#932 ✓closed

Can you make buy groups that squat instead of sniping?

Reported by homunq | October 8th, 2009 @ 11:56 AM | in 2.1 Release

I prefer not to snipe, yet Ebay lacks the ability to multi-bid, that is to place proxies on multiple items yet be assured of winning no more than one of them. The strategy is simple: state maximum bids for a group of items; then, while you haven't won an item yet (and there are still items in the set), place a maximum proxy bid on the one ending first and wait until it ends.

An (optional) extra complication would be to place "placeholder" bids. If my maximum bid on an item is m(i), the shipping and handling is s(i), and i goes from 1 to n (that is, the number of items in my set), then my placeholder bid would be ((m(i) + s(i))/n)-s(i). (This increases each time an auction closes and n decreases). (I understand that placing successive placeholder bids in this manner will leak information, but I don't care.) Of course, I could end up winning multiple copies of an item, but only if they are going for a fraction of my maximum bid - in practice, this is unlikely.

These placeholder bids would have the effect of discouraging competition and even, to a small extent, even interest from snipers.

I would have used your software, with a sniping interval of 3 days, but luckily I noticed your warning about two auctions which ended within the sniping interval of each other. Programming this feature (without placeholder bids) would, therefore, kill two birds with one stone. It would make multi-snipes safer (they would not bid on item B until item A had finished), and it would make me happy. Then I'd just use a sniping interval of days or weeks, I wouldn't even need a labeled option for using it this way.

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