Use An eBay Auction Sniper To Save Time And Money

If you aren’t using an auction sniper when placing your bids on eBay, you are most likely wasting time and money. A sniper works against the self-defeating emotional mechanisms that prevent us from getting the best deal at auctions.

eBay is the largest affordable forum for buying sportscards. It is hard to collect today without spending a reasonable amount of time and money on this e-commerce site. Therefore, becoming as proficient as possible in bidding is one of the most critical skills hobbyists need to develop.

What Is An eBay Auction Sniper?

Sniping is the practice of placing a competitive bid at the last minute of an auction, hoping that rivals will not have time to outbid.

An Auction Sniper is a tool that will bid on an eBay auction for you seconds before it closes. You identify the auction and set your maximum price, and the auction sniper will swoop in and bid for you right at the end.

Ideally, a sniper will place the bid at just the right time: just before the bidding closes but too late for competitors to outbid you.

Why Should I Use An Auction Sniper On eBay?

Cognitive research shows that we do not make wise decisions under pressure. Therefore, in the final hours and minutes of auctions, we often manage our bidding strategies poorly.

For example, we may bid our maximum price an hour or two before an auction will close to secure a desirable item. When we follow this strategy, it provides our rivals with a long time to respond and puts us in the position of forfeiting or exceeding our comfortable maximal.

An auction sniper bypasses the emotional impulse that leads us to make bad decisions by controlling our maximum bid and timing.

Mental Discipline Of Bidding On eBay

Bidders at an auction often experience an intense desire to obtain a specific object. Veteran bidders call this “auction fever,” and it stems from a common psychological fallacy known as the “endowment effect.”

Humans are not purely rational creatures. We do not value items purely per their financial price. Instead, we are loss averse. In other words, when we own something, we fear losing it more than we enjoy receiving a comparable item.

Instead, when we experience the “endowment effect,” we develop an attachment to items we possess which transcends its monetary worth. Once an item is in our possession, it becomes part of our perception of self-worth.

Therefore, parting with possessions can be painful even when they are not worth much money. For example, we value our cars or our spouses (hopefully) over comparable options on the market.

Studies have shown that auctions trigger a “pseudo-endowment effect” in bidders. When taking part in an auction, they may imagine the item in their possession and exaggerate its monetary value as we develop an instant but meaningful emotional connection to the thing.

That last bid you put in at well above your maximum price seems like a good idea in the heat of the moment. However, when exceeding your maximum price, you are very likely to experience ‘buyer’s remorse.’ That means that at the end of the day, you may spend more than you would like and also feel dissatisfied with your’ win.’

What Does the ‘Endowment Effect’ Mean For Bidding On eBay?

A study conducted in 2005 examined this question scientifically. Looking at 1088 eBay auctions, they found that the ‘endowment effect’ greatly influenced our bidding behavior.

The researchers noted the following typical bidder behavior. The amount of time a person spends on an individual bid increases their tendency to bid above their initial maximal price.

Also significant was the amount of time spent as the highest bidders on an item, which increases the ‘pseudo-endowment effect.’ Social scientists call it a ‘pseudo-endowment effect’ because the item in question is not actually in the imaginer’s possession.

A ‘pseudo-endowment effect’ often develops when we think about owning an item. The longer and harder we imagine owning the item we bid on, the more significant the effect. Therefore, it appears that when a person has the highest bid, they vividly imagine the thing in their possession.

Therefore, consistent highest bidders often end up overpaying for the item if they win the auction. While those who put in competitive bids late in the game pay a lower price on average.

Bidding Early Is Bidding Badly

Keep in mind that bidding early on an item is likely to trigger your endowment effect and increase the item’s value in others’ eyes browsing the cards you want. Human nature is competitive. When we see that others value an object, we often want it more.

Therefore, if you place high early bids and consistently maintain them, you may get casual browsers heavily involved in a bidding war. Meanwhile, playing it cool and keeping a distance can often keep interest in an item to a minimum.

Setting the Price Late Is also Bidding Badly

While you do not want to place your bid early, you should determine your maximal paying price early. Why? We do not think well under pressure. Study after study shows that our cognitive process declines when we are under duress.

Different people react to stress with opposite pathologies. Some are unable to make a decision and find themselves under-bidding for an item they want. Others do not think clearly and bid higher than their maximal price.

No matter your penchant, changing your maximal price towards the end of an auction is irrational. The item’s value will probably not shift significantly during the auction, and our evaluation should also remain consistent.

Therefore, it is best to determine your maximal price long before the auction ends and stick to it.

How Does An Auction Sniper Help?

As we have seen, studies conclusively show that spending time looking at a specific bid leads to overpayment. Also, placing as the top bidder for long-stretches of time is also associated with paying above market value.

An auction sniper prevents the ‘pseudo-endowment effect’ from taking hold by keeping us off eBay. When we spend less time on a bid, we become less invested and are more likely to stick with our initial spending budget.

The auction sniper swoops in at the last second and places a bid. However, it does so based on the maximal price entered at an earlier time. Therefore, the figure will not be inflated by the excitement of the auction.

Therefore, when we use it, we do not spend a prolonged amount of time as the top bidder. This also serves to counter our emotional attachment and prevents overbidding.

Auction Snipers Area A Time Saver

We have all been there. There is an item we really want on eBay, and it is attracting the interest of other collectors. Now we find ourselves returning to the page repeatedly to get updates, perhaps even refreshing the page continually.

As the old saying goes, “time is money,” and every minute you spend on an auction is one you could be spending (far more) productively elsewhere.  By utilizing an Auction Sniper, you simply set the bid you want to place on the auction and forget about it.  The Sniper will tell you if you won the auction after it is over.

Is Sniping Legal and Ethical?

Ethics are subjective, and every bidder has their own opinion on sniping. Some users, especially sellers, believe it ruins the bidding experience.

One of the reasons some sellers hate snipers is because it undermines some of their unethical practices. Most notably, auction snipers render shill bidding practices less effective.

However, the bidding system on eBay and other auctioning platforms encourage it. They could either ban auction sniping software or extend bidding after a last-minute bid is placed. However, they chose not to. Sniping is essentially built into the eBay system, and it isn’t easy to win your bids at an optimal price without it.

After all, it does not prevent other bidders from acquiring the item if the value. It is simply a smart way to use the system, rather than a form of cheating it.

Becoming A 10 Million Dollar Seller On An Auction Marketplace | Sellercloud Official Blog

Which Auction Sniper to Choose?

One of the best snipers is auctionsniper.com, which charges 1.5% of the price for auctions you win. However, if you calculate how much that will cost when you buy a 1906 Honus Wagner, don’t worry. They do not charge over $14.99 for bidding on a single item.

Another good option is gixen.com. This program allows for four free successful bids a month. If you require more than that, you can subscribe for $6 per year.

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim is a former history and political science professor at UCLA. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary. Shai also worked as a diplomat and journalist on three continents.


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