Auction Sniper

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by EP, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. EP

    EP Guest

    Hi,

    I've been tasked by the wife to bid on various items on eBay for the
    kids for Christmas. I'm getting a bit fed up sitting waiting for the
    last 15 seconds of the auction and so I'm contemplating whether I can
    rig up a very simple Perl sniper that allows me to bid on items at the
    last moment. I'm interested as much in the challenge of getting the
    code to work as in freeing myself from my computer on Sunday
    afternoons.

    Before I start writing the code I am wondering if this is actually
    possible or if eBay has set up anti-sniper mechanisms to make it
    impossible. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, discussion on the
    web about such a sniper. On the other hand there are lots of commerical
    sniper products out there which seems to indicate that it is possible.

    I would be interested in knowing if anybody done this successfully for
    themselves or knows or any resources that I can study.

    If I get it working then I'll post the code here for general use.

    I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions.

    Regards

    EP
    EP, Nov 7, 2005
    #1
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  2. EP

    Anno Siegel Guest

    EP <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I've been tasked by the wife to bid on various items on eBay for the
    > kids for Christmas. I'm getting a bit fed up sitting waiting for the
    > last 15 seconds of the auction and so I'm contemplating whether I can
    > rig up a very simple Perl sniper that allows me to bid on items at the
    > last moment. I'm interested as much in the challenge of getting the
    > code to work as in freeing myself from my computer on Sunday
    > afternoons.
    >
    > Before I start writing the code I am wondering if this is actually
    > possible or if eBay has set up anti-sniper mechanisms to make it
    > impossible. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, discussion on the
    > web about such a sniper. On the other hand there are lots of commerical
    > sniper products out there which seems to indicate that it is possible.


    Why are you asking a Perl group about eBay's access policy? We can
    help you with Perl code. Preliminary feasibility studies are another
    matter.

    Anno
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    Anno Siegel, Nov 7, 2005
    #2
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  3. EP

    Guest

    First of all you should understand that there is no such thing as
    'sniping'.

    If you read the descriptions on E-Bays web sight about how to use the
    Maximum Bid functionality, you would quickly see that all any sniping
    program does is make you think you are getting a better deal that just
    placing a Bid along with a Maximum Bid. The Sniping program can only
    work if it exceeds the current high bidders Max bid. If you place a
    Max Bid, that means that is the MOST you are willing to pay for that
    item. Not ALMOST The MOST, but THE MOST.
    , Nov 7, 2005
    #3
  4. EP

    EP Guest

    Anno,

    Because I would write the code in Perl and I guess if anybody has
    approached this task it is likely that they would have done so in Perl
    using, for example, LWP.

    EP
    EP, Nov 7, 2005
    #4
  5. EP

    EP Guest

    Obviously.
    EP, Nov 7, 2005
    #5
  6. EP

    Anno Siegel Guest

    EP <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:

    [no attribution, no context]

    Usenet needs a better kindergarten more than ever. Instead, we get
    "Google Groups" herding them in a clueless as they come.

    > Anno,
    >
    > Because I would write the code in Perl and I guess if anybody has
    > approached this task it is likely that they would have done so in Perl
    > using, for example, LWP.


    So something is on topic on clpm because someone is likely to have written
    a Perl program that deals with it? Think again.

    Anno
    --
    If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
    the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
    "show options" at the top of the article, then click on the
    "Reply" at the bottom of the article headers.
    Anno Siegel, Nov 7, 2005
    #6
  7. EP

    Guest

    >>[no attribution, no context]

    What is that ?

    >>Usenet needs a better kindergarten more than ever. Instead, we get
    >>"Google Groups" herding them in a clueless as they come.


    I thought the point of Usenet was to help people, not to 'snipe' at
    them (excuse the unintentional pun) because they don't yet know the
    arcana that appear to be so anal about.

    >>So something is on topic on clpm because someone is likely to have written
    >>a Perl program that deals with it? Think again.


    comp.lang.perl.misc -> Group description: The Perl language in general.
    'In general' is a pretty vague term, presumably on purpose. So, what
    exactly is your complaint ?
    At least he didn't post it in comp.lang.vb; then I might possibly have
    sided with you.
    , Nov 7, 2005
    #7
  8. A. Sinan Unur, Nov 7, 2005
    #8
  9. EP

    Anno Siegel Guest

    <> wrote in comp.lang.perl.misc:
    > >>[no attribution, no context]

    >
    > What is that ?
    >
    > >>Usenet needs a better kindergarten more than ever. Instead, we get
    > >>"Google Groups" herding them in a clueless as they come.

