Feature Request: Sniping our own selling (To cancel the listing in the last minute of the pre-final day before it becomes impossible to do so)

Subscribe to Feature Request: Sniping our own selling (To cancel the listing in the last minute of the pre-final day before it becomes impossible to do so) 13 post(s), 8 voice(s)

Avatar Zed Sefi 4 post(s)

Hello Bid watchers, Hello Morgan Schweers :D

I am writing this post on this forum as I am not quite sure that the developer will notice the email that I send to him earlier on, so please pardon me for this. Also, if my suggestion has been mentioned before, then please forgive me for repeating it. I have just joined and I did not read the contents of this forum as of yet. However, I feel that my suggestion is really unique and useful at the same time, so there is no harm in trying to post it here on this forum ;)

Here is a copy of the email contents that I sent to CyberFOX:

Hello my friend,

I can’t struggle enough to tell you how much I love your software, it is the best out there compared to all eBay bid watching programs on the net, and one of the very few freeware and fully featured. I am really about considering donating to your wonderful work and great development. Your program has saved the day for me on many occasions, and helped me to snipe pretty damn good deals.

I am writing this email to you to consider adding a new and important feature that is not available in any other software that I have tested, and it is regarding an issue that is really bothering and annoying me when I try to sell items on eBay through auctions (bidding) for items that I spent good money to collect them, but I end up selling them for a very low price if there is a low bidding interest.

I know that your software cares about (sniping) which is good according to a buyer’s point of view, but what about sellers? many of us, the buyers, are also sellers at the same time, and as much as we want to snipe for good deals to buy stuff, we also want to snipe (watch) our own sellings and be able to withdraw the item from selling in the last minute if the signs of bidding competition are not proven to show a healthy condition.

So, what is the issue? The issue is that (according to eBay’s regulations) you cannot cancel the items that you are selling through bidding/auction in the last 24 hours of the listing lifetime if there is at least one person who placed a bid for it. This means that I have to set an alarm or a reminder to come back to my listing and watch it carefully in the final hour before entering the last 24 hours (one day) period so that if I don’t like the bidding level, or if there are no enough bidders/listing watchers to give me an indication that things would dramatically change later on, then I really do not want to risk selling my item and would rather cancelling my listing in the last minute (before the final 24 hours period occurs) manually by going to the listing cancellation form on eBay (I bet you know what it is). There I could put the listing number, then on next page I’ll be asked to provide one of 4 reasons behind cancellation (I normally go for this reason: Error in listing the item). Afterwards, I would become able to re-list my item again with new duration of time, etc… I know that I may still be entitled to pay old listing fees but hey!, for a 99 cent/pence listing price it would be OK I guess, much better than selling an item for 10% of what its worth just because there are no potential buyers to notice the real value of the item. I know you may suggest that I should list the item with a higher (safe) starting price or to reserve the item first, but according to my experience (and research) I realised that items that start with the minimum listing cost and without reservation tend to get noticed a lot by people, and people tend to bid for them and watch them with higher volume and better interest overall. It is a psychological factor after all.

So, here is my suggestion: I wish that you could invest some of your time to try to find a way to automatically take care of this process on behalf of the seller. In JBidWatcher under selling tab, let us add the item(s) we are selling on eBay, then add a new choice in the right menu on each item for us that we could optionally use, something like (secure item cancellation period). In there a new popup page shows up, asking for when the item should be cancelled (in minutes or seconds before entering the final 24 hours period) if bid price not met (enter minimum price in a blank field) and/or with/without minimum amount of watchers (enter the amount of watchers in another blank box) and the last field is to choose which reason you want to be chosen for cancellation among the four reasons (it may differ from one eBay site to another like the UK and US eBay websites, but I think these reasons are all the same). What your software is going to do is that it will go to the bid cancellation form, place the listing number, and chooses the cancellation reason on our behalf if possible. The listing will be cancelled and we get the freedom and peace of mind regarding this matter, knowing that we could still keep our items and that we could also re-list them again if we go to the (Unsold) items area in our accounts, for a better luck on a second chance selling attempt ;)

This will save us a lot of time and troubles. There will be no more worries about setting a timer on my phone or clock’s alarm to remind me to do that. If you think you could implement this feature then please let me know. I promise that I will give you a generous donation if you do so, and I am quite sure that this feature will become very warmly welcomed by many users of your software who are really in the same boat like me :)

Thank you for reading. I wish you a very nice and pleasing day.

All regards

Avatar Philip 34 post(s)

It is people like you who give eBay a bad name.

eBay provides at least two mechanisms (the starting amount, and a Reserve) to ensure that sellers do not sell for less than they wish to.

If I had my way, people who end their auctions early because they are not happy with the current price or level of bidding would be banned from eBay.

Avatar Zed Sefi 4 post(s)

Hi Philip,

Thanks for your kind reply, although it was absolutely unnecessary for your attack, but I would understand it as different points of view, which is OK.

First I should say that I have been selling things for over 4 years and my feedback score is still 100%, this should tell you something. So, the answer is: No! People like me are not giving eBay a bad name.

