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What is Sniping?

What you need to know about Sniping on eBay

After months of searching you found that perfect Camaro for sale at auction. You've done all your homework; checked out the seller, kept one bid ahead of other people watching the auction and now it's almost yours. All has been quite for the last 24 hours and it's looking like this classic Camaro will be yours in a few minutes. You watch the seconds tick by, constantly refreshing the page to see that you're still the highest bidder. Just a few seconds left now.... It's yours for sure... The auction ends...and...you've lost! Someone outbid you! Arrrrgggghhhh!

But how is that possible? The answer is that you've been sniped.

What is eBay Auction Sniping?

Sniping is when someone places their bid at the absolute last possible second in an auction. They swoop in and become high bidder, not leaving even a second left for other bidders to place a counter bid. The practice is controversial and certainly can be painful if you're on the wrong end of it. But eBay has no rule against, so it's best that you learn it rather than fall victim to it. You can even find services (calibrated to eBay server time) where a computer will place your bid for you. That way it can be at the last fraction of a second before the auction ends and ensure that no one else had time to counter bid.

But don't worry. It's possible to fight sniping by using eBay's own tool; proxy bidding. You can only be sniped if you use place your bids one at a time manually. If you only bid the least amount possible to be the winner at any given time then you'll likely lose out. Those who bid this way only do it because they don't understand the proxy bidding process. By using this service you chose the maximum amount you're willing to bid, period. Then eBay automatically bids for you, but not the whole amount. The proxy service will only bid the minimum needed to make you the high bidder.

If you use eBay's proxy service properly you won't fall victim to auction snipers. You may still get outbid, but if that happens the price was too high for you anyway. You can walk away knowing that you tried your best, but someone else was willing to pay more. And at the end of the day it's not winning the auction that's important. It's getting that Camaro for a good price. A price you're willing to live with. So bid away, but bid smart and that dream Camaro could be yours!

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