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Not sniping when there are no other bids

 
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sunliv
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: Not sniping when there are no other bids Reply with quote

From time to time I am interested in listings where the price is rather high and there is little other interest. If there are no bids the sellers usually relist the same item for less, and this is exactly what I want.
Maybe Gixen shall provide an option (with 3 sec. snipe time) of withholding a snipe if there are no other bids detected by 5 sec. remaining time?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:58 pm    Post subject: Not sniping when there are no other bids

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mario
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skipping a bid in hope that seller will re-list for lesser starting price? This is possible to implement, but frankly I don't see that much value in this...
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sunliv
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that this is niche, but for antiques and other unique high-value items it is very valuable and may save ton of money.
I've been doing that manually (not always successfully) many times. Just yesterday I've saved 50$ on the antique watch, which did not sell for the original asking price and was re-listed at 50$ less. Doing it manually though there is a lot of risk to loose that one-in-a-lifetime antique.
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juangrande



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This requires Gixen to check the status of bidding on an item in a time-sensitive (very time-sensitive!) manner, and then bid accordingly (also in a time-sensitive manner). Now there are two things that could go wrong, and Mario would have to deal with the complaints.

Withholding a bid because there aren't any bids is a gamble, whether done manually or automatically. There is no way to know whether or not someone will bid in the last 0 - 4 seconds of the auction. It seems to me that if an item really is a once-in-a-lifetime antique, it would be safest to simply place your bid.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can Gixen know if someone isn't going to place a bid at the very last second?

End time of auction 11.00pm
...

10:58:0:0pm no bid

10:59:58 no bid

10:59:59 1 bid... Better put in the bid now.

11.00pm Bid put in place but auction is ended. You lose.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my most critically needed feature in a snipe service, for all the reasons the author described.

Right now I must manually do this the old fashioned way, watching the ebay page and manually bidding only if at the last minute someone else does.

Snipe was designed to automate just this sort of last-minute human/ebay interaction. Snipe currently provides best-effort, last minute-bidding, so adding a capability to do a last-minute bid-check and decision point before bidding shouldn't be hard.

Please add this feature!
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mario
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would first have to see much more interest in a feature like this... So far you are the only user who requested it, and this would involve some significant work on my part. Plus it has potential to confuse other users and raise some support issues.
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nochkin
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plus, you can't be protected from 0 seconds snipes for sure and most probably for 1 seconds snipes as well. So more complains are on the way..
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Guest 3:05pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear it would be more work than it sounds like. Note that sometimes customers don't know what they want until they are given it. I suspect there may be demand for it out there from bargain hunters like me.

I don't believe it's unusual that ebay listers set a minimum bid that overvalues the product. And I don't believe it's unusual that when it doesn't sell they relist it at a lower minimum. And I don't believe it's unusual that buyers want to get the lowest price they can and being the only bidder on a high-minimum item is a red flag that you are paying more than you might have.

As for increased complaints, this service would be only slightly more vulnerable to being out-sniped than a regular snipe would be. Someone could complain another snipe service out-sniped Gixen regardless if Gixen is doing just "Bid" or "Check-Decide-Bid." Granted the Check-Decide part takes a bit more time that increases risk, but a disclaimer/warning checkbox could inform people choosing the option.

Because this can be found in no other snipe service, it's a feature for which I would pay for the premium service. Smile
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, if I didn't already know what I was prepared to pay for an item, I wouldn't be contemplating bidding on it at all.

For me a major point of sniping is to ignore what everyone else does and just bid the maximum I am prepared to pay.
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nochkin
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
For me a major point of sniping is to ignore what everyone else does and just bid the maximum I am prepared to pay.

Good point.

I usually do like this:

1. For a regular item (the item which has a firm price on the market) I check ended items and some online stores to see what's the maximum it can be sold for. Then I decide how much to bid so I won't be overpaying.

2. For a non-regular item (something unique or item which has no market value, at least to my knowledge) I just decide what's my budget on that kind of thing. Once budget is realized, that's my absolute maximum to snipe.
I definitely don't want to spend over my budget.
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Guest 3:05pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
For me, if I didn't already know what I was prepared to pay for an item, I wouldn't be contemplating bidding on it at all.

