I'm gettin tired of Ebay snipers coming in with less than 5 seconds left
to bid and smokin my high bid by 50 cents or a dollar. I lost a 1/48
AC-130U tonight with less than 5 seconds to go by a buck by some sniper
that didn't show up til the end.
I'm losing about 1 in 3 auctions to snipers. There has got to be a more
sane way to find/buy oddball kits.
Sniping has not that much to do with your loses. It is the amount of
money you decide to bid. If you want it really bad, you'll bid an
amount higher than the snipers do.
Or, if you want to get it cheaper, start sniping yourself. I've sniped
even connected via a 28.8k modem (and I was able to do it). :-)
Also, they aren't outbidding you by a dollar or 50 cents. I expect
that their max bid is much higher. It is eBay's proxy system which
only outbids you by the minimum amount required.
So, cheer up!
5 seconds to go ? They were not tryin to hard.
My brother and a friend of mine routinely get in
with 1 or 2 seconds to go, and snipe what they want.
If ya think about it, it really is silly to bid on
any item on eBay until the last few seconds, I mean,
why put in a bid that just raises the price ahead of
A broadband conn, and a synched watch is all thats needed.
My friend still does it under a dial up AOL conn !!!
Timing is everything............
Believe it or not, this place here has been a great place
to find things I am missing. also helps to have a friend
who owns a nice hobby shop :)
Only A Gentleman Can Insult Me And A True Gentleman Never Will
They use a service such as EZSniper. Do a search on Google for Auction
sniping and uyou will see what is out there. these services monitor
the a=uctions for you and make the last second bids that win.
The issue of sniping has been discussed at considerable length on at least a
couple previous occasions but here goes again. The timing of the bid has no
bearing whatsoever on who wins or loses. In your case, the sniper won by
$.50 because his max bid was higher than yours (could have been $.50 or it
could have been $500.00). When a higher bid is entered, eBay automatically
raises the bid only the minimum bid increment above the highest previous bid
and there are set minimum bid increments that are driven by the current
price of an auction item (see eBay for minimum bid increment schedules) and
in your case the bid increment was $.50.
I don't do much bidding on the models/hobby area of eBay but I do a fair
amount on militaria. I belong to two automated bidding services. With an
automated bidding service, you can enter a bid on any number of items and,
at a specific time before the end of each auction (usually 5-10 seconds and
is normally preset by the bidding service), the bid is automatically placed
by the bidding service's server with no further interaction needed by the
bidder. I frequently decide which item(s) I want to bid on several days
before auction close and load my bid(s) for the maximum $$ I am willing to
pay for each item. The great thing about the automated bidding services is
that, in the event I later find something I wand more (and, unlike some, I
don't have unlimited $$) I can go back to the bidding server any time before
the last minute or so before the item closes and delete a bid. That
provides you with maximum flexibility and you don't have to go into the
auction and retract a previously entered bid. Bid retraction is considered
bad form in most circumstances and frequent retractions can get you
suspended from eBay.
Finally, a primer on the concept of sniping: Sniping is a tactic that
negates the effect of a "bidding war" between two or more bidders. In that
case, a bid is placed and another bidder places a higher bid. Then the
original bidder gets mad and places a higher bid and the egos and anger of
those in the "war" can easily drive the price of an item well above its
actual worth. If your bid is not placed until the last few seconds, it is
quite difficult for other bidders to react and place a higher bid; thus
avoiding the bidding war concept. Of course, if your snipe bid is not
higher that someone else's normally placed bid, the sniper still loses. So,
the moral of this story is this. If there's an item you really want,
whether you're sniping, using an automated bidding service, or bidding hours
or days before the end of the auction, don't try to get it on the cheap.
Bid the max you're willing to pay and then let it ride. A last-second
sniper cannot beat you if your max bid is higher. If someone else is
willing to pay more and bests your max bid, whether it be hours or seconds
before auction close, they wanted it more than you and, well, c'est la vie.
Much of this is also a byproduct of the timed auction too. Which is of
course cheaper and easier for e-bay to conduct. They want the bidding wars
and knowledge that a ticking-clock will certainly fuel the fires of desire
(for the product that is). There may really be no solution other then a
bidding bot as mentioned by Bill. I have been the victim of sniping as
well... back in the young care-free real deals days, before the
industrialisation of the site.
You have to separate out the two phenomena; what the kit is worth,
where you decide ahead of time that you will pay X dollars for the kit
and not a penny more, and the bidding war, where you figure if it's
worth X dollars then it's worth X dollars and 25 cents, recursively.
