Auction Courtesy, Unspoken Rules?

Oct 8, 1998
Tell me about auctions.

What is fair?

What is sniping?

Gentlemens Rules, what are they?

I figure the point of bidding on an auction item is to get a good price. But maybe that is unsportsman like?????

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at If I fail to check back with this thread and you want some info, email me.

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Well, Marion, I do not see it as unsportsman-like conduct. The auction works really well as long as several rules are met:
1) The seller must represent his product exactly as it is, including age, wear, condition, etc.
2) The buyer must not back out when he wins the auction (all too familiar at Ebay).
3) The seller should not engage in practices of bidding to raise the rpice on his item for more monetary gain.
If these simple rules are followed, then the seller generally ends up with more money than he expected, and the buyer is buying what he wants for the price he is willing to pay. If a person is willing to pay me twice the amount something is worth, then so be it. That's the nature of the auction!

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As I see it there can be deals found but alot of the stuff sells for more than at a good dealer. I got up the other morning to check on an item and placed a bid about 5 minutes before close. I placed a limit on the bid and won after about $20 more. Then about a minute before close a new bidder outbid me. Doh! Maybe I will follow that strategy next time. The buyer still got a good deal (292 for a large & small corby cobra set) but I felt kinda aced. Of course I didn't know what kind of limit he had set. And then I just bought a toplock for $48 but it turned out to be a manual. I thought I got a good deal on a convert. It was my fault because it said "Automatic: No" but it was in the automatica category. That will teach me to read the fine print!

Having a bad auction week.
The term "sniping" has come to mean waiting until the last minute or two of the auction to enter one's bid so that any other bidders will not have time to enter a counter bid.

It's a not a new practice. At "Real" auctions, it is not unusual for a bidder to lay in waiting and raise the bid at the last minute. "Going once... Going twice... Ah, New bidder in the back..." In this case, it's a mental game. In the on-line auction, it's simply taking advantage of the rules.

Some online auctions have changed those rules by automatically extending an auction if a new bid arrives in the last few minutes.

Sniping hurts the seller because another bidder may have been willing to go higher. The artificial time limit cut off the bidding before it was concluded. He might have gotten a higher price had the auction proceeded more like a traditional auction. But, the seller knew how the online auction worked when he entered his item and he agreed to this procedure.

On the other hand, most online auctions have an "automatic bid" feature where bidders enter the maximum they'd pay for the item and the computer will automatically raise the bidder's bid as necessary to keep him the high bidder until that limit is reached. So, if you entered the maximum you'd really pay for that item, then it doesn't matter if you're outbid the first day or the last minute, does it?

Having email that works is a good rule of thumb as well.

Take for example your account that you are using on this profile.

Apparently it's full, and it's bouncing back mail sent to it, in this case coming back to us. It's really bad form to do something where you request to be contacted, and then have your email box full so that you can't be contacted.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here
I agree with Chuck... Max Bid says it all. Even if there are snipers lurking around, if you did the right thing and set your maximum bid which you're willing to pay for the item, it doesn't really matter if they try to snipe you or not. If they're willing to bid higher than your max bid, even for just a few dollars, then they deserve the win. Of course, it looks a little unethical to snipe, but I guess that's how the cookie crumbles, so to speak.

I've been sniped out of a sure win plenty of times, and I concede, though I felt lousy because I figured I could still try and outbid the sniper if given the chance, specially if the difference isn't too big, and I'm still willing to give it another shot.

Just my .02 worth... not even enough to buy me candy.

That is why the BF Auctions are cool. They have a bid extension feature that keeps snipers at bay. It extendes the auction five minutes after the last bid. Very nice.
Well said Chuck and Dan. I am glad there wasn't an extension though. There is a difference between a well thought out limit and getting caught up in the action and paying more than you really wanted to.

