John, David et al,
Initially I was resistant to a web-based service, so I used Final Bid when I was on a Windows platform. Cost was $40 initially, plus additional fees for updates. It would frequently fail to place a bid for no apparent reason and ever so often fail to record an auction I actually won as a victory. I never felt confident that I could go to bed and that program would function in my stead.
When I moved to an OS-X platform last month, the only resident software I found charges a $49 annual fee and was widely reported to be unreliable. I signed up with eSnipe. You pay only for those auctions you win. Fees are based on the final auction price and are 25¢ for up to $24.99, 1% of the final price from $25 to $1000 and a flat $10 for $1000.01 and up. Auctions in other currencies carry a flat rate of $1.00. So far, eSnipe has been 100% reliable and sweat-free to use.
I realize open source software doesn't carry any of these costs, but then open source has its own set of baggage. I'm not interested in becoming a computer programmer/debugger just to bid on eBay. (Not against open source per se, I use NeoOffice on the Mac. It's just that I view the ability to computerize my bidding process as a convenience, not a task. :-) )
I tend to be a "binge" eBayer, spending a couple of months at a time tracking and bidding and then I might not return to eBay actively for another six to eight months. If I stay at it long enough, the cost of eSnipe will eventually exceed the $49/year fee (or the $40 plus the updates for the Windows-based program), but it will take awhile. When I add in the reliability issues and that I actually get to go to bed confident my bid will be placed, it's a no-brainer.
Phil Sieg Knoxville, Tennessee USA
John Thompson wrote:
> David Toppin wrote:
>> It depends on what software you use. Esnipe is web based, but they cahrge a
>> transaction fee and or a percentage. I use one that is on my local
>> computer. I think the web based ones are more reliable, but way more
> I also use one based on my computer (eBayAgent -- an open source perl
> script). I suppose the advantage of using a commercial sniping program
> is that they presumably have paid eBay for access to the bidding APIs,
> whereas the perl script I use needs to reverse-engineer the changes when
> they happen.