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When it comes to winning auctions on eBay 10 Tips to Shop on eBay Like a Boss 10 Tips to Shop on eBay Like a Boss These 10 eBay tips will help you optimize your searching and bidding to save you a lot of money on the items you're looking for. Read More , there are few practices as controversial — or effective — as sniping.

Sniping is simple: you wait until the end of the auction, then swoop in with a low bid that’s just high enough to win before anyone else can raise their maximum bid. It’s certainly a viable, if somewhat irritating, strategy.

Let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to eBay sniping. And check out some of the tools for using it effectively.

Does Sniping Really Work?

Most of the evidence points to yes. Bidnapper has collected a number of quotes from researchers that support this idea. The research is getting dated, but in general, it does seem like people who know what they’re talking about believe that sniping is the way to go.

Moreover, the data indicates that incremental bidding significantly diminishes with experience (as measured by the bidders’ feedback numbers), while last-minute bidding increases with experience. —2001 Harvard Study

Sniping allows you to conceal information (always a good idea in auctions and similar events) and bid without giving anyone else time to react. It’s a win all around.

However, there are some important caveats, especially for eBay beginners.

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The Balance notes that eBay’s proxy bidding system and the increasing popularity of fixed-price listings mean you could actually win fewer auctions with sniping. It depends on a lot of factors. But remember that any bid entered on eBay will immediately beat out a snipe bid because of the proxy bidding system.

Proxy bidding system: eBay adjusts your bid as needed to ensure that you only pay the minimum you have to in order to win something.

In short, sniping generally works very well. It won’t always win, and it won’t always result in you paying less. And if you really want something that doesn’t show up on eBay very often, sniping probably isn’t the best way to go. But in general, it’s not a bad strategy.

Why Is eBay Sniping Controversial?

Some people think that sniping goes against the spirit of auction sites Computer Auctions And Why eBay May Not Be Your Only Option Computer Auctions And Why eBay May Not Be Your Only Option For most of us it's the only online auction site that matters, but if you're browsing through ebay to find great deals on computers, you may be better off using an alternative auction platform. Read More . Without sniping, if you want to make sure that you win the auction, you need to either enter a very high bid or rearrange your schedule so you can be there at the end of the auction to make sure you win. Sniping software means you can put in a single bid and then totally forget about the auction.

When a snipe bid wins an auction, whoever was previously in the lead to win can feel like they’ve been cheated. Even if they were willing to enter a higher bid, they didn’t get a chance. It feels bit like someone has stolen the item out from under you.

Interestingly, eBay doesn’t have a problem with sniping. It’s an allowed and effective practice. In eBay’s own words,

Sniping is part of the eBay experience, and all bids placed before a listing ends are valid, even if a bidder places the bid one second before the listing ends.

It’s completely legal and allowed. And after you start doing it, you’ll see that it’s a great strategy — putting down bids here and there just raises the price of items (which is exactly what eBay wants) and makes people get emotional. Which further raises the price as emotion gets in the way of reason.

How to Start Sniping Auctions

eBay sniping couldn’t be easier. There are a lot of websites out there that help you do it. We’ll take a look at Gixen, because it’s totally free.

But there are a lot of other options like:

Some are paid, and some require software downloads, but Gixen is free and browser-based. Many sniping tools also offer browser extensions that save you a couple clicks.

Keep in mind that to use any of these services, you’ll need to hand over your eBay login information. It might be a good idea to use an extra email address or an entirely different eBay account 7 Security Reasons Why You Should Avoid eBay 7 Security Reasons Why You Should Avoid eBay In the last few years, eBay has been hit with seemingly endless hacks, data breaches, and security flaws, which they've struggled to deal with. Are eBay trustworthy, or should you avoid shopping with them? Read More if you’re going to be sniping.

Using Gixen is really easy.

Sign in with your eBay username and password to get started. Then go to eBay and find the item you want and make a note of the item number. You can find the item number in the URL or in the top-right corner of the Description box.

Enter the item number and your maximum bid in Gixen and hit Add. That’s all there is to it. You can also group items so you can place snipe bids on multiple copies of the same item without winning them all. If you win one, the other bids won’t be raised in response to someone else bidding.