For me a major point of sniping is to ignore what everyone else does and just bid the maximum I am prepared to pay.


I hear you. If a person is not looking to pay the lowest he needs too, then bidding the maximum and forgetting about it makes sense. It also makes sense if you need the item right away.

I believe many people like myself sometimes prefer to pay the lowest they have to pay to win an item. Especially when the item is obscure, with little market, and I suspect it will likely sell at a firesale price a lot lower than I'd be willing to pay. Especially if I don't need the item right away.

So if there are 0 other bidders I'd like to let the auction expire and take a calculated risk the owner will realize the market is thin and relist at a lower minimum. But if the market is stronger than I thought it was and someone bids on it, then I'd like to bid myself.

It would be great if Gixen could better support ebay bargain hunters like me.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, don't get me wrong, I think many of us are bargain hunters, I'd certainly include myself... I just do a lot of research to find out the value of things, so when it comes to bidding on eBay auctions I know a bargain when I see one.

I win relatively few of the auctions I take an interest in, but those I do I generally get at the best price going... it really has to be a bargain before I am interested in the first place.
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mrchinaplate
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Not sniping when there are no other bids Reply with quote

sunliv wrote:
From time to time I am interested in listings where the price is rather high and there is little other interest. If there are no bids the sellers usually relist the same item for less, and this is exactly what I want.
Maybe Gixen shall provide an option (with 3 sec. snipe time) of withholding a snipe if there are no other bids detected by 5 sec. remaining time?
.......
....
G'day, just set your bid to something eBay will regect, like below minimum bid. Ebay will rgect the bid and all is well. Works for me.

Cheers
mrchinaplate
Australia
.
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mrchinaplate
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Not sniping when there are no other bids Reply with quote

The above idea will not bid for you but you can have Gixen following the auction.

.
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mrchinaplate
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PHILLY
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: HOPING TO RELIST FOR A LOWER STARTING PRICE Reply with quote

i MUST AGREE WITH MARIO, WHAT WOULD BE THE POSSIABLE LOGIC IN PLACING A BID ;THEN AT THE LAST MINUTE WHEN YOU SEE THAT YOU ARE THE LONE BIDER AND WINNER TO PULL OUT .SEEMS ALMOST LIKE A REALLY "PUNK" THING TO DO OR TO BE INVOLVED IN. YOU KNEW WHAT THE STARTING PRICE WOULD BE AND IF THE PRICE WAS WORTH THE EFFORT TO BID. WHY NOT APPRECIATE THAT YOU WON AN ITEM AT NO DOUBT A GOOD PRICE. BUT REMEMBER ON EBAY ITEMS OF THE SAME QUALITY AND ABILITY OFTEN COME UP RIGHT AFTER YOUR ITEM ENDED, BUT RARELY AT A LOWER PRICE BY THE SAME SELLER.
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daneinter
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with philly, it seems you want a totally different service and I would be VERY annoyed if MY bid was pulled just because there was no other bids. I snipe virtually every auction as I am totally convinced it keeps the bidding low and keeps my cards close to my chest. Why snipe at all? I am not criticising your motives, you wish to see if the vendor will relist at a lower price but surely you need to "play your own game" and take the chance that pulling your bid at the last moment will not come on top and a last minute bidder (or snipe!!!) will take the item. If it aint broke dont fix it is my motto and sniping is a great (and lets face it) exiting and moneysaving method.
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together.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

daneinter wrote:
I totally agree with philly, it seems you want a totally different service and I would be VERY annoyed if MY bid was pulled just because there was no other bids. I snipe virtually every auction as I am totally convinced it keeps the bidding low and keeps my cards close to my chest. Why snipe at all? I am not criticising your motives, you wish to see if the vendor will relist at a lower price but surely you need to "play your own game" and take the chance that pulling your bid at the last moment will not come on top and a last minute bidder (or snipe!!!) will take the item. If it aint broke dont fix it is my motto and sniping is a great (and lets face it) exiting and moneysaving method.


