Jul 30 2010
Last week, Mike at Slapstart published a phenomenal article about auction sniping. He closed out by saying auction sniping reminds him of an old Buddhist saying “The one who is good at shooting does not hit the center of the target.” We at goSnipe could not agree more with this ancient proverb. And in the world of auction sniping, we would classify the best shooter at the one who can successfully snipe an item at a price that is close (but slightly above) the final selling price of a given item – which is very hard to do. Why not hit the target? Because as an eBay bidder, if you match a bid you will lose the item.
In the world of auction sniping, you must aim to hit the correct market value. But how does one determine at what value an item auction will end; what economists call the market’s ‘true value’?
This is a difficult question to answer; mainly because one person’s true value differs from that of another person – and also because no matter what the value of an item is, we are predisposed to want to pay less and get a bargain.
Vying to ascertain the market value predates to our earliest ancestors who would barter over food, tools, and resources amongst other basic commodities. As time passed and civilizations became more sophisticated, they moved to metal currencies and now we are in a world of fiat currencies. And in this global environment in which we live, this question is still one which is very complex – even to nations and multinational corporations that have a scarce amount of goods and resources and must decide how to best channel their energies and stay competitive in a global environment. Many corporations have developed sophisticated pricing mechanisms which take into account market, social, environmental, and other factors. And in some cases where consumer choice is inelastic, prices are simply set; and when they move up, consumers continue to purchase nearly the same amount of goods. Either way, in the primary market, where goods are sold by large corporations, consumers pay nearly the same MSRP for a new Ford or a new Apple iPad anywhere in the world; depending on your negotiation skills you may be able to get a slightly better price on a Ford. But what about a used Ford or a used iPad – these goods are now in a secondary market and are being sold by consumers. In this case, every element becomes a factor – age, wear and tear, supply & demand, location of the item, who owned the item, it is a limited edition Beatles album or has it been signed by Kobe Bryant or by LeBron James, is the seller creditworhty or has he been known to sell faulty products, what is the market for similar items and for competing items, and a multitude of other factors. Even the personal attributes of the buyer come into play.
And in many cases there is in fact no real answer to what the market value is and this market value changes by the minute – for proof just look at what five nearly identical used eBay items all sell for – it is never exactly the same price. Which makes the task of bidding on eBay an even more difficult matter. However, people often times can determine at what price they would, with absolute certainty, acquire an item – and that is why many users bid low when they see an item listed for cheap (with near certainty they will not win). But with millions of eBay users scanning the worldwide marketplace daily, thinking you will win with a low bid is often wishful thinking. And that is often where the average eBay bidder begins – he puts the lowest in the range of values that he would be willing to pay to purchase an item and from there awaits to see if he will be outbid. And many of the other users follow the same pattern. Which is why you will see multiple bidders bidding in a back-and-forth pattern like they are playing a tennis match against one another. Once someone else bids higher, the user who is outbid makes a decision that he is still within the acceptable range or even if he exceeded it he will find ways to justify the higher price to himself. And one of the mechanisms an eBay user will use prior to placing the higher bid is to justify his higher bid on the fact that the user who outbid him believes the item has that worth (as you read this, I am sure you are thinking to yourselves, ‘I have done that a few times’). This process is not only tedious and time consuming but also leads to inefficient outcomes resulting in you, the end user having to pay higher price points for your desired eBay item.
But what if, rather than sending a volley back to that other bidder, you decided to disengage? To not outbid him but to let him and the other eBay users think – until that final second of the auction – that they will win? Then you stop bidding your own price up. And assuming no one else will bid, you will win the item for much less. Sniping actually allows eBay users who bid in the final seconds and really want an item to bid at a price well above what they expect it to sell for. This is because the winning bidder to an eBay auction pays only one increment more than the second highest bidder. So by sniping auction items, you can aim a bit above the price you think the market will value the item at. In intentionally missing the target, and with the power of goSnipe at your side to pull the trigger in the final seconds (something better done by a computer and goSnipe’s powerful redundant servers than by humans), you can solidify your standing as a very good auction sniper.
goSnipe’s auction sniping services are always at work – even while you are playing. These services can be performed while you are out to lunch, or in an important business meeting, or watching a sports game, or travelling. Using the goSnipe auction bidding sniping software is as easy as 1-2-3. Try goSnipe now today for free – log on at www.goSnipe.com. We are confident you will be pleased with the auction sniping experience. And we thank the editors of Slapstart for giving us this opportunity to showcase our product to its audience at SlapStart.
-The goSnipe Team