Sniping is the practice of placing a bid in auction which is about to end. What happens is that a person rushes into an auction at the last moment, and bids just a little higher than the previous highest bid - as the clock runs out of time – thus winning the auction.
Sniping is supposed to be against the rules at eBay , but that doesn't seem to stop many people doing it. Indeed, in most cases, even if you report sniping activity, the sniper will get away with it, and you will have lost the item that you wanted to win. Or, to put it another way, if you want to avoid losing items to snipers, you need to find a way to beat the snipers!
The first and most obvious way to beat snipers, is the safest, but not necessarily easiest: simply keep up with all activity on the item that you are bidding in. What you need to do is make a note of the date and time that the auction will end, and make sure that you are logged into your computer and watching the auction well before that specific time. You can then bid higher than the previous high-bid during the last few seconds, or simply make sure that nobody outbids you. Of course, you need to remember that sniping is against the rules, so you should log in well before the auction ends, and then raise your bid to be the highest bid, with plenty of time to spare: You then simply need to keep an eye out to make sure that nobody else outbids you. The key thing to remember, if you've been logged in for a while, your activity can hardly be considered sniping, and therefore eBay should not give you any trouble.
The other option that you have is to use automatic bidders. These come in the form of bidding software or services that have been specifically designed for the purpose of snipping. In fact, if you are up against a sniper who is using a sniping software or service, then using one yourself is the only realistic hope you have of beating them. However, while these types of items are relatively easy to find, and while eBay relatively rarely enforces their anti-sniping rules, the thing to remember is that eBay does have rules - and violating those rules can get you permanently banned from eBay . In other words, however tempting these software and services might be, if you decide to use them, you need to be aware that you're taking a huge risk.
This article was first published at http://www.guide2auctions.com/ebay_sniping.php
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