I think OP was suggesting this as an option, not a mandatory feature.
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daniela
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes sometimes there are items that dont really have a market value and sometimes the seller tries a high price, because he hopes in a collector who really "wants it". What I do is using the "ask a question" button and I ask if they would consider my offer of X amount, if the item is not sold at their asking price.
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Guest 3:05pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm bemused by people who don't see the value in having this as an option. "Just bid whatever you are willing to pay!" they say and seem perplexed that I might want to get an item at the lowest possible price.

If lots of people are willing to pay a maximum of $100 for a case of shoe polish and I am willing to pay a maximum of $200 for the shoe polish, that does not mean I want to pay $200 for it. I want to pay $101 - just slightly more than the next highest bidder. In other words the only way I want to buy something is by slightly outbidding someone else. Otherwise I am giving money to the seller I didn't have to give.

If the shoe polish is listed with a $150 minimum, there are no bidders, and I am in no urgent need of shoe polish then it would be retarded for me to just bid $200. I'll end up getting the item for $150 when if I had let the auction expire there is a fair chance the seller would have relisted with a lower minimum like $50. Once people start bidding, then I would place my $200 bid and win the shoe polish at $101.

For purposes of an ebay auction it doesn't matter what the shoe polish is "worth" at retail value. What matters is what other bidders are willing to pay. If no other bidders are willing to pay a minimum bid, and I bid on that auction, I'm likely paying more than I had to.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is only useful if you don't already know the market value of the item.

I think what you are seeing is that most snipers do already know the market value, they have to do the research up front in order to know what their maximum bid is going to be... once they have done that they have no real need for options like this.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Market value" apart from what people are willing to pay is a nonsensical concept. Market value is defined as what people are willing to pay.

There is no market value fairy that swoops into an auction and forces prices to go to some price determined elsewhere. The selling price is determined by what bidders participating in the auction are willing to bid which is a function of what value the good has for each of them and their own ability and willingness to pay.

"Firesales" happen every day in life where goods are sold below their historical selling prices because there are no buyers willing to pay that much.

For example, I bought a coffee grinder in an ebay auction for only $200 that had regularly sold in the past for $400. I don't know if it's because the seller poorly labeled the auction or if the ebay market had just seen a flood of supply or if the economy was souring - whatever.

I was actually willing to pay up to $300 as that's the maximum it was worth to me. Apparently it was worth even less to the other bidders in this particular auction, and I won it for $200. "Market value" of $400 didn't factor into the situation.

So if there are 0 bidders in an auction with a minimum bid, clearly the price at which it would have sold is below the minimum. I prefer to buy at that lower price. So adding this option to Gixen would add a lot of value for me and others who also prefer to buy things for the lowest possible price. Those who insist on bidding full "market value" for everything can feel free to continue to do so.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with your analysis of prices, I am just pointing out that snipers decide what they are willing to pay and stick to it... I am usually not willing to pay what others are either because I prefer to buy things cheaper... I don't win many auctions that I watch as a result.

In the cases you give as examples I would most likely not bid and wait to see if it was listed again if it does not sell... if I decide it is worth more than the minimum auction price than I will place a snipe and be happy if I win or lose, no matter whether there is another bidder or not... so I don't need Gixen to decide not to bid for me because I decide that myself... if another bidder decides it is worth more to them and it sells as a result I'm also happy, it might be useful market research for the future.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:

In the cases you give as examples I would most likely not bid and wait to see if it was listed again if it does not sell...


Yes, if it has 0 bids this is what I would do too, so our actions are alike in this case.

Cupid wrote:

...if I decide it is worth more than the minimum auction price than I will place a snipe and be happy if I win or lose, no matter whether there is another bidder or not..


This is where we differ. If I can pay less than the minimum bid by letting the auction expire and bidding later then I want to do that. I prefer to get the lowest price. Even if the maximum I'm willing to pay is greater than the auction's current minimum bid.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest 3:05pm wrote:

Cupid wrote:

...if I decide it is worth more than the minimum auction price than I will place a snipe and be happy if I win or lose, no matter whether there is another bidder or not..


This is where we differ. If I can pay less than the minimum bid by letting the auction expire and bidding later then I want to do that. I prefer to get the lowest price. Even if the maximum I'm willing to pay is greater than the auction's current minimum bid.


