Sniping Techniques for the eBay Beginner
Sniping is a great technique for snatching away an eBay auction from your competition at the last second. Sniping basically means placing a high bid on an item in the minutes (or seconds) before an auction closes, so the competition doesn't have time to place a counter-bid. Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when you get ready to place your snipe bid:
Know how high you’re willing to go. If you know you’re facing a lot of competition, figure out your highest bid to the penny. You should have already researched the item and figured out its value. Raise your bid only to the level where you’re sure you’re getting a good return on your investment; don’t go overboard. Certainly, if the item has some emotional value and you just have to have it, bid as high as you want. But remember, you’ll have to pay the piper later. You win it, you own it!
Know how fast (or slow) your Internet connection is. Before you start sniping, figure out how long it takes to get your bid confirmed on eBay. Test it a few times until you know how many seconds you have to spare when placing a bid.
Don’t lose heart if you lose the auction. Remember, this is a game.
Although sellers love sniping because it drives up prices and bidders love it because it’s fun, a sniper can ruin a week’s careful work on an auction strategy. The most skillful snipers sneak in a bid so close to the end of the auction that you have no chance to counter-bid. Losing too often, especially to the same sniper, can be a drag.
If your Internet connection is slow and you want to do some sniping, make your final bid two minutes before the auction ends and adjust the amount of the bid as high as you feel comfortable so you can beat out the competition. If you can make the highest bid with just 10 seconds left, you most likely will win. With so many bids coming in the final seconds, your bid might be the last one eBay records.
This stuff is supposed to be fun, so don’t lose perspective. If you can’t afford an item, don’t get caught up in a bidding war. Otherwise, the only person who wins is the seller. If you’re losing sleep, barking at your cat, or biting your nails over an item, it’s time to rethink what you’re doing. If it’s taking up too much of your life or an item costs too much, be willing to walk away — or log off — and live to bid another day.