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Bidding/sniping Problems On Ebay



ThomasB

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Over the last month or so, I have noticed (mainly on Sunday night) that snipes (yes, I snipe...) that I have set on some pens do not go through. The pens then end up going for relatively low prices for pens that usually generate a lot of interest and bidding and higher prices. I get a link from my sniping service that sends me to an endless loop of entering a number code on a screen.

 

Also, as a seller, I have had three long term customers contact me over the last two weeks to see if there are issues because they had the same problem. There were two different sniping services involved, so I don't think it is particular to any service.

 

Anyone else having this same problem?

Thomas
Baton Rouge, LA
(tbickiii)

Check out my ebay pen listings
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  tbickiii's Vintage Fountain Pens

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Currently eBay has a lot of connection issues. You should increase the snipe time to a bigger amount than the usual 5 seconds or so. Or do a 2-tier snipe. I personally snipe a very good price around 15 seconds prior to the end and then my max bid 5 seconds before the end. This prevents me from loosing auctions for extremely low amounts if the second snipe is caught in a connection issue. Someone might still have a nice price on the item I didn't get but at least not a 1€ steal or something like than :)

 

There is an evil trick to prevent some snipes if the seller uses a self-hosted image service and not a big one or ebay directly. You can lag the images on the page 8-5 seconds before end of the auction by causing a traffic spike causing most of the sniping tools to not get a finished load of the page, which some do need to push a snipe into the auction system. It's a bit unethical and probably slightly illegal but I have seen traffic spikes on my own auctions of a few thousand visits per second around that time frame and researched those spikes and what might be causing them.

Edited by bardiir

My Pens/Nibs (inked/active): Lamy Studio/Vista/Joy (XXF slight-flex custom | 14k EF | EF | F | 14k M | M | B | 14k 1.1 custom | 1.1 | 1.5 | 1.9), TWSBI Diamond 580 (F | Pendleton BadBoy | Zebra G | F.P.R. semi-flex), Pilot Falcon EF, Penkala Vintage 14k semi-flex, Pilot Parallel (2.4 | 3.8 | 6.0)

http://www.fp-ink.info/img/button.pngI'm still looking for help/data/supporters/sponsors for my Ink Database - It already contains over 900 Inks but is still low on data about the inks except on the Inks I got myself or where I found nice data sheets. So Im looking for these: InkSamples mailed to me, Permissions to use InkReviews - preferable by people who have a lot of InkReviews online, InkReviews mailed to me so I can scan them, Sponsors that will help me to finance InkSamples, People willing to trade InkSamples (list of available Inks from me is available via PM request - please include available Inks)

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Over the last month or so, I have noticed (mainly on Sunday night) that snipes (yes, I snipe...) that I have set on some pens do not go through. The pens then end up going for relatively low prices for pens that usually generate a lot of interest and bidding and higher prices. I get a link from my sniping service that sends me to an endless loop of entering a number code on a screen.

 

Also, as a seller, I have had three long term customers contact me over the last two weeks to see if there are issues because they had the same problem. There were two different sniping services involved, so I don't think it is particular to any service.

 

Anyone else having this same problem?

 

Thomas, I missed out on a Parker 51 vacumatic that you were selling the other week. I would have been the highest bidder, so gutted. Bidnip says the bid wasn't placed, so I contacted them. They said that the bid wasn't placed because verification was required in the form of a captcha. Obviously an automated service can't enter the characters required.

 

If this continues to be the norm then I suspect that this will be the end for sniping services, even though eBay states that sniping doesn't violate any of their rules. I guess time will tell if eBay changes this. It's definitely a deliberate act by eBay. If you google this issue, you'll find it discussed on a couple of forums.

 

Edited to add: I won the grey striated Sheaffer Sentinel Oversize Lifetime on Sunday evening by manually bidding, I daren't risk a snipe!

 

As a long time seller and good customer of eBay could you not ask them about this directly?

 

Does most of the pens that you offer for sale come from eBay in the first place?

Edited by adyf
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I use Auction Sniper...My Max bid was $50 over the ONLY bid that had been made...I was certain I was going to be the winner, only to learn that Auction Sniper never placed the bid...they took full responsibility, and said something like sometimes the servers time is off only a little, but off..also said sometimes they can't connect with the ebay servers and the bid doesn't get placed.

