eUSC Logo 2001  lvcraps and sniping

1.4.   The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board


lvcraps and sniping, Jul 28, 2001
Posted by samples (527) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 17:00:37 PDT Auctions

A successful yet amateurish snipe & I won! Heheheh. I chickened out & left the pros with 13 seconds to outgun me tho. :-( Itchy trigger-finger, I guess. But, I am always in fear of Ebay getting the sh*ts right when I need to bid. A 20-second "refresh rate" can kill ya.

Posted by antonius-ra (337) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 17:21:16 PDT Auctions

Just cuz I'm bored and have nothing else to offer and this seems a little timely:

The World of Stamps Collection Index

And you thought maybe I was narued?

Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 17:37:22 PDT Auctions

I keep hearing this word, 'snipe.' What is it? Is it Legal? How does one do it? Who does it help? Who does it hurt?

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 17:51:41 PDT Auctions

lvcraps - Here is the glossary of eBay terms, including "snipe". Took me a year of sniping to find out that's what I was doing. : )

Mitchell - Welcome back! I told you all was forgiven!

S2     eMail      

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 17:57:38 PDT Auctions

my 2-cents-2 on snipes
what is it? - it is bidding at the 'last moment'
is it legal? - yes, naturally
how does one do it? - if a lot goes off at 11am, don't bid until 10:59:50am
who does it help? - it's purpose is to minimize the price paid by the sniper (buyer) - so it can't possibly help ebay or the seller... although it doesn't always help the buyer. It can be very beneficial to the sniper (buyer)
who does it hurt? - the seller, ebay, sometimes the buyer.

Some examples: buyer waits till 10:59:50 to place bid, ebay goes down at 10:59:20 (hurts seller, ebay AND sniper)
rookie seller puts up item for 1$ (item is worth over 1000$ but few people know this), specialist-a bids 400$ the day before, specialist-b keeps upping bids and gets it to 425$ winning the lot. Non-sniping specialist-a is out of luck.
Alternatively, if specialist-a was a sniper, she'd put in her 400$ bid at 10:59:50 - and possibly specialist-b would also be sniping and not have time to recover and get a 425 bid in.
Another reason to snipe - if you are a recognized expert, other bidders can track your activity and become pests.

Posted by samples (527) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 17:59:51PDT Auctions

ThanXXXX for posting the Russia material. I have always been fascinated by things Russian like their banknotes (which I collect) and their stamps (which I don't collect) and their lives & lifestyles. And the H*ll with the politics.
lvcraps Snipe! Last second(s) bidding. Legal, yes. How is "classified" information. Helps; me! Hurts; the "poor" fella (or gal) who's been sitting there watching his high bid for hours, as it gets trampled upon. Quite a lot of fun, actually!!

Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:00:34 PDT Auctions

Thanks, sheryll-oswald. The glossary spoke to what sniping is, and it's legality. They suggested one doing it was cheating themselves out of the privilege of having another round of bidding, if their snipe bid fails. However, if you've bid your limit, and don't want your emotions to enter in, it doesn't seem you've been hurt. What of the seller? Is the seller hurt when sniping occurs? What if everyone did it every time? One contributor said they used 'esnipe' to obtain bids in the last 10 seconds, even though they had to leave their computer for a few hours. How does esnipe work? How does one snipe? Certainly the sniper benefits, because the information as to his bid is kept secret until there is too little time to do something about it. The fellow who mentioned esnipe said he never bids early, chosing instead to snipe always, I presume.

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:05:01 PDT Auctions

On 90% of lots going on ebay, I don't see the point of it.
However it does add some of the fun & exitement found in live auctions where the outcome is totally in doubt 2 minutes before the hammer.

Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:05:06 PDT Auctions

Ah, stjohnstamps, that last is a beaut. So, here you are and you've made yourself an expert at pin-point bidding. However, because all your bids are public records on Ebay, they need just look up what you've bid on, and then pick off your bids, one by one. Using sniping, I'm sure!

Posted by rdhindstl (341) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:07:59 PDT Auctions

lvcraps --   Go to and all will be revealed. And you don't have to leave your computer on. There are other ways to snipe mechanically (I use Cricket Jr mostly) and some regulars here pride themselves on sniping manually to the zero'th second.

The seller thinks they are hurt, if they believe that the two high bidders will just keep on bidding and bidding forever, and sniping keeps them from doing that. Life doesn't always work that way.


Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:08:06 PDT Auctions

I've attended live auctions, stjohnstamps, and every floor bidder has a chance to bid (I presume, usually). If the next lot hasn't started, at the descretion of the auctioneer, bidding on the last lot can be revisited. This is yet another reason the floor has advantage over the book in live auctions. On Ebay, sniping must really liven things up!

Posted by malolo (282) star on Jul-28-01 at 18:09:43 PDT Auctions

samples - Refresh rate has nothing to do with sniping. I follow and refresh for the last 4-5 minutes after determining how different my watch is with Ebay's time. I have a little piece of paper where I write the close time and the time I will click "bid", so as not to confuse myself. I have two windows, the one I just set up to bid on, and then I open another window to the auction. Both are visible. I refresh the auction page without touching the bid button page. Sure, refreshing takes a number of seconds, but it doesn't matter. During the last minute I'm pretty much focused on my watch and the time. I make sure the bid button window is the active window, make sure my cursor is on the button, and watch my watch. I click with 3-4 seconds, click back on the auction window refresh that, and see whether or not I bought any thing. The time of the bid is the instant you click the bid button, and has nothing to do with refresh time. An extra exciting 10 seconds usually because you have no idea whether you won.

lvcraps - Are you serious about not knowing about sniping? With all the information you have about the stamp business, which I really enjoy reading about, you just need to know about sniping. Io there's a neophyte amongst us, your call. Do you really want to initiate someone, who is ready to roll the dice, into the fine art of sniping. I started above, so you can add as you see fit, mon capitain!!


Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:10:43 PDT Auctions

Now the secret about esnipe is really out, thanks to rdhinstl. Certainly I'll go there, and learn all about it. You mentioned Cricket Jr. Am I to understand esnipe will describe this too?

Posted by rdhindstl (341) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:13:23 PDT Auctions

lvcraps --   No - if you want to know more about Cricket Jr, send me an e-mail at To use it you do need to leave your computer on, but not your ISP - it will dial it for you.


Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:14:00 PDT Auctions

lvcraps indeed, I could be an ebay pest and prevent a competing specialist from getting anything, or making her pay 'thru the nose' every time. In this way I could drive my competition off ebay. All totally legal.
Something like the converse of the danastamps bidding ring where prices are kept down.

Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:23:36 PDT Auctions

malolo, you are too clever! Yes, I knew what sniping is, but I wanted to see who would lay out the whole matter, so everyone would be on the same footing. Here's all I have to add to your description of HOW sniping is done. You go to an Ebay site of one who consistently starts lots low (going to the last page in their series of pages, of course). You see a lot that you'd be perfectly willing to pay $20 for, and note bid is at $2, for example. You may now start the process of setting your computer clock to agree precisely with the Ebay clock. Here's how: double-click on the time in the lower-righthand corner of your screen. A clock, with a seconds sweephand will appear. Log into the lot by hitting the 'watch' icon; this assures you've gotten your password in there correctly. Then go down to the final bid button and wait until time is something easy for you to remember. Shucks, write it down if it will help. Let's say you plan on hitting the 'bid' button at precisely XX:36:20. Wait until that moment shows, and then his the 'bid' button. Now, go to the log of bidders and you will see precisely the time Ebay assigned to your bid. Let's say it assigned XX:36:58. Well, your clock thinks time is XX:36:20, but Ebay's clock says XX:36:58. Adjust your computer clock forward 38 seconds. Actually, I've learned I need to adjust it up a few seconds more, to allow time for my clumsy fingers to key in the new time. Repeat this process until your computer time is precisely the same as Ebay's time. If your computer keeps good time, you'll need to calibrate your clock only every day, or even less. You'll be able to snipe like a pro, selecting the time delay you intend. Why not vary the time delay you publish? After all, as someone else stated, not every lot requires sniping; this is a good time to lay down a little disception! Sorry if my questions offended anyone!

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:25:25 PDT Auctions

no offense, on the same footing

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:28:00 PDT Auctions

Dedicated to Iomoon

Posted by rmorawic on 10/30/99 at 21:15:02

The clock is ticking, two minutes remain
A proxy bidder hopes to gain
a piece he searched for far and long
now he's found it for just a song
But in the distance- out of sight
evil lurks this fateful night
One minute left, no one has bid
the proxy thinks the treasure's his
Across the nation in another house
a steady hand moves an optic mouse
narrow eyes and nasty grin
he whispers aloud "let the game begin"
15 seconds and the proxy smiles
he knew he'd win it all the while
10 seconds left and fingers lock- a fertive glance at an auction clock
6 and 5 and 4 and 3
a finger taps an ENTER key
Bidding has ended, the clock is still
a sniper grins- One Shot, One Kill

Posted by malolo (282) star on Jul-28-01 at 18:29:09 PDT Auctions

OK!! Here are two attempted snipes from this morning. I lost both, I placed my max bid. Check the bidding history and you'll see that one bid was about double the showing bid and the other about a 50% increase over the showing bid. I challange anyone to tell me, who was hurt, if anyone, in these auctions.




