The Sniping technique..

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Winning or losing an auction is purely a matter of bidding the higher price.  
Sniping is nothing more than delayed order placement.  Because the order has 
not been sent to eBay yet, you can change your bid up or down, something you 
are unable to do on eBay, and no one can see it.

Bid your max once, very late in the auction.  Delayed bidding is like when you 
are sending email, you can send it now, or you can schedule it to be sent out 
later.  Sniping is having your bid sent to eBay later, nothing more.  Bidding 
early in an auction simply telegraphs your intent and attracts others to bid 
against you.  By bidding late you do not leave enough time for anyone to react 
to your bid before the finish.

eBay always uses a proxy bidding system, in which you specify your maximum 
bid value.  It is very rare that you will actually have to pay your proxy bids 
highest price.  You will usually either win the item for considerably less money 
than you planed, or else will lose the auction to a higher bidder. 

If a reserve price exists on an eBay auction, always ask the seller what the 
reserve is.  If the seller does not tell you, do not bid.  Decide what the absolute 
maximum is that you are willing to pay, and bid it, ONCE!  It doesn’t 
particularly matter whether your bid is three minutes, or five seconds before 
the  auction closes. 

Since tie bids are possible and the earliest bidder wins, it usually pays to bid odd 
penny amounts on any auction.  Further, many items will have buyer resistance 
thresholds.  Prices above which others are reluctant to go.  Typical "ain’t gonna 
go there" thresholds are $20, $100, and $200.  Thus, a bid of $103.27 is much 
more likely to win than one of $98.24. 

Taking one shot, making one bid, embodies the snipers tactics and philosophy, 
of efficiency and stealth.  The more interest that you show in an item, the 
greater the chances of someone thwarting your plans.  Your first and only shot, 
should be your last.  Successful snipers take their time in analyzing and sniping 
individual items in a methodical fashion with a relatively low risk of putting the 
price up on themselves.  You should know the value of the item, and bid a bit 
more.

eBay has all sorts of powerful search features that let you find price histories 
and interest levels.  Be sure to use "search titles and descriptions" rather than 
titles only.  Remember that only "completed items" represent the final prices.  
Auctions in progress will usually have much lower than final bids. 

You do not want to put the price up on myself.  It is the unexpected aspect of 
sniper fire that gives it power.  Snipers are trained in stalking, observation, 
camouflage, and concealment, as well as shooting.  Give as little information 
about your interest as possible to the second highest bidder to keep them  
bidding low.  Sniping makes use of their inability to strike back.  If you are right 
about the value, are patient, bid a bit more, then you will win.  If you are outbid 
because the other bidder was willing to pay more.  It does not matter in the 
least when they do so! 


It is like when you are dicing on the highway.  You know the top speed that 
your car will go, but you only need to stay ahead of your pursuer at the finish to 
win.  Similarly you know the maximum that you will pay, but you only need to 
stay ahead of the second highest bidder at the end.  Do not do anything that 
will make that car, that bidder go higher.

Just as it is a sniper technique to use two teams approaching simultaneously 
from different directions, placing a back up bid from a different server 
eliminates your chances of missing your bid because of network glitches or 
computer malfunctions. 
 
My winning technique is to look at things that I want (Coup d'oeil), until I have 
made up my mind the most that I will pay!  Then I place my delayed offer and 
forget about it until I get an alert.  I need the first loser to bid the lowest price 
they think can win, without thinking of outbidding me.  If there progress is 
smooth and good, they can be easily lead into an ambush.

With this strategy, there are only two possible outcomes: You will either be 
overjoyed at winning, or laughing yourself silly over someone paying too much 
for the item.  This strategy is also utterly and totally immune to shilling, sniping, 
and other price building or item grabbing ploys.  Your defense against being 
sniped, is to bid your max once, close to the end of the auction.

There are tools on the web that are free and easy to use.  You just log into your 
eBay account through the online interface, and schedule your delayed bids.  
Security should not be a concern.  Maybe if after a bid the funds were just taken 
out of your account there would be room for abuse.  But the way it is now, 
when you sign on through an interface to eBay to place your bid.  If you had an 
unscrupulous program what could it do?  

Not much just win a few auctions.  You are not going to be out any money.  
You just would not pay, and you would tell eBay about it, and let them handle it.  
If you are paranoid you can always change your eBay password and start over.  
Security should not be a concern with this winning method.

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