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No...eBay is not Cracking Down on Sniping

posted: Sep 29 2016

This summer of 2016, a popular ecommerce newsletter that we like published an article that eBay was blocking snipe bids. Users everywhere asked, "Is eBay blocking all sniping services or just (our competitor)?"

Four months later, we still get emails asking about this, so we thought we'd author a short post explaining what really happened, and why we were not affected.

A few years ago, there was a similar uproar when eBay started adding Captcha to random logins. But it was not really random. It was happening for weak passwords used at an IP address other than your own computer.

And the most recent change this summer appears to have been that they were now adding Captcha after a few failed login attempts. (The only thing that can get past a Captcha box is a human being.)

So back to the question, why was the competitor affected and not us? The reason is because any sniping service not looking for that situation will become blocked from eBay, on a per-customer basis. Then, finally, after enough of those blocks, a permanent ban occurs.

We think that's what happened with the competitor. A refactoring of their legacy software code may have been required, and we happen to know that they had purchased their software on eBay years ago from a third party. So they may have had a learning curve. And the problem went on long enough, perhaps a couple days or more, and eBay blocked the competitor entirely.

We don't envy that situation, as for emergencies, snipe services are generally on their own. Maintaining a sniping service is a lot like sleeping under the Sword of Damocles. We have to be on the alert at all times!

The short version: we doubt that eBay is going to crack down on snipers any time soon. If they did, they would lose many power buyers across 20+ countries.

We hope this article helped you gain an understanding of why we have to ask you to verify your credentials periodically. Good luck sniping!


BidSlammer Sniping Service Comments

There's more than one way to get your name in the paper. :)

chiladaz   Sep 29 02:48PM

Wow.. this kind of explains a lot ... I used to use another service that went out of business a few years ago. Why don't they let you use the API?

Bubble07   Oct 01 09:19AM

@chiladaz Haha yes we have all felt the pain at one time or another. @Bubble07 At the moment eBay doesn't condone or deny snipers. I imagine that opening up the API would upset that balance.

bidslammer   Oct 02 08:12PM

Is this why I lost my last bid? can you please check, it was something i really needed

Ysoserius   Oct 02 11:31PM

Hi, no we did not miss any snipes due to Captcha rejections (unless the password itself was incorrect and not updated).

bidslammer   Oct 03 09:49AM

This used to be my backup service, now it's the only one i use. keep up the good work guys!

bikerhawg   Oct 05 12:42PM

[URL removed]

errewdacsdccsevd   Oct 06 07:11PM


tinkertots   Oct 07 07:37AM

@tinker - Yes, you're right. Edit made. Thank you for the suggestion.

bidslammer   Oct 07 09:27AM