quote:
Originally posted by FedUp:
Look guys, clearly eBay is trying to defeat Snipe sites. This is a new reality. They probably developed some sort of rule-based code routine that checks IPs, time to auction end, and other fingerprints that differentiate a human user from a third party program. I believe a major parameter is a user's session length compared to when they place the snipe bid. Meaning that in that split second after the AS program logs in, it places a bid. Also the lead time for the bid may be being detected too. 4-5 seconds before auction end is clearly a marker for a Snipe bot so that also may trigger the verification. Maybe the user's history of bidding at the last minute is a factor.

I suppose eBay wants us all in front of the screen in the last 10 minutes of an auction to maximize the hammer price and consequently their profits. I know that automatic snipers and that whole are really not part of their business model, meaning they want to maximize eyes on the screen, also to drive up ad revenue, no. of clicks, add-on buys, etc. They've got teams of developers and analysts whose only purpose is to defeat Snipe sites and increase human clicks and page views. Most if not all online retailers or other sites that deal with the customer to get their online $ hate third-party automatic programs and bots which take the place of a human interaction with their site. The only good bot is *their* bot, as to what is allowed. eBay makes their money from humans who spend time on their site. Maximizing the time a customer is on eBay is not what a third party agent does so that's why now, as Snipe sites get a bigger share of the winning bids, they've declared war on us. And your bottom dollar that eBay has made sure that verification is never triggered when a human user bids, even at the last minute. So the assertion from AS that eBay does this from time to time is a lame excuse. I'd like to be treated a little more intelligently by AS Support, thank you.

So here's the deal. Auction Sniper knows very well this is an anti-snipe weapon. The fact is that it could be a business killer for them and it has been happening for some time tells me that they're either clueless or powerless to do something about it. By now they would have reasonably developed a counter fix to the verification check. I'm getting really fed up with the AS support, being unfriendly, clueless, and ineffective. This may well be their final straw.

Here's what I'm going to do in the short term.

For auctions of items that I definitely want to win no matter what, I will bid manually.

I have increased the lead time on one of my upcoming snipes up to 8 or 10 seconds, just to test if that makes a difference.

I am also going to log in and stay logged in to eBay within 15 minutes (min avg cookie session time) of auction end.

I am also going to start sniping with another AS account just to see if eBay is going after the hard core habitual offenders.

In the long term or sooner, if eBay continues this BS and AS doesn't find a fix, if the above ideas don't work, I'll drop AS like a ton of bricks and walk.

I'll let you know.

In any case the best solution hands down is a downloaded snipe program that we can install on our own PCs which snipes for us from the IP with which we logged in and stay logged through auction end. Letting a third party do this for us always was never a guarantee of getting the winning bid, thus with a high degree of risk because we're delegating to a third party agent. Now it seems that those chickens have come to roost.

This reminds me of those heady days of the Wild West Web of the mid to late 90s when search engines were constantly fighting web coders that modified web site pages to get higher search result placement. Most of you weren't even born yet (joke). It became so bad that search sites were even blocking the worst offending web sites and even server IPs from displayed results. There were young men and women "hired guns" ("search engine gurus") who represented that they had cracked the search engine's code and could achieve amazing results for web site business owners. Major money was spent, many late night hours burned. Some of the more astute guys even got sued by the search sites. No, really.

Anyway.., AS needs to fess up and come clean to their customers about what they know and don't know. Everything. I surmise that might not be very much and that's why they're playing the same old unprofessional, lame broken record to us: "It's eBay's fault".

This situation could very well completely change the AS business model to one that may fail the company unless they develop a solution quickly. Folks are not going to keep losing items with AS. Very soon we'll walk.

Thoughts?

-FU
This has happened to me also - twice now. First error message was 'Ebay requires account verification' and today it was 'Sign-in blocked by eBay security image'

I've sent a message to support - but I'm not hopeful. looks like AS days are numbered.

Are there any other snipers that are reliable or have a way of working around this?
Yet again I have been let down by both Auction Sniper and Ebay, having just lost out on an important bid, where I should potentially have been the winner. My maximum bid for the item was £31.80 but the item sold for £16.50 (a loss of £15.30 to the seller). On this occasion the email that I received from Auction Sniper just said "Did not win", no explanation. Obviously my bid was not placed. I had earlier placed a manual bid for £15.80, hoping that my maximum bid through Auction Sniper of £31.80 would be accepted. As there seems to be no sign of any resolution to this problem, I will no longer rely on Auction Sniper or use their 'services', and will be forced to place all my bids manually, which is a bit of a pain having to be available and watch the bidding towards the end of bidding time. So, goodbye Auction Sniper - let me know if you ever succeed in placing bids with Ebay, which I doubt. Yours highly dissatisfied, Brian.
Brian A - read my other posts. I am in the UK and have had all the same issues with Auction Sniper. I have contacted them several times - and quite honestly they don't seem to give a damn. All they do is roll out scripted responses and don;t appear to be working on a solution.

