Friday, August 05, 2005


I am the last person in the Western Hemisphere to start eBaying, I know. And I probably wouldn't have started if I didn't need a cheap version of the ethics textbook so badly. It's not available on OR, but there *was* one on eBay. So I marked the auction and kept an eye on it for the next few days. I already have a username and account because I sell my old textbooks on, so all I really had to do was set up a Paypal account, which I did, and read the sections on how to bid.

There were two bidders on the book who were bidding each other up in increments of $1 or so. I figured I'd try to "snipe" the auction and spent well over an hour checking the auction and trying to figure out the best strategy. I decided to put in a bid in the last minute or so at $10 higher than the current-at-that-time bid, hoping that would put me ahead of any maximum bid by proxy. Alas, I was too cheap. Another bidder bid $30 more and walked away with a copy of the textbook for less than $50. I was totally bummed out.

Today, I learned through a message board I occasionally read and post to that "sniping" is considered by some to be unethical. This makes no sense to me. If you are at a real world auction, there is nothing to stop you from bidding in the last minutes, is there? I don't see how sniping is any different. In fact, sounds like sour grapes to me. I really wanted that textbook and I'm disappointed that I didn't get it, but someone bid more than I did and that's that. I'll be keeping my eyes out for another auction, and if one should be posted, I'll bid on that one, too. Otherwise, I'll head to the bookstore and pay full price for the new text. There's no constitutional right to win an eBay auction, after all.


At 9:43 PM , Blogger Queen PLC said...

It is DEFINITELY a case of sour grapes. That's the only way to win what you want on Ebay - particularly the more popular items. I used to be an Ebay expert/addict, until I had to give it up when I entered law school. Hard to justify bidding on stuff when I'm living off government loans ;)

Practically every single auction I won (and I won A LOT) was through sniping. Sellers are happy, buyer is happy, it's a happy happy world kids. Get over it.

Unethical...*snort* know the people who think that have certainly NEVER attended law school!

At 10:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I won my PS2 by sniping--the final five minutes of back and forth bidding in $1 increments. And I got it...with five seconds to spare.

Ah, the adrenaline.


At 6:41 AM , Blogger Mari said...

For books try Ebay's sometimes a better deal can be found there.

At 1:41 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am considered to be a very nice individual, I am polite and compassionate. BUT I completely disagree with SNIPING being UNETHICAL!!! BAH!

Such a stance is just ridiculous... it's an AUCTION and that is how auctions work. YEP... I have sniped many times, it is part of the game or the gamble that I call EBAY. Success involves skill.

I am also a good sport - there have a been a few times that I was sniped within 1 or 2 seconds of the end of the auction... rather than being miffed, each time I shot off an email to the winning bidder congratulating them on an excellent snipe... afterall, it is an art form.

However, I have learned that there is software that you can download now that will snipe items for you. I think that is rather lame, as it eliminates the human skill involved in the snipe... But whatever... far be it from me to whine. If sniping bothers some people so much, I think they should avoid EBAY - don't play the game if you aren't prepared to lose.

Just my random thoughts!


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