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eBay Auctions are not like real auctions. This is because they end at a certain time so even if someone is ready to pay a higher price for an item, the person is unable to bid as the auction has already ended. This has led to development of an interesting tool that lets you win eBay items at their lowest price - Sniping.

Remember in real life auctions, the auctioneer will give time to other people to consider if they want to pay a higher price for a certain item. Usually he will look around or count down. During this time if someone raises the bid, he will continue the auction until no one else wishes to pay a higher price. This is what makes auctions popular, as they can potentially fetch very high prices for sellers due to bidding wars.

While eBay advertises itself as a auction site, eBay auctions end at a certain time. Even if the item is being heatedly bid upon near its end time, the last person to place a higher bid wins. The items end time is not automatically extended to give other bidders another chance to bid. This is what makes eBay more popular with buyers because if they happen to bid last, they can get away with a fairly low price on a higher value item.

It is easy to infer that if an item is listed at say 0.99 pence it is in the interest of all buyers to wait till the very end of the auction before starting to bid. This way the item price is not prematurely raised and at the last minute the bidder with the fastest fingers (not the highest bid) takes the prize away. Most buyers however don't do this because it requires you to have computer access at the auctions end-time and also have pretty fast fingers.

Sniping solves those problems and automates this process so you don't need fast fingers and you don't have to stay up late night near your computer waiting for an auction to end. Sniping tools can be setup with the items you want to buy and the approximate price you want pay for them in advance. Additionally you specify a time (usually seconds) before the auctions end time when the tool will place the bid for you.

Another advantage of sniping is it prevents you from getting into an impulsive bidding war, you decide how mush you are going to pay in advance and let the sniper do the job. Remember most popular products are listed by several sellers and you can always bid on another auction for the same product.

Any sniping tool will require your eBay userid and password so it can log into your eBay account and place the bid with your account. The tool is usually an automated script and does not involve any human intervention once setup.

Auctionsniper is a very popular online sniping tool. It lets you setup the items you want to snipe and you can walk away letting it do all the hard work for you. You get 3 free snipes when you sign-up and you can cheaply buy additional snipes. A snipe is deducted from your quota only if you win the item. It allows allows you to group auctions together and snipe so you win any one auction from the group. This means you can bid on different auctions of the same item without entering into a bidding war.

Sniping is quite different from eBay proxy bidding. Proxy bidding is actually harmful to the bidder because it raises the price of the item even if the other bidder that caused the price to go up then decides that they do not want to overtake the proxy bid amount.

Security Note: Since you need to provide your eBay userid and password to a sniping tool, be careful about the sniping tools privacy policy as they will have access to your eBay profile and account and must be trustworthy. It is advised that you keep your eBay account password totally different from paypal account or email account passwords if you intend to use sniping tools.


  1. by Massoud (not verified)

    Have a look on this website, popular in the US, regarding what you mention they add 15 sec to the remaining time if any bid comes in the last 10 sec giving more time for competition like an actual auction.

    Good stuff indeed :)