Archive for July 5th, 2009

I’m a sniper

eBay doesn’t really like snipers as it eats into their profits. But my expenditure is more important than their profits.

Let me explain.

Now that I have retired and no longer get all the “men’s toys” from various PR companies who used to court me when I was a journalist, I have withdrawal symptons.

However, Pam (my long suffering wife) and I have come to an understanding. I can still play with my toys if I sell some of them on eBay and use that money for buying new ones.

Bless her little heart!

Anyway, this is what I do. And I have developed a style which is very successful. As a journalist I can compose my Auction details page to make the product sound exceedingly exciting. But when I buy, I look for bids which are written by people not as competent with descriptive adjectives. Naturally I check how many transactions they have made to date and what percentage of their feedback is positive.

It works and I invariably sell my toys for more money than I pay for them.

But what do I mean by sniping?

There are companies outside of eBay where you add the Auction reference number and the maximum amount you want to pay for the item. The sniper software keeps an eye on the bid and a few seconds before then end of the auction, slides in your bid at the minimum next level. This is the first time that anyone on eBay knows of your interest, so you don’t bump up the auction price.

I use EZsniper and have been using them successfully for a year or two now, saving myself considerable money. EZsniper is an American company who went commercial, after being in development for a year, on September 13, 2001, two days after 9/11.

Starting with a core of dedicated beta testers, they have now grown to over 500,000 users in their EZsniper database.

Since their beginning they have delivered millions of bids saving users millions of pounds. They have since expanded their service to include about forty auction sites in addition to all of eBay’s sites (around the world) about two years ago. This expansion has been well received by international users who can read the site in 17 languages.

I have spoken to the people at EZsniper and they have informed me that they have a major innovation coming very shortly. I just can’t wait to see what it is.

eBay also own a bank called PayPal which is quite complex to use, but very useful if you take the time to work your way through all the services and additions they add to make your transactions as painless as possible.

Finally, not everything that eBay touches turns to gold. They evidently didn’t use EZsniper when they purchased Skype (the company) as they paid well over the odds and now they want to sell it. It will make a loss of hundreds and hundreds of millions!


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