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Much has been said about snipers on eBay, most for the practice, others vehemently against it. I snipe and I have been sniped. The highest bid always wins, no matter the time the bid was placed. It is up to all bidders to place their true maximum bid to avoid being outbid. If they are still outbid it is only because someone else was willing to pay more.

Why do I snipe? There are a few reasons.

First of all it is fun! It's quite an adrenaline rush to go for that last second kill, not knowing whether your bid will be high enough to win or not, and having no second chance to try again!

Secondly, I do not like to place my bids well in advance of the close because often competitors will use another persons bidding list to find items that they may be interested in. I work hard to search out the items I'm looking for. I'll be darned if I'm going to give that research away to anyone else for free, especially if they are intent on outbidding me!

Thirdly, we are all looking to get stuff as cheaply as we can, even if we are willing to go higher, so I bid late to avoid prices being escalated by bidding wars or by vengeful bidders who have lost to you before or by shill bidding from unscrupulous sellers. Yes, we do sometimes take advantage of the fact that other bidders may not have really, truly entered their true high bid (perhaps for the same reasons) and they have no chance to reconsider the price they are willing to pay and submit a counter attack, but that is the flaw in their bidding strategy and we snipers cannot be held responsible. Actually, we are saving them from the dangers of an overpriced "Impulse Bid" which inevitably leads to buyer's remorse!

Now, some consider this tactic to be of detriment to the sellers, but I firmly maintain that sellers must wisely determine the starting bids they place. Some risk the chance of losing money by placing a very low bid to attract attention, and it is a risk whether snipers are involved or not. So, either sellers should start the bidding closer to what they want to get for their item or they need to set a reserve price. If an item sells below the target price it is NOT the fault of the sniper! Another thing to remember is that the second highest bidder is the one who determines the final outcome of the auction, because the final price, no matter the proxy amount, can only go one increment above the last bid!

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February 2001