(see I didnt even Cap its name I HATE it that much)
and Will never use it


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Posts: 735
From: A place my soul no longer resides
Registered: Jun 2002

posted August 07, 2002 01:23     Click Here to See the Profile for neotatsu   Click Here to Email neotatsu     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
know how to avoid snipers? wait untill less than a minute before it ends(I usually bid with about 20 seconds left..takes practice..).. I stopped using ebay a long time ago, but thats how I used to do it, mainly because I got picked off by snipers many times..

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Super Geek

Posts: 222
From: Portland, OR
Registered: May 2001

posted August 07, 2002 09:40     Click Here to See the Profile for maxomai   Click Here to Email maxomai     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I learned how to become an effective countersniper.

Hey, there's that CD I want, out of circulation for years!

I bet some sniper's gonna bid fifty bucks for it.

So I'm going to countersnipe them with fifty and a quarter.

Part of the extra expense is the right to imagine the look on their faces when they realize they got sniped back.

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Posts: 1735
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 07, 2002 09:55     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GeekBay is way better, it keeps the bidding open for 10 minutes or so, as higher bids come in, just like a real auction.

The downside is, no one ever uses it.

So there. Life ain't fair.

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Single Celled Newbie

Posts: 1
Registered: Aug 2002

posted August 07, 2002 10:19     Click Here to See the Profile for mttlg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Um, sniping should not make any difference. You bid what you're willing to pay, and other people bid what they're willing to pay. Whoever is willing to pay the most gets to buy the item. It makes absolutely no difference when you place your bid - the same rules apply to everyone.

The reason why sniping works is because a lot of bidders don't know how to bid. Instead of bidding what they are willing to pay, they try to bid just a little bit more than the last bidder. This results in a self-imposed handicap when there isn't enough time to place another bid. You can't blame the sniper for using the system as it was intended.

Lots of people whine about snipers "stealing" auctions from them (and some send rude messages to the people who legitimately outbid them), but it is still the high bid that matters. After seeing so many auctions where bidders just keep bidding and bidding with no clear plan, I can't stand to place a bid early. I do my research, decide what I am willing to pay, and put in a bid as late as I can. If I win, great, but if I don't, I just move on. Sniping is a stress-free way to buy stuff on eBay. One bid, one win (or loss). How much simpler could it be?

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Geek Apprentice

Posts: 42
From: Tokyo
Registered: Jul 2002

posted August 07, 2002 23:57     Click Here to See the Profile for Danapoppa   Click Here to Email Danapoppa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can't knock snipers. One just saved me more than ten bucks.

I was bidding on a copy of Tetris Gold that I found offered by a seller in Oz, 'cause you know Danamomma can't get enough of that falling block rush. After being overbid a couple times, I entered a $50 bid, which gave it to me at $48. "Nobody'll want to spend that much," I told myself, and went to bed well after midnight thinking that in a couple hours the game would be mine.

I woke up the next morning to find that someone had outbid me at the last minute. They had taken the game for $51 AU, which I think is about $25 US.

Oh well, I thought, and put down a $20 bid on another copy of the game offered by a seller in Florida. I was winning the bidding at $10.49 at that point. Three days later I took the game for $10.49. That sniper in Oz has my thanks!

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Posts: 616
Registered: Mar 2002

posted August 08, 2002 10:16     Click Here to See the Profile for ilovemydualg4   Click Here to Email ilovemydualg4     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i try as much as i can to just use 'buy it now' as long as it's reasonable... less stressfull than the rest of it

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Apocalypse Cow

Posts: 8
From: paris, france
Registered: May 2002

posted August 08, 2002 16:17     Click Here to See the Profile for Apocalypse Cow   Click Here to Email Apocalypse Cow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You might want to check out this link to an automated sniping program which you can try for free:

(Summary description):

"Auction Sniper is an eBay sniper that automates the process of placing your bid in the closing seconds of any eBay auction, dramatically increasing your chance of winning. We keep it simple: you tell us what you want to win, and we snipe eBay for you. Best of all, Auction Sniper is free to try. After you win your first auction with our help, you’ll never bid the same way again."

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Posts: 379
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Registered: Jan 2002

posted August 08, 2002 17:37     Click Here to See the Profile for Bregalad   Click Here to Email Bregalad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've watched snipers try and fail against a legitimate bid placed with a few minutes left. If you find a "hidden treasure" that looks to be going for next to nothing, an honest bid will usually win because the snipers will arrive with no more than 30 seconds to go and they won't be able to react fast enough when they discover themselves outbid.

i.e. item that's worth $40-50 to me is going for $10.75.
I place a $45 dollar bid, which pushes the public price to 11.75.
With 30 seconds to go sniper tries to grab it for $20.01. *Bzzzt* You have been outbid, $21.01. Sniper tries $30.02. *Bzzt* $31.02. Sniper tries $41.05. *Bzzt* $42.05. Auction has ended. SomeGuy is the winner. Now $42.05 is more than I really wanted to pay so I curse Sniper for pushing up the price, but I still win.

If Sniper has a fast connection and/or sniping software he or she may get it for $46.10 or so. I lose the item, but don't really care because I didn't want to pay that much anyway.

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BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1855
From: Milton, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2001

posted August 08, 2002 17:56     Click Here to See the Profile for ZorroTheFox   Click Here to Email ZorroTheFox     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a friend who uses ebay and he has an auto bid option. It will automatically outbid everyone who places a bid up to his preset maximum. I dont use ebay Myself but I could ask him how he does it.......Z

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Alien Investor

Posts: 458
From: New York City
Registered: Jan 2000

posted August 09, 2002 13:44     Click Here to See the Profile for Alien Investor   Click Here to Email Alien Investor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I echo what mttlg said. Just bid what you actually want to pay (or a little less) and let e-bay's software take it from there.

If you are in the market to buy something, then you'll end up buying what you want at the prices that you want. If you are in the market for thrills, well, too bad, somebody else is willing to pay more than you are.

Sniping does bother me is when I suspect that the sniper is actually a shill for the seller -- someone with no feedback who bids only on one seller's auctions. Here is my strategy: I start by placing a decent bid on an item I want (say, $40 on an item that I will pay $50 for). If I see some suspicious character bumping up the price with bids at $36.50, $37.50, $38.50, then I will not make my second bid of $50, and somebody else will eventually get it -- hopefully the shill.

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