Posts that Justin Goldberg is monitoring

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Feb 8, 2009
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Changing font sizes

Greetings,
JBidwatcher doesn’t really manage it’s own fonts… It leaves that in the hands of Java.

At this point I haven’t found a good way to adjust all the fonts in a Java application at once.

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Jan 31, 2009
Avatar rob1803 2 post(s)

Topic: Changing font sizes

Well guys, it’s been over 1 & 1/2 years, and no one’s got any suggestions as to how I can increase the size of any or all fonts for JBidwatcher running on Linux?

Please, I emplore anyone who has been able to change the font size to provide a detailed method as how it was achieved.

My Adv-THANKS-ance.

 
Oct 15, 2008
Avatar Dodgy Geezer 107 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

“I believe the most important reason eBay doesn’t like sniping is that it keeps the price low. If they prevent sniping the price is driven up AND eBay gets more money because the item sells for more. They WANT the items to sell for as much as possible because they get a percentage of the sale price. Sellers don’t like sniping while buyers do…”

Vapor7 is right about sniping keeping the price low – I suspect, however, that ebay is not hugely worried about the actual price. They can always award themselves any percentage of the deal they like. It’s more that they need to maintain market share. That’s the key to vast profits. And maintaining market share means keeping a steady stream of both sellers and buyers. If either of these two segments are unhappy, bang goes the business model.

So long as sniping remains a rare-ish practice, the balance between seller happiness and buyer happiness is OK. I am sure that ebay is calculating likely losses and gains from changing the rules all the time, and if sniping becomes common is more likely to move against it…

P.S. – Reading E-bay, I notice a contradiction in the advice they provide. Their advice for winning auctions boils down to:

1 – immediately bid as much as you can afford.
2 – check the item regularly to see if you have been outbid
3 – if you have been, bid a higher amount.

Can anyone else see a mismatch between Nos 1 and 3 above, which sniping would alleviate?

 
Sep 6, 2008
Avatar a-j 1 post

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

There is another reason why eBay might like to discourage sniping – many people buy from eBay, rather than from other internet sites, because it’s FUN.

When I had more time I would go along to antique and property auctions just to watch – although on eBay you can’t see someone’s face when they’ve just been pushed above their limit and can’t decide whether to go that bit higher, you still can get a thrill following the bidding during the course of an auction. If everyone sniped, that would go.

(The newish eBay “bidder anonymity” policy also takes some of the fun away, but I can see why they did it.)

Mind you, winning the auction with a well-timed snipe using JBidWatcher can be fun too:-)

 
Jul 19, 2008
Avatar jcro 2 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

If they really didn’t like sniping, they would change the rules, say to extend the bidding for two minutes beyond the time of last bid … the classic going…going…gone auction scenario.

Perhaps the anti-social connotations of the word ‘sniping’ lend a kind of anarchistic feel to the process, and, as attractive as that may be to some, it will repel others. In reality, a bid sniper is simply a bidder who has a definite idea of what price he is willing pay for an item, and who does not wish to share that fact with other potential buyers …. not too dissimilar to a sealed envelope bidding process. If one has an ethical problem with sealed envelope bidding, please step forward …. I have yet to meet a soul with ethical (not practical) objections to sealed bids. Yet I hear both buyers and sellers on Ebay whining on and on about those lousy snipers.

So I think it’s the name. Snipe. Sounds like it should be illegal. But what’s a good substitute name or acronym for a Big Last Second Offer Based on the Maximum Price I am Willing to Pay. BLSOBMPIWP is probably a bad choice.

 
Jul 2, 2008
Avatar Vapor7 1 post

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

I believe the most important reason eBay doesn’t like sniping is that it keeps the price low. If they prevent sniping the price is driven up AND eBay gets more money because the item sells for more. They WANT the items to sell for as much as possible because they get a percentage of the sale price. Sellers don’t like sniping while buyers do.