    >
    > I thought the point of Usenet was to help people, not to 'snipe' at
    > them (excuse the unintentional pun) because they don't yet know the
    > arcana that appear to be so anal about.


    Anal or not, that is no sentence.

    The purpose of Usenet groups is *not* to help other people but to discuss
    certain topics. On some groups, clpm included, that results in a lot
    of technical questions being asked and answered, on other groups it
    doesn't. In no case does it make the group a cost-free help desk.

    > >>So something is on topic on clpm because someone is likely to have written
    > >>a Perl program that deals with it? Think again.

    >
    > comp.lang.perl.misc -> Group description: The Perl language in general.
    > 'In general' is a pretty vague term, presumably on purpose. So, what
    > exactly is your complaint ?


    "The *Perl language* in general". Not vague at all.

    My complaint is that the question whether eBay allows certain types of
    access to their site is off topic in clpm. Understand now?

    > At least he didn't post it in comp.lang.vb; then I might possibly have
    > sided with you.


    How would that make a difference?

    Anno
    --
    If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
    the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
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    Anno Siegel, Nov 7, 2005
    #9
  10. EP

    EP Guest

    People,

    This is just silly:

    >>Usenet needs a better kindergarten more than ever. Instead, we get
    > >"Google Groups" herding them in a clueless as they come.


    I have better things to do with my time than read this stuff.

    Lets just close the subject. Anno can then go back to shouting at
    waitresses and kicking cats. I'm not reading any more of it.

    EP
    EP, Nov 7, 2005
    #10

  11. > I've been tasked by the wife to bid on various items on eBay for the
    > kids for Christmas. I'm getting a bit fed up sitting waiting for the
    > last 15 seconds of the auction and so I'm contemplating whether I can
    > rig up a very simple Perl sniper that allows me to bid on items at the
    > last moment. I'm interested as much in the challenge of getting the
    > code to work as in freeing myself from my computer on Sunday
    > afternoons.



    In addition to what has already been said ....if you could be bothered to
    google for 10 seconds you'll find that there are already plenty of sites out
    there which already offer this service.

    Reinventing the wheel ?
    Julia De Silva, Nov 7, 2005
    #11
  12. EP

    Guest

    wrote:
    > First of all you should understand that there is no such thing as
    > 'sniping'.


    > If you read the descriptions on E-Bays web sight about how to use the
    > Maximum Bid functionality


    Sniping exists and is effective because a significant % of bidders
    don't understand the Maximum Bid functionality, and only bid enough to
    take the lead.

    But that has nothing to do with PERL.
    , Nov 7, 2005
    #12
  13. EP

    Guest

    wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > First of all you should understand that there is no such thing as
    > > 'sniping'.

    >
    > > If you read the descriptions on E-Bays web sight about how to use the
    > > Maximum Bid functionality

    >
    > Sniping exists and is effective because a significant % of bidders
    > don't understand the Maximum Bid functionality, and only bid enough to
    > take the lead.
    >


    Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    functionality.
    Snipping cannot beat a Maximum bid, without exceeding the maximum bid.


    > But that has nothing to do with PERL.


    Correct
    , Nov 8, 2005
    #13
  14. EP

    Guest

    wrote:
    > Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    > functionality.


    Sniping wouldn't save you money if EVERYONE understood how to use the
    maximum functionality. Since they like to bid incrementally, sniping is
    an effective strategy. BTW, there are other reasons for bidding late
    that have nothing to do with beating incremental bidders.

    > Snipping cannot beat a Maximum bid, without exceeding the maximum bid.


    Naturally, but as already stated, many people don't use a Maximum Bid.
    They expect to have one more chance to bid reactively. Sniping
    eliminates this opportunity.
    , Nov 8, 2005
    #14
  15. EP

    Smitty Guest

    wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    > > functionality.

    >
    > Sniping wouldn't save you money if EVERYONE understood how to use the
    > maximum functionality. Since they like to bid incrementally, sniping is
    > an effective strategy. BTW, there are other reasons for bidding late
    > that have nothing to do with beating incremental bidders.
    >


    The FACT that you understand the maximum bid functionality means that
    sniping can't do anything for you.


    > > Snipping cannot beat a Maximum bid, without exceeding the maximum bid.

    >
    > Naturally, but as already stated, many people don't use a Maximum Bid.
    > They expect to have one more chance to bid reactively. Sniping
    > eliminates this opportunity.


    So does maximum bid - which has the added advantage of always beating
    sniping - you understand maximum bid, so why use sniping ?
    Smitty, Nov 9, 2005
    #15
  16. EP

    Guest

    Smitty wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > wrote:
    > > > Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    > > > functionality.