We differ because I am very confident about my valuations, and I'm weighing up the risks of losing items that I am prepared to buy (if I used your strategy) and the gains that I make when I win items that you may not have bid on (or bid less than me) against the risk that I could have possibly got it cheaper if I had waited longer... there are risks in everything you do in life, I doubt that I have ever paid more using my strategy over yours... but we deal with different items and markets, so good luck, if it works for you.
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mario
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest 3:05pm wrote:

This is where we differ. If I can pay less than the minimum bid by letting the auction expire and bidding later then I want to do that. I prefer to get the lowest price. Even if the maximum I'm willing to pay is greater than the auction's current minimum bid.


You are aware that, even if there are 0 bids, it's still possible that someone will snipe that auction and that there will be no time for Gixen to respond?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A seller lists many of the identical items in auctions which differ only in their closing time. A check of completed auctions shows that for most of the auctions there are no bidders, for others the minimum bid was sufficient to win, and sometimes the second bid wins.

The OP proposes to never win auctions here paying the minimum price, but to buy when the price is higher.

-----
I'd urge OP to look at the bids from the third and fourth highest bidders. That's where the "market" is. Especially for rare items,subjectively valued, the winning bidder could have paid much less but for one other person willing to drive the price up. If the OP is looking to resell, and if he is not going to bid on the item himself, will he be happy selling for the bid of the third highest bidder? That is the high-point of the market of buyers.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I'd urge OP to look at the bids from the third and fourth highest bidders. That's where the "market" is. Especially for rare items,subjectively valued, the winning bidder could have paid much less but for one other person willing to drive the price up. If the OP is looking to resell, and if he is not going to bid on the item himself, will he be happy selling for the bid of the third highest bidder? That is the high-point of the market of buyers.


That is a good point... most often I'm down at fourth highest bidder or below on what i'm prepred to pay (the bids are not placed though as I'm sniping using Gixen so either Gixen can't bid, I delete it before it is due [because the price is already too high] or I never schedule it in the first place.

I think we should also note in this discussion that, when an item does not sell for the starting price, relisting at a lower price is only one of the options a seller may consider. Before that most sellers list at a 30 day BIN for slightly more than the starting price they had for the auction... then they can list on other sites that may be more appropriately targeted at customers for that product. They can keep relisting at the same starting price (I often see over priced items relisted at the same price for many months before they sell at that starting price, that is the nature of demand for some rare items). They can also withdraw the item from sale entirely... a starting price is sometimes a minimum that the seller is willing to take and not always what they hope to get.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mario wrote:

You are aware that, even if there are 0 bids, it's still possible that someone will snipe that auction and that there will be no time for Gixen to respond?


Yes I am aware of that. My priority is not to win this particular auction, my priority is to pay the lowest possible price for the item when I do buy it. If I lose an auction to another sniper or discover the seller is not relisting the item then so be it.

There are many items I bid on that I don't urgently need, but I think would be nice-to-have. For a nice-to-have item I'm in no hurry to buy. I don't mind missing out on several auctions if that's the cost of getting a great deal on it when I do win it.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't read every single post here, but here's my 2c worth.
I have tried this before i.e. not bidding on an item in the hope that it re-lists cheaper... well, the item in question ( a set of coins ) never sold, but the seller then decided not sell at all & withdrew the coins from auction, so I lost out by trying to be clever. As a previous poster says, know your max price, make your bid & that's that.
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FireWarrior
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:41 pm    Post subject: support for this option Reply with quote

This is an option I would use occasionally if implemented, and would be willing to pay a small additional annual fee for it.