So I looked for alternatives. I'm really pleased to say -- -- is working! It has placed all my bids successfully. What is more it is completely free! Wish I had found it earlier :-//

I have been with Auction Sniper for years - and have given them every opportunity to get it sorted before trying elsewhere. Bye bye Auction Sniper!
I have also experience the same problem yesterday losing 7 items due to AS not being able to place bids
everyone my snipe bid would have been above the winning bids
The AS reports simply say ''bid did not win''
well AS we know that because you where not able to place the bid for me
Hi Guys
I have today been using AS without any problems, snipes have been placed with some items being won with them.
This problems seems to be occurring on a Sundays when peak usage is accurring.
Does anyone know of any pattern to occurances?
Do we have to stop using AS on a sundays??
Can anyone recall having this problem on any other days of the week?
quote:
Originally posted by machineage:
...I'm really pleased to say -- -- is working! It has placed all my bids successfully. What is more it is completely free! Wish I had found it earlier :-//


I find it regrettable that machineage's post was edited to remove the 'other' sniping website that seems to work just fine. The website is: goofbid.com and others can read more about it in his thread entitled Alternatives to AS that work…
WOW! I am pleased to see so many people finally getting onto this chat thread to share your own experiences RE: "Ebay Requires Account Verification" missed snipes. When I started this conversation .. ages ago .. everyone was pretty darn clueless as to what the problem was, what it meant, why it was happening, etc.

It took many messages and phone calls from me to EBay to find out what "third party sniping" really was (heck, I signed up initially on Auction Sniper because a friend told me I no longer had to sit in front of the computer, glued to my chair, for hours at a time just to bid on items I wanted for a collection ... and the first 3 snipes were free, and then I was addicted); and why, it seems, that EBay has a "random" smack down on us for using third party sniping services.

To those of you who are leaving names of other third party sniping services/sites, well, good for you for attempting. Obviously, "Auction Sniper" is going to remove that info as soon as they find it, because you are using THEIR CHAT BOARDS to solicit business for another sniping service! OK, so you cannot blame them for that. BUT, there is some very serious disconnect with the folks (or is this site run by just one person??) at Auction Sniper because they are so slow to react, return messages, keep up-to-date, etc. It feels as if there truly is just one computer nerd behind this site!

It boils down to this (in my opinion): PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO BID, FURIOUSLY, IN THE FINAL SECONDS OF AN AUCTION, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO LOSE WHAT IT IS THEY ARE BIDDING ON, for whatever reason. The higher the price, the higher EBay's cut. When you using a third party sniping service, you put in the highest amount of money you are willing to part with, and walk away. When you revisit EBay, or your Auction Sniper account, you will see later whether you won or lost the item(s) bid on.

The market for just about everything being sold on EBay right now is down. Prices are low. Folks are pulling back severely on spending because the economy continues to free-fall, school has begun again, the holidays are coming, and people are being laid off into the thousands in agriculture, construction, oil (ESPECIALLY OIL), retail (anyone noticed the number of businesses closing around the U.S.?), vehicles, on and on. I'm watching items sell in my category of collectible dolls (Barbie, in particular), for such low prices right now, it makes me want to cry, because the downwards trend has hit our household particularly hard ... husband lost his job last March, Unemployment benefits have expired, and we've gone from making $8500 per month, to $1631 (my sole retirement benefit). The only thing we're sure of right now, is that I have enough money to cover our mortgage ... everything else has been pared back, shut down, or shut off!

Sooooo, while I understand why the frustration is high for everyone when losing items because of this push-pull fiasco we've been unfortunate to find ourselves in, while using Auction Sniper to make our bids for us, EBay is (sadly, but I can understand why ...) blaming a robo-system of denying bids because the world is pulling back its money. We, the little people, are what they NEED -- MUST HAVE -- sitting at our computers, driving prices up in the last seconds to snatch the collectibles (or ? whatever it is you want/need), to get the biggest piece of the pie possible! Third party sniping services do NOT help in that effort.