    > >
    > > Sniping wouldn't save you money if EVERYONE understood how to use the
    > > maximum functionality. Since they like to bid incrementally, sniping is
    > > an effective strategy. BTW, there are other reasons for bidding late
    > > that have nothing to do with beating incremental bidders.
    > >

    >
    > The FACT that you understand the maximum bid functionality means that
    > sniping can't do anything for you.
    >
    >
    > > > Snipping cannot beat a Maximum bid, without exceeding the maximum bid.

    > >
    > > Naturally, but as already stated, many people don't use a Maximum Bid.
    > > They expect to have one more chance to bid reactively. Sniping
    > > eliminates this opportunity.

    >
    > So does maximum bid - which has the added advantage of always beating
    > sniping - you understand maximum bid, so why use sniping ?


    While not saying that your argument is a straw man (because it is not),
    it is a lot like the straw man argument about term limits "if you don't
    like who you have in office, stop voting for him/her". It isn't that I
    don't like who I have in office, I may not like who somebody else has
    in office whom I cannot vote out due to voting districts, other states,
    etc.

    I find that many times people who seem to understand the Max Bid
    process nevertheless decide (when outbid) that what they thought was
    their Max Bid could be bumped up by a buck or two if failure to do so
    meant that somebody else got the item for just a dollar more than their
    max. I might even be guilty of it myself (I just can't stand the
    thought that for a single dollar more, I could have had the item).

    There is a tendency for such people to just keep bidding up by a buck
    until they realize that my Max is well above theirs. If you have a
    couple of those people bidding for an item you want, this is bad news
    because while my Max Bid may be the most I am willing to pay, it does
    not mean that I don't want to pay much less if I could avoid giving
    such people a chance to make multiple last-minute bids.

    THAT is why there are snipers. They understand Max Bid. They also
    understand that what many people thought was their Max really wasn't if
    a buck or two more would win the bid. They snipe at the last minute to
    pre-empt the chain-reaction last-minute bids that often take place on
    eBay in the hope of not having to pay their Max Bid, just more than the
    other guy's Max Bid.
    , Nov 9, 2005
    #16
  17. EP

    Guest

    Smitty wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > wrote:
    > > > Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    > > > functionality.

    > >
    > > Sniping wouldn't save you money if EVERYONE understood how to use the
    > > maximum functionality. Since they like to bid incrementally, sniping is
    > > an effective strategy. BTW, there are other reasons for bidding late
    > > that have nothing to do with beating incremental bidders.
    > >

    >
    > The FACT that you understand the maximum bid functionality means that
    > sniping can't do anything for you.


    Maybe I need to use smaller words. Many people bid in tiny increments,
    stopping when they get the lead, and bid again only if outbid. If I bid
    my Max Bid at the last second (i.e. a snipe), that prevents them from
    bidding again. They don't get the chance to offer their Max Bid. This
    saves me money. The fact that I understand how to bid doesn't change
    their knowledge or behavior.

    > > > Snipping cannot beat a Maximum bid, without exceeding the maximum bid.

    > >
    > > Naturally, but as already stated, many people don't use a Maximum Bid.
    > > They expect to have one more chance to bid reactively. Sniping
    > > eliminates this opportunity.

    >
    > So does maximum bid - which has the added advantage of always beating
    > sniping - you understand maximum bid, so why use sniping ?


    Placing your Maximum Bid early in the auction does NOT prevent reactive
    bidders from re-bidding. I don't know where you got the idea that it
    does. Bidding my max early not only allows these "nibblers" to raise
    the amount I'll pay even if I do win, but it gives them a chance to
    convince themselves that they should overpay for the item, so I may
    lose even though a snipe bid would have made me the winner.

    Bidding any time before the last 20 seconds is just stupid, unless
    you're killing a Buy-It-Now.
    , Nov 9, 2005
    #17
  18. EP

    Guest

    "Smitty" <> wrote:
    > wrote:
    > > wrote:
    > > > Snipping is senseless if you understand how to use the maximum
    > > > functionality.

    > >
    > > Sniping wouldn't save you money if EVERYONE understood how to use the
    > > maximum functionality. Since they like to bid incrementally, sniping is
    > > an effective strategy. BTW, there are other reasons for bidding late
    > > that have nothing to do with beating incremental bidders.
    > >

    >
    > The FACT that you understand the maximum bid functionality means that
    > sniping can't do anything for you.


    To keep this on topic, would you care to write a Perl simulation proving
    this point?

    Xho

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    , Nov 9, 2005
    #18
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