I would find it useful when my max bid is just over the minimum and feels like a stretch. I understand the risk of the "2 second snipe". However, since my intended maximum bid is barely over the minimum, there is a good chance that the max of the 2 second snipe would be over my max, so I would have been beaten anyway.

have several times contacted sellers after an auction ended without selling, and have been able to negotiate a price significantly below the prior minimum. That is why this option would be of value to me.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd use this feature too: for big ie 'collection only' items that you know only a few people will be prepared to travel and pick up. I know there will only be a few bids if any, if no one bids I should be able to contact seller and pick it up privately for a lower price. If someone else does bid on it I'd like gixen to snipe...
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:34 pm    Post subject: This isn't sniping, so not Gixen turf Reply with quote

Gixen is tool for auctions.. If no other bids, you get the item for a song anyway.. If under the reserve price, they will relist anyway, so you lose nothing. I'm with Mario n this.
I work in IT and customers frequently want something that the product was not designed to do, and believe that it's simple... When all they need to do is either learn to use the tool, or change their working process slightly to achieve the same thing.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work in software and this is a straightforward addition. Gixen already checks the bids at the last minute and doesn't bother to bid if the eBay bid is higher than the Gixen bid. Simply add to the logic:

if ((eBay_bid > Gixen_bid) || (Option_Selected && (#_of_bids == 0)))
then don't bid
else bid

And a snipe data record field addition and web UI tweak to add a checkbox for the option. Gixen has rolled out vastly more complex software projects over the past few years.

The argument against having the option makes no sense to me. How can someone oppose having an option? Some people seem to think a feature they would personally not use must therefore not be valuable for others and thus should not be offered to anyone. Regardless that others have explained how it would save them real money and they would pay to have that feature.

Reminds me of people's hostility to Uber surge pricing, the logic of which is similar. That argument goes like this: "We don't like having the option for paying a premium to get a ride during periods of high demand. We'd rather not not be able to get a ride at all even if urgently needed. Therefore, we want that option eliminated entirely from the service to ensure it is denied not just to us but to everyone else as well. That would be better."
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest 3:05pm,

You fail to appreciate that the current price check is done a long while before the auction closes, this is necessary for the efficient operation of the Gixen sniping engine.

You also fail to deal with the complexity of having two independent servers working on the same auction, quite possibly with different offsets, for those that have a Mirror subscription... Dealing with that would be highly complex... or you just limit all snipes that use that option to a single server... making them all less reliable, but that is the whole point of having a Mirror subscription... it's not quite as simple as you thought now, is it?

Would you like to also consider providing support when a bid comes in within the last few seconds, and Gixen does not bid because the check has to be made well before that?... I don't think you would find many happy customers... You may note from other posts on this forum, that many users already think they know how this software works and already make wrong assumptions about what will happen based on that flawed thinking.

Changes required to the user interface, the database, and the access to and from that database of snipes (not a separate/new table)... are all none trivial, especially on a live system.

I agree with the previous analysis given as far back as 2009 when this was first suggested.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
You fail to appreciate that the current price check is done a long while before the auction closes, this is necessary for the efficient operation of the Gixen sniping engine.


Ok, but I don't see a problem. If the check-before-snipe feature must start earlier in order to ensure the snipe happens no later than the threshold before auction ends, then so be it. This is what I'm doing right now only manually. So unless I am faster than a computer at doing this, then I'll gladly hand over the job to a Gixen server. If you are saying the additional read operation required could adversely impact server performance, then upgrade the server. I will pay.

Cupid wrote:
You also fail to deal with the complexity of having two independent servers working on the same auction, quite possibly with different offsets,


So what if the two servers have different offsets. 0 bids will show as 0 bids to both servers and neither will act. >0 bids will show as >0 bids to both servers and both will act just as they currently do.

Cupid wrote:
Would you like to also consider providing support when a bid comes in within the last few seconds, and Gixen does not bid because the check has to be made well before that?


This is not new. Right now I bear this risk to _higher_ degree when I manually do a check-then-bid process. My clunky browser page refresh and human mouse click method can't possibly compare to Gixen servers doing it for me programmatically. They would offer me an improvement on this risk. How can I get mad at an improvement? If I didn't want to take this risk I wouldn't choose to use the process, neither manually nor using Gixen, I just use an ordinary Gixen bid.

Cupid wrote:
Changes required to the user interface, the database, and the access to and from that database of snipes (not a separate/new table)... are all none trivial, especially on a live system.