That’s all there is to it.

Of course, using paid services gives you more options. But Gixen is a great way to snipe a few times and see if it’s worth investing in.

And it’s worth mentioning that you can always snipe using eBay’s proxy bidding system. Just hang out on an item page until the auction is almost over, and register your bid right before it ends. If you feel like sniping software is cheating, this strategy might appeal to you.

It can certainly work — it just requires that you’re around when the item is ending.

A Few Things to Remember

Sniping is generally pretty straightforward, but there are a few important things to keep in mind.

Don’t retract your bids. You might be tempted to if you won an item and have placed bids on other copies of it, or if someone drove up the price too quickly. But retracting bids violates eBay’s terms of service except under specific circumstances. So don’t do it.

Be careful about over-bidding. When you get started with sniping, it can be easy to put a ton of items on your list. And if they end close together, you might end up with a lot more of them than you expect.

Remember that sniping isn’t always going to work. If an item has a huge number of bidders or a single very committed bidder, you’re likely to get outbid by eBay’s proxy system. Sniping is best used on smaller items that aren’t seeing a huge amount of competition. Remember that sniping isn’t a guarantee of anything — it might save you a few bucks here and there, but it’s not likely to get you a $1,000 item for 10 bucks.

As long as your expectations are reasonable, sniping can be a great strategy for winning eBay auctions. Just know the limitations, don’t go crazy, and you’ll be fine.

How Do You Snipe?

eBay isn’t always the cheapest option 13 Bargain Websites That Are Cheaper Than eBay 13 Bargain Websites That Are Cheaper Than eBay eBay is an online shopping platform for buying almost anything. Over the years, many eBay alternatives have arrived to give you better bargains and broader choices. Here are the serious ones. Read More , but sniping can help you save some cash. It’s not going to win you every auction, and it could actually end up losing you a few. But it remains a viable strategy in many circumstances.

Whether you use an online tool, a piece of software, or just hang out and bid at the end of the auction, it’s generally not a bad way to go. And now, we want to hear from you!

Do you snipe auctions? Do you use a sniping service, or just do it by hand? Have you found it to be a useful strategy? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!

Image Credit: Maxx-Studio via Shutterstock.com

Originally written by Joshua Lockhart on 24th April, 2013

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  1. Bob
    August 1, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I would usually find an auction with no bidders and use the proxy for half my max bid. This gives me the " first bidder " advantage. Then, I use a sniping software where I imput my full max bid, to be unleashed 5 second before closure. A competitor that outbids the proxy with some time left would be confident he won seeing no other bid for a while, until the last 5 sec when he can't do anything anymore. That only works if I was willing to pay more than him though if he himself put a max bid in the proxy.

  2. Mike
    June 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    You're wrong if you're trying to convince people that sniping doesn't work. If I want an item badly enough, my bid, (via a sniping service), will be high enough to ensure I win. I have yet to encounter a bidder who has beaten me in those circumstances, and if I did, he would be paying a full price. If my bid fails, it is because I didn't want the item badly enough. Also, my anonymity until the last few seconds, ensures that I at leas,t don't get into a bidding war which only serves to drive the price up.

    Another advantage that Ebay probably don't like to admit, is my ability to cancel my snipe bid at any time, for any reason. I recently had a snipe bid set on an item, which, on closer examination of the pics, I concluded, was either fake or repro. I immediately cancelled my snipe, and no-one was the wiser.

  3. John
    May 13, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Does anyone "Buy it NOW"?

  4. Simon
    February 8, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Sorry, that article is pretty lame. And as for the idea of getting a partner/second account to put in a super high bid then withdraw it in the dying seconds? That's just plain illegal. It's called fraud. Please, do some research before presenting yourself as an informed source.