Unfortunately, the only way not to get caught up in the bidding war
process is to not provide enough time for it, which means that it is
counterproductive to bid on anything until the last second. Then you
toss in your X dollars, I toss in my Y dollars, and whoever estimates
the kit is worth more to them wins, period. Of course, the whole
purpose of the auction is to avoid this rational transaction, and get
the bidding war to jack the price up as high as possible.
... and what no one has mentioned is that the "sniped" do not lose by the
difference between their highest bid and the winning bid. The winning
bidder may have placed a bid $10, $20 or $100 in excess of Jeff's highest
bid. The winner is only debitted for the amount needed to win with the
highest bid per the listed increment.
Now if they ever change that so that your actual bid goes to the seller, I
think you'll see some downward movement in the sniping game.
Me, I snipe and don't care whose feelings I hurt. As mentioned above the
difference is between me getting it at my bottom dollar as opposed to
getting "bid up" and winning at a high dollar. Same outcome, just more money
out of my pockets. I'm hardly on ebay anymore but in my hay day I was
bidding on 10 auctions per week and winning about a third of them. Life went
on when I lost, I always saw another identical kit come up again.
One thing I do not use is sniping software. I do it the old fashioned way
with the clock and my fingers. It adds a little sport to it. Apps are like
using a tree stand on deer. The tighest I ever came in under the wire was
with 1 second left as a handful of snipers took their shots simultaneously.
Something like 2 bids with a minute to go finished with close to 20 bids.
Fast and furious. On dial up using an old Pentium 75mhz. The lag time
between key clicks/screen refreshes was as much as 30 seconds. That was a
cool kind of way to win... but, I am a little bothered to admit that while I
remember details about the bidding, I honestly can not recall the item I
Use the same tactic I use. I call it "advance sniping". I put in my max
bid whenever I feel like it. Unless someone outbids me, I snipe them
way ahead of the game. If I get outbid, so be it, they wanted to pay
more than I did. Like they say, "enter your maximum bid you're willing
to pay". If someone's willing to pay more, does it really matter
whether you're outbid in the last second, hour, day or week?
Never obtained anything from e-bay. Maybe some day. With over 2000 1/72
scale kits in the "to do" pile I don't really see the need to use
As someone else mentoned here, RMS is a great place to find that sorely
needed kit. Another is KCC, have found scores of kits through their
free ad section.
Good luck, whichever path you take.
Many of todays snipers are using special software to do it, via a pay
type service. Oftimes if you look close, you'll see their bid was
placed several days *before* the auction closed, but it doesn't show up
until the very end. They do all the stuff ahead of time and let it sit
out there w/ no further interaction on their part. The software service
they pay for handles it all from there.
Tell me about it. I was there right around the end of the "carefree
days" and literally saw the bottom of my sales fall out. I had old,
fairly rare kits going at that time and they went for less than their
real value because the searches started to get flooded by high-volume
sellers and the real collectibles tended to get buried. If I placed
my starting bid at a reasonable amount I got no bids; if I started it
low to encourage bidding, I got *one* bid right at the end.
I wish some of you guys were around sniping when I was trying to sell
Now I am staying mainly with my own web pages and a couple of free
sites which are of no help. At least I don't have to pay fees without
selling anything week after week
I remember those days as well. Back in the mid-late 90's you could still
get a good deal on items. Prior to the release of Band of Brothers, you
could even get a101st or 82nd uniform at a reasonable price. Now....? I
was offered $1,000 for my cousin's pinks and greens about 5 mos ago. Check
it out here if interested:
can also check out my 82nd uniform (from a non-relative) here:
Anyway, there are also a lot more people using eBay and other such auction
services now than there were 8 or so years ago. While you can still find a
bargain here and there; they are a lot fewer and farther apart.
Hmmm. That's not encouraging. I've decided that, after we move to "more
suitable accommodations" in the next couple days and get resettled, I'm
going to start eBay'ing a bunch of old kits, mostly armor, a couple at a
time until they're gone. I've come to the grudging realization I will never
build them and it's better that someone else have them that will build them
or wants to store them in their basement rather than mine. I'll just have
to keep my fingers crossed that I get something for them.
I used to enter a bid well ahead of time and sometimes I still do but
usually a bid just over the starting bid just to see who else is interested
in the particular item. Before I started using the automated bidding
services, I ran into several cases where recreational bidders began chipping
away at my bid a dollar or two at a time until they lost interest. When
that happens, you can suddenly find yourself 2-3 days out from auction close
and up near your max bid already. I'll stick with the automated bidding
servers for items I'm really interested in.
That's sort of the arrangement I use though my bid shows up as being posted
a couple seconds before auction end. I do have to pay for the service but
only if I am the high bidder on an item and then just a tiny percentage of
the final bid price.