Skip to main content

Here is a verbatum respose from eBay regarding their sniping policy. If so many people are happy with sniping then why are they so against sniping software? Read on!


Thanks for taking the time to write to us! I'll be glad to try to help!

We get a fair amount of mail about sniping and it's an issue we've wrestled with for a long time. Part of the problem is that there is not
a consensus of opinion among users. Some users hate the practice while others find it exciting, and there are sellers who just love to have
snipers hit their auctions.

We were considering making a change much like what you're suggesting late last fall, but many users contacted us and asked us not to and the
idea was shelved. This is something that comes up for discussion periodically, and at this time there are no plans to change the bidding process but that doesn't mean it might not change in the future.

There is a common misconception in the user community that snipers always win when in truth they don't. In point of fact, it's the highest
bid that wins, regardless of what time it was placed. Difficulties arise when bidders try to second-guess and place a bid they think should
be high enough to outbid anyone else rather than bidding their maximum. We realize it can be tough to figure out what that maximum is. I generally advise people to pick a number and then ask "What if someone bid $1 more than this - would I be willing to go higher?" If the answer is yes, then they need to add to it and ask the question again. Eventually, by bumping it up incrementally (bigger increments for more expensive items, of course), they'll get to the point where they say "If somebody else is willing to pay that much for it, then they want it worse than I do!". When that happens, they have truly figured out
their maximum. If a sniper places a last-second bid and it isn't high enough, they usually won't have time to place another one before the auction ends. If the sniper does manage to be high bidder, then the underbidder has the satisfaction of thinking the sniper is an idiot to pay that much.

Hopefully this will at least help clarify some things for you. If you have any further suggestions, please do send them in, as we really do read them and take them into account when considering changes.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation, and wish you luck with your future eBay transactions!


Rebecca T.
eBay Customer Support
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

We were considering making a change much like what you're suggesting late last fall,

I don't think so. Last fall they were concerned with A4A auctions and before that they were concerned with everybody removing links to ANYWHERE off the auction page. What did you suggest that they decided not to do? Because....

but many users contacted us and asked us not to and the idea was shelved. [/QUOTE]

Uh huh. Of course we all know that writing eBay and requesting things automatically leads to them doing what we want. Like I wrote them 9,000 times trying to find out why they wouldn't let me link my auctions to my web page since all it did was promote eBay, make more sales, develop a following for my auctions, and got me a lot of good PR, but they said it was illegal. They covered their answers in a bunch of gobbledygook that I could never understand, but they still made me take off the link.

I can't imagine WHY they would be against sniping as it only leads to higher sales (and thrilled sellers at the end.) *I* have no qualms about sniping, but if I tried to be ORGANIZED about it, it'd never work!

This is the kind of thing that makes your blood boil because they send you this cheery, chatty email that says nothing, but it still doesn't solve the problem. Confused

So I'm with you. If they're not against sniping, which would be ridiculous, why are they against the methods used to do it?

Did you ask 'em that, Philip?

Jan Roll Eyes

I suggested they use a variable ending time for auctions when there are bids in the final minutes. I know some auction sites add 10 minutes when a bid comes near the end of an auction. It shouldn't be a contest to see who can place the last bid. In a true auction the sale is not final until the last bid is in. As a response they send me this form letter. I guess there's no hope for change. My point is that if eBay is pro sniping then why do they discourage sniping software.
They discourage the software because it loads down their servers. When you have computers doing the bidding, it can happen alot faster that you could do it. You could concievably make one, maybe two attemps in the last 30 seconds. A program could to ten or twenty in that time. It amounts to extra work for the servers and bandwidth consumed. That is their gripe.
Computer OVERload? Balderdash. If it involves money, that is eBay making more of it, then a little overhead in the computer system is as nothing.

It is the PERCEPTION of fairness, misunderstood as that always is, that is the problem. eBay actually would LOVE to support and encourage sniping. MORE MONEY, please! But that would really hack off the TYPICAL user who not only doesn't have, but doesn't understand sniping or sniping software.

To endorse sniping would be to discourage MONEY! It is that simple. Follow the money for your answer

Add Reply

Copyright © 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Link copied to your clipboard.