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Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

What is sniping?

Sniping is submitting your bid to eBay just a few seconds before an auction ends. This way other bidders have no time to raise their maximum bid. Gixen is a service that conducts automatic bidding for you.

But eBay is using proxy bidding, and all I have to do is to submit my maximum bid to eBay. What's the point of sniping then?

Even though it is not rational, human nature is such that people often give as their maximum bid the amount with which they would like to win, NOT the maximum amount they are willing to pay. Further, people start to appreciate goods more when they notice someone else is also interested in them. And finally, emotions spike during auctions, and bids can go unreasonably high. Sniping avoids all this - it is RATIONAL to use sniping whenever possible. Please see more at my why snipe page.

How close are your snipes to the end of the auction?

5 seconds or less. And yes, it can happen that your bid is submitted (too) late, or not submitted at all due to technical or other problems. This happens rarely, but nevertheless, it happens. Update (March 30th, 2007): You can greatly decrease the odds of your snipe being late or not submitted by subscribing to Gixen Mirror service. Gixen Mirror is the most reliable sniping service you can possibly find. While still not impossible to happen, no Gixen Mirror subscribers have ever missed their auction due to Gixen malfunction. We work hard to keep this record of reliability.

Gixen stampHow do I sign up?

No sign-up is necessary, just use your eBay username and password to login. You have to accept my terms of usage though.

What's the cost of using gixen sniping service?

There isn't any. It's absolutely free. See comparison with other sniping services here.

Is it safe to just give away my eBay credentials?

Yes. Gixen.com is using SSL both to transmit your password from your browser, and to authenticate it with eBay. Furthermore, your eBay password is not kept for long after auction ends - after your bids are submitted to eBay, your password is deleted within 48 hours to minimize the risk of it being compromised in the future. This also means that you have only 2 days after auction ends to view status of your bid on gixen.com. If you choose to do so, you can delete your bids even before that.

What happens if I mistype my password while logging in?

You will not be able to log in, as authentication is done using eBay.

What kind of guarantee do you offer you will timely submit my bid?

None. A whole range of issues can happen that I cannot influence: network outages, eBay might make software updates that can make the sniping software incompatible, etc. Use at your own risk of losing or missing an auction. No sniping service or software can give you 100% guarantee, only eBay can.

Do you support group bids?

Yes. Group bids can be used for items that do not have end times within 2 minutes of each other. Be careful not to group items too close to each other by end time, or you might win all of them.

In addition there are two more types of groups available only to mirror subscribers: contingency groups and multi-win groups. Contingency groups are opposite of normal groups: the first lost item cancels all the others in the same group. Multi-win groups are like regular groups, but allow you to specify more than one item to win: e.g. you can win 2, 3 or more items before the remaining items in the same groups are canceled.

How do you make money out of this?

I don't make any money out of this, I do it for glory. Hopefully I will be able to recoup expenses with Google ads some time in the future. Update (March 30th, 2007): Gixen now started making some money with Gixen Mirror, an optional add-on service to Gixen. Read more about it when you log in to your account.

Something went horribly wrong. I can't access your site, and I want to cancel some of the scheduled bids.

This is highly unlikely to happen, as gixen.com server is placed in a reliable hosting facility, but if so, you can change your ebay password at ebay.com, and all the scheduled bids will naturally fail.

What currency are my bid amounts in Gixen?

Bid amounts are always in the currency in which the auction was listed. Thus, if the current bid in the auction shows as GBP 1.50, then entering a bid of 3.00 in Gixen would mean that Gixen would bid GBP 3.00.

Can I use Gixen to bid on multiple-item (Dutch) auctions?

Yes, just choose the desired quantity from the drop-down box. Be sure you understand how multiple-item auctions work - especially that there is no proxy bidding system in place.

Is Gixen available in languages other than English?

Yes, supported are German, Spanish and French languages. However, advanced features and Gixen Mirror service is not available in languages other than English.

Can ebay item links point to my country eBay site (ebay.de, ebay.fr, etc) instead of eBay.com?

Yes, just go to your settings page and choose your ebay country site.

Can I change my bid after I've entered it in Gixen?

Yes, just click the [Edit] box next to your bid and enter the new amount. Note that clicking the [Edit] box cancels your original bid, so be sure to enter your new bid before logging out.

Note that all edits, deletes and new entries should be completed at least 2 minutes before auction end. In case of late edits, Gixen will make every effort to 1) cancel the edited snipe if already in progress, and 2) execute the updated snipe, but neither is guaranteed to succeed. It is, however, more likely that late delete / cancel will be successful than late addition, so in most cases late edit will result in cancelation only.

