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June 27th, 2008

Worse Than eBay Sniping

We all know how hard it can be to win a popular item on eBay when everyone else in the auction is using some automated tool to place a bid with 2 seconds left in the auction. Well, I think I’ve found something worse.

Our local library.

See, our local library has these great music classes for kids. They’re free and are highly regarded. So highly regarded that getting a spot in one of them is more difficult than winning an eBay auction for a mint condition Dawn of the Dead board game. My wife’s tried unsuccessfully half a dozen times to get our daughter signed up and simply hasn’t been able to. Within minutes of the registration opening, not only have all 20 spots been taken, but the 20 spots on the waiting list have also been taken.

Today, she was ready. She had four browser windows open, refreshing constantly. At 10:00am, the registration page popped up, 15 spots showed as available, and she very quickly filled out the form and clicked “submit.” The class was filled. It was now 10:01am. At the exact same time she was calling them on the phone to try and register (or get on the waiting list) that way. No luck.

My wife concluded that the people registering for this class are all people with three letter first names and last names. Since I doubt anyone’s developed a script to pre-fill the form at the exact right time, she may be right.

Posted in Just Plain Odd

Paul June 27, 2008, 8:23 pm

Sounds like they’re pulling a TicketMaster and making only a couple of seats truly available.

free eBay sniper June 28, 2008, 7:10 am

“Well, I think I’ve found something worse.”

I don’t understand why so many people borderline hate eBay sniping.

Sniping is not magic. Regardless of when you bid, you still have to have the highest bid to win – a sniper or not.

“We all know how hard it can be to win a popular item on eBay when everyone else in the auction is using some automated tool to place a bid with 2 seconds left in the auction.”

If you feel that sniping gives an advantage to a bidder, why not fight fire with fire and use an automated sniping service yourself. There is nothing unethical about it, you’re placing a bid on an auction item just like everyone else, it’s just that your bid will be placed late in the auction.

Hidbid.com is a free eBay sniping service that you may want to try, but there are others out there.

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