The eBay marketplace can be quite cutthroat.
Unless you have lightning fast fingers, winning an eBay auction is tough, especially for highly contested items with thousands of others bidding against you.
eBay sniping tools can greatly increase your chances of winning auctions and securing the products you want. In this article, we’ll do a rundown of the best eBay sniping tools out there to help you choose the right one and start sniping those sweet deals on eBay.
Related Reading: Top 100 eBay Sellers
What Is an eBay Auction?
eBay is a huge online marketplace where sellers can create auction-type listings. An eBay auction is a listing where the seller names a starting price and the buyer (that’s you) bids against other buyers for the product. As with an ordinary auction sale, the product is sold to the buyer who places the highest bid within the specified time frame.
The auction system on eBay has historically allowed sellers to receive higher prices for their items. Conversely, it can also let buyers purchase items at a lower price than the actual retail price. Although eBay auctions usually involve collectibles, a seller may create an auction listing for various other categories, and eBay also has native tools for buyer feedback and dispute resolution to facilitate auction sales.
What Is Bid Sniping on eBay?
Bid sniping is the strategy of waiting until the last few seconds before an auction closes to make a winning bid. This is done to prevent other bidders from placing higher bids right before the auction ends. Although you can snipe bids manually by keeping track of auctions yourself, many people prefer the much simpler method of using eBay sniping tools.
eBay itself has a proxy system that allows bidders to enter their predetermined maximum bid with which you can win bids even against those who are using sniping services.
What Is an eBay Sniping Tool?
An eBay sniping tool (or sniper) is a system that lets you bid at the last moment of an eBay auction automatically so that no one can counter your bid before it closes. This ensures (for the most part) winning the auction and that the auctioned product is awarded to you at your determined price without having to constantly monitor the auction and manually respond to higher bids.
Some sniping tools have additional features, including, among others, the ability to place multiple bids on multiple auctions and win only one of them, set your maximum bid amount for a specific item, and even develop a bidding strategy based on your activity on eBay.
eBay snipers allow you to set a maximum bid for a desired item and let the program do the rest.
Are Sniping Tools Allowed on eBay?
According to this eBay customer service article, bid sniping—including the use of software that places bids for you—is allowed on eBay. That said, the company does not expressly endorse the use of sniping tools, but they are nevertheless widely used on the platform. Buyers who do not use any form of sniping tool are at a significant disadvantage than the thousands who do.
That said, using a sniping tool does not guarantee 100% that you’ll win every auction you bid in. Other people might be using comparable tools or even end up manually placing higher bids than you right before an auction closes.
eBay also warns that many of these sniping websites and software packages may facilitate fraud, as they require full access to your eBay account, including your password and personal information, in order to synchronize with the auction timings. Another thing is a lot of these sniping tools come and go fast. Some of the hottest tools from several years ago are no longer supported today. Bottomline: make sure that the sniping tool you are using is trustworthy to avoid getting scammed.
What Are the Best eBay Sniping Tools?
We’ve linked to some of the most popular snipers being used by eBay shoppers today. You might find that as you go through the list, they pretty much offer essentially the same feature set and the nuances could be negligible if you plan to snipe auctions on eBay only casually. With all that said, let’s check out some of the best eBay sniping tools you can use today.
Gixen is free, which is why it’s one of the most widely used sniping tools out there. It has a user-friendly interface and it allows for an unlimited number of snipes. Like many paid tools, it supports multiple eBay sites and comes with a secure login process for security. Many Gixen users say it reliably places bids even during high traffic periods or on auctions for hotly contested items.
Auction Sniper is a paid sniping tool that offers a 14-day free trial. Even though it’s not free, it’s a solid all-around choice that supports multiple eBay sites and lets you set a maximum bid price. As of writing, it charges a 1.75% per-win fee based on the final auction price with a minimum of $0.35 and a maximum of $35. New users will not be charged for the first three auctions won using the tool.
BidSniper is a paid sniping tool, although it comes with a 3-day free trial offer. It pretty much has all the features you’d look for in a paid bid sniping software, including automatic bidding and the ability to place multiple bids at once, which are great time-saving options if you’re in the market for a wide range of products.
Unlike most other entries on this list, Goofbid is more like a suite of buyer and search tools that help you find the best deals on eBay. It just happens to have a reliable auction sniper, too. If you’re looking for tools like search tools, buyer and seller tools on eBay on top of a reliable bid sniper, Goofbid is a solid choice.
Bidnapper is another popular tool that has a 15-day trial period for those who are only just testing the waters. Its paid plans include a subscription (the annual plan is $49.99) and pre-paid Snipes that charges you a certain amount for a specific number of wins.
EZ Sniper got its bid sniping operation rolling way back in 2001 and is still widely used today. It shares an almost identical interface as Bidnapper, but it offers a trial period of only up to 3 wins. Beyond this, it will cost you either on a 1% commission-per-win basis, a subscription basis ($79.99 for 1 year), or on a pre-paid snipes basis.
eBay sniping tools can greatly enhance your shopping experience, but it’s not without some risks, including having to expose your personal information and eBay credentials to these third-party websites. If done right, however, snipers can save you a lot of time and money.
Which eBay sniping tool has won you the most auctions? Let us know in the comments section below.