Posted by lvcraps (0)  on Jul-28-01 at 18:32:12 PDT Auctions

Of course, sheryll-oswald, you know what you're doing! You are turning serious, scowling, informed and knowledgeable philatelists into silly, giddy, and nonsensical mere stamp collectors! Are stamp REALLY supposed to be fun? Is that permitted?

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:35:10 PDT Auctions

lvcraps - Newbies like me don't snipe well at first. But after one waits up till 3am, just to be outsniped, then one learns.......

S2 (30 April 2000, a day to remember)

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:41:22 PDT Auctions

the seller was hurt IF there was a third (rich but foolish) bidder in this scenario.
(a) bid is at 11$ close to the end (a fact)
(b) devrouzie's real bid is 600$ (possible)
(c) you snipe for 22$ (fact)
(d) mr rich bids 20$ close to the end, but was prepared to go much higher - he is fogged by the sniper
if you had bid your 22$ a day earlier, there would be a different buyer and the seller and ebay would get more.
Its not unfair, the foolish are often victims of the rules.

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:42:17 PDT Auctions

whoops, sorry for the bold, my '/b' got fogged too!

Posted by rdhindstl (341) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:45:44 PDT Auctions

stjohnstamps --   Anyone willing to pay $600 and bidding $20 deserves no pity.


Posted by europhil (349) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:46:21 PDT Auctions

lvcraps - The clock on my $1000 computer is way too unreliable to use for sniping, and resynchronizing every time I want to snipe is too much of a pain. I have an old Timex watch (cost about $19.95 I think) that gains about two seconds a month which I use for manual sniping.

  Jay Carrigan     eMail     Collections

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 18:46:38 PDT Auctions

Well, malolo, the underbidder who is sniping, is the fellow who stamp dealers should be thanking, for it's they who make sniping a significant good thing for the dealer. I've written from time to time about how underappreciated stamp dealers are, especially Ebay dealers. I've said it's a difficult thing to learn. One chatter mentioned how a couple of persons in the chatroom seemed to live to punish Ebay stamp dealers. That's too bad. Not only does it get away from the fun of stamps, but if we get real good at bugging Ebay stamp dealers we won't have any. As it is supplies of the very stamps commonly sold on Ebay are vanishing from the big auctions, which is where most Ebay stamp dealers get their stamps to sell. The Ebay distribution role is enormous; this is a one-time event in stamp history. Those who had been sitting on huge inventories (accumulations) have their chance to sell, quite profitably, thank you. But this will all come to an end. After 150 years of stamp dealing, a brand-new way of selling even common stamps emerges; it will come to an end when old accumulations are distributed. Then all the common stamps, stamps like US #1331/2, are going to be expensive stamps.

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:48:09 PDT Auctions

rdhinstl Amen, but it happens.
I've done it myself - lol

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:48:49 PDT Auctions

lvcraps - My firm has produced the flyer "Dundee's eBay Bidding Tips" (DEBT), should you be really serious about learning more. Please email me if you are interested.

Sheryll Oswald, DIES&DAS Ltd

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:52:55 PDT Auctions

lvcraps Herman Herst said a cheap stamp will always be cheap - and I think he's right. altho, the level of unsophistication here make me wonder

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 18:53:59 PDT Auctions

sheryll-oswald, if it's worth telling me in secret, it's worth telling the world! At least this little microcosm. I really appreciate your offer, though!

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 18:57:09 PDT Auctions

Notwithstanding the emminent Herman Herst, another fellow says every stamp will eventually be valuable; it's just a matter of time. In support of this last, recall US #1 at the turn of the century was 90 cents/hundred, bundled (with a bit of thread, you may recall - those of who who still remember the last century).

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 18:58:14 PDT Auctions

lvcraps - It's no secret, but I am mindful of the red writing above. Besides, it's rather long......