Well, if Gixen is a static website not open to upgrades ever, then it's a moot discussion. Change always takes work. Most web sites offer significant improvements as the years pass. Gixen is a labor of love (that we are all grateful for) and is far lower budget and humble than most I know, and that's fine, but adding a new feature from time to time seems not an outrageous thing to consider in an age where most websites evolve at Internet speed.
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Cupid



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are now asking for a different feature... one that bids, as it does now, only if someone else has placed a bid before about 1 min 30 before the auction closes... people are even more likely to misunderstand how, and why, that feature works as you propose and does NOT bid even though someone placed a bid a minute before the auction closed.

You are one of the few offering to pay more... unless you are offering to pay the whole cost, which I believe would be considerable, do you believe it is fair to ask the whole community to subsidise a feature that you want, and is not widely requested or supported?

If you were asking for a system that bids only if no other bid was placed... it would not mater if one independent server did not know whether a bid placed was from the other server, or not... but you are not, you are asking for no bid to be placed if there are no other bids... so, since the servers are independent (and must remain so in order to maintain reliability), I was under the impression you would want them to discount the possibility of that other bid having been placed by the other server on your behalf... but, upon reflection, I guess it wouldn't actually matter since the commitment to bid has already been made by the other server earlier anyway... and the second attempt to bid would be blocked by Ebay anyway, as it is now. The point is moot, in any case, since you are not asking for the same feature any more and accept that monitoring is effectively suspended a minute and a half before the auction closes.

You misinterpret my point about support... I am asking you to take on the extra work of explaining the feature you want to the many unhappy users you will generate from their trying to use it as they imagine it will work.. not how you have now specified it... because I for one do not relish that task.

I don't believe the feature has enough interest (or would even potentially get used enough if implemented) to justify the time spent scoping out the amount of work required to implement it... let alone start the actual work and service upgrades involved.

I am not against change per se... in fact I welcome it when it has a beneficial impact for the community as a whole... I am against features that are of minimal benefit to a few and of no benefit to the majority, just causing extra complexity and more things to go wrong and especially in this case confuse people as to how to get what they really want. My point in writing that last part, in any case, was in response to your assertion in your previous post that the change you propose is 'a straightforward addition'... it most certainly is not, and that is the point I wished to illustrate... not any Luddite tendency as you imply.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cupid wrote:
You are now asking for a different feature... one that bids, as it does now, only if someone else has placed a bid before about 1 min 30 before the auction closes...

I've been asking for the same feature all along. Maybe it will help clarify if I walk through what I do now. I open one browser window on the auction. In another browser window I open the same auction, click bid, enter the amount, but don't hit click the enter button.

Then I sit there and manually refresh the other window over and over watching that the number of bits stays at 0. If I see a bid pop up in the final seconds of the auction, I move my mouse over to the bid window end click the enter button.

You seem to be telling me, a computer server needs a 1 minute and 30 seconds lead time to do a web page read. And you seem to be telling me that I as a human moving a mouse around am faster than that server is able to be.

I beg to differ. I think a server could do the above process faster and more efficiently than me, allowing me to be off doing other things.

Cupid wrote:
...people are even more likely to misunderstand how, and why, that feature works as you propose and does NOT bid even though someone placed a bid a minute before the auction closed.

I'm sure when the concept of sniping was first introduced, it was perplexing and scary to many people unfamiliar with it. Those with sufficient risk-tolerances and ability grasp the concept and see the value delivered, chose to use it (us folks). Those who didn't, didn't, and continue to manually bid on eBay. More power to them. I simply recognize and want the advantages of more advanced bidding tools liking sniping and the feature I'm suggesting as well.

Cupid wrote:
...do you believe it is fair to ask the whole community to subsidise a feature that you want, and is not widely requested or supported?

Of course not. If market demand is insufficient, it cannot be cost justified. That is a legitimate reason not to build it. Not the others you have proposed. In my opinion the snipe service space is commoditized and competitive such that any unique features whatsoever make an outsized impact on users grasping for reasons to pick one snipe service over another.

And yes, I would even stake the upfront cost of developing the feature in full....if I got a cut of incremental paid user revenue my investment generated. I'm willing to put money where my mouth is.

