eUSC Logo 2001  lvcraps and sniping 2

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


lvcraps and sniping - 2, Jul 28-29, 2001
Posted by malolo (283) star on Jul-28-01 at 21:12:12 PDT Auctions

lvcraps -I wouldn't build a business plan on that concept. You paid more than the underbidder, so you would need to convince him/her to up their offer one increment plus the profit you're looking for, otherwise, what's the point. Now if the underbidder was the person getting the item .................


Posted by horadam1 (196) star on Jul-28-01 at 22:14:23 PDT Auctions

My feeling is that sniping is ethical as long as it is being done to buy something at the lowest price possible. Any devious methods and intentions would, to me, make it borderline ethical. Since ebay set up their system to allow sniping, sellers should decide before using ebay that they are willing or not to accept the results of it. Just my opinion.

Posted by chinggiskhan (0) on Jul-29-01 at 02:01:08 PDT Auctions

hello. chinggis brother sniper on horse. chinggis brother work good and cheep. no work no pay. good work send green dollars to chinggis. thank you very much

Posted by keleofa (1656) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 02:07:32 PDT Auctions


I think the main virtue of sniping is the avoidance of a bidding war.  If everyone sniped, it would be similar to sealed auction bids.  If one bids their true maximum and gets a snipe in before any other bidders have a chance to react, it will either get the lot at the lowest price, or be outbid.  I'm definitely generalizing but over time this will work.

Matt in Samoa

Posted by vonbag (75) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 03:07:09 PDT Auctions

Good morning / afternoon / evening all!

Anne Bona Dies!

LV & others, re sniping: I (try) to do it manual, but often I can't resist and start to bid much before (I know it is not logic). As a partial justification to this 'bidding in advance' and in numerous times though, I find that in few cases it makes a good psycologic deterrent or 'dream popper' for other bidders. Infact, if one gets the thought of having already won an item (or, even, having it already in his/her collection) by having been the high bidder on that auction for some days, I find that there is a chance he/she might put in higher bids (even higher than what he/she wanted to pay for it at first) to try to secure to him/herself that item...
this makes partial sense to me. I have seen it happening in some more occasions (top bidder who, after many days of 'leadership' decides to confirm the lot by putting another or more bids over his/her own).

Ciao, Paolo

Posted by horadam1 (196) star on Jul-29-01 at 08:02:112 PDT Auctions

I definitely agree with Matt and Paolo as to the reason for sniping. I see nothing wrong with it, even when I lose to another sniper.

Posted by chk99989 (94) star on Jul-29-01 at 08:30:21 PDT Auctions

abt1950 I'm with you on low tech sniping. I use one window and
an accurate wristwatch. Once I've figure out what watch time the auction will
end, I get set up and go at my usual lead time. (About 10 seconds, my reflexes aren't iomoon'ish
and the net does hiccup.) One snipe attempt was amusing when I reconstructed it in retrospect.
A lot I had been watching was bid on by at least three people in the last
30 seconds. The first sniper hit it at about 30. The second hit it at about 20.
I hit it at 10 to find that the first sniper had blown past my true max
. There may have been other snipe attempts like mine that bounced off the first two.
At least I have good taste in lots.

chris - sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you

Posted by iomoon (459) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 08:32:53 PDT Auctions

Good day all.
Interesting sniping dialog last night!
A possible way to make sniping more favorable to sellers is to have a number on the auction page indicating how many prospective buyers have the item on their "watch" page.
Technically this would not be difficult to do since there is already a number for actual bids and many sellers add a counter for the number of hits that their item receives.
esnipe came through (not an advert).
Looking at my watch page this morning I have two items listed, both with the number of bidders in double digits and both in three figure numbers. Both items currently have a newbie as the high bidder. Your call!!

Posted by chk99989 (94) star on Jul-29-01 at 08:37:30 PDT Auctions

samples I don't worry too much about who else is bidding on a lot.
I just figure what a lot is worth to me and bid it as late as is feasible.
If you get it, great, if not move on and find another lot.