Sheryll Oswald

Posted by stjohnstamps (333) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 19:01:35 PDT Auctions

lvcraps difference of opinion is what makes horse races.

Posted by rdhindstl (341) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 19:04:43 PDT Auctions

stjohnstamps --   I thought it had something to do with horses and jockeys, but the point is understood.


Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 19:10:56 PDT Auctions

sheryll-oswald, I wish you the very best! Truly! I know your personal contributions to the hobby are enormous. However, I wish to maximize my personal effectiveness in the chatroom, so I choose to not share my persona here. I sincerely do not want to offend you, just those who demonstrate extreme lack of good judgment, whom I will expose readily, if my limited intellect detects it.

Posted by abt1951 (109) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 19:22:21 PDT Auctions

Sniping? Who bothers with clocks and timers and programs? Those are for wusses. I'm a low tech sniper. Two open windows, one with a bid ready to enter and the other the auction listing that I refresh continuously. I get a sense of how many seconds its taking to connect and I add on a couple of seconds more. Never ever bid before the last 10 seconds. anne (BTW, I hate sniping--but it's a necessary evil).

Good night to all and to all sweet dreams of successful snipes (from the buyer's perspective) that raise the price to unexpected levels (from the seller's perspective. Anne

Posted by sheryll-oswald (60) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 19:22:42 PDT Auctions

lvcraps -Should you wish to put fingers to keyboard, there is space on my website for yet another article on the subject you mention. I only ask that you put your name to it, as I have and others will.

Sheryll Oswald     eBay Forgeries and Fakes Articles

Posted by malolo (282) star on Jul-28-01 at 19:28:10 PDT Auctions

stjohnstamps -There was no mythical third bidder. The reality is that if one places a high bid before the end of the auction one stands the chance of spending a lot of money on Ebay that is needlessly spent in competition, instead of for stamps. I see more and more buyers bidding up to find the competitions bid, then placing a high bid. That is pointless as well, might as well determine max bid, how many times has that been discussed, plpace it, and find out what the underbidder's max was. Of course, if you didn't bid enough you won't discover it. The only point of a snipe is to stay out of bidding wars usually with bidder with under 15 feedbacks. I have certainly enhanced some dealers pockets, and cost some winners extra money, but I was willing to pay my underbidder price. So if a winner reneges, I will always take the item I lost for my bid.

Everyone should realize that the winning price of any lot is always determined by someone else. If only one bid - the dealer set the price. If more than one bid from 2-20, the underbidder sets the winning price. That's a simple concept that I believe many forget.

I don't know how many people saw my post the other night where I attempted to time 1:00:00 for my post. The Ebay Chat Board was 28 seconds different that it's auction lot time. I would never set my computer clock to match Ebay, they can't even synchronize there own computers, so why would I synchronize my computer to one of their servers. I wait until I'm ready to bid, then synchronize my watch with the present auction time. What's with little clocks in lower left corners? No have!!


Posted by malolo (282) star on Jul-28-01 at 19:37:30 PDT Auctions

stjohnstamps - I forgot one thing. You obviously don't know the bidding habits of devrouze. One tough cookie, who I believe is a dealer in Switzerland. Many times I think he has clients for specific items, because he buys such a mix, but always really nice things. I sometimes think I'm developing really good taste in covers, when I watch maybe 7 items for a couple of days, then find him coming in with a place bid. My first reaction is always, "Oh shoot!!!", but I keep trying and occasionally I win one.


Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 19:39:40 PDT Auctions

At the risk of overdoing it, I say NOBLE is the underbidder, malolo. And if you have served in that capacity, the community of Ebay stamp dealers (of which I'm not one of), thanks you! Rather, should thank you.

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-28-01 at 19:46:56 PDT Auctions

OK, so sniping is legal. Not always so appetitizing for everyone. Thrilling for some. Now here's a new question. Other than that Ebay would like to make two, three, or maybe 10 commissions on everything that ever shows here, what is the ethical consideration for the successful sniper offering his prize to the underbidder for an instantaneous profit? It could be drop-shipped, of course.

Posted by chrisfam (345) star on Jul-28-01 at 20:08:35 PDT Auctions

Not wishing to have my lack of good judgement exposed, think I'll just park my unsophisticated butt in the balcony for a few months. Nite all.

Posted by samples (527) star about me on Jul-28-01 at 20:37:20 PDT Auctions


2001  <b>chinggiskhan</b> comes to the board        1.4.  The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board        2001  <b>lvcraps </b>and sniping - 2