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I have to say that I am impressed with the debate/dialogue as a result of my earlier comments on snipe bot use in auctions. I didn't expect it, but I am very glad of it!
Debate can be very educational, enlightening and instructive!

Although I don't like Mike's condescending tone, I have to agree with him primarily: A bot allows you to bid while not needing to be present, and that is its best

But it is not its only feature.

I think that there is an additional benefit, and I touched on it in my first post on this topic.

First, a couple of points:

I believe that it can be very tempting to some eBay newcomers (read: sh*t disturbers) to try to drive up the price of an auction for excitement or thrills.

More significantly, I also believe that it can be very tempting to marginally bid up the price of an auction, even if you're an experienced eBayer. You talk yourself
into that next bid increment, over and over again until you see your name up there as the high bidder because you really think you must have that item. One may do
this for a couple of irrational reasons, be it ego (i.e. you just have to beat the other guy, I've gotten myself caught up in this scenario), or be it an emotional desire for
the object without the much needed accompaniment of rational thought in the purchase, or whatever... you can come up with a lot of reasons to want something.
Remember the very human allocation of goods (and services) core problem of economics, "unlimited wants with limited resources...": we can be nonsensical at times
in purchases and forget our "limited" resources in the heat of bidding for our "unlimited wants".

I don't want to get caught up with others in that situation, and I don't want to encourage it, if I can help it.

So what's the benefit of snipe bots?

I find that if I pick my price point ahead of time, and I am satisfied with what I am willing to pay, it becomes a question of whether or not I want to make a target for
someone else to try and attain or beat. The answer is I don't! So usually, I consider the object of my desire, pick a bid price, then add a couple of bucks and a few pennies, and set the bot. This way I am doing what eBay and Mike suggest, but I am NOT tipping my hand in advance. I may or may not get my item, but I am invariably satisfied with my efforts. This all I can ask for from an auction: satisfaction, one way or the other.

As for a few of the other points brought up in the thread below:

I haven't yet seen someone say that they do not allow bot bids on their auctions, I am not saying it doesn't happen, I just haven't seen it. I would have to cross that
bridge when I got to it. Just a thought though, how could they distinguish between a manual snipe and a bot snipe? In fact, I can't imagine why they wouldn't want to encourage snipers: if you get enough people doing it, in a sense, you stretch out the last 9 or 10 seconds with a bunch of extra "botted" bids, which one could argue would have a similar net effect to dynamically adding 5 minutes to the end of an auction. Your stretching out time with increased bids in those last few seconds.

By the way, I think that dynamically adding 5 minutes to the end of an auction is a very interesting consideration, with a lot of merit. However, I agree that it would add a lot of value to objects, marginally driving prices up, primarily due to the emotional reasons I talked of above. However, the ballooning of prices would ultimately be restrictive and therefore counter productive in the end, leading to flat markets (in my humble opinion).

I have been tempted to do the so called huge bid "bomb" snipe, both by bot or by manual snipe. It just doesn't make sense in the end because, as is obvious (i.e. booklung and his HP-65), you could get hung out to dry. In the end, I usually tack a few extra bucks and a some cents to create screwball number, like $67.14, just to give myself a marginal edge. Maybe we could name that "bomblet" sniping (I'm thinking of the little tiny bomblets in cluster bombs! Lends it a certain sort of cuteness, doesn't it?

Finally, I follow the auctions that I am interested in with a great deal of interest on a daily basis, and usually only set up a bot with a day or two to go in the auction. I
haven't had any surprise changes yet, but it is a good thought, and I must say, one that I haven't given much consideration to. There I go again, seems I am closing
right where I began, I am agreeing with Mike in spite of myself!! :-)

At any rate, despite my agreement with a lot of what Mike said, I do not believe that he has fully described the benefits to using a bot, and in fact, he sees them in a
very limited light.

Of course, we are all entitled to our opinions and experience!

I love this web site! Happy holidays to all!

No one seems to mention the negative ramifications of sniping amongst fellow HP enthusiasts. I don't usually feel like trading, selling, purchasing or repairing any wares from someone who has sniped me in the last seconds of an auction. I understand all the logic that has been pointed out in this forum by sniping to get an item, it is just something that I choose not to do. It does not always need to be a dog eat dog world out there.

Thanks Erik,

I agree whole heartedly. And 90%+ of the collectors I deal with feel the same way you do. I've long since given up hope for the other 10%.

One way to stop sniping is to price items so ridiculously high that no one will bid on them.

Case in point: There's a 15C Advanced User manual on auction for $115!! I believe this is a relist by the seller, when it didn't sell the first time for something like $150.

Does this seller really think any sane person will pay that price?

Why does it make you feel "cheated" when someone "snipes" you? The only difference between last-second bid sniping and bidding days beforehand, is the timing of your bid entry. If you lose an auction to a sniper, then you just didn't bid high enough.