 
Oct 25, 2007
Avatar LaneLester 6 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

eBay (I presume) gives that message if the winning bid produced in the last minute, even if yours was placed after it. You weren’t ‘outbid in the last minute’, your bid was below the existing high bidders hidden max bid, which was placed in the last minute (but before yours).

Thanks, Morgan, that does help. The deceptive message from eBay threw me off.

Sniping with jBidWatcher is great!

Lane

 
Oct 24, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Greetings,

Looking at: http://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=150172788212

You were, in fact, the last bidder with 4 seconds to go. The previous bidders were 2 seconds before you (6 seconds from the end), and 8 seconds before you (12 seconds from the end). Your bid dominated the one who bid 2 seconds before you, but you were both outbid by the one who bid 8 seconds before you. That user bid some amount over $89, probably (based on their bidding history on other items) $92. It might have been $91, $97 or $102, but the upshot is that they had the high bid. They paid one minimum bid increment over your bid ($88.73) because that’s how the eBay ‘proxy bidding’ works. (It’s not really proxy bidding, but it’s a convenient fiction for explaining it.)

eBay (I presume) gives that message if the winning bid produced in the last minute, even if yours was placed after it. You weren’t ‘outbid in the last minute’, your bid was below the existing high bidders hidden max bid, which was placed in the last minute (but before yours).

I hope that info helps!

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Oct 24, 2007
Avatar LaneLester 6 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Thanks, Morgan, I think the truth is slowly starting to sink in. I’m finally getting the principle that it’s the highest bidder who wins, but it’s the second highest who sets the price. It just irks me to be the second highest! :)

Here’s one where eBay says, “You were outbid at the last minute”: 150172788212. I’d like to know how that one turned out, because I hated losing it.

Lane

 
Oct 23, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Greetings,

You will always be outbid by one bid increment if they bid more than you. If they bid $1000, and you bid $100, you’ll still see the high bid as $102.50, one bid increment over yours.

It’s not the person who bids last who wins, it’s the person who bids the most (and their cost is based on the second-highest bidders bid). The uses of sniping are many and valuable, but you still have to bid more than everyone else who’s interested in the item.

If you feel comfortable giving a few item numbers, I can tell you approximately what happened in the last few moments. It’s easy to figure out from the bid history screen whether someone actually sniped later and higher, or if you lost to a previously placed higher bid.

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Oct 23, 2007
Avatar LaneLester 6 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

I’m going to have to go from 10 to 5. I’ve gotten out-sniped by one increment several times now.

 
Aug 28, 2007
Avatar rob1803 2 post(s)

Topic: Changing font sizes

Hello All,

How can I change the font sizes for JBidwatcher?

I use 42" plasma screens, and while I have manged to modify all gtk font sizes under Linux, I’m finding it difficult to ascertain how to modify the java font sizes for the default menu and item entry fonts.

All help gratefully received.

 
Aug 11, 2007
Avatar Bob3 9 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

> “It is the only freeware program I have ever made a volutary donation to – it is that useful.”

I find that it’s preferable to select a good open source piece of software & then send $$; I’ve wound up actually spending MORE on “free” software that the “latest & greatest” release of whatever it is I may be needing.
(needless to say I’m running Linux & don’t mind a bit having invested a few hundred bucks into it)

 
Aug 10, 2007
Avatar troytempest 4 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

I used to buy a lot of magazines and games from the USA (I’m in England). The time difference meant that I had to enter a lot of bids on multiple items from the same seller many hours in advance – this had a number of disadvantages, the two that Lvanett posts above, plus my fear that my “maximum” would be identified and exploited. I found myself entering “maximum +/- x” which was less than ideal.

JBidwatcher solved that!

I also found entering bids on multiple items (I’m talking dozens here) was a real pain in ebay: there are so many screens to wade through – again JBidwatcher solved that. It would be even better if it could allow multiple items to be selected and a single snipe value entered for all of them (with the intention of winning them all) – or perhaps I’m missing something (very possible).