Cupid wrote:
... but, upon reflection, I guess it wouldn't actually matter since the commitment to bid has already been made by the other server earlier anyway... and the second attempt to bid would be blocked by Ebay anyway, as it is now.

Exactly. I am asking for no bid to be placed if there are no other bids. Otherwise, bid. This presents no problems running on multiple servers.

Cupid wrote:
You misinterpret my point about support... I am asking you to take on the extra work of explaining the feature you want to the many unhappy users you will generate from their trying to use it as they imagine it will work.. not how you have now specified it... because I for one do not relish that task.

Offer it as an "Advanced Feature" that can only be enabled after reading a disclaimer emphasizing how it works. People only get unhappy when they are mislead or not informed in advance about what something really is. My view is anyone using a snipe service is probably not a clueless grandma. I think users would be intrigued by the provision of a new bidding tool.

I even have an idea for a far more interesting bidding tool useful for all auctions that could save many people money and provide a new revenue source for gixen beyond just subscription fees. But given the negativity and pushback arising from even suggesting the above simple feature, I can tell such a big idea would not be warmly received here!

Cupid wrote:
I don't believe the feature has enough interest (or would even potentially get used enough if implemented) to justify the time spent scoping out the amount of work required to implement it... let alone start the actual work and service upgrades involved....I am against features that are of minimal benefit to a few and of no benefit to the majority, just causing extra complexity and more things to go wrong

That's all legit. Your assessment could be right and mine wrong. Maybe this would not be a profitable feature to develop, i.e. the current and new user base this feature would attract wouldn't value it sufficiently to pay more than its cost to develop.

One thing I know from the technology space is predicting which innovations will be hits or misses is less successful than throwing new features out there and seeing which connect with the market. Gixen is an awesome service, much beloved, but it has remained feature-static for years. In the technology space, things that remain feature-static for a long time have their days numbered.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not surprisingly I disagree with your analysis... Gixen has had features added in the past few years that are useful to the community as a whole... not as fast as I would like... but it isn't as static as you claim either.

I'll take that as a 'No' on any offer to support the feature then, shall I ?... You don't appear to have any grasp of how many people that currently use this service have no idea what it is doing for them, or how it works... yes, even the advanced features they already have to enable first... and get themselves very wound up when the assumptions they make about it do not fit with the reality of the situation.

I am telling you how Gixen is currently implemented, and thus how far away it is currently from what you want... and in turn how grossly you underestimate the amount of work that would be required to provide what you are suggesting.

To implement what you are now suggesting would require two threads that communicate with one another... sure it can be done, I have written applications that do just that myself... but they are very complex... and the amount of server resources required are in some respects more than doubled, that is expensive not just in development costs... you have extra resources you have to pay for on an ongoing basis too... actually I do think if that is really what you want to do you are better off doing it manually as you do now, for the minimal gains you must make by doing it, even if it is every day.

If, as you say, you are part of the IT industry, as I was, and you feel you can sell this and your other ideas to a big enough user base, then I think you are also better off developing it yourself, since, as you say, you are prepared to invest your time and energy in this... I have given you the high level design in the last paragraph so it shouldn't be too difficult for you now Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me clarify a few things.

It's possible to reduce the time interval at which current number of bids is fetched from ebay, to e.g. 10 seconds before auction end, and the logic itself is simple as you noted, however there are a few reasons why I am not willing to implement this:

1) Demand is not there. You may think that there is, because this feature is so important to you, but in reality you are one in a very few such bidders. If there were not technical cons to implementing this, I would still make you happy. However... moving onto 2).

2) The reliability of this feature now depends on fetching correctly number of bids. This raises importance of this from informational to critical. That means that if this breaks, I can no longer choose convenient time to fix it - this becomes very urgent, as users may start winning auctions they don't want to, or vice versa.

3) Reliability of snipe itself being placed goes down due to additional timing issues. Now there are two calls (fetch auction info and place bid) that need to be placed in the last 10 seconds, and they both have to succeed.

4) Finally, as Mark suggested, there are support issues. Every new feature I introduce raises complexity and likelyhood of users doing something wrong. In addition, I have another point of failure that I have to account for, and another thing to look at every time I investigate a failure.
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