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How Can You Defeat eBay Snipers?   by: Ron King  
Home -> Tips ->  How Can You Defeat Ebay Snipers?

If you're bidding for items on eBay, sooner or later you'll end up having your bid beaten at the very last second by a "sniper".



This can be a frustrating experience. In theory sniping is against the rules and you can report it to eBay. In practice, however, they never do anything about it. 


 Here's my fave esnipe tool:

I like to use to win eBay auctions. Esnipe acts as your agent: you tell esnipe the eBay item number and how much you're willing to pay for the item. Esnipe does the rest, in exchange for a tiny fee. (There is no fee if you don't win the auction.) With esnipe I don't win every auction, but I do win most. I've used it for years. - Russ

The best way to beat the sniper is to become the sniper. Once you understand the process of sniping, you can use it to win more auctions, more often, and at a lower price than you would otherwise pay.


Sniping Manually


If you have a lot of time to spare and a reasonably fast Internet connection, sniping manually is not all that difficult. Make a note of the time when the auction you are bidding on will end. Then make sure you're sitting in front of the page at that vital last minute. Then just outbid the current winning bidder, or defend your own winning bid.


photo: Steve Jurvetson

Meg Whitman, ex-President and CEO of eBay

Here's a valuable tip to remember for manual sniping: make sure you set your maximum bid quite high. Otherwise you risk being automatically outbid, and the auction will have ended before you can bid again.


It's not worth your time to compete against someone who is using an automated sniping service. If their service is any good, they will always manage to outbid you. In the sniping arms race, you need to find a sniper on full auto.



Sniping In The Age Of Automation


If you enter "ebay sniping" into your favorite search engine, you'll find a long list of online services that will snipe on your behalf for a small fee. They usually offer a free trial, so give it a go.


If you don't want to pay each time for an online service, then you can buy sniping software outright -- for example, SnipeRight or ISnipeIt (just add a ".com" to the name to find them on the internet). You pay once and use them as much as you want.


After you've installed the software on your computer, you tell it which auctions you want sniped and the maximum amount you're willing to pay. The software then places your bid in the last few seconds of bidding. One drawback to this method is that you need to be able to leave your computer on nearly all the time, or you might miss the end of some auctions.


Reviews of Top eSnipe Tools to Use When You Snipe on eBay



Sellers' Alternatives to eBay  

An Alternative To Sniping


If you're reluctant to lower yourself to "playing dirty," then there is another, more low-tech way to get around sniping. You can just email the seller and say that you were sniped at the last minute, but would really like the item. If they have another unit to sell, chances are they'll agree to sell it to you for the price at which the auction closed.





Good luck, good sniping, and good shopping. 


About The Author


Ron King

Visit to learn more. Ron King is a full-time researcher, writer, and web developer, visit his website at


Copyright 2005 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact and the links live.



Pierre M. Omidyar (born 21 June 1967) is an Iranian French American entrepreneur and philanthropist/economist, and the founder/chairman of the eBay auction site.


photo: Joi


photo: Coolcaesar

eBay headquarters in San Jose, California