I found that watching 100 items was often insufficient – again JBidwatcher solved that! I can now (or rather will soon again be able to) “upload” my watched items into JBidwatcher and then delete the watch list. I have yet to find the maximum number of items that JBidwatcher tracks.

JBidwatcher also provides the ability to effectively schedule bidding.

It is the only freeware program I have ever made a volutary donation to – it is that useful.

Thanks!

 
Jul 28, 2007
Avatar apikoros 4 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

I’ve been successful with a 5-second snipe for months now, on a basic Comcast cable connection.

 
Jul 21, 2007
Avatar Lvanett 14 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Hmm….guess I won’t try the one second then. I used to do 10 seconds but that still gave people time to outsnipe me. I’ve changed it to 3 seconds and since I have a cable connection it’s worked perfectly. :)

 
Jul 21, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Greetings,

Heh… One person wrote me with a timing issue, and it came out that they sniped at 1 second, always. I eventually got them to back it off to 3 seconds, but they said they’d been doing it for months before then, on a REALLY fast connection.

I really, really don’t recommend it, but if you have items you’re totally okay with losing, it’s fun to try for it. I used to get about a 50% success rate with 1 second snipes when I’d play with it, but usually on just test items.

Officially (as in the FAQ above), I recommend a minimum of 10 seconds, and that’s on the fastest connections…

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Jul 21, 2007
Avatar Lvanett 14 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

I’m curious if anyone has been able to snipe with 1 second left. I set mine at 3 seconds and it’s worked every time. So far I haven’t been outsniped but then again, most of the auctions I bid on don’t attract a lot of bidders.

 
Jul 21, 2007
Avatar Lvanett 14 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

I used to be one of those against sniping. However, after trying to place bids, say, 10 minutes or even 2 minutes before an auction closed and then watching the price go higher and higher, I snipe for 2 reasons: a) to keep the price down and b) to avoid a bidding war. I love JBidwatcher, it’s a great service and have used it successfully many times.

 
Jun 26, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Greetings,

The default is 30 seconds…

I go into more detail at:

http://www.jbidwatcher.com/help/faq.shtml#ans35

I hope that helps!

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Jun 24, 2007
Avatar Laurence Pas... 59 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

eBay’s Bid Assistant launched in the UK recently and sounded interesting. However, if a new item cheaper than the ones you are currently bidding on turns up you couldn’t add it to the list. To do so would require either a bid retraction or make Bid Assistant a de-facto sniping tool by allowing you to add new items whenever you wanted but only bidding when one of them was about to expire. I can understand why eBay do not want to overtly show support for sniping but in this case it really hobbled them when trying to improve the auction experience. Anyway, in the end it led me to using JBW so it’s not all bad!

Some excellent points debunking myths about sniping: http://www.moyen.org/snipe/myths.html

 
Jun 19, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Cutting Edge Research on Windorphins

Greetings,

ROTFL!

Should I start a counter-campaign, plugging JBidwatcher as the easy way to get your Windorphins kick? ;)

Thanks, I hadn’t seen that…!

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

 
Jun 7, 2007
Avatar prj257 3 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

I’ll try 20 secs out. Can’t remember the default.

Thanks for the info!

 
Jun 5, 2007
Avatar prj257 3 post(s)

Topic: Snipe Timing

Hey -
New to this sniping business, though looking forward to having this advantage.

I’m curious if there’s a minimum amount of time I can put to have the software perform ok for me? I currently have it set to snipe within 5 seconds of the auction ending. Is there a reason I shouldn’t put 1 second? Or is 5 seconds cutting it too close?

Curious to hear your advice!

 
May 21, 2007
Avatar Morgan Schweers 1,204 post(s)

Topic: Why eBay doesn't approve of sniping software...

Greetings,

Thanks muchly! I’m glad it makes the eBay experience better…

— Morgan Schweers, Cyber*FOX*!

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