ebay snipe apps

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    I hope this is not too far off topic for this site.  If it is, I apologize.  Just delete this thread.

    I’m buying a lot of my tools off of ebay.  I’ve seen references here and there from people saying they use an application called a “snipe.”  I’ve never used one.

    I did a quick search and it turned up a lot of different apps so, I’m wondering if anyone here might have some advice in that regard.

    My fear is getting one that’s infected with spy-ware, a trojan or a virus.

    What are you experiences with these things?

    Do they help you win items?  How do they work?




    Texas, USA

    Joseph Sellers

    Hi Kelly,

    I hope you get an answer. I certainly don’t know the answer.

    It is off-topic but that is fine. I knew it would happen eventually. I have created a new forum section and yours is the first one in it.


    Sorry Kelly I cant help buddy, I never use eBay.

    Nice work Joseph, on the ball buddy 😉


    I apologize.  I wasn’t sure about it since …my intent is to buy tools.  🙂  I don’t care if you delete it.  I can search elsewhere.  It’s no problem at all.

    Texas, USA


    I apologize. I wasn’t sure about it since …my intent is to buy tools. I don’t care if you delete it. I can search elsewhere. It’s no problem at all.

    Hi Kelly, no reason to delete it buddy. Joseph has opened a new section for off topic subjects.  To be honest I don’t know if that’s a good or bad move. I like the purity of the forum just the way it is. Just my humble opinion though. 🙂

    John Poutier

    Kelly- great question and I’m glad Joseph set up this topic since I’m sure many folks are asking the same question. You can count me as one of them since I’ve found some good buys on ebay but have always waited until the last five or so seconds to bid. Paul indicated in one of his blog posts that he has used one of those programs but did not indicate which one. I would guess the answer would be to try several and see which works. However, I would like to hear if any should NOT be used for one reason or the other.

    I’m for anything that would allow me to add to the value of my wood working without inflated costs. That includes finding solid tools at good value on ebay.

    All the best and Merry (and Happy) Christmas!

    John (Had two children born in Ipswich, East Anglia)

    Yorktown, Virginia

    Philip Adams

    Hi Kelly,

    I have just started using an ebay snipe called Gixen which is the one Paul has been using for a good while and recommended to me. You don’t have to download anything or register, you just enter your ebay username and password, and then put in the ebay item ID and your maximum bid. It also has a very useful feature, where if for example, you where trying to buy a No 4 Stanley, and there where several you where interested in, you can put them in the same category on Gixen, and if you win one, it won’t bid on the others, so you don’t end up with more than one (which my wife appreciates (-:)

    Hope that helps,



    I work alongside Paul to plan and produce the videos for Woodworking Masterclasses


    I also use Gixen. I see the advantages of using a sniper as being:

    1. You have to be objective about how much an item is worth. If all bidders use a sniper there is no risk of you entering a bidding war, where you increase your maximum bid just because someone else has bid a little more.

    2. You are hiding from other bidders how much you think an item is worth. This stops them from revising their valuation of the object just because they see that you think that the item is more valuable than they originally thought.

    It doesn’t guarantee that you will will win any more auctions, but it does help you from getting carried away in the bidding, and sometimes will keep others from increasing their bids.

    Good luck! 🙂



    Thanks for the input.

    I like the multi-item feature.  That sounds very useful.

    But the highest bid part sounds exactly like the “highest bid” (built in) feature that ebay has.  You put in your max bid but, nobody can see that.  It will automatically increase your bid if someone outbids you, until you reach your max.  Maybe I’m not understanding how it works.

    With the snipe app, can you control *when* the bid is placed?

    Texas, USA


    Yes Kelly, the highest bid in a sniper is the ebay highest bid. The point of the sniper is that your highest bid does not become visible to other bidders until seconds before the closing time, and thus denying them the chance to increase their highest bid. ( If they do increase their highest bid, their original ‘highest’ bid was not their highest!!)

    If you are confident that you know what is your highest bid  there is nothing to lose by using a sniper, and a chance that you will win the auction at a lower price than by entering your bid directly on ebay.

    I hope that makes sense?



    I was recently introduced to Gixen by one of Paul’s blogs on buying tools on eBay.  I’ve used it very successfully on three occasions so far.  Was a little bit nervous about handing over my eBay credentials, but there doesn’t seem to have been an issue.

    I’ve also used the principle that people’s maximum bid is likely to be a round number e.g. £20, so I’ve made my Gixen max bid £21.  On each occasion I’ve won with e.g. £20.50 i.e. a tad over the round number.  Maybe it’s a complete coincidence, but it seems to have worked.

    I’m with Dewi though on the ‘being objective’ front.  You also really need to take postage into account, as it’s all too easy to overlook this (as I’ve done to my cost).

    Happy hunting.


    Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire


    I tried it out.  I wasn’t “getting it” when Dewi was explaining how the highest bid thing worked.  (Sorry Dewi, not your fault, I’m a little hard headed! (:  )   He was emphasizing that no one could see your highest bid when using Gixen.

    That’s also true when you enter your bid directly into ebay and use the highest bid feature there.  But, when you enter the bid directly on the ebay site, you’re posting a bid right at that same moment — one that’s just a bit higher than the current bid.  This causes the price to rise and, you are helping yourself to a higher price.  🙂

    With Gixen, your bid is not posted until the end of the auction and, hopefully, the price won’t go higher between now and then.  So, that’s what I understand about it as of now.  I think there is still more to learn about it though.

    I won a saw with it.  It’s supposed to be a Disston Back Saw, it has Disston saw nuts but no markings on the blade.  We’ll see.

    I paid more than what I wanted to (46.50 with shipping) because I’ve given up trying to find the good saws for $5 to $10 bucks.  🙂  Those days must be long gone.  Or, maybe I just don’t have the patients.  I just want to get going on the woodworking!  I’ll keep watching for them but, in the mean time, at least I’ll have something to work with.

    I also bought a Craftsman Back Saw for $10 (plus shipping).  This is going to be the saw I practice my newly found sharpening techniques on.  🙂  Maybe I should’ve bought one from the home center for that purpose.  *shrug*


    Texas, USA

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