As a seller (golden rule) the seller should be 100% satisfied with any sell he is going to make. In real world when you go to bidding situations (after the fall of the hammer) the sell will be cancelled if a seller is going to express that he is not happy with the final price, no matter what.

On eBay, things are different. Because there is no physical communication between sellers and buyers, it has to be organised this way. Yet! eBay recognises that every seller has the right to cancel their selling even after bidding is taking place to the point of the final 24 hours at the most! If this is not one of the rights of the seller then why do you think eBay are allowing this to happen? We could all then just give up trying, knowing that once an item is listed for sell then there is no way to take the listing down, and accept to sell it for any winning price even if it just 99 cents!

Now, regards the starting amount and reservation. I told you why many sellers are not doing this because this will kill chances of a healthy competition. Many buyers do not like the fact that there is a reserve on the listing and just walk away, also if you list the item with a minimum price close to what you have spent for getting it you’ll be very likely going to fail selling the item because people do not have the impression that they could get the item for a low price if they can start bidding from minimum amount possible. It is a psychological matter and you know I am right when I am telling you this.

Here is an example: an item worth 20 bucks that you started listing it for 14 bucks. There is an 80% chance that it may not sell, unless the item is very desirable, and 20% chance that it will sell for just the price, that is 14 bucks or slightly more. Now if I go on and list it on auction for a price as minimum as 99 cent, I’ll become very likely able to sell it for a price ranged 16-18 bucks. Sell chances are 100% as it is definite that there will be at least one person who will place a bid for 99 cent at least. The more people placing bids the more are going to watch the listing and the better chances you are going to sell for a good reasonable price overall. From this 100% there is a 90% chance that you will sell for a good price, and 10% let down with the price. It is this 10% that I am pleading for in this thread. Think about it more like a safety net, or an exit strategy, except that it should be automatic instead of doing it manually. I am not asking for a new feature (eBay already have built the cancellation procedure), I’m just asking to include it as part of JBidWatcher automatic lifecycle.

Back to the subject, another thing is, for items that worth less than 50 pounds (here in the UK we use British Pounds) I dunno what is the situation there for many of you guys in the US or other countries, but you should know that on eBay UK website the minimum amount of money you could reserve for an item is 50 Pounds!!! … Now, I sell designer fragrances and most of their pricing tends to be between 25 Pounds and 40 Pounds. If I reserve a minimum price of 50 Pounds then nobody is going to even bother placing a bid or consider buying it, because many people know that I am reserving for a price more than what the item worth. This has been a long running problem that unfortunately eBay is not able to deal with properly, at least on some sites like the one I’m using for UK citizens.

So, as you can see I have every right to demand for this feature. It is 100% legit and I think it is as right as sniping for the items you want to purchase. Otherwise, you will find many people who are going to counter attack your accusation and tell you that JBidWatcher is a fishy program that should be prevented from being used and that its users should be banned from eBay, simply because they are messing with the nature of real-time bidding process by killing the opportunities of healthy bid winning through putting a high price bid in the last few seconds that you would actually not pay it all once you win the bid, but you gonna pay just what is slightly more than the second bidder on bidding rank. It is as simple as that.

I personally believe Sniping is right according to current regulations, and it should not be exclusively made for buying, but it should be also made available for sellers to protect their listing from going the wrong way, all within the fair regulations of having the right to withdraw before the final 24 hours. This seems very legit to me, and reasonable.

I hope you find my answers satisfactory.

Best regards

Avatar RogerH 2 post(s)

Hi Z,

I think you are missing the point. To take an example, I recently saw an item with no bids, it was something I have been looking for since 1978 and been unable to find. It was listed for 0.99 . I placed a 0.99 bid so it would not be withdrawn (well, not without the seller lying as you do to eBay) and sniped it manually five seconds before the end of the auction because I wanted it so much. To be sure of getting it (or so I thought) I sniped 256.78. Actually I JUST managed to get it because someone else sniped 256.00 two seconds later! If this had been your auction you would have withdrawn the item and thrown it away thinking that something so old was of no value to anyone. Indeed the seller had described it as ‘a bit of a doorstop’ and had not been powered up since the 1970s, but I knew what it was, and now it is connected to my computer which is the oldest working computer in the UK, and it works perfectly.

I am not as critical as Philip but I think that if I were to bid on one of your items and you withdrew it then I would look at your history and report you to eBay so they could cancel your account for lying.

If this feature were to be implemented in JBidwatcher then I think it likely that eBay would respond by changing the login/bidding protocols daily to prevent the software from ever working again.

Avatar Zed Sefi 4 post(s)

Hi Roger,

OK, I understand where you come from. Yes this could be a problem if a seller wants to end the sell in the last few minutes or even seconds of the listing. But, I believe you are also missing my point! … I am not suggesting ending an auction during the final critical selling stage.

What I am talking about is the legit feature that has been implemented by eBay and already exists. eBay allow the sellers to cancel their listings anytime except the final day (24 hours). eBay agrees with you (and I agree too) that the listing should not be cancelled during the final day to prevent this feature from being misused. I am NOT suggesting making JBidWatcher overcome this rule and snipes out the item during the final day of the listing. This would be very wrong and yes this will put JBidWatcher in jeopardy and at risk!

