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Sniping is the fine art of outbidding your competition in the very last seconds of an eBay auction without leaving them enough time to place a defensive bid. To snipe a bid manually, first make sure you’re signed in. Then follow these steps to snipe at the end of the auction:
  1. In the last few minutes of the auction, locate the item you want to win and press Ctrl+N to open a second window on your Internet browser.

    A manual sniping system in action.

    A manual sniping system in action

    Keep one window open for bidding, as shown here.

  2. Continuously click the reload or refresh button that appears in the last few minutes of an auction, just above the Place Bid button.

    By reloading the item continually, you’ll be aware when you’re in the last 60 seconds of bidding. You also can see instantly whether anyone else is doing any last-minute bidding.

  3. In the bid box of the second browser window, type your maximum bid and then click the Place Bid button.

    You then face a page that, when you press the button, finalizes and confirms your bid on the item. Do not click the Commit to Buy button yet.

  4. As the auction nears its end, confirm your final bid by clicking the Commit to Buy button.

    You know when the auction is almost over because you’re reloading your first browser window continually. The longer you can hold off bidding before the auction ends, the better.

If you really want an item bad enough, you may want to set up a backup for your snipe. Try a three-screen system, in which you can place a backup high bid in case you catch another sniper swooping in on your item immediately after your first snipe.

Obviously, if you win with the first snipe, the second and third windows are unnecessary. But if you lose the first one, that second (or third) window feels like a real lifesaver! If you’re outbid after two (or three) snipes, don’t cry. The winner paid way more than you were willing to pay. It’s not much consolation, but rarely is an item so rare that you only see it come on the auction block once in a lifetime.

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