Posted by abt1950 (110) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 08:47:38 PDT Auctions

Io: Your idea might or might not work. The true poker players would revert to bookmarking the page instead of watching it. Anne

Posted by abt1950 (110) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 08:48:10 PDT Auctions

turn OFF the bold turn OFF the bold turn OFF the bold...

Posted by laum1 (1129) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 10:05:40 PDT Auctions

Regarding sniping: I would like to see ebay implement a system of storing bids and not reflecting who is the high bidder. Instead, disclose the current SECOND underbidder's high bid or if no second underbidder, then the seller's opening bid as the current bid on the lot. Also, disclose number of unique bidders on a lot. Only after the end of auction will the usual information about each bidder and their bids be disclose.

Advantage of this there is no need to snipe. Thus, prevent the losing of some bids due to bidder forgetting to bid.

If the system goes down, the stored bid is saved and can be process when the system comes back. When alleviate some of the frustration on both seller and bidder.

On a very hot item, the current bid will move up. However, since it is the second underbidder's high bid, it will hopefully prevent a bidding war between the top two bidders and provide less incentive to snipe.

There is no longer a needing to deal with situations of bidding against customers or friends since the bidders are not disclose until after auction has ended.

I know this concept is also full of weaknesses so I am sure it will never be implemented. Just food for thought...

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 10:34:20 PDT Auctions

It happens that there are two ways of making money with stamps: when you buy and when you sell. One fellow I knew would often say buying was the hard part, that the selling takes care of itself. Makes sense. If a stamp cataloging $100 normally sells for about $25 with certain condition, then if it's bought at $10 profit is assured, with little in the way of an effort as to selling. I didn't believe this fellows' line though, because it simply doesn't fit at all if one lives in an impoverished area, like Russia; selling certainly doesn't happen the same way there as here. Then along came Ebay! There is no reason the fellow in Russia can't sell in the US, as long as he is a person of integrity, etc. And selling takes care of itself.

Posted by iomoon (459) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 10:49:03 PDT Auctions

How not to snipe.
What did sniper do incorrectly?
Didn't bid enough (obviously).
Didn't have enough windows open (possibly)
Ran out of time (maybe, but was averaging 20 secs per bid).
Auction got too expensive (possibly).
BTW newbie bidder on previous posting was the same bidder on both auctions.

Posted by spain_1850 (18) star on Jul-29-01 at 10:59:59 PDT Auctions

io - Doesn't look like sniping to me. It looks more like a desperate attempt at last-minute bidding, trying to find the high bid. A true snipe would only need one bid, win or lose. Unless, like me, you like to participate in "machine gun" sniping, which is having 5-6 windows open, all with bids in increments, in order to see how many bids you can get in in the last 10-15 seconds........just for the hell of it.


Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 11:03:53 PDT Auctions

My feedback is zero for a very good reason, and it will stay that way. Part of the reason I self-describe myself as a dangerous bidder is related to that. As long as my feedback stays at zero, I get to say I'm a dangerous bidder, and that's fun! Not only that, but maintaining my private status let's me attempt things in the chatroom I might be disinclined to try otherwise, and that's fun too. I hope to continue to poke fun at those who undermine other individuals in the chatroom, folks who might not be able to defend themselves, but who should be presumed to be good people. I'll defend the dealer community, realizing there is a tremendous chasm separating them from the collector community, and no one seems willing to defend them, and the enormous positive contribution they make to our beloved hobby. Having a zero feedback, I get to try to burst the balloon of the self-rightous, and we sure have many of them in stamps! That's fun for me. I'll defend eBay too, since they are attempting to bring joy to practitioners of 1,000 hobbies simultaneously, and because they have demonstrated a forebearance as to fees and commissions charged. May eBay continue on and on, upsetting the pompous Scott/Linns/Big Auctioneer/APS/ASDA group, a group that has taken what had been the #1 hobby in the US to a much lesser thing, depriving so very many of the satisfaction, learning, estate building, and outright fun of our wonderful hobby. I could go on and on, but those are a few of my objectives. Hopefully LVCRAPS will be a force for good, and although I expect it to be enjoyable for myself, I also aspire to making it more fun for everyone. So there!

