Greetings,

eBay recently launched their Bid Assistant, which acts similarly to JBidwatcher’s Multisniping feature, except without the sniping.

None the less, it’s good to see them adding features JBidwatcher had six years ago. 😉

Being serious for a moment, I’m actually really happy to see them do this. It’s a straightforward feature, and one they should have had long since. If they make it easy to use it’ll increase bid volumes, and thereby their end revenue. Speaking as an ex-employee, and a shareholder, this is great!

I always considered multisniping a ‘good for eBay’ feature, because it meant one bid could get applied to a number of items, without the user really intervening after the initial setup.

It’s also a hint that they might still be putting new ideas into their platform, which I’m very happy to see. It also ups the ante for programs like mine, to add more extensive algorithmic bidding. (e.g., ‘If I win this, THEN put a snipe on that, because if I can combine shipping I’d want them both…’)

What it is not, is sniping. Specifically:
You cannot schedule bids to be placed at a specific time.
The first version of JBidwatcher that included Multisniping was December 16, 2001, and is the earliest implementation of bid groups / multisniping / bid assistant functionality that I know of. It’s not world changing, but I’m proud of it. 🙂

Best of luck with your auctions!

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!


4 Comments

  1. On mwjr Says:

    Sir:
    I purchased snipeit and used it for several months. It worked fine but lately it would not show the bids; therefore, I was trying to find the individual that sold the program to me when I ran across your article stating someone stole the program from you. I am going to delete snipeit from my computer and use jbidwatcher instead. If you take donations for your programming please advise(I do not remember the individual but I believe it was dustsniper)Thank you, Marv


  2. On J Louis Says:

    Hi Jbirdwatcher. I have used your program and I like it, though I do find myself using other snipe sites like bidnip.com, who I pay for snipes as my puter might not be always left on.

    While snipe sites and software like yours is to empower the buyer who wants something and don’t have time to baby sit the auction closing. There needs to be a tool for sellers to have that counters a snipe.

    People in the Ebay community have pointed towards the use of placing reserve prices on their auctions so that they don’t have a future problem with something selling so low that they might not make good on that delivery after it’s been paid. I have won many auctions since 1996 where the seller didn’t want to ship that product and simply gave me a refund, or waiting for me to file a paypal dispute and then simply refund me (knowning then that it was never the intent of the seller to ship anything). I know this quite well, as a friend of mind who has been on ebay for years, selling laptops as a powerseller would do just that. With the cost of setting us Reserve Prices, paying ebay is only the first element of remorse. The second factor in having a reserve auction is that buyers shy away from anything that has a reserve price. Some sellers will disclose the reserve price, knowing that this will help those who really do want that item, to bid higher than the threshold placed on the reserve. The reserve price structure is good to assure that anyone serious will pay up to that amount. Biding wars can then co-exist on top of that already assured price if using a reserve price.

    Now, lets think about the seller who is a novice and might not opt to setup a Reserve Price, or posted the auction without having a reserve. If the seller placed no Reserve Price on their auction and found out about it too late, then that seller would have to close the auction early and repost it another time for that period of time, but the good is that the item was not purchased and no egg on the face of that seller, or the need to be like my friend, who simply delayed with a song and a story till he could refund and the buyer would be happy to have received his refund/minus purchase. Now, what if the seller could purchase something that is like Snipe, but Automatic Auction Closure. Where thy grand a third party Authorization code with ebay to manage that seller’s account, thereby if the auction does not reach to a certain set price, the auction is then closed 3 or 10 seconds before it’s closing time. In essense, the seller is not out of his merchandise, and no buyer remorse for said item is no longer on the auction and hence no one won.

    Allowed or not allowed, possibly the provisions of the all mighty Ebay would not allow?
    Thank u for your nice Jbirdwatcher, I really like it. JL


  3. On Cyberfox Says:

    Greetings,

    @J Louis – I would never buy from that seller again, no matter what they listed it for. They would be blacklisted in my book, and I’d argue that eBay should revoke the account. I’ve bought and sold a decent amount on eBay, and I’ve never encountered a seller who behaves like you’ve described (didn’t ship the product for the price reached).

    In the same way that a bidder can’t get 3-10 seconds from the end of the auction and decide, ‘Nope! I feel like I bid too much!’, and revoke their bid without penalties, the seller absolutely should not be allowed to say, ‘Nah, I’m not making enough profit!’ and revoke the listing without penalties.

    The answer isn’t reserve prices, it’s setting a sane Minimum Bid. I’ve listed items that were valuable, and I never listed them for under what I’d be comfortable making for them. If you’re not willing to sell an item for one dollar, don’t list it for that. One of my friends made that mistake, once. They listed an item for $1, nobody bit, and someone sniped it at the end for $1. They asked what they should do, since they didn’t want to sell it at $1 (the item was probably worth about $25), and I said, and I quote from my email, ‘Suck it up and ship it. Whoever told you to list for $1 was wrong, and if you’d asked me first, I’d have told you that.’ They learned from it, and listed their items at sane prices afterward.

    One of the reasons I built JBidwatcher and continue to support it is because nearly everything eBay builds is to support the sellers, and make their lives easier. I’ve felt for a long time that someone needs to be concerned with the bidders and buyers, since the sellers wield so much more power already.

    I hope that helps you understand where I’m coming from.

    By the way, in terms of web sniping services, I recommend Gixen. I’m considering adding features to support integration with them in the future.

    — Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!


  4. On JLouis Says:

    Thank you for your reply Morgan. I can see your point, and I live by those same principals. If I had a $25 item and it sold for $1.00 I would be all means no matter how sacred that item might mean or that I knew the value of it, I would ship it and be thankful that someone got it at such a low bargain price. I honestly would. I recently sniped a pair of baseball caps and I honestly felt that I got a super low bargain that I felt bad for the seller, and offered the seller some extra money cause shipping was half of the price I paid. Another seller who I bid on two of their items, had not sold anything lately and so I won two of her auctions, offered to pay extra to them and they refused the extra money. Spending time in the ebay community, I do come across people who lament about winning something and the seller not wanting to let go, hence the idea of ending auctions early. Some sellers simply end auctions early after removing all the bids on their items (haven’t done that in a long time, so I forget about the process a seller has to undertake for that closure).

    Anyway, I did look at Gixen as it was a registered Godaddy website since 2001 and was under construction until early 2004. Mario I think is the owner, and I did read some of the comments people made about it, pro and con. One thing that lingered in the comments made about Gixen was that at times it was too slow to process the bid. While the Netblock is in Michigan, I noticed that their is way too many other websites on those two DNS’s that Gixen is on.

    NS14.ZONEEDIT.COM (has 180,456 domains)
    NS7.ZONEEDIT.COM (has 180,456 domains)

    This tells me that your user and passwords might not be so encrypted, though their SSL ends in 1095 days

    To there Credit: Gixen Mirror is a multi-server, fault-tolerant sniping service, unmatched by
    any other sniping service or sniping software. Your snipes are sent twice, from
    two different hosting locations.

    (not I understand how or why some snipe sites other than this Gixen, which I had never heard about, make double entries).

    Also I was surprised that the traffic of users was not heavily dominated by the US, where they get good traffic from UK as well.

    I might try their service, but I think I will download your Jbirdwatcher again on a Fresh XP install. What I really should do is install Jbirdwatcher on my server for my bandwidth is pretty good. Also, I really like the name Jbirdwatcher.

    Though I still think that some newbie sellers should have the option of closing their auctions early if they did make a honest mistake. Oh well one idea down the drain. No problem, I have many others that I hope to see in my lifetime. Take care, blessings 2 you Jbirdwatcher!