How to bid lowest necessary bid

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Avatar gaalrayn 2 post(s)

I have not used a sniping program in years, but my recollection is that I had program that bid only the amount necessary to win, up to my maximum bid. Thus if the high bid was $20 and I was willing to pay $30, I would submit a bid of $30 to my program but if the high bid just before close was $24, the program would bid me at $25 and I would win.

Is there a term for this kind of bidding? Is it available with jbidwatcher? If not what programs do have it available?

Thanks for your answers.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

This is a common misconception from folks watching ‘open outcry’ auctions, where the amount you bid IS the amount you pay, period. (Having spent a lot of money on these in my youth at science fiction conventions, I’m also very familiar with the idea.)

What YOU are describing as a ‘program’ is the fundamental way that eBay works. If the current high bidder’s maximum bid is $20 and you place a bid with eBay for $30, the price does not immediately become $30. Instead, it uses something called a ‘highest bidder, second price’ system, which essentially says, ‘The highest bidder will be the person marked as winning, but the price they are set at is one minimum bid increment over the second highest bidder’s price.’ There are some deep auction-theoretic reasons why this system works (as in, William Vickrey received a Nobel-related prize for their work on auctions and bidding games that led to this system) but fundamentally that’s how eBay works.

So JBidwatcher doesn’t mess with that. It bids your amount at the last moments of the auction, and lets eBay sort out the high bidders and second prices.

So if you’re looking at an item that has a current high bid of $24, the high bidder may have placed an actual bid of $150. Nobody knows except eBay. So if JBidwatcher tried to do what you’re describing, and placed a ‘minimum bid increment up’ bid of $25, you would lose the auction, because eBay’s automatic proxy system would bump the other user’s bid up to $26: one minimum bid increment over the next highest bidder (yours).

All this complexity is simplified in that you don’t need to worry about it; JBidwatcher places the full bid in the last seconds, but you will never pay more than one minimum bid increment over the next-highest-bidder’s price. Because that’s how eBay does it.

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

Avatar zappram 290 post(s)

Yes, eBay does that for us…. and thanks to that… coz one time my snipe amount of $30.00 was missing the decimal point and my snipe went out at $3,000.00 but luckily I won the auction at $27 with change. :-D

JBW works well for me, and I am still bidding and winning. Having fun doing that I do all day and getting “surprise” notices when JBW wins anything for me on my lists. Thanks

Avatar gaalrayn 2 post(s)

So, no matter what amount I bid, if I am the winning bid I will pay from 1 cent up to and including the amount of the incremental bid over the amount of the second highest bid, but never any more.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

Yep; I have known people to go ‘nuclear’, where they bid an ABSURDLY high amount, under the theory that they’ll definitely get the item, although it might be at an exorbitant price. (This is only, obviously, for extremely rare items.) The fatal flaw there is that if two bidders decide to snipe ‘nuclear’, then a $100 item might end up going for thousands of dollars.

So don’t do that. :)

But yes, eBay’s system is designed so the resultant winning bid will be anywhere from a penny to one minimum bid increment over the previous bid. (There’s a caveat, which is that if you’re the first bidder at $20, and someone snipes $20 at the end of the auction, as the early bidder, your equivalent bid takes precedence. This is why, as a sniper, you always want to perturb your snipe bid by a few cents. Because if the current price is (e.g.) $15, and you bid $20.01 and the hidden proxy high bid is $20, then you’ll be the high bidder, but if you bid $20, they will.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

Avatar MickoZ 14 post(s)

I have to use multiple accounts. Multiple reasons, but the main one is to have account in multiple countries (in my case, Canada and U.S.A.) as some sellers refuse to sell to people outside their country (mostly U.S.A. people, their reaction to some problems they might have encounter or they do not want to fill paperworks, etc.). And when you are a collector, sometime you just want to have “some items” or “some deal”.

So it happened that by setting multiple snipes, that I use by error both account with a high amount. Luckily, the few times it happened, the sellers found it funny and we corrected it. Of course if it is a couple dollars, I might just accept my error, but if it is couple of hundred difference, I will of course blame the error, he he he. ;-)

P.S. Back in time, I could easily contact the sellers and they agreed most of the time to do an exception as I had good record. But lately, eBay went as far as from stopping you from contacting the seller (actually they block you if you pass through an item, but you can still do the direct contact, but who know this except freak like me, not very user friendly; I can understand people not wanting to be bothered, but if you begin to stop people from messaging each other, that is sick). Not counting the search result that can change, even if you put “Worldwide” in your option and have couple of countries addresses in your profile. They seem to only consider your main address some places, and not your alternate (they should…). I found lot of quirks like that… eBay is getting a bit worst with all restrictions they implement. I often call this “too intelligent/smart” when developing software… and you do not want to be “too intelligent” with your apps rules. It is like designing a calculator and decide to disallow 13 + 37 because nobody is ever gonna do that… why waste time with such rule that make your apps worst. ;-) [of course that is my opinion, some people can enjoy such rules, but that is because they are often simplistic and are not conscious of what they lost; functionally, you often worsen your soft being “too much intelligent”]. Not counting that they now hide all information… they killed communication between most collector, and some people that do not know the reasons that all this happened are taking it as a big rules and are afraid to unveal data. ;-) So it gets more complicated for the users. Also probably easier for ill-intended sellers to hide a fake bidders.

Avatar Dodgy Geezer 107 post(s)

“… my recollection is that I had program that bid only the amount necessary to win, up to my maximum bid. Thus if the high bid was $20 and I was willing to pay $30, I would submit a bid of $30 to my program but if the high bid just before close was $24, the program would bid me at $25 and I would win….”

In a traditional outcry auction the person who is prepared to bid highest will win. Ebay auctions are somewhat different in that they are time-limited, so the person who makes the highest bid BEFORE THE END-TIME will win. And they have increments, which can result in a non-intuitive result in sniping…

You can always win an auction by posting a very high figure well before the end of the auction, but it has to be very high – well above what EVERYONE else thinks it is worth. This might have to be very high indeed if you are in a bidding war with collectors. If you bid a more sensible high figure well before, your opponent bidders can increment their bidding slightly, watch your automatic response, and increment again until they are just over your figure. To avoid this it is a good idea to make your ‘high bid’ very shortly before the end of the auction, giving them less time to ratchet the price up. This is what Jbidwatcher is for.

Note that you do NOT want to put your high bid in as close to the end of the auction as possible. You want to put it in at the EARLIEST point when no one can respond – probably about 5-8 seconds before the end. This is because Ebay does automatic bids in increments.

For example, let us say that you and an opponent both value an item at $100, and that at $100 the bid increments are $10. You are going to bid $95, and your opponent is going to bid $98. So he should win, and he would win if you both submitted your bids with 10 minutes to go, when the item was displayed at $20.

In the last 10 minutes the item price goes up, as other bidders snipe. At 10 seconds to go, it is displayed at $83, because someone has bid $90. You put your snipe bid of $95 in with 6 seconds to go, and the displayed price goes up to $93 (because of the $10 increment). At that point the only next bid that can be accepted is a bid of $103 or above. Your opponent submits his snipe bid of $98 (higher than yours) at 4 seconds to go, and is rejected. You have won the item at $93, when your bid was $95, and your opponent has lost even though he was willing to pay more. Because he was just behind you in the bidding.

I think that this is what happens in a number of cases where people complain that they failed to win even though they bid higher. The lesson is clear – don’t aim at bidding 1 second before the end – aim at bidding about 6-7 seconds before the end….