Bid Snipers Running Rampant on eBay, Bidders Frustrated

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BW Griggs of Shrub Software shares six simple tactics to blunt the effect of bid sniping, or computer-automated bidding, on the popular eBay auction service. These simple tactics render bid snipers powerless and help bidders save significant money on eBay purchases.

Bid sniping, the act of using a software tool to place a bid during the final seconds of an auction has grown immensely during recent years with the amazing success of eBay.

Bids placed within the last few seconds of an eBay auction don’t offer other bidders time to respond with additional bids. Although the number of auctions impacted by bid sniping is unknown, the use of bid sniping tools is perfectly legal according to eBay. eBay even goes so far as to suggest that using their proxy bidding system is the solution to bid snipers, but a recent study by academic researchers suggests that bid snipers are winning many of the auctions they snipe leaving occasional and inexperienced bidders frustrated.

eBay’s proxy bid system has the user enter the highest bid they are willing to pay for an item and then eBay automatically bids up to this amount on behalf of the user. This arrangement can be effective, but only if all bidders have the same knowledge about the item up for auction. Unfortunately, experienced bidders resort to bid sniping to avoid sharing their knowledge about an auction item because each bid a user makes tells the other bidders something about the item and the high bidder. Bid sniping also helps bidders avoid bid wars which makes it very appealing for frequent eBay buyers.

BW Griggs, principal developer of Shrub Software, had this to say, “While eBay’s proxy bidding system is virtually instantaneous and therefore bid snipe resistant, what eBay doesn’t take into account is the psychology and knowledge of each bidder. Whether bid sniping is ethical or not is a discussion for another time, but with such large numbers of users using bid sniping services the average user doesn’t stand a chance. The result is the bid snipers create an imbalance and many eBay bidders become frustrated with the online auction process.”

To help combat the effect of bid sniping and assist eBay bidders win more auctions, BW Griggs has compiled a list of tactics that both new and experienced eBay users can use immediately to increase the number of auctions they win:

1.    Research and understand the value of items before bidding

2.    Decide on a high bid and stick to it

3.    Purchase using Buy-It-Now auctions when possible

4.    Purchase using Fixed-Price items when possible

5.    Search for items using misspellings

6.    Don’t be afraid to search the other English language eBay sites

By diligently employing these six simple tactics eBay buyers will win more auctions and save significant money. The key to successfully employing these tactics is some simple research and planning. For a more detailed discussion of these tactics including step-by-step instructions on how to effectively employ them visit Shrub Software at

About Shrub Software:

Shrub Software produces industry leading eBay software solutions for eBay users and affiliates utilizing the eBay web service. Shrub Software’s recent software release, SearchDigger, specializes in finding dirt-cheap bargains on eBay U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia.


BW Griggs, principal developer

Shrub Software

(702) 425-3271

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