Posted by iomoon (459) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 11:45:59 PDT Auctions

I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean by a "dangerous bidder".

Posted by kathmoon (73) star on Jul-29-01 at 12:04:26 PDT Auctions

lvcraps: If you are so "dangerous" and such a sniping expert - how come your feedback = 0 ??? I do NOT mean this in any negative way - just curious !!!

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 12:59:12 PDT Auctions

Necessary elements for sniping include three: Item Number, date and precise time of closing and bid amount. Optional is catalog number. Here are a few methods of working with these elements.

eBay Watch can maintain a watch on up to 20 items. This works fine for most bidders. Heavy bidders need to do something else though. Even with eBay Watch you have to keep a separate record of bid amount, and perhaps catalog number. Items identified early might accomodate a tiny bid, which sets a marker in eBay Watch in the category 'Items I've Bid On.' If capacity of watched items is likely to be exceeded, every lot accomodating a meaningless tiny bid should be bid on, for the exclusive purpose of setting a marker. Downside? Others know you are interested in that lot, and this might influence their strategy. Of course, if you are a 'Dangerous Bidder,' one to be feared, this might actually mean they'll walk away from bidding, so your eventual snipe will be especially effective. Being a 'Dangerous Player' at the craps table, I well understand steps the casino will take to adjust to me! Please, I'm not bragging; it's a reality for me.

Here's the super method for managing a huge number of snipes. Establish an Excel file in the taskbar of your computer (the one at the bottom, if I've named it inproperly). Then, you go about mining for candidates for sniping as an entirely independent matter. As quickly as you decide to bid, and having decided how much to bid, you copy and paste Item Number and closing time into Excel. You also have a column for bid amount, and even catalog number if you feel is useful for reliability purposes. After mining for sniping candidates for awhile and you're done for the time being, go to Excel and sort by time in ascending order.

Note day and time your next sniping opportunity is going to come up, and set your timer appropriately. More than one who commented on sniping procedures used an actual timepiece for their sniping. That's the best way. eBay time is true time, to the best of their ability. Oh sure, there might be 12 hops for you sometimes and 22 hops other times, but once you've got your watch set correctly, based on actual times you note in the 'Bidders' button, all that other stuff is just so much theory. You can snipe, using a watch, accurate to one second 100% of the time. That said, realize I'm using a great server and I'm bidding from the US. So you might have significant differences where you are bidding from. However, with all the contributions folks have made, even you can snipe like a pro!

Posted by iomoon (459) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 13:12:16 PDT Auctions

You still haven't outlined what a dangerous bidder is!!

Posted by pavos (121) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:12:17 PDT Auctions

lvcraps... What color is your cape?

Posted by spain_1850 (18) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:19:11 PDT Auctions

Of course, being anonymous on this board does do one thing. It creates curiosity and people then put on their Sherlock Holmes caps and go investigating, trying to uncover the man (or woman?) behind the mask. Not me though, I don't care.


Posted by blackmongoose (95) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:19:45 PDT Auctions

Since the topic is snipers : I HATE SNIPERS - I HATE SNIPERS - I HATE SNIPERS. There - I.m a little bitter as I just lost a lot to a sniper and EBay didn't bother to inform me until about 20 minutes after the auction was over. and - for LVCRAPS. If you want to be a super-hero; don't trip over your cape or your tongue. And remember - wonder-earthog did it first and better. Lloyd

Posted by iomoon (459) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 13:28:07 PDT Auctions

Shucks, you write the nicest things!! :-

Posted by g.1 (444) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 13:31:14 PDT Auctions

Lloyd I hate the way eBay is set up to allow sniping. But they are unwilling to change it. So I go with the system they've set up. You'll notice my bid on that lot I just linked to was with only 6 seconds to go. I'm sure if I'd allowed the other bidder time to react we would have had a bidding war. By sniping I don't give the other bidder a chance. And the seller gets less money that they lot might have gone for. eBay has consistently biased things in favour of the bidders, not the sellers.

