eBay sniping

From: J.C.Wren <jcwren_at_jcwren.com>
Date: Thu Apr 24 12:26:01 2003

Why sniping is good:

        Many people get upset about having auctions sniped. All this garbage about
extending auctions an extra minute, blah blah blah, is just a dumb idea.
The reason I regularly snipe is purely psychological: If you enter a bid
early on in an item, you're expressing an interest. This likely drives the
price up, since *most* people seem unwilling to set hard prices and stick to

        My procedure it to set the price when I notice the item, basically, what's
worth to me. I then track the item, and don't bother bidding if it goes
over my limit. However, if the closing time comes around, and it's still
below my limit, I want until about 3 seconds before close, and submit.

        If you're not fast enough, or haven't set a higher price, you lose. I have
no moral quandries about this. There is nothing that I have, do, or know
that makes me a better bidder than anyone else. Simply the ability to stick
to my price, and not show early interest, driving prices up unnecessarily.

        And as for the "no interest" technique, no one can gripe about that. I've
seen plenty of buyers at junk stores, hamfests, auctions, etc, that
desparately want an item, but make it seem like "eh, whatever". Why?
Because they *know* if you say "Damn, this is the coolest widget ever, one
of only 5 ever made, I *have* to have it!" they're quite likely to clue the
seller in, or in any case, drive the price up.

        Buy low, sell high. To do otherwise is a Enron-esque business model, and
just plain nuts.

Received on Thu Apr 24 2003 - 12:26:01 BST

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