Tuesday, February 28, 2017

eBay: the art of the snipe

Here's how I win things on eBay. It's called sniping, and there is software that can do it for you, but I've always done it manually. The images are screen shots from an auction I won yesterday.

With less than two minutes remaining, I prepared my bid, but did not submit and confirm it until the very end. That would've alerted the bidder to my presence, potentially triggering a bidding war.

The eBay system allows you to set any high bid amount you want, and raises bids by smaller increments depending on the leader's high bid. So, I prepared my bid at $168.52, submitted it with less than ten seconds to go and my leading bid turned out to be $26.

The other bidder's high bid was $25, which is why the system registered my bid at $26. Then, time immediately ran out with no other bidders. My $168.52 bid was overkill, but that's how sniping works. The only thing that can foul it up is another sniper, and it's been known to happen. Just be careful when setting your high bid, and make sure you can cover it if things go horribly wrong. If I'd gotten the quilt for $150 rather than $26, I may have grumbled a little, but it still would've been worth it.

Usually, it's Game over! And that, my friends, is the art of the snipe. I had paid for the item before the other bidder even knew what happened.


  1. Good for you! Is it a polyester quilt?

  2. Your job is pretty cool! And it's cool that you share your tricks. : )

  3. I am eager to know more about this new quilt and see the individual blocks!