  5. hankg
    December 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    from the original OP: "Let me be clear: you can win an eBay auction by sniping.
    But it is also very risky, and it may not be worth it in the end"

    this is like saying: "let me be clear, you can win by not using an eBay sniper, but it is also very risky, and it may not be worth it in the end."

    and actually you would be more correct by the later. because while things can go wrong with an eBay sniper, not using an eBay sniper is going to lose yourself 90% of the auctions, and I can say this with absolute authority on the subject, I've been using eBay since 1999. or last century for you knew comers "wink wink",

    now I would not use a "web service" for ebay sniping though, they are possible security risks, and they are failing because eBay is trying to prevent fraud, by saying hey, give us extra verification.

    I would recommend an eBay sniper app that lives on your desktop though, there are no downsides, except that you must leave your desktop running while you are using a snipe.

    on a Mac, the one I use is from the "Mac app store", extremely good.

  6. John
    November 12, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    What's the logic behind the new (to me, anyway) practice of a single bidder placing 10-15 bids on an item when they're the first bidder? They're not nibbling away to find out someone else's high bid, they are the ONLY bidder so far. What purpose does this serve?

    • hankg
      December 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      it serves no purpose, the OP is wrong, it also serves no purpose if there ARE bids. it only serves to run up the bidding. good for a seller, bad for a buyer, either place your max, or don't place at all... and for that matter, use a sniper and place that same Max bid, so someone else doesn't "nibbling" at your bid.

      it is always the new users doing the "nibbling" or a shill bidder. they know not what they do.

  7. Anonymous
    September 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Sniping isn't really a competitive advantage anymore in popular categories. Rather, it's a norm of buying. See, in each popular category there are "power buyers" who place bids with snipers across the board on all items. This isn't for their personal stash; it's for them to buy and resell the product. Usually these guys are professionals with the product and have a resell market that commands good prices and so they can offer fairly competitive pricing (around what normal ebay users might bid). So while it can give you an advantage just know that these guys do exist and your best opportunity is to use a sniping program AND place your highest bid. Since the entire concept has been out for a decade now lots of powerbuyers and everyday users use sniping programs so "you can win" IF still includes using a sniper. But remember also the hidden golden nuggets of newly listed buy it now only items. It requires the user to be present at the PC waiting for new items but is less competitive and no chance for dozens of others to use sniping programs ahead of time. I use https://ubuyfirst.com for this. Also, I use myibidder for bidding on auctions. Me = bid / buy (wins) about $150,000 USD a month in consumer electronics on eBay and resell items to China wholesale.

  8. Anonymous
    June 20, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    What is the sense in getting involved in a bidding war. I do not have extra money to throw away on something i want on ebay. An ebay auction sniping service saves me money and also helps me get the item i want. I have tried esnipe and also ebidsniper.com and their service seems to me to be the best one to use. I do not think sniping is a bad thing. The seller gerts more money also ebay grets more money. Me the buyer gets what i want without spending more then i want

  9. John
    March 29, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Well if you don't want to loose auction I say if you don't want to loose it join in and snipe your self now with ebay the highest bidder wins sniping dose not work if someone want to pay more than you I have won items not sniping just because I wanted to pay more I just use the mobile app on my tablet enter my max bid press submit and wait until say 8 seconds left then hit the confirm button and your done

  10. TJB
    March 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Watch auction by putting on watch list, check maybe once a day, if price is below what I'm willing to pay in the last hour of the auction I'll watch it a bit more frequently. If its still reasonable I'll put my max bid in with about 5-10 seconds to go, I'll either win it for way below what I wanted to pay or at worst pay what I wanted to or lose it as it's too expensive for me.

    I've won loads of auctions doing this and in many cases got good deals on items which I've then resold with better pictures for a nice profit.

  11. Ray Jones
    February 25, 2015 at 5:22 am

    I have lost way too many auctions because I placed my max bid early on. Unless my max bid is some outrageously high bid then I am more than likely going to lose. If that max bid is a fair and reasonable amount then it will probably be beaten by $1. If I really want something ,then it's almost imperative that I engage in sniping. If you think that's unfair and unethical then go talk to your priest.

    • MisnersLady?
      April 25, 2017 at 7:57 pm

      Hey Ray, you couldn't have said it any better, FOR REAL! I'm with you on that one brother! ???

  12. Ajay Dumasiya
    September 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    It's all about luck I think. Sometime you may win auction with very less price and that will make you addictive and you feel to big on other items also and when you fail to win it you will feel like losers.

