eBay sniping happens when the bidding phase of an auction is about to end. A buyer comes in at the last opportunity and bids just a little bit higher – just enough to win the auction – right before the bidding phase ends. Per the Terms of Service agreement, the practice of sniping is prohibited but the reality is that it occurs all the time. Even if you report the sniping practice of a member to eBay, they are most likely are not going to get punished. To battle against eBay snipers, we need to understand how sniping works and how to do it in a way that does not violate the Terms of Services agreement of eBay.
There are two specific ways to snipe an auction. The first way is probably the safest in terms of not violating eBay’s rules, but it is not the easiest to do. Keep track of when the auction will end by writing it down and placing it in front of your computer. Periodically check on the auction listing to see what the current price is and be sure to log into eBay well before the end of the auction listing. The objective of this tactic is to either make sure you are not outbidded by an auction sniper and also have the ability to enter a higher bidder in the case you are losing in the auction in the final few seconds.
Do not forget that auction snipping is against eBay’s Terms of Service agreement, so be sure to log onto eBay at least a half an hour before the listing ends. Then, make sure to keep a close eye on the listing to see if any other buyer might try to outbid you. Since you have been logged on for thirty minutes or so, your bid cannot be considered as snipping.
Even though you may try the method described above, be aware that it is very difficult to win a bidding war against buyers that are using software specifically designed to snipe auctions. This dramatically decreases the chances of you winning a bidding war against an automated process. The next method looks into using services online that are designed for snipping.
There are server software packages or online services that offer snipping auctions as a service and they are not that expensive either. These types of software and online services are the best route to go if you are bidding on several auctions. The software and services automate the process of going to the listing, watching the current bid amounts, and placing bids on your behalf in a way that greatly increases your chances of winning the auction. Be wary though that this practice is against eBay’s Terms of Service agreement even though it is not strictly enforced.
Sniping is not a good habit to get into when bidding on online auctions. Sniping is a double edged sword meaning that it’s a good thing when you do it, but a bad thing if someone else does it to you. Either way, the practice of sniping is not a morally right thing to do when bidding on auctions.