As a bargain seeking buyer I don't like the time extension feature. If people carefully evaluate the value of an item and set their maximum bids the feature does nothing. The only time the feature changes things is when buyers get into a competitive bidding frenzy. There are many people who are mindlessly competitive. In the last few minutes if they are outbid reason goes out the window and they repeatedly counter bid the price up. In the end they will pay much more than if they picked their price outside of the competitive auction closing minutes. That is the reason I always snipe in the last 20 seconds of an ebay auction. I've made up my mind what the item is worth and I don't want my bid to stimulate some other guy's competitive streak to cost one of us a lot more money.

It may seem to the seller's advantage to encourage this emotional bidding, but I don't think it's wise in the long run. I think that many of the more "emotional" bidders will have second thoughts and not complete their purchases. I also think that it will leave bad tastes in buyers' mouths if they find themselves repeatedly making unwise deals. They will go elsewhere or get out of auctions all together.
Hi All,
I guess I'm too old to get on the E-BAY band wagon. An Auction should be an auction be it a physical or electronic affair. These social silent auctions are not auctions either.
All this semantics business IS important, because our language is being so degraded now that we are in danger of another "Babel". An Auction should mean an "Auction", if not call it something else.
Happy Trails,
Auctions?! You guys buy knives there?! One thing I have noticed about Ebay - you can get sniped/out bid with a second left. Bladeauctions has a feature where it gives the person who first bid on the item president (however you spell it): in the last moments the initial bidder can bid the top bid amount and win the item

I agree that you need to set a dollar amount and the auto bid feature is both good and bad. I don't always have time to watch the minutes tick away and bid at the last second. If your pc stuff is old and your ISP isn't reliable, then you are I am surprised what some people will pay for an can become a head game, or macho thing for sure.

Rules and ethics don't seem to exist in the on line auctions. I like the guys who bid on the entire amount of say 113 pairs of sneakers at the lowest bid and in the end sometimes the person can get a good buy, but I LMAO when they get stuck with 113 pairs of

I haven't tried bidding yet on BF auctions, but I did register
. Bottom line: on line auctions ARE addicting, like using the internet
In auctions it's every man for himself and devil take the hindmost. There are a variety of ways ( using starting points and reserves ) that sellers can get what they absolutely have to get out of something. For buyers, well, the it's NEAT, I GOTTA have it, factor must be restrained.

Sniping is NOT bad, it requires some serious discipline to be there at the very end (sometimes in the middle of the night) and hold fire until the last few seconds. Given eBay's problems I've missed a few because of them after waiting patiently for a week and not being able to hook up.

I've gotten caught up in the competitive part a couple of times but then thru the wonder of email got to know some of my competition and things smoothed out pretty well after that.If you have access to the other bidder's email address you can often just ask what they plan to go and save everyone a lot of grief - this doesn't preclude being sniped but you make some friends and have some fun in the process.

Example: I was bidding on various Marble Ideals on eBay and there was another guy who seemed to bid everything I did - we wrote back and forth, found out what we were both up to and wound up helping each other fillin some of the gaps in our collections.

I guess the 5 minute after a bid rule is ok for sellers but I personally think a strict time limit should be set and adhered to.
The "sniper protection" is variable, but for the auctions, it's set to 5 minutes.

I coded in a feature so that the current server time is displayed on every single page when it's displayed, so you know exactly how long you have left to bid.

Other than that, it's your option: you snooze, you lose!

Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here
As a long time user of the auction sites, I think the five minute delay from last bid is an excellent feature. Sniping hurts both buyers and sellers, and I know, I've been on both ends. This is one of the best features on the Blade Forums site and i appreciate Spark utilizing it!

Thanks Guys,

"May you live in interesting times"

AKTI - A000389
I wasn't aware of the 5 minute overtime on the new auction. I guess many of us will put it to test in the future. I have been the sniper and the snipee on ebay. Win some, lose some. The only time I was upset was when a dealer sniped me with a few seconds left by $1.00. This dealer will mark up that same knife by $50-$60 on his web page and it will eventually sell. I know, it's a free world and this is the enterprise system at work, but it still kind of hacked me off. Had it been a fellow collector I would'nt have minded as much.

Just my 2 P's worth.