    Kind regards,
    Ajay Dumasiya
    DesiDime.com

  13. Stevie Baxter
    June 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I'm not an opponent of sniping, but I'm certainly not a proponent. I have to snipe because I'm forced to, and to do otherwise would be "naive". It, however, makes eBay shopping dreadful. Knowing that an item sitting at 0.99£ for 99% of it's duration on the list then lifting to £30+ cos of some last second snipers doesn't make for a fun experience. Most times, I do not get my item. I'm outbidded by £1 or so, and that's fair if the winner had honestly evaluated the product higher than me, however, knowing that some will bid outrageous proxies 100x the price of the item (I've seen 2 snipers with ridiculous proxies resulting in the item going for hundreds of times more than it's RRP) really seems to embitter me.

    This tactic is what I'm against, and feel the system is inherently unfair. Not much can be done against these high force-bidders. Ebay shopping has evolved into this unnatural and stressful process. With the majority of the population struggling to keep up with manual snipes, you're starting to see even middle aged consumers resorting to software sniping as if it was a Godsend, at much of a compromise to those who don't feel the desperate need to resort to those inane depths.

  14. Charles
    April 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    As like several others who have commented, I snipe with the max amount I'm willing to pay. Saves me from overpaying by incrementing my bid. If I didn't win with my snipe, that's fine, because it sold to someone else for more than I was willing to pay.

  15. Keith S
    April 25, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Good article. Even more interesting discussion after the article! Thank you Joshua & M.U.O.! Keep the quality a coming!

  16. Thomas Kainz
    April 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Personally, I trust the proxy bidding about as much as I trust the slot machines at Vegas.... not at all. I'm a software engineer so I understand how computers can be programmed and how that programming can be "leveraged". Let's see..... Ebay... and Paypal have an interest in the final selling price...(commissions baby!) a whole slew of people input what the max they're willing to pay is so the computer system knows in advance what the final selling price "could" be. What's wrong with this picture? I'm not trying to imply that this is what's going on... only what could be going on if the parties involved weren't trustworthy.

    All that being said, an eBay auction is like any other auction. I prefer to sit back, watch how the bidding goes and then at the end, if the price is still favorable, I step in with my final bid. I either win it or I don't. The one nice thing about sniping is that you don't get caught up in the "heat of the battle". In most cases, you've checked out the item, the comps and have already established your top-end. If, at the last minute, your top end isn't good enough then no hard feelings... by your level-headed, calm decision making at the start it was overpriced anyways. It's those that get caught up in the action... OK... only $5 more....drats.... OK... $2 more......fudge.... Fine then.... $10 and that's my final offer...well, $3 won't hurt but that's REALLY my final offer...... (yeah right). Not Me! Besides I don't have the time to constantly be checking in. I see something I like... need... gotta have... I make a note of the ending date and time, log on a few minutes before and IF it's still at an acceptable price, I'll put in my top bid and walk away. In all actuality... most of what I buy is using the buy-it-now option..... trying to save a few bucks isn't worth my time and effort babysitting the item for a week or more. By the time the auction ends, I've already received the one I bought and am putting it to good use.

  17. Rattail
    April 24, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Face it. I won the auction because I bid more than you did. Period. Whether I sniped the auction or not. The high bid will always win. If you were willing to pay more, you should have bid more before time ran out.

  18. Charles Rachor
    April 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I almost never have time to wait for auctions. Rather, I just use amazon and ebay to price compare, and use the "buy it now" or even "make an offer" on ebay, if it's the lower price.

  19. Tony Karakashian
    April 24, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I've had mixed luck with sniping, but it's the only way I'll bid because on the whole I've won more at better prices than not. Unethical? Hardly. Just a different way of winning auctions. Others have strategies that work for them, why would theirs be any more "ethical"?

  20. null
    April 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I think sniping leads to a "Win at all cost" mentality and is detrimental to the bidder.

    I see people all the time snipe something while I am price comparing it on Amazon or another website and see them overpay for the item.

    Sure, you "won" the item, you still paid too much for it. In my game of saving myself money, you lose.