If the "sniper" had bid 24 hours before auction close, and you were outbid, would you have felt cheated? Why or why not?

Is it because the "sniper" didn't give you a chance to try and outbid his new bid?

How you feel after being outbid (whether it occurs 24 hours or 5 seconds prior to auction end) plays into one's willingness to do business with the sniper in future transactions. However, as the end time nears, the stronger the emotion feels.

It's kinda like having someone sneak into a parking space you were waiting for after the occupant backs out. Same emotion I think.

You may want to review Erik's post above.

Collector wrote: It's kinda like having someone sneak into a parking space you were waiting for after the occupant backs out.

Regardless of pros-and-contras with respect to sniping, this is a best description of what I feel about E-bay sniping.

How do you feel about people who do not use bots, but watch the auction live and bid in the closing minutes (or seconds) of an auction?

How about the guy who snipes other collectors for HP stuff, then takes different pictures of it and puts it right back up on Ebay at 2-3x the cost, to try to sell it to the unaware? Amazing

I get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. How about you?

My point is, it doesn't feel good to be out-bid, period. It doesn't matter if it is 5 seconds, or 5 minutes, or 5 hours or 5 DAYS before auction end.


That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard yet. Yes, it most certainly DOES matter WHEN it happens!

There's a huge difference being outbid 2 days before the auction ends, and being outbid 2 seconds before the end. In the first case, you say, Oh Well, I was outbid, but I can bid again. In the latter case (and especially if you were the high bidder before being sniped) you feel very differently because you cannot bid again. The emotions border on feelings of being the victim of a crime. And you want revenge.

You are not fully accounting for the emotional factors in the sniping process. You view sniping, and auctions in general it appears, as a simple matter of pure economics, but it is much more complex than that. One foundation of economics is that people are NOT rational. Emotion always plays a part. Especially the ramifications after being sniped!

If someone broke into your house and stole your TV, at a later date would you sell your toaster to that person? Would you buy a vacuum from that person? I think not. I, for one, would do everything I could to make that person's life miserable.

"In the first case, you say, Oh Well, I was outbid,
but I can bid again."

But you're not *supposed* to bid again. You're supposed to figure out the absolute maximum you'd pay for an item, and bid that amount the *first* time, and not bid again. The proxy bidding system takes care of bidding for you, in small increments up to your maximum. If everyone did that, there would be no need (or use) for sniping.

Sure, eBay *allows* you to bid multiple times if you want. It also allows sniping. Neither is forbidden either by the rules or by the way the system works. You may be irritated by someone who snipes you at the last moment. On the other hand, I'm very irritated when I make a $100 bid, and the price stays at $20 for most of the auction, then shoots up to $95 on the last day. And when I look at the bidding history, I see that one or two people each have made half a dozen bids or more, ratcheting the price up a few dollars at a time, until they gave up. I still win, but pay almost the full amount of my bid. If I had sniped I would have won with the price much closer to $20 than to $100. This exact scenario happened to me several times (in a variety of price ranges) before I decided that from then on I would rely exclusively on sniping.

If everyone else would use the system the way it's intended to work (proxy bidding with *one* maximum bid) then it would be easier for all of us. I certainly don't enjoy getting up at 3:00 am just so I can bid in the last 10 seconds of an auction. (I haven't used any bots up to now because I'm not sure I trust giving my eBay ID and password to third-party software or Web sites.) It would be much nicer to make one bid as soon as I find an auction, then forget about it until the end-of-auction notice arrives. But until everyone else does it that way, I'm going to keep sniping.

Yes, all true. BTW, we were talking about feelings, not strategies.

Ebay is not perfect. I'm not sure exactly *what* the perfect system would look like. However, you've outlined the realities, so that's what we've got to deal with. Including your sniping, unfortunately.

I think your point is well made. I bid early, but low and don't bother to bid again until the last day (sort of a warning that I may bid later), not usually last minute, unless it is at a convienent hour. But usually with Hp calculators, that will be the only way to win.

The ebay system encourages and rewards this type of behavior. It is not fair to the bidder at all. But no one makes you bid. If ebay wanted to be fair, the price would not be shown, nor a history, until after the auction. Perhaps a list of bidding parties and allow multiple bids, but no high showing bid.

However sellers would then go to a site more favorable to them, and at the momemt (and forseeable future) ebay is that place. It is not a buyers market for Hp calculators. Ebay is only a convience, not a bargain store. If you don't forget that, it makes it easier to cope with some of the $$$ that these older calcs bring.

I see on our own clasified board prices that are now compariable to ebay. If you are going to collect Hp's easily, you will have to pay the prices. The alternative is to bargain hunt (I indulge in this often), but it takes time and effort. I could easily save myself the aggravation by just buying it at the going rate on ebay.

