Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I'd like to first say that online auction sites have been an invaluable part of my sports card collection. For over 10 years, I have searched, discovered, bid, won, paid and received countless items that would never have become part of my collection had these avenues of purchasing not existed.

I have always been one who likes to bid 'live' on an auction. I have also, for the most part, been one who likes to bid on an item at the last moment - preferring not to reveal my hand until late in the game.

It has worked for hundreds of items in the past and I feel like I've been able to get some great cards at the lowest possible price as a result.

It's worked that is......until about a week ago. Today just added to the frustration and now I sit here contemplating my methods.

Last week, I was eagerly anticipating the conclusion of an auction for a 1/1 Trevor Linden card. I had it all planned out. I even went so far as letting some other Linden collectors know that I was going to bid on it (so they decided not to go for it). Sitting at work, I was just waiting for the minutes to count down before I placed my bid.

Long story short, I got called away from my computer on an urgent matter and ended up missing the auction. The card's final auction price was a fraction - A FRACTION - of what I was willing to pay. And to top it off, the other Linden collectors were left asking "What happened?".

I felt horrible. Not because I missed out on what probably would have been a great deal, but because none of us Linden collectors ended up with the card.

By the way - even a week after the fact, it's still stinging me.

Fast forward to today. A similar scenario where a 1/1 Linden card (this time a show card) was coming to completion. Again, I expressed interest and the other Linden collectors decided to pursue other cards.

Wouldn't you know it, as I'm sitting in front of my computer with the auction open - minutes left to go - some IT guys come into my office needing to do some tests on my system.

Once again, I miss the end of the auction.

Are you kidding me??!!!!

This time though, maybe realizing my past experience, another Linden collector placed a last minute bid and grabbed the card. He very graciously indicated that he bid on it with the intention of it going to me (should I miss out on bidding).

Wow! I've become predictable or something.

I am definitely in an ebay funk right now.

So, all of that leads to my topic - sniping. I have never used a sniping program (and until today, never considered using one). In fact, I've felt that it was kind of 'cheating' when it comes to placing bids (obviously, it's not cheating, but it just doesn't do it for me).

I understand the benefits of a sniping program but have never really been interested in seeing what is out there to help me with my auction hunting.

My attitude has changed slightly with the events of the past week. Part of me feels like utilizing a sniping program would act as a safety net should something happen and I not be able to bid on an item as planned. But part of me feels like it's giving away information or having someone else do the work for me.

Even with it costing a minimal amount of dough to use a sniping program, the idea is still not a home run for me.

That said, if I keep missing out on some PC items, I might just have to go an alternative route.

So, what are your thoughts on sniping programs (or snipe bids in general)?


  1. I always liked to bid "in person"... but after a couple of episodes like what you went through, plus bidding against Montreal collectors (you think Linden is tough, try going after Carey Price) I found that a sniper was the only way I had a shot at a)getting the card I wanted, and b) getting it at a reasonable price.

    What stopped me was the security of it all, just not trusting another site with my ebay password. But i got a couple of recommendations from friends I trust about a site, and I still use it today.

    And it's free.

  2. Television production...urgent? I don't understand. ;-) Not even time to place a last second bid before leaving??? C'mon!

  3. With the first auction, there was about 10 mins left when I got called away. I thought I'd be able to get back in time.

    The second one was me avoiding getting busted searching ebay on the work computers by the guys who are in control of the computers.

    Maybe a smartphone is the answer.

    Urgent calls.....all the time! :)

  4. Any time I find something I really want, and I am around to watch the last several minutes, I just place my max bid with a few minutes to go and wait for it to be sniped. Hopefully, the price is driven past what it's really worth (or at least low book, so it's not a bargain).

    It's just depressing that almost every good item will inevitably be sniped, just like every good hit will be previously molested out of the retail stores.

    I've only sniped one or two items, and those were things that I tried to bid on legitimately and was sniped out of several times before.