Sniping is the term used for those bidders who zero-in on their target, set their weapon (two browser windows open on the computer and a trigger finger on the mouse) and glue themselves to the screen for that last second mouse-click ambush! Is sniping good or bad? This is a heated topic in eBay community threads, and both sides have a valid argument. By sniping, one allows the high bid to remain relatively low until the very end of the auction - resulting in a theoretically lower closing price. Get a few snipers from around the globe poised at the same auction, and you'll see more people jump in during the last seconds for that winning bid than stampede when your boss calls out "free beer!" at the company picnic! From my experience, if the auction subject is really in demand, bidding will begin to gradually rise about three minutes before auction close - then shoot for the sky during the last thirty seconds. What seller could be angry over this? Surprisingly many are… go figure? Regardless, if you want an item like the turntable example mentioned previously so badly that you are having dreams of setting the VTA, you had better be ready to act quickly. Do be realistic though, if you want a Pioneer SX-780 receiver or Marantz 6100 turntable, another will come along soon.

How do you prepare to snipe? Simple! First, you need to "log-on" to eBay, allowing you to place a bid without keying in your user ID and password. Settle in at the auction page with one browser window at the header page making sure the time remaining clock and current bid are visible. Open the other browser window at the "place bid" entry position and be ready to go. A tip is to have only two windows open (close other programs) and use Windows' vertical tile function. As the clock winds down, have your high bid ready… refreshing the screen often. In the last remaining seconds, place that bid and wham! Hit the bid button and hope for the best! Some people feel this practice is all in the spirit of the auction while others are too mad at loosing out to see straight. Life is too short to worry about such trivial problems.

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Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text © Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML © SMR Group, Images © SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

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