EBAY SNIPING SOFTWARE AND WEBSITE REVIEW

If you have ever tried to buy something on eBay and lost at the last second to another bidder, then you have been sniped. The term sniping refers to the act of bidding on an online auction at the last possible moment so other bidders will not have time to respond.

Most sellers and casual buyers object to the use of auction sniping. Sellers object to sniping as it artificially lowers the final price of the auction. If the other bidders had time to respond, they may bid again causing the bid to go higher.

Buyers object to sniping because they are not given another opportunity to bid again. Often, buyers only bid the amount they want the item for, rather than bidding what they are willing to pay. This psychological difference allows snipers to bid at the last second and win the auction, even when the other bidders have placed proxy bids.

Like it or not, as long as eBay has hard ending times for its auctions, sniping is here to stay. Serious buyers that want to win auctions for the least amount of money will use sniping. To help you choose which eBay sniping software or service to use, we have compiled a comprehensive list of sniping tools.

Just so you know, we are not affiliated with any of the software vendors or website operators presented here.

Group Bids

A nice feature that most of the sniping tools have is group bids. This feature allows you to bid on more than one auction, but win only one of them. For example, if you are interested in buying an Apple iPhone, you select the auctions that you are interested in bidding on to form a group. Using your maximum bid amount, the sniping tool will then attempt to win each auction beginning with the one that ends first. If it wins, then it will stop and not bid on the remaining auctions. If it loses, it will attempt to win the next auction in the group. The sniping tool will continue to bid until it wins or runs out of auctions to bid on in your group. This feature is big time saver over having to watch and bid on each auction individually.

EBay has a free tool called Bid Assistant that supports group bids. Unfortunately, it does not support sniping. Instead, it will place proxy bids up to your maximum bid when you create your group. You need a feedback score of 5 or more to use the tool.


Web-Based eBay Sniping Tools

The advantage of using web-based sniping tools over their desktop counterparts is you don't need to leave your computer on and have to worry about synchronizing your computer time with eBay time. Unfortunately, you have to give out your eBay user ID and password for the sniping service to bid on your behalf. Those of you that are security minded may be reluctant to part with this information. However, you can avoid this problem by using a separate eBay buying account for sniping. Once all your sniping is done, you should change the password on your eBay account, just to be safe.

There really isn't that much difference between the various sniping services. They all pretty much have the same features. The only real differentiator is the price. Some are free to use while others charge a percentage of the final bid. Given the quality of the free services, there is no reason to be paying for a sniping service. The more expensive sites boasts having multiple servers to increase their reliability. However, you can achieve higher reliability by using multiple free sniping services to bid on the same auction.

The table below lists all the major eBay sniping websites ordered from least expensive to most expensive. You should definitely try the free sniping services first. The explanation of each column is given at the end of the table.

Website Cost Trial PR Comment
Gixen FREE FREE 5 $6 / Year premium plan
myibay FREE FREE 3 Donation based
SmartSnipe FREE FREE 3 Free period may end anytime
JustSnipe $5 / Mo 5 / week 4 Free and pay plans
AuctionStealer $8.99 / Mo 3 / week 4 15 free snipes per month
Snip 19¢ 5 auctions 5 Polish site
BidNip 24¢ - 35¢ 5 auctions 4 Cost varies depending on plan
PhantomBidder $9 / Mo 2 weeks 4 Cost varies depending on plan
BidNapper $10.99 / Mo 15 days 5 Other plans available
Stealth Bid 1% / 5¢ 100 credits 5 Not very active
EZ sniper 1% / 10¢ 3 auctions 4 No group bid support
AuctionSniper 1% / 25¢ 3 auctions 5  
eSnipe 1% / 25¢ 14 days 4  
BidSlammer 1% / 25¢ 3 auctions 3  
PowerSnipe 59.99 / Yr None 4 30 day money back guarantee

Cost

Either cost per month (year), or cost per winning transaction. Some sites charge 1% of the winning bid amount along with a minimum fee. There is no point using services that charge a percentage when there are many cheaper alternatives available.

Trial

The trial period before you have to pay for the service. Usually the trial is based on the number of snipe transactions, but some website give you a fixed amount of time.

PR

This is the Google Page Rank for the website. The value ranges from 0 to 10. Higher values means the website is more important and popular than lower values. Only websites that have a PR of 3 or higher are included on the list. A higher ranking doesn't mean a site is better than another. However, it does indicate how well the website ranks in the Google search engine and gives us an idea on how widely used the site is.

Desktop eBay Sniping Software

Those of you that want to snipe from your own computer have a wide variety of software to choose from. The table below lists all the major eBay sniping software vendors ordered from least expensive to most expensive. You should definitely try the free sniping software first. Only websites that have a PR of 3 or higher are included on the list.

Site Cost Trial OS PR Comment
JBidWatcher FREE FREE WIN/MAC 5 Java open source software
Bid-O-Matic FREE FREE WIN 4 Open source software
Maxi Bidder $9.99 Demo MAC 3  
myibay $12.95 30 days WIN 3 Donation based
Auction Defender $14.95 14 days WIN 3 $9.95 for upgrades after 1 year
Auction Sentry $14.95 10 days WIN 4 $24.95 for deluxe version
AuctionMagic $14.95 15 days WIN 3  
HarvEX $19.90 14 days WIN 4 Free updates for 2 years
AuctionSleuth $19.95 15 days WIN 4 Must renew every year
AuctionNavigator $29.95 15 days WIN 3 $39.95 regular price

Cost

Cost to purchase the software. Usually, one year of free updates are included.

Trial

The number of days you can use the software before you need to purchase it.

OS

The operating system supported. Only one version is Mac only. The rest will run on Windows. You will need to verify if the software is Vista compatible. JBidWatcher will run on any platform that has Java support.

PR

Same meaning as defined in the web-based sniping tools above.