Posted by pavos (121) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:33:19 PDT Auctions

lvcraps... For those of us who are still unclear on the concept, how does a potential bidder who doesn't bid constitute a dangerous bidder? Sounds a bit like the guy who stands at the roulette wheel writing down every number before he gets around to putting up his five bucks.

Posted by margozim (2) on Jul-29-01 at 13:33:27 PDT Auctions

lvcraps = pompous a**hole ... and he still didn't answer kathmoon's question

Posted by blackmongoose (95) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:37:25 PDT Auctions

Greg: I appreciate your honest answer even though you sound like one of those nasty snipers. Seriously though. What I have started to do is to bid as high as is humanly possible, (or inhumanly possible) to drive snipers away. It sometimes costs me as they keep bidding higher and then quit. But like a good poker player, I sometimes bluff and they get stuck with junk. It;s a war out there and you have to fight dirty. I think Lt. Cally said that. Lloyd

Posted by doc989 (0) on Jul-29-01 at 13:45:47 PDT Auctions

Well, the only way to do away with snipers is for eBay to extend bidding past the closing time until there have been no bids for a particular amount of time - as has been discussed here many times in the past. Might as well talk about something different since no one is going to change anyone else's mind.

Posted by spain_1850 (18) star on Jul-29-01 at 13:57:31 PDT Auctions

What is worse than snipers? How about snippers? People who keep chipping away at bidders high bids, with .25 increments. Now that is something that p's me o.


Posted by dbenson (1949) star about me on Jul-29-01 at 14:03:46 PDT Auctions

I can see nothing wrong with snipers or snippers. It is the system that allows them and they are part of the system. It would be impossible for Ebay to extend the times as it could go on ad infintuum and there may be other lots the bidders would be interested in. The system that Ebay uses is perfect for both the buyer and the seller BUT both have to understand completely how it works.


Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 14:16:24 PDT Auctions

The suggestion of doc989 is a good one. As someone has pointed out, eBay rules work to the tremendous advantage of buyers, not sellers. Consequently prices on eBay seem to drop, and drop and drop some more, as time passes. This trajectory, chart pattern if you will, is bearish, and it's easy enough to conclude the stamp market, at large, is dropping. This isn't what the big auctions are experiencing. In fact, scarcity of superior condition stamps continues, as ALL superior stamps are being sucked up, most not to appear again for many years.

So, the doc989 recommendation would give sellers a fair shot at the tallest price the marketplace, at the moment, yields. Snipers, who presently rule the day except when someone brings special insight into a certain lot and bids their conviction, would be out of business. However, everyone who stayed around until the auction actually closed would have a chance at the lot.

The programming problem would be appreciable. Perhaps this is the reason eBay will never consider this change.

The color of my cape is green. Naturally, I'd much prefer to sit back and learn, as I have done in the week or two since I came to the chatroom. Everyone has experiences that can be shared. Unfortunately some are too selfish to do that, but they are perfectly willing to share petty, childish attacks. Too bad. When useful and interesting topics are in the chatroom, we all learn. The record will demonstrate that lvcraps brought the sniping topic to the chatroom something less than a day ago, and some interesting, lively and fun discussion resulted. The color of my cape isn't interesting, but a strange sort of fun could result from this topic, for a few sorry souls!

Posted by kathmoon (73) star on Jul-29-01 at 14:22:00 PDT Auctions

lvcraps: The Lone Ranger/Superman/Batman/Etc./Etc. would have been proud to have known you.

Posted by kathmoon (73) star on Jul-29-01 at 14:44:28 PDT Auctions

One way to eliminate sniping - not that it should be eliminated - is to have the computer system NOT close the auction until 5 minutes after the last bid is placed (or at the exact auction time, if no bids are placed within the prior 5 minutes of that time). This would get the maximum $$$ for the seller. However, since the "computer" is not always up to its current tasks, this might be a moot point.

