What Buyers Should Know About eBay Sniping Services

Should you use an online sniping service for eBay auctions?

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Auction sniping, the practice of bidding in the very last moments of an auction, isn't the controversial issue it was in the early days of eBay, but it's still a topic of debate. Some say it's cheating, but eBay does not forbid sniping or the use of sniping sites. 

Since eBay’s auctions end at a specific time, it's possible (and, in fact, common) for buyers to wait until seconds before the auction closes to put in their final high bid.

Even if competing bidders may have been willing to bid higher, they can't because time runs out. Fans of auction sniping say this produces lower auction closing prices due to fewer total bids and reduces the time-consuming need to monitor and bid on existing listings. 

The Value of Sniping and Using eBay's System

It's worth noting that eBay already has a built-in proxy system that allows bidders to enter their pre-determined maximum bid. Even if a sniper or sniping site places a bit at the last moment, eBay immediately responds, as veteran shoppers know, with a customer's pre-arranged counter-bid, leaving the sniper from the sniping service as the one with no time to respond. Anyone is free to use eBay’s built-in proxy bidding service, just as anyone is free to snipe.

About Online Auction Sniping Sites

Online auction sniping sites don't have great differences among them and a lot of them have outdated interfaces.

They're not the great bargain they were once thought to be in the early days of eBay, but many eBay bidders want to win auctions badly enough that they'll use any extra tools at their disposal. Some of these sites charge fees based on either a monthly subscription or a percentage of the winning price.

Most snipers are eBay newbies, who aren't totally familiar with how the site really functions and need the extra assist from sniping services. For experienced eBay customers, sniping sites tend to have little value.

Top Auction Sniping Services

Here are a few online auction sniping services, and a little bit about each one. All of them are permissible under eBay rules.

Sniping Service SitePrice
AuctionSniper1 percent per-win fee, minimum $0.25 maximum $9.95


$49.99 annual subscription, or 10 wins for $19.99, 25 wins for $36.99
eSnipe1 percent per-win fee up to $1,000, for wins over $1,000, fee is $10
EZsniper1 percent per-win fee, or annual subscription of $79.99
goSnipe1 percent per-win fee, minimum $0.25 maximum $10

Keeping Safe as a Sniper

Whatever sniping service you ultimately choose to use, remember that web-based sniping systems need your eBay login information in order to place bids on your behalf.

For this reason, it's critical that you understand the safety measures that a sniping service has in place to protect you. Most importantly, your eBay login and password should not match your login and password information for any other sites that you use (in particular, financial sites like PayPal or your bank), just in case your sniping service is compromised by hackers.