Ways online auctions can prevent sniping

Ways Online Auctions Can Prevent Sniping

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What are the ways that can help you prevent auction sniping in online auctions?

  1. Use the terms and conditions
  2. Candle auctions
  3. Overtime bidding
  4. Reserve prices


There’s nothing quite like seeing an auction in the Philippines go smoothly. For sellers, they want to sell their items at a fairly high price. For most buyers, however, all they want is to get items at the cheapest price possible—sometimes even resorting to auction sniping.

When it comes to online auctions, sniping can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great for buyers particularly for those bargain hunters that want to get everything at the lowest possible price.

The problem is that auction sniping can be done in almost every auction—be it manual or automated. Sniping often results in items being bought at a radically lower price—making it a huge problem for many internet auctions.

That being said, there are ways to prevent it from happening—and if you want your auction to be as fair as possible, here are a few ways in which you can prevent auction sniping from happening.


Use the Terms and Conditions

Use the terms and conditions

The most obvious way to discourage and outright prevent auction sniping from happening is to state within the terms and conditions that sniping or any other forms of last-minute bidding is not acceptable. You can add additional statements such as “all bidders suspected of being snipers will be blocked” and such.

This will then give you the authority to remove any bids done in the last minute. So, you won’t have to worry about any kind of auction sniping anymore!


Candle Auctions

One of the older forms of auctioning has recently climbed up in popularity over the years—particularly when it comes to internet auctions.

These kinds of auctions work like this. At the beginning of an auction, a candle is lit. When that candle’s light sniffs out, that signals the end of the auction.

This can effectively prevent auction sniping because participants of online auctions don’t know when the candle will lose its flame—meaning they won’t know when the last minute to bid is.

Aside from that, it also encourages bidders to make serious bids right from the start of the auction—creating a more competitive and lively bidding session.

Nowadays, you can still go with the traditional candle auction, but there are some modern-day variations of it. Your computer can select a random number for the time of the auction. Again, since snipers have no idea when the auction ends, it’s practically impossible for them to enter a bid at the last moment.


Overtime Bidding

Overtime Bidding

The main problem with auction snipping is the fact that it’s done at the last minute. When there are literally moments left in an auction, other bidders will have a harder time deciding whether they’ll bid more—leading to hesitation, and ultimately, an auction snipe.

It’s all about the time. However, if you extend your auction every time a bid is placed in order for bidders to react properly, the strategy of snipers is effectively nulled.

This strategy is great for creating a fair ground between bidders. In fact, overtime biddings can lead to fierce bidding wars for a sought-after item. Often this will result in the final price going far beyond what the seller expected!

That being said, this will only work if the time extension is indefinite. If it’s not, then auction snippers will still have a way to make the bids at the very final moment.


Reserve Prices

A risky yet, totally acceptable strategy makes use of reserve prices. The reserve price is known as the minimum amount that a seller is willing to accept as the winning bid for their auction. Think of it as a safety net as it will prevent their items from being sold at an extremely low price.

This can greatly discourage auction snipers—particularly those who are known as bargain auction hunters. But another downside to reserve prices is that it can also discourage general bidders from bidding—especially if the reserve price is too high.

If you plan on using reserve prices, it’s important that you choose a price that is acceptable for general bidders and discouraging for snipers. Though it’s not exactly easy to measure it—finding that sweet spot will make this strategy more effective.


Key Takeaway

Many people would consider auction sniping as a form of cheating in the auction world. In online auctions in the Philippines—where there’s no physical way to keep track of the bids, auction snipers are very prominent and out of control. They need to be toned down because when it comes down to it, the best kinds of auctions are those where every bidder is on an equal playing field with one another.