Can I schedule group bids where the remaining bids are canceled once an item in the group is won, like eBay's Bid Assistant?

Yes, simply choose a group number from the [Bid Group:] drop-down box. All items with the same group number will be grouped together and remaining bids canceled once an item in the group is won. Do not use Bid Assistant together with Gixen groups, these two are not compatible and using them both will cause your snipes to fail.

Can I change the timing of my snipe on Gixen?

Yes, but only if you subscribe to Gixen's mirror service, in which case you can choose 3, 6 (default), 8, 10, 12 or 15 seconds from the [Offset:] drop-down box.

If I enter my maximum bid in Gixen, will I have to pay that amount if I win?

Not necessarily (except for Dutch auctions). All Gixen does is enter your maximum bid on eBay just before the auction closes, and then eBay's proxy bidding system takes over. The winning bid amount will be the second-highest bid plus up to one increment, which could be much less than your maximum bid. Thus, you should always enter your maximum bid in Gixen, just as you would if you entered it manually directly on eBay. An important exception are Dutch (multiple-item) auctions, in which you pay what you enter (provided you win).

Do I need to be logged into Gixen in order for it to place my bid on eBay?

No. In fact, that is the point of using a sniping service such as Gixen: you can enter your bid and then forget about it and Gixen will enter it at the scheduled time for you.

It says you use SSL to encrypt eBay user IDs and passwords but when I was logging in, I do not see a padlock symbol. Does this mean my eBay user ID and password are at risk?

No. The login IS secure - what matters is the target page, not the login page. When you click on "Log in Now" your user ID and password are sent to a secure page, where a session ID is generated. Your session is than forwarded back to regular http with this session id, so your password is never compromised. Many other services (e.g. gmail) work in a similar way.

I entered a bid of $101.00, but the winning bid was $100.00 and Gixen says BID UNDER ASKING PRICE. What happened?

According to eBay bid increments rules, your bid had to be at least $2.50 higher than current highest bid. See bid increment rules (US dollars, may be different for different currencies).

Would there be a conflict if I used another sniping service or bid manually at the same time I used Gixen?

No, at least not for ungrouped bids. Occasionally, simultaneous bids could both register on eBay, but this does not affect your chance of winning, nor does it affect the ending price. For group bids, it's another story - Gixen will think it lost an auction if it doesn't win it itself, so it will not cancel subsequent bids. But if you use group bids, that probably means you can afford to lose one item and you don't need to insure yourself with another service.

In one of my auctions I got message "AUCTION RESTRICTED: REQUIREMENTS NOT MET". What does this mean?

It means that seller put in place some requirement that you don't meet; usually it's a location or country. You would not have been able to submit this bid even if you had tried directly through eBay. The best way to find out what the requirements were is to contact the seller and ask.

In one of my auctions I got message "Password not strong enough, could not log in". What does this mean?

If your ebay password is not strong enough, in 10-20% of logins eBay inserts additional screen asking from you to change your password. As Gixen can't skip this screen, the snipe fails. Change your password at eBay to something stronger, and this problem will go away.

I don't see my snipe on the mirror server, only on the main server, and I am a mirror subscriber. Why isn't it there?

If this is a group snipe, note that these are not mirrored. The reason for this is that any implementation of mirrored group snipes would be complicated, as mirrored snipes would have to be canceled across multiple servers. As group snipes are replacable by definition, such implementation was not even attempted.

What are "Import Watch list" and "Import Gixen list" buttons for?

"Import Watch list" will import all still active (non-ended) auctions from your eBay watch list. Buy-it-now-only items and completed auctions are excluded. The price will be set at 0, which means further edit is required in order to make the snipes active. "Import Gixen list" will do the same, but from the list called "Gixen list". This is provided for your convenience. In order to use "Import Gixen list" feature you have to create a list called "Gixen list" in your eBay account.

I changed my eBay password and now I can't find any of my scheduled snipes on Gixen. What happened?

The snipes were effectively canceled when you changed your eBay password. This is by design. Note that unlike other sniping services, Gixen does not store eBay passwords longer than necessary to execute snipes: it only stores them for 48 hours past the latest scheduled snipe. Every snipe is saved as (item_id, username, password, bid) in the database; thus, changing your password cuts the database links to your scheduled snipes, effectively canceling them.

How can I support your site?

Gixen is partially financed by ads. If you are a webmaster of a relevant website, you can link your website to gixen.com. If you are a regular user, and you leave a review on a third-party online forum, please make a link to Gixen. This will help improve Gixen search rating. You can also subscribe to Gixen Mirror service. Finally, you can leave your impressions in the Gixen forum, as I would like to hear your comments, concerns and ideas.

 
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