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Why did I lose my auction? My bid was higher.

Did you lose a snipe?
Increase your success rate dramatically by reading this 3-page series.

  1. Read Bulletproof Your Account.
  2. Read this page.
  3. Read the Complete List of Possible Status/Error Messages.

13 Reasons Why You May Have Missed Your Snipe

This page describes the steps that all new snipers (and even experienced ones!) should know intimately. If you execute each of the steps below very carefully, and do not bleep over any steps with assumptions, then your success rate will go up, without question. These are the steps your opponents are taking to ensure their wins. Each condition below, if not met, may decrease the likelihood of a win.

Learn to Snipe Smarter and Win More Auctions

eBay continues to crack down on security and give sellers more and more ways to make block bids, for mutual safety. Sellers can block buyers based on criteria, or eBay can randomly throw up interim pages that require your acceptance. These things defeat sniper programs.

1. Make sure snipe times are listed.

Remember that our job is to place snipes, so the first thing to check is whether or not your snipe actually executed. Just go to your Completed Snipes tab to check to see if the snipes fired, because we list the actual snipe times there. We place 2-3 bids from different locations and so if you see these snipe times fire, it means we got the same result for all of the snipes.

2. Make sure you met eBay’s Minimum Bid Increment.

For a bid to register on eBay, the "minimum bid increment" must be added to the current price.

To avoid misses due to bid increment, make sure to "pad" your bid by as much as $5 to $100! More information is available at our link explaining eBay's minimum bid increment.

3. Check for Proxy Bids by another bidder.

It is possible for snipes to be outbid at the moment they are placed by eBay's proxy bidding system. This is where another bidder placed a high bid, but eBay only raised the current price shown to the minimum amount needed for them to win. This is different than sniping, as explained in the next paragraph.

eBay only displays the minimum price needed to be fair to all buyers. If you bid $1000 on an item with a current price of $500, eBay will show the price to be $500 plus the bid increment, and keep your other $500 secret. If someone else bids $750, then their bid is registered at eBay, and they immediately receive a "you are outbid" message as soon as they click SUBMIT. This is called proxy bidding.

If you are outbid by a Proxy Bid, the error message page looks like this:

4. Ensure three (3) PayPal measures are in place.

Many sellers place a general block on anyone not meeting their requirements. So, there are three account measures you need to make before you snipe:

  1. Link your PayPal account and eBay account.
  2. Confirm your Primary Address at PayPal.
  3. Turn off your PayPal security key.

5. Make sure you did not overbid on a Buy-it-Now auction.

eBay rejects bids for Buy-it-Now auctions when the bid was above or equal to the Buy-It-Now price. If you think about that, it makes sense, because eBay is preventing unnecessary overpayment.

You can still bid on the item, but the item must be converted to an auction before it can be sniped, by placing a manual bid on the auction that is less than the Buy-it-Now price.

6. Make sure the item wasn't ended early, or a Best Offer was accepted by the seller.

The seller may have ended the listed early because the item may no longer be available, there was an error in the auction, or the seller wanted to end the auction and sell to the current highest bidder.

The seller could have accepted a Best Offer which ends the item early.

Also, someone could have just bought the item outright before it ended.

7. Make sure the seller ships to PO Boxes.

Some sellers will not accept bids from buyers using PO Boxes.

8. Check to see if you bought from the seller before.

Some sellers only allow one purchase per customer. This is more common than you may think, and it results in the vague error message below.

Also, sellers can also just outright block you. On a few occasions, we’ve had customers write us with profanity, and then we find, not surprisingly, that their previous sellers blocked them outright.

9. Make sure that your seller ships to your country.

Many foreign sellers do not ship to the US. Please double-check the auction description.

10. Do you have unpaid item strikes?

Many sellers block transactions to buyers with 2 or more unpaid item strike(s).

11. Bidding on tickets, guns, knives, cutlery, or cosmetics?

We cannot accept legal terms on your behalf.

Each of the named situations results in a special authorization to purchase these items from the seller, and produces a dialog requiring you to accept their terms.

Some of them, like cosmetics, require an age disclaimer dialog.

See the next item for examples of some of these error messages.

12. Consumer Recall and Export Restrictions

Accepting export regulations on behalf of someone else is a violation of United States law. Enough said.

To get around this, you have to purchase one of their items manually and accept their terms first with the same eBay ID that you use with our service.

Here are some of the very lengthy messages we encounter:

"It appears this item is restricted for export by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (22 CFR, Parts 120-130) or the Department of Commerce under the Bureau of Industry (BIS) and Security Export Administration Regulations, EAR (15 CFR, Parts 730-774). ITAR restricted items require an export license granted from the DOS Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) prior to export. EAR restricted items may or may not require a license, depending on the end user and the ultimate country of destination."

"Directing the seller to export without complying with the regulatory licensing and documentation requirements is a violation of United States law. Please consult DDTC?S website at and BIS?S website at for more guidance. Also, please refer to eBay?s Military Items Policy for additional information."

"This item is regulated by Part 121 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). By bidding on or purchasing this item, you confirm that you're buying this item for your own use, that you're a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., and that you won't export this item outside of the U.S."

13. Other situations

There are a few other situations we did not describe here. A full list of other possible situations you may encounter is on our Status Messages page.