So, to make myself clear to you, Philip and all readers of this topic, there is a big misunderstanding here. All what I am asking for is that JBidWatcher will carry on the existing available feature (that eBay doesn’t stand against) which is to automatically cancel the listing just anytime BEFORE the last 24 hours (I repeat: BEFORE the final 24 hours). If eBay thinks this process is not legitimate they would not even allow the sellers to cancel at any stage at all. I have been selling many stuff on eBay over the years and only needed to use this feature (the cancellation form) for few times. I have never been punished by eBay or penalised for using it at all (except that I still get charged the listing fees which I believe is a fair trade overall). Nobody is lying here or whatever. I always choose ‘’Item is not available for sell’’ if I am not satisfied, because that is what it is, The item is NOT available for sale because I have changed my mind within the safe period of time that eBay allows me to take advantage of, not during the last 24 hours when it becomes too late to change anything. I hope this clears things up. Cheers.

Avatar Zed Sefi 4 post(s)

I would love to hear the admin’s opinion regarding this case as there is a bit of controversy over here. It is such a debate that many people agree with or stand against (either like it or hate it, no grey option). Please think about it from the seller’s point of view too, not only from buyer’s point of view. Thank you all.

Avatar ooofest 22 post(s)

Zed Sefi: As was mentioned above, if you do not approve of the bidding level as your auction moves towards a close, you probably should have placed a more distinct Starting Bid or Reserve amount on the auction in the first place. I would find it more than a bit disingenuous and question the transparency of a Seller who cancels their auctions near the end when I’m currently leading in the bidding . . . unless they sold the item offline or had a personal issue, that is. For example, I’ve bid on items which were also on sale in a store and those auctions clearly noted that the Seller reserved the right to take down the auction if their in-store price was accepted by a local buyer, which seemed fine to me.

However, I recently won an auction for a price which made me satisfied and soon after the Seller requested a cancellation because they claimed to have broken the item during packing (which, given the type of item in question, seemed rather difficult to manage) – that may have been a bit too convenient an excuse, so I will be wary of that Seller going forward.

Avatar Ivanovich 36 post(s)

On most items more than 90% of the bidding takes place in the last 10 minutes of the auction.

I’ve had loads of items lined up for bidding only for the seller to cancel the auction when 24 hours and a few minutes remains, I NEVER bid on anything by that seller again!


Avatar Ivanovich 36 post(s)

On another note I believe the anonymization of bidder identities that ebay did a couple of years ago is hurting everyone. Suspected shill bidding seems to be rampant nowadays. I’m tired of getting second chance offers for the full amount of my bid when if the winning bidder (that so conveniently now has reneged) hadn’t bid I would have won for a hugely lower amount. Of course every time I point this out to the seller and offer to pay what the winning bid should have been had the reneging bidder not bid they all surprisingly decline.

//rant over


Avatar zappram 290 post(s)

yes Ivanovich, those situation happened to me many times, and I am pretty upset. Although suspecting there are shill bidding, but I cannot trace/prove enough. What can we do or suggest eBay to deal with this ?

But from the seller’s point of view, they can remove the listing for any reason they wish as most people don’t want to lose money although they are trying to sell/get rid of their stuff.

Avatar jssr67 4 post(s)

@Ivan, the anonymization seems incomplete to me. You cannot see the actual identity, but it seems the leading/trailing character that is displayed in the placeholder seem to be consistent for the same bidder, at least in all of the instances that I cared for (I have accounts in 2 countries, and when I look for auctions I bind on with the other account from the other country, I always find the same placeholder for my name). So if the same bidder is constantly raising bids for the same seller, you will find strong indication for this by finding the same placeholder all over the seller’s auctions.

Avatar zappram 290 post(s)

:D jssr67, you work @ CSI?

Yes, I found that similar situation where my ID is always displayed the same manner with partial blocking of the bidder ID by eBay. Maybe one day eBay will be smart enough to list as “bidder001”, “bidder002”, etc.

For now, perhaps you can use a program to sort out bidders.

Avatar afleance 44 post(s)

Re: shill bidding, after the auction, if you goto the bid history, you can click on any bidder’s name e.g. a**b, and it will show you a 30-day bidding history of that bidder, including what category of items they are bidding on, and what % of their bidding was on items from the current seller. If you see something suspicious, you can contact ebay. It’s still not that great, and I still wish we could see the actual bidder’s usernames, but it’s better than nothing.

Re: feature request, I think what Zed is valid, but I’m not sure how many sellers would use that. If you are specialize in certain categories of items, you’ll have an idea about the level of buying interest and know whether you’re better off starting low $0.99 listings to encourage bidding interest or maybe you have fixed price is better for a low interest item. It’s really not a good business practice to yank auction listings. Maybe you are selling something where you don’t get alot of repeat customers, so it doesn’t matter, but buyers won’t like it if you end alot of your auctions early.