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Monday, June 26, 2006

Do you Ebay snipe?

"Sniping" on ebay is to bid during the closing seconds of an auction in an attempt to win the auction by denying others time to out bid you. This method is extremely popular and I personally see it happen with most of my auctions. In fact, there are many programs that will even do the last minute bidding for you.

But just how effective is this method? USAToday has an article that shows, mathematically, that "it pays to snipe." Apparently a bunch of South Korean physicists did some research on this matter and concluded that:
...the probability of submitting a winning bid on an item indeed drops with each bid. "Our analysis explicitly shows that the winning strategy is to bid at the last moment as the first attempt rather than incremental bidding from the start."
So, the question is, do you ebay snipe to win auctions? I personally don't. If I see an item I want, I just bid the price I'm willing to pay and see what happens. However, since I hardly win any auctions, maybe my bidding strategy is severly flawed.

I'm curious, do any of you guys have a particular ebay bidding strategy you use? AND on the flip side, what about any particular selling strategies to counter ebay sniping?

9 Comments:

Blogger pkthunder said...

Yes, I snipe. But first I look a whole lot at what prices similar items are closing at and see if they are in my price range. If not, then I won't bother bidding. If they are close to my range, then I try to snipe within the last minute of the auction.

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Karon said...

Ebay sniping is often the ONLY way to win at Ebay especially on popular items . Sometimes i am willing to go a bit higher than the average price for that item if it is still cheaper than in the shops

10:22 AM  
Blogger wmc said...

I will bid on the last 20's to see if I am the highest bidder. It depends if the item is popular or not.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sniping is the very best way to win and a way to pay less than you might otherwise. It's my number one reason for spending the money for a fast online connection. I was a full-time seller on ebay long before I bought much and I don't have an issue with it. Sort of like not having a problem with early birds when you're running a garage sale. It's just the way things work - why have a fit about it?

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I snipe. It is just simplier. I use this website called snipestreet.com and what is nice about besides being free is that it has bid groups. What that does is if you are looking for a particular item, let say a printer, you put bids on all the printers that match your criteria. Once one of the bids wins, the others are automatically deleted. It is a good way to relieve stress. No more worrying about checking to see if my bid will win. It's great, I'm not sure I can ever go back to manual bidding.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My own experience is that sniping on ebay is most beneficial when used for items whose value is less known in advance (e.g. rare coins or items with unstable price). Submitting your bid early is a valuable information for other bidders and you should not do it (definitely use sniping). On the other hand, if the value of item is well known and stable (e.g. electric toothbrush), you may be better off submitting your bid early due to ebay bid increments (that favor early bidder).

As for the sniping software / services used, this used to cost some money a while ago, but now I can see several free services. I used to pay for esnipe, but now I use Gixen, which is free.

9:27 AM  
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9:31 PM  
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5:32 AM  
Blogger buy and sell on ebay said...

"I'm curious, do any of you guys have a particular ebay bidding strategy you use?"

Automated sniping is the way to go. It saves you time, can save you money, and helps with peace of mind - schedule your snipe with your absolute maximum bid and (try to)forget about it.


"AND on the flip side, what about any particular selling strategies to counter ebay sniping?"

Have the highest bid. That will counter any sort of bidding "technique".

If you want to give automated sniping a try, hidbid.com is a free ebay sniper I recommend.

4:40 PM  

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