I've looked at this from every angle; sent the messages/waited on the replies; asked around; looked at other sniping services; and finally, made the personal phone calls to EBay to hear what they had to say. You can bet, I got the "canned answer" I expected. Blame it on last minute traffic, more popular days of the week (Sundays seem to be the toughest), etc. I did a spreadsheet that included Auction Sniper users from my Barbie circle, 18 people in all, for the last five months. (Yes, I loved Statistics courses in college ... most people HATE those classes because polling can never be an exact science. But, I was good at it, so I did my own survey. )

I found that it is RANDOM. Their "robo/computer" (no "real" person involved, so they say) is to blame, and there's nothing that can be done about it?

BARF up the true story.

It is NOT on the highest traffic times, or days. So, EBay lied to me.

Do I believe they have a way of shutting down third party sniping services, here and there, so that it is completely believable that it has everything to do with their ("computer systems'") inability to verify our user names/info while using a third party sniping service, when asking to place our bids just seconds before auctions end?

YES. I believe they certainly CAN program their computers to do so ... leaving third party sniping services to leave us messages that our accounts could NOT be verified by EBay, instead of giving us successful auction wins.

Do I think Auction Sniper folks are able to do anything about it? NO. How could they, possibly? I mean, in the end, couldn't EBay block third party sniping -- in total -- if they want to? Of course they can! I think they will!

Maybe then the lawyers (they would most certainly hire) from these third party sniping companies might actually attempt to sue EBay for shutting down their bread-and-butter, put-food-on-the-table websites.

All of the info I've given here is from my own third party sniping losses, phone calls, messages back and forth, and talking with others, and don't forget ... my own unscientific poll. Do with the information what you will.

I suggest -- if you want, what you want on EBay, that you go back to sitting in front of your computer, with price in mind and do your own sniping in the last few seconds if you really want what you want. It's not the fault of the third party sniping services. It is EBay's fault. KING EBAY, all hail the KING.

Not only am I looking for another sniping service -- but only because the folks at Auction Sniper just don't seem to care, or are so understaffed that by the time that someone gets our messages, the time to reply/take care of the problem has already passed (since we are all obviously adept at reading each others' comments, on their own site).

And, I most definitely would LOVE TO FIND ANOTHER MARKET FOR BUYING AND SELLING ITEMS. EBay is about the money. I've been buying/selling on EBay since 1999, and they have become so anti-seller that it's beyond pathetic!

WITHOUT SELLERS, THERE IS NO EBAY! They cannot seem to be able to get that through their thick skulls while they continue to clamp down upon us harder than ever before! I will probably always buy from their site ... but I wish, oooh, how do I wish, there was another site as popular. They'd have my business in a nano-second.

Again, I'm glad to see that more people are looking for answers, here, amongst the chatty, for the "EBay Requires Account Verification" problem (amongst about five "reasons" given for Auction Sniper not making our bids for us, successfully). Keep sharing. And, SIT AT YOUR COMPUTER TO MAKE THOSE LAST SECOND BIDS! Don't give money to Auction Sniper if they're not going to offer decent customer service, and if you want what you want, then do the last minute thing YOURSELF, to get it! That way you no longer live in a frustrating mode ... it's just not worth the aggravation, because there is NOTHING THAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT! THAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE!

Good luck, and hugs to all! Kat Red Face)
Hi Kat,

It's true that all sniping services are at the mercy of eBay to some degree, but we have been working hard on our service to achieve the best results. Over the past few months we've made significant progress on "Ebay Requires Account Verification" as well as many other areas. I hope you've been seeing much better results in your sniping these past several weeks.

That said, the past two weeks and especially the past few days have been particularly difficult on the eBay front. They've had a number of system issues which have affected buyers and sellers in several ways. This can also be seen on independent sites such as Down Detector. This resulted in some lost snipes last week but we've put additional safeguards in place and have managed to work around the issues since then.

Regards,
Todd
Hi - sorry but that is rubbish with regards other snipers. I spoke to eBay myself regarding the issue. They were quite clear they had no intention of blocking snipers - in the main because it would drive shoppers elsewhere.

I had a sequence of failed snipes using AS - with the occasional odd one or two being placed. It got to a 90% fail rate - i.e. totally unreliable. IMMEDIATELY I switched to the other sniper (which by the way is completely free) every single one of my (over 100 now) bids was placed successfully. I reiterate: NOT ONE SINGLE FAILED BID PLACEMENT.

So I don't buy it is an across the board problem for all sniping companies. It most definitely is a problem for AS though.

There customer service is woeful and when I did get a reply it was just a scripted response with no answers to the questions posed. They did little to nothing to sort the problem out - and you have to pay for their service when the sniper I use is free and so far 100% proficient.