  21. dragonmouth
    April 24, 2013 at 11:52 am

    The pejorative term "sniping", with its unethical connotations, was invented by complacent bidders who lost auctions in the last seconds. "Sniping" on eBay is not different than bidding right after the auctioneer says "Going twice".

    I've won auctions by "sniping" and I've lost them. That is part of the auction game. If you go to a live auction you are not guaranteed that you will win it unless you have an unlimited budget. If you want an item so bad that you don't want to be out-sniped", buy it from Amazon or from a brick and mortar. That is the only way you are guaranteed to get it.

  22. James Howde
    April 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

    I don't use sniping as a rule. There's too much temptation in watching an auction to think 'well it's just another pound' and end up paying retail price for second-hand goods - so I just stick in what I'm willing to pay then walk away. That being the case it doesn't really matter much when I place the bid so I might as well do it early and know I've not won it sooner.

    The exception is where there several people selling an item I want at the same time. I only want one but you can't really retract bids so sniping is the best option. Most on-line snipers will let you link auctions together and not place your bids on other auctions in the group if you win one.

  23. Eduardo P
    April 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I know sniping is legal, but I still don't like it. I prefer the system that adds an extra couple of minutes to the auction in case a bid is placed inside the last few seconds. It takes much longer for a deal to end that way but it seems fairer to me.

  24. Scott M
    April 24, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I really don't enjoy the sniping aspect of Ebay.I will bid what I believe to a fair price whenever I see the item.If it is right away it doesn't matter,I'm not bidding any higher as I have already determined what it is worth to me and made my bid.I don't bid any higher and don't feel regret if I don't win.

  25. Jason Gwin
    April 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

    My greatest eBay score, a Jackson Randy Rhodes 7 string, was won via a snipe bid using an old cell phone in 2005, I think. Everyone snipes. It's they law of eBay. I generally wait until the last hour to make any bids at all.

  26. Vincenzo
    April 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Part of the game I guess.Trick the system with some clever strategy is not unethical.

  27. prosniper
    April 24, 2013 at 6:21 am

    Although some people don't like it (esp the sellers), it is a completely legitimate practice and from my understanding of ebay policies within the rules. I find the sniping services very useful and use them whenever I participate in a competitive auction. Think of a sniping service as a friend with a really fast computer and fast internet connection that is synched with ebay's clock. I remember going to a friends house when we were kids so we could use their touch tone phone to call ticketmaster when a good concert went on sale. My family had a rotary dial phone and I could never get through before the show had inevitably sold out. Same thing with ebay sniping. I bid the full amount I am willing to pay and schedule the sniping service (free) to bid 4 seconds before the end while I watch through my home terminal. If my internet service is disrupted or I am otherwise unavailable, my bid is still in play. I don't like to bid early to tip my hand to others who may be interested or attract attention to the auction. These are the rules of the auction and ebay would have shut these services down long ago if they weren't allowed.

    • dragonmouth
      April 24, 2013 at 11:57 am

      "I bid the full amount I am willing to pay and schedule the sniping service (free) to bid 4 seconds before the end"
      Losing the auction to me every time because I schedule my service to bid 2 seconds before the end. /GRIN/

      • Tyler
        April 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        The idea is not to bid at the last possible second, just late enough so that manual nibbling bidders don't have a chance to react.

        If prosniper and you bid the same amount on the same item, his being submitted with 4 seconds left in the auction, and yours 2, if one of 2 win, it will be prosniper.

        • dragonmouth
          April 24, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          That was a joke, son!

          Winning an auction is not a matter of life and death for me. Win or lose, the universe will continue on its merry way, not bothering to notice the result.

        • Scott M
          April 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

          That's how I feel about it.The world won't end if I miss out on an item.

      • Tyler
        April 24, 2013 at 5:49 pm

        "Actually, sniping – in its most basic form – is simply waiting until the very last second of an eBay auction and quickly plugging in a bid that is slightly higher than the user before you."

        The "slightly higher than the user before you" part sounds like nibbling, not sniping. You should decide on your absolute maximum bid, and that be your snipe amount.