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 14:47:56 PDT Auctions

We live at a time when virtue is scorned. Yet there have been examples of persons who attempted to do the right thing, people who have lived in the limelights. Of course, most folks are basically honest, fair and law-abiding. It's the people in the limelight who have misbehaved so dramatically, with examples coming out of show business, top sports figures, and politics.

So it's not surprising that some in this chatroom, copying the sorry example of the news media, work to discredit, hurt, weaken etc, anyone who is trying to make our hobby a better thing. What model have we offered our young? What do we expect them to do? No one ever speaks up for the right and the good.

A sad reality in the stamp hobby is the extremely aggressive competitive behavior of many stamp dealers towards their fellow dealers. For some reason, no matter what stamps the other fellow is selling, he must be competed with. Stamp dealers, many of them, find it very easy and natural to criticize their competitors. They wouldn't think of cooperating to make it better for everyone. So when Scott does nothing to support our hobby, but instead works for the benefit of expertisers and the numerous immensely rich collectors only (they don't call this the hobby of kings for nothing!), and dealers and collectors don't stand up for their hobby, then we all have what we deserve. Members of this chatroom could gather together to come up with their own useful stamp catalog, one that fits the situation. ETC ETC

Posted by doc989 (0) on Jul-29-01 at 14:57:13 PDT Auctions

kathmoon Superman and Batman maybe but not the Lone Ranger. Anyone who can shoot a bad guy in the trigger-finger at a range of 600 yards while on a horse at a fast gallop is not going to be easily impressed. I heard him do it on the radio. He didn't have a cape either!

Posted by lvcraps (0) on Jul-29-01 at 15:06:35 PDT Auctions

Start by building a US catalog. Get someone on the chatroom to gather Email addresses of those willing to serve. One person accepts messages from all, and retransmits them to everyone. Email address groups make this a snap. First thing: assemble a list of assumptions sufficient to define catalog prices. Don't make the mistake Scott makes: comparable sales mean nothing when stamps aren't all the same condition. One must figure out how to adjust sales so that sale of non-standard conditioned stamps will be adjusted as to price, so these sales will act like comparable sales. Real estate appraisers do that; they adjust comparables for deviations from standard condition. Scott doesn't make these adjustments. Another consideration is effectiveness of the seller. Some sellers can only manage low prices for their stamps, and other only high prices. Feedback level might enter into this to a tiny degree. A group of folks drawn from this chatroom could solve this problem a whole lot better than Scott does, using only sales on eBay as the basis. Neat problem! All that said, please realize lvcraps has solved that problem already; that's part of the reason he's a dangerous bidder on eBay! Now realize part of the fun for me is to assert this last; I have no intention of proving the point!

Posted by modelpo (134) star on Jul-29-01 at 15:07:34 PDT Auctions

I snipe most every lot I bid on. I believe it improves my chances of winning a lot at a reasonable price. There have been several instances where I paid more because I put in a bid a few hours before the lot was to close only to have competition chipping away at my top bid right up to the close of auction. I know dealers that snipe items because they feel that once their identity is known, others will automaticaly bid against them assuming the item must be of higher value since it will be resold at shows or catalog auctions. They feel this is their only fair chance at picking up material. Sniping can sometimes be risky for the buyer. I have lost out on a few items of interest because I either got busy and forgot about it until it was too late or lost my internet connection. Regarding the prices on ebay, I believe it balances out. Good quality items seem to find bidders. Sometimes I have overpaid, other times have aquired great bargains and everything in between.

Posted by horadam1 (196) star on Jul-29-01 at 15:21:42 PDT Auctions

lvcraps: I think the thing about your statements that is disquieting is that many profess to want to try to protect the underdog - but end up simply promoting themselves. Just continue what you are doing, and time will tell.

Posted by kathmoon (73) star on Jul-29-01 at 15:24:49 PDT Auctions

Somebody with a feedback of "0" is obviously in his "manic phase" - his abilities seem unlimited.

2001  <b>lvcraps </b>and sniping        1.4.  The good, the bad and the ugly on the chat board        2001  Daphne visits the board