I would never go back to them now - I mean why would I?
Hi machineage,

Back in the July/August timeframe we were seeing failures, especially on peak Sunday evening hours and especially in the UK -- nowhere near the percentage you quote, but still too high. After all, we want our users to win as many snipes as possible!

Since that time we have added to our team and renewed our focus, with several improvements in place already and more to come. Our results now are looking quite good, dramatically better than the past results you describe, even while facing new errors on the eBay side this past week.

Snipe on!

Regards,
Todd

** EDIT ** I did some research to better understand what sort of troubles you had encountered, but our database shows only two verification failures for your account within hundreds of snipes over the years. The errors were both in mid August, when we were experiencing the most troubles. Does that sound correct, or are there other accounts that I missed?
quote:
posted November 04, 2015 10:46 AM Hide Post
Hi machineage,

Back in the July/August timeframe we were seeing failures, especially on peak Sunday evening hours and especially in the UK -- nowhere near the percentage you quote, but still too high. After all, we want our users to win as many snipes as possible!

Since that time we have added to our team and renewed our focus, with several improvements in place already and more to come. Our results now are looking quite good, dramatically better than the past results you describe, even while facing new errors on the eBay side this past week.

Snipe on!

Regards,
Todd

** EDIT ** I did some research to better understand what sort of troubles you had encountered, but our database shows only two verification failures for your account within hundreds of snipes over the years. The errors were both in mid August, when we were experiencing the most troubles. Does that sound correct, or are there other accounts that I missed?


I hate to say virtually the same thing twice, but it seemed rotten having the false-reassurance as the very last post in this thread that makes people think you've fixed anything when clearly you have not.

Less frustrating, and possibly more effective than using Auction Sniper, is to simply to write all of your snipes down and then feed them through a paper shredder.
Hi lastditcheffort,

Seems you are having troubles and are frustrated, if you provide us with further information we'd be happy to assist you.

This thread relates to our system (like many other sniping tools) having problems with ebay's security features that resulted in account verifications or captcha blocking when we tried to place snipes on your behalf. This problem has not existed since August.

I reviewed your account and it appears that your Auction Sniper user/password don't match that of your ebay credentials. It is required that they match otherwise we are not able to place snipes on your behalf.

If you are having other issues please let us know. Otherwise simply updating your sniper credentials to match ebay should fix your issues.

-Stephanie
I just wanted to add my voice to the situation about account verification. I still don't understand why the requirement for verification isn't a part of the process you go through when you set up a snipe. Why in the world does AS give the appearance that it's working when it's not? I lost a rare item that went for cheap because the seller set it up to end in the middle of the night. So upsetting!
Hi ichiricki,

We have not experienced issues with account verification since August. When it was a problem for us there were two types of validations eBay would throw at us… the first and most common was captcha blocking. If you are not familiar, captcha block is where you are shown digits and/or alpha characters in an image and asked to enter them in a field in order to continue. This was not something we could anticipate or guess, therefore we could not make it part of the process when setting up a snipe. The second issue was user account verification… If we were placing bids from the same single IP address for all of our customers we could have solved this issue pretty easily, however, because our system is highly redundant using one of hundreds of possible IP addresses to place bids on your behalf the problem was not easily worked around.

Not sure what you mean when you say AS gives the appearance that it’s working when it’s not. If our customers max bid is high enough we win 90% of the time. I feel this is a pretty good win percentage but still we are always trying to improve it. We charge 1% of the auction price (up to $9.99) but only if you win the auction, otherwise we get nothing… we want nothing more then for you to win auctions.

I reviewed your account and see you’ve won 22 items using AS and lost 10, the reason for 9 of your losses were because you did not bid enough and the last one indicates it was blocked by the seller which I believe means the seller closed the auction before it ended. I do not see that user verification or captcha block ever impacted you.

-Stephanie
Hi ichiricki,

I apologize and stand corrected. I missed your most recent snipe that appears to have failed due to captcha block on your eBay account. We also determined that your Auction Sniper password does not match with your eBay password.

In order to correct this two things need to happen. First you'll need to update your password for AS to match your eBay password. Second you'll need to login to eBay and clear the captcha block. Once these two things are done you'll be able to place snipes.

Again, I apologize for your troubles. We've credited your account with free snipes as a result.

-Stephanie
Hi Mike@home,

As you may have noticed, this is a case where eBay is asking for manual verification in order to log in from our servers. Since they aren't requiring this verification from other locations, there is nothing you can do directly. I'll follow up now with a private message so we can pursue a solution together.

Regards,
Todd

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