        "Services like goSnipe and GIXEN automatically place your bid in the last few moments of an auction. The services tell you that they are fairly useful, but in all truth, it’s probably just a game of chance."

        http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/2006-06-25-physics-of-ebay_x.htm

        "Another strategy is to use eBay’s proxy bidding system."

        Using eBay's proxy bidding system is not a strategy as all bids placed use eBay's proxy bidding system.

        "A dirtier method of sniping would be to find a partner or an alternate account and throw out an outrageously high amount after your (or your personal account’s) highest bid within the last hour of the auction."

        That is shill bidding, not sniping. Sniping is actually a way to combat shill bidding, but shill bidding is normally done by the seller or his buddy.

        Do you believe that eBay sniping is ethical? Are you a successful eBay sniper?

        Yes, all you're doing is waiting until the last couple of seconds to bid. You still have to have the highest bid to win, and you lose in the case of bid ties, if the other bid was placed before yours.

        Yes, I use http://www.hidbid.com.

  28. Dee Wheat
    April 24, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Great info for people like me who don't do a lot of Ebay transactions. I keep saying I don't like to use Ebay, but truth be told, I end up using it quite a bit.

  29. geo1
    April 24, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I simply use the proxy bidding system and put in the max I want to spend. If I win, I win. If not, then it was not worth it to me, and it will likely come up again at the right price. Sniping would certainly entice me to spend more than I really intend if my attention is just on paying a bit more than the previous bidder.

    • derp
      October 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      If you use proxy bidding a few days, or even a few hours before the auction ends, this entices anyone who you outbid or possibly people watching the item to bid more to outbid you. Essentially you are just driving the price up. If you wait till the last minute, the price will be at a lower amount than if you had bid earlier, so you could then place a proxy bid of the same max amount, and since there is more room between your proxy and the highest bid, there is less of a chance someone will reach the max you set.

  30. Hugo
    April 24, 2013 at 4:53 am

    It's their rules, it's not unfair play by the rules.

    Call me machiavelic but it's the true about the world.

  31. Catherine M
    April 24, 2013 at 4:40 am

    It is very frustrating to loose a bid at the last minute but that's life!

  32. G Snyder
    April 24, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Under eBay's system, you're allowed to place a bid at any time until the auction closes. There's absolutely nothing shady about delaying your bid until the last minute.

    In effect, you are simply converting an open auction into a "sealed bid" auction.

    I'm afraid I disagree with Joshua Lockhart's suggestion that there's something inherently risky about sniping. On eBay, the winning bidder pays the second-highest bidder's bid plus a marginal increment. Therefore, the strategy of placing a single bid for the highest amount you're willing to pay is optimal.

    Ideally, you conceal this bid until the last moment to avoid goading other bidders into reevaluating their own maximum bids (i.e., you snipe). Anyone who thinks they've been "cheated" out of a winning auction by this strategy doesn't understand how eBay works.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      April 24, 2013 at 3:25 am

      I only say that there's a risk because you may not get the item you want among the other things I mentioned. Based on what else you said, I believe we're on the same page.

      • KiLotr
        April 24, 2013 at 7:32 am

        The only reason for not getting the item when sniping is by not bidding high enough or if your net dies at the last second.

        But you should always bid as high as you're willing to go. Doing it in sniping mode only increases your chances of winning since other people don't get a chance to increase their bids again.

  33. Grace
    April 24, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Sniping in person is all part of the auction experience. There is nothing wrong with it. However, sniping software is a violation of eBay policy for which eBay could close your account.

  34. Alexis
    April 24, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I also snipe without regret. Often, I don't trust placing a bid early on during an auction because of some unfair practices that eBay sellers sometimes partake in like using an alternate eBay account to increase the bids of their products. When I bid on eBay it's because I truly want the item, so I make sure I give myself the best possible chance at getting the item at a good price.

  35. James Ezell
    April 24, 2013 at 2:18 am

    what's the saying all fair in love and eBay? I snip all the time. I don't see anything dirty or unfair about it. It's eBay if you want fair go - I don't know, your mother maybe? when I bid it's to win at the lowest possible price. The only way to do this is to snip.