Friday, January 3, 2014

eBay Game Sniper: Tips and Success Stories

Last week we publicly launched our eBay Game Sniper tool but I have been using it during testing for the last four months. Here are some tips and success stories I have had during that time.

About the Tool: The eBay Game Sniper shows you newly listed games on eBay with fixed prices below their market values. It lets you know about these deals less than 2 minutes after being posted. So you can buy it before others see the deal.

Success Stories with Sniper

Using the tool during the last four months I've purchased 157 auctions at a cost of $4,190 but a value of $6,962. That saved me $2,772 or 40%. Below are some of my favorite deals.

All three Panzer Dragoon games for Sega Saturn. Complete in box and mint condition for $260.

Complete in box Popful Mail for Sega CD. The scratches were very easy to remove and now it is mint.

Earthbound for $110

Tips for Getting Deals with Sniper

Log into eBay First: The best deals are bought very quickly. To increase your odds of winning make sure you are logged into eBay before sniping. Logging into eBay takes me 17 seconds. During this time someone else will have already won.

Streamline Payment: Some listings let you "commit to buy", which lets you win the listing before paying. But many listings will require payment first. Make sure your default shipping address is correct and you select "Yes, streamline my future purchases". This saves steps and valuable time during payment.

Don't Get Sloppy: You need to be fast to win the best deals, but don't try to be so fast that you fail to read the auction title or look at the photo. These are examples of common types of mislisted items:
  • "Earthbound for Super Nintendo SNES (1995) Manual" - not selling the game just the manual
  • "Suikoden II Playstation (1999)" - photo shows the case & manual only, but game not included
  • "Tetris for NES" - listed it with Little Samson details so our value is for a different game
Don't Get Frustrated: Even following these tips you will not snipe every deal. I won 157 auctions, but I failed to win at least three times that. Forget about it and be ready for the next one.

Your Success Stories

Use the eBay Game Sniper and follow these tips. Then share your success stories below. I would love to hear about the deals you found.


mndrix said...

Those are some great deals. This is going to be a fun tool to play around with.

Salmononius2 said...

Thanks for this amazing tool. I've already gotten a few good deals from this. My personal favorite: Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn for $20 including shipping. Unfortunately, I was too slow to miss Fire Emblem Path of Radiance for $15 the next day :)

There were a few things that I missed by 'that much' (such as a $15 CIB Pokémon Platinum just moments ago), and others that were great deals that I could have gotten, but just didn't feel like getting it.

There's just one more bit of advice that I would like to add to your list, building off your 'Don't Get Sloppy'. I always make sure to check the shipping also. I've seen items with savings of under $10 have shipping of over $8 on it.

It's been a fun week since you've published this tool :)


Unknown said...

I love the new tool and since you posted it i have gotten a few amazing deals but 10 of the last 10 good deals on mario and zelda games were already won as soon as they popped up on my feed. Can anyone tell me how to be faster?

Aaron (NintendoTwizer) said...

Looks neat but how to I add games that I'd like it to search for?

JJ Hendricks said...

@aaron - Thanks for the feedback. We do not have a way to see only specific games. We do have plans to filter by console.

We don't plan to have specific games because great deals with this tool because the deals for any specific game are few and far between.

Anonymous said...

You need to filter by console,list price for item first and INCLUDE ANY SHIPPING FEES IN PRICE OR it is not accurate.

PBR Light said...

I encountered the same issue as Corbin above. I went directly to the ebay page following my desktop notification but the item was already sold. This has happened a few times. Is there another tool out there that does the same thing that is getting the scoop on this snipe tool? Alternatively, is their a web browser on which this snipe tool works best? Maybe chrome is slower for notifications

JJ Hendricks said...

@PBR_Light - eBay updates their API every 2 minutes with new listings. We check eBay every minute. Once we find it, we instantly post it to the tool.

The longest time between an item being listed and us notifying you is 3 minutes and the shortest is probably near 10 seconds.

We cannot speed up the 2 minute API update schedule because that is part of eBay. We will look into changing the 1 minute frequency on our part.

There are no other public tools I am aware of that offer this same capability. Someone else might have one for their private use.

During peak times the Snipe tool has 70 users. So any deal that pops up will have 70 people competing to get it the fastest. Any one user will have a low win % during peak times.

You could try to use it during off-peak times. No one browser should be faster than another as far as we can tell.

Port said...

Wow. That's freakin' awesome. I could watch this all day.

PBR Light said...

Appreciate the response. What are the "non-peak" times? I'm usually on in the morning or early afternoon eastern time. I'm guessing those are close to it, although the afternoon tends to be a bit more competitive

JJ Hendricks said...

@PBR_Light - Non-peak times on our site are between Midnight and 10am Eastern Time. These will probably be the slowest times for new listings to show up but you should have better odds of winning what does show up.

The busiest times are between noon and 8pm Eastern.

Adam484 said...

I just started using it and it looks awesome. Fantastic idea.

Unknown said...

In the last two weeks i have sniped about 70 games and my best times are between 10 am and 2 pm and sometimes before 10 am. However between 7-11 pm its almost impossible to snipe a really good deal because they are always gone incredibly fast. And he is right about after midnight but i watched it a few times until about 3 am and maybe 10-20 games popped up per night. This is hands down my favorite app of all time

Isaac said...

Hello.. I tried Segbay for eBay bid sniping. Esay to use and available with android and iPhone Apps.
Dont be worried for your eBay bid alerts. Segbay will help you out.

NewYears1978 said...

How do you use the tool..I don't see any games listed on that page but the sample one?

JJ Hendricks said...

@newyears1978 - You need to wait until new items are listed on ebay that match your criteria. The tool updates automatically when a new listing is found.

To speed up the time, use the tool during the middle of the day (not at night) and don't restrict the data at all by console.

Anonymous said...

Hey JJ,

I am a bit confused about how to use the tool as well. I've attempted to use it over the last 3 days and it only ever shows "Sample Game" with the sample links and values. I've attempted altering all the search criteria as well, but it doesn't seem to do anything.

Other details:
- Says I am connected
- Items update when I change the search parameters, but nothing shows up in the product list.
- I've tried enabling desktop notifications, but have yet to receive a notification.

It seems as though the tool isn't working. Any thoughts?

JJ Hendricks said...

@anonymous - Fewer listings are qualifying as "good deals" with the tool because of some changes eBay made.

You will still see auctions with the tool and some "Buy It Now" listings. But the number of BIN listings is much lower than it was several weeks ago.

We recommend users enable auction listings when using the tool.

iamMusicman said...

I was able to get Earthbound for $118 last week :) also Final Fight Guy for 24 bucks 1 month ago. Persistence is key on eBay!

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