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How to find reason for no bid

Posted: May 20 2009 06:01 PM

I had a snipe set long before the close with a value well above the final winning bid. After the close the icon did not change to won or lost. How can I find out why the snipe didn't happen?

The snipe was in username yateshk and the item number ended ...15020.



Posted May 20 2009 06:01 pm by Gu***st


I checked our log files and the snipe was placed correctly. The error returned by eBay was in Spanish, which I am far from fluent, but I can tell you the error had a warning about the sellers DSR (detailed seller ratings).

Sometimes snipes are rejected or blocked because of various reasons. The seller may block the buyer for something simple like no paypal account or they may not ship to the buyers country or location. eBay sometimes throws up a warning about the seller, item recalls, high risk items, and various other situations.

We have discovered over 20 reasons that snipes can fail, even when they are placed correctly. Remember, sniping is just like placing a manual bid. Almost all snipes go through without a problem, but occasionally a situation like this occurs.

Posted May 22 2009 10:01 am by Gu***st

That's interesting, I'd like to see the actual error message in case I'm the problem, I live in Spain & I've not had problems bidding directly on ebay and I have been successful in using bidslammer for articles outside Spain so I'm wondering if this problem only applies to items

Also the seller has a 89.8% positive rating so issues with the vendor would seem unlikely.


Posted May 22 2009 12:52 pm by Gu***st

Laurie translated the eBay error message for us as follows:

"Do you agree with the delivery costs of this article?

Other buyers have scored this seller with low values on the delivery costs"

In this case eBay is requesting that the buyer review the information and decide if they really want to bid on the item. The seller has a DSR (detailed seller rating) of less than 4 for shipping costs. While many buyers may consider 4 out of 5 as perfectly acceptable, eBay considers anything less than 4.7 as a failing score and throws up a warning message.

You can see how this type of warning message causes a problem for eBay sniping services. The bid won't be placed until a decision has been made. I'm sure many of you would want the snipe placed anyway as you have already reviewed the sellers information, but it's not as simple as that. The warning message may be about the sellers DSR, items that eBay considers high risk for scamming, item recalls, a seller requirement of paypal for payment, a seller refusing to ship to the buyers location, and numerous other issues. We have identified over 25 reasons so far and new ones pop up every week.

In order for BidSlammer to actually place the snipe we would have to be able to parse every possible error message in a variety of languages. Then we would have to make a decision on the buyers behalf to place the snipe, if that is an option, which may not be what the buyer wants. To add to the complexity it would all have to happen in the last 5 seconds of the auction.

Whenever a snipe fails we try to parse the error message and let the buyer know why it failed. Sometimes, as in this case, it just isn't possible. We are constantly learning and modifying our programming, but it is an ongoing process to keep up with eBay changes.

Fortunately, issues like this are a very small percentage of the overall snipes we place on eBay. We will continue to improve our programming to better report error messages.

Posted May 23 2009 12:55 pm by Gu***st

4.7 seems rather high to invoke a warning message.

So you are saying that if any of the categories in less than 4.7 then we won't get a bid put in? I just checked & half of the vendors in my watch list have a value less than 4.7, so there's no point in trying with a bid via bidslammer for those?

As far as parsing the error messages, are you saying that ebay don't provide an error number to ease analysis & decision making, just a textual warning? That seems very poor practice for what I thought was a professional organisation.


Posted May 24 2009 12:54 pm by Gu***st


Hey thanks for writing in about this..... Your post here inspired us to write (er, touch up) a blog article on how to bulletproof your snipe account. We'll give you all 20 errors and explain each one.

Back to your question, however: You asked,

As far as parsing the error messages, are you saying that ebay don't provide an error number to ease analysis & decision making, just a textual warning?

Here's the scoop. eBay has this thing called an API (Application Programming Interface). It is for sellers and bidding services, and it lets tens of thousands of services communicate with eBay directly.

However, no one can use the API for sniping. eBay makes users of the API sign a contract that they won't use the API for sniping.

In short, sniping services have to write their own software. That's why all snipe services are all so different -- they all do it their own way. We try to make ours the best by trying to decipher all the possible errors.

Keep an eye on the blog for the "20" article.

Posted May 24 2009 11:55 pm by Gu***st


To answer the other part of your question, a DSR of 4.7 may or may not trigger an eBay warning message when a snipe is placed. eBay does not publish a list of conditions that would trigger a warning, so we just have to rely on past experience from the errors we have seen. The rules may even vary by country.

A low DSR in the shipping charges category is very common. Buyers tend to score the sellers low in that area even if the seller only charges actual shipping costs. To flag a seller and trigger a warning based on shipping charges alone seems unusual to me, and yet it did happen.

Posted May 26 2009 08:08 am by Gu***st

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