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OK, so now that we all understand benefits of sniping, lets get back to our friend "speedyfingers147". Speedy probably started out in life just like I did. She learned everything she knew about eBay from eBay and never realized there was such a thing as bidding software. Never knew a computer could do your sniping automatically, bid on your behalf in last 2 to 8 seconds of an auction, and do it while you're asleep. With sniping software, you tell software program which auctions you're interested in and how much you're willing to pay. EBay never knows you've seen auction until your friendly sniping service swoops in and places your bid with only seconds to spare. Neither does your competition. They never see you coming. The only way you can lose is if someone else uses same program sets their maximum bid higher than yours.
Yes, my friend, you can still lose. There is no guarantee of winning an auction no matter what system you use, if someone else is willing to pay more. If you set your maximum bid at a million dollars for a hunk of Elvis' belly button lint and some nut is willing to pay a million ten, you're still going to lose! But, there's something about losing that's good for soul. It's satisfaction of knowing that you didn't lose your head and spend more than you could afford!! Trust me, I've been there, done that, and come to regret it. With sniping programs, you can "set it and forget it" and walk away knowing that if you don't win, you couldn't have afforded it anyway.
What's that I hear you saying? "But I could have had it if I'd just upped my bid by another fifty cents!" Hey, did you listen to anything I just said? Do you want to drive yourself nuts? It's only stuff, after all. You can't take it with you, and there will always be more. The beauty of eBay is that there will probably be another just like it, or at least something just as fabulous.
Speaking of which, there's another big advantage to using bidding software. Two things, actually. (again). First, on eBay, it's a huge no-no to retract a bid. You can only do this under most dire of circumstances and if you do it too many times you'll be politely asked to leave. Permanently. Second, sniping programs allow you to do something called "contingency bidding". Suppose you're interested in several very similar items and you want to win at least one of them but not all. Provided they're not all ending at same time, you can create a contingency plan telling bidding software to cancel your bids on other items as soon as you win one of them.
In all cases, you can change your mind about an item you're bidding on at any time (except in approximately last 15 minutes) because eBay doesn't register your bid until Sniping program enters it for you, at very end of auction. Isn't that nice? No more "watching" an auction you're unsure about, and then forgetting to bid on it. No more finding out you've read description wrong and you're bidding on an item you don't want. No more finding something you like better after you've already committed yourself to another item, and having to pass on it. Or worse, spending way too much on both!
There are several sniping programs out there. My personal favorite is PowerSnipe, at www.PowerSnipe.com?af=netbrainer , because their "Auto Search" feature makes bidding process even easier by allowing you to browse auctions through programís built in web browser. You can check out competitors with a simple search in Google.
Take a no-risk tour through Power Sniping program with their trial version. Believe me, first time you snatch an item away from Speedyfingers147--or anyone else for that matter--you'll be hooked.
© 2004 NetBrainer LLC. An eBay PowerSeller and rabid eBay shopper, Carolyn Schweitzer is the owner and editor of www.NetBrainer.com, a site dedicated to improving the performance of buyers and sellers on eBay, and teaching eBay as a business. Carolyn provides weekly recorded tips on eBay for Third Mind USA Small-Biz radio at http://thirdmindusa.com/.