 

I was really bummed, plus more importantly my confidence level is now not very good with Auction Sniper.

 

This was the first time ion 4 years (150+ snipes) that I am aware there was a problem with Auction sniper. But my confidence is still low.

 

They gave me some free snipes due to the problem.

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I use Auction Sniper...My Max bid was $50 over the ONLY bid that had been made...I was certain I was going to be the winner, only to learn that Auction Sniper never placed the bid...they took full responsibility, and said something like sometimes the servers time is off only a little, but off..also said sometimes they can't connect with the ebay servers and the bid doesn't get placed.

 

I was really bummed, plus more importantly my confidence level is now not very good with Auction Sniper.

 

This was the first time ion 4 years (150+ snipes) that I am aware there was a problem with Auction sniper. But my confidence is still low.

 

They gave me some free snipes due to the problem.

 

That is precisely the case with me, as well, from about 3 days ago. Of course, I have no idea if I would have won, not knowing everyone's highest maximum bid, but the bid that won when my Auction Sniper bid did not go through was significantly below mine, a bit hard to take. As well, I've used their service for a number of years and have never had this issue before. I've written and gotten no response, and it certainly shakes my confidence.

 

Sniping has been a boon to my purchasing, both in keeping check on the reality of my expenditures (I really do enter only the maximum I wish to spend, and don't let myself get into emotional bidding wars), but even more importantly, has allowed me to take part in auctions when I would not be able to use a computer or smart phone as the auction is closing. If there doesn't become a clear resolution to this situation, I may be seriously curtailing my bidding.

Edited by JonSzanto

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Sniping has been a boon to my purchasing, both in keeping check on the reality of my expenditures (I really do enter only the maximum I wish to spend, and don't let myself get into emotional bidding wars), but even more importantly, has allowed me to take part in auctions when I would not be able to use a computer or smart phone as the auction is closing. If there doesn't become a clear resolution to this situation, I may be seriously curtailing my bidding.

Sniping has always puzzled me. What you are describing is exactly what proxy bidding does anyway - how does sniping help?

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Sniping has always puzzled me. What you are describing is exactly what proxy bidding does anyway - how does sniping help?

 

No, it isn't, in a couple of subtle but important ways. (For the moment, I'd also pass along this as a reference as well)

 

The problem with proxy bidding is it still encourages "nibbling", as it will continue to make bids on your part, in small increments, every time a bid comes in that is over your current proxy. This encourages traffic, and emotional bidders, and the end result may - and often is - a higher cost to whomever eventually wins the auction. With a snipe, I still set a maximum that I wish to pay, and I've grown very comfortable setting a maximum and living with it if someone outbids me! However, the bid doesn't get placed until some (short) amount of time just before close. My bid will never artificially drive up the price, and I still don't have to be online to take care of the bidding when the close of auction occurs.

 

There are other features that some of the snipe services have. One I have used, though infrequently, is grouped bidding (there may be other names). If, for instance, I see an item that appears from multiple sellers but might be ending at similar times, I can set a snipe for these but group the bids; if I win the first-closing auction, it cancels the other bids; if I don't, it continues on, etc. This ensures that I might be able to purchase a particular item (oh, say, three different people have similar Sheaffer OS Balances for sale...), but I never end up buying more than one of them. Rare situation, but handy if you need it.

 

Not to mention that sniping programs keep all my bidding in one place, where I can review progress and alter or delete bids easily from one interface, just a bit less work than on the eBay pages proper.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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Although I have engaged in sniping, I have always done so myself (i.e. sitting at the computer at the time the auction ends) rather than using a sniping service. To my mind, that is both more 'sporting' than using a 3rd party, and also less likely to result in buying more than I can afford (if there's a service literally doing my bidding, then I'm more likely to bid on more items).

 

I've never had technical problems with bidding like that, except for a few times where my computer's internet connection dies. And if it means that I'm asleep or at work when bidding ends, then so be it: we're talking about pens, after all, not life-saving medication.

 

After reading here about the connection problems with eBay, and that you have to pay to use a sniping service, I am even less likely to use a third-party service in future.

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... and that you have to pay to use a sniping service, I am even less likely to use a third-party service in future.

 

Just to note: there are a number of free sniping services available.

"When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

~ Benjamin Franklin

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