I try not to bid against certain individuals and shy away from driving the price up on many models. Presently I want a 16c and only want to pay $125. The going rate on ebay is $200 give or take $50 today. Tommorrow it may be $300 on ebay. I bid on an occasional 16c, but I realize that it is going to go for more than I want to pay. Will I get my 16c? Maybe some day, but probably through a trade or dumb luck, not by an ebay auction (even if I sniped).

Many people here do collect via ebay (and sell and do well I understand), but as I said before, do not think you will get a great deal by auction. That is what ebay wants the buyer to think, and that is what brings you to ebay. But it is an illusion, not reality.

Reality is, snipers, bid shilling, even other bidders with afterthoughts (biggest problem, and we all give in ie its only worth $125 for me, two days later, I WANT IT, HELL, I'll go $160. etc). And those are the very reasons ebay shows top bidder and the current 2nd highest bid + $1 or whatever increment it happens to be.

No auction is ever really fair, since it gives 1 seller the opportunity to reach multiple buyers, hence the law of supply and demand is now present. 1 item and 20 people who want it.

You can cry about snipers, hold anamosity towards them if you wish, but the point is, the system rewards them and I cannot blame them for an effective bidding stratagy. And as such you are wasting emotional effort.

I used to bid often and on everything. But the escallation and the volume is such (and wife, my purse holder, put a stop on my overindulgence) that I no longer bother except on occasion. I wasn't winning that much anyway, THANKS TO YOU DAMN SNIPPERS (my vent, but as I said before, it is encouraged and it does keep the auction down, from those with second thoughts).

My point is, if you feel it is unfair, this is one game you don't have to play. Are you going to quit? I didn't think so.

I'm not sure it's been mentioned, but I often put in a bid for a smaller amount than my top "willing to pay" price early in the auction so I can watch the auction! I often exceed my alotted 20 items "I'm Watching". (Though, thankfully, I've collected most of the models I couldn't live without...) I've been pleasantly surprised on several occasions when I won with an early bid. I've also beat myself for forgetting about an auction that goes for a low price... a bidding "bot" might be useful there. Can't sniping actually, sometimes, keep the prices LOWER than they'd otherwise be if the auction never "picks up steam"? I started buying on e-bay almost two years ago now, and have bought nothing for several months. I noticed at the start a "casino" mentality; people with money that don't want to lose... the winning may be more important than the item....

Then there's those hoarders... that's a whole other topic.

Double-edged. The prices have gone up, making my colletion more valuable. This is good. It does, however, make expanding the collection a lot harder. That's bad.

Oh well. Life on the global garage sale.

Now I understand - you view bid sniping as a form of theft. (Or, would you like to provide an alternative explaination for your stolen TV hypothetical.)

Theft requires the unlawful appropriation of property with the intent to deprive the owner of that property. Last time I checked, no bidder had any claim to the property being auctioned until the auction had closed. And, it is only the high bidder who has a claim of title in the property that was auctioned. Bid sniping is not theft - you never had any title interest in the property being auctioned to loose.

It is human nature to be unhappy when you are outbid any time during an auction. I don't like being outbid. Being outbid is a risk in any auction. But, it is not rational to blame the high bidder for your bidding timidity or other circumstances which prevent you from bidding more aggressively.

I both buy and sell on eBay. As a seller, I HATE snipers, and I LOVE early repeat bidders. The latter drive up the price, mostly driven by emotions. I just love watching the bidding wars as they happen, right before my eyes. I can see the dollar signs! The smart buyers, i.e. snipers, wait till the end, and avoid the war. Too bad for me.

BUT, when I'm a buyer, I snipe, PERIOD! In fact (and I hate to admit this, especially on Christmas - I know it's somewhat sick), I kind of get a kick out of snatching victory from someone who bid early and has been sitting on the lead for days. Actually, I hope I've done them a favor by teaching them the hard way that early bidding is bad for us buyers, as it drives up the price.

BUT then I put my seller's hat on and want them to bid early! What can I say?

Why do you put MD after your name? In general, the people on this board have fairly high degrees (Ph.Ds, etc), but we don't advertise it. Why must you? No one here really cares about your MD degree.

Why do you put MD after your name? In general, the people on this board have fairly high degrees (Ph.Ds, etc), but we don't advertise it. Why must you? No one here really
cares about your MD degree.

I assumed it was because Mike didn't want us to think that he was the Michael Meyer of Halloween fame! ;-)

But seriously, I have an advanced degree in EE, and I once made the mistake of signing a letter to a (Handspring Visor) forum with my full name---including a title suffix. Boy, it didn't take long for a flamer to come out of the woodwork!

I really don't see the big deal. I think part of the problem is that deep-down, some people are insecure. What other explanation can be offered? If you are secure about yourself, your life, and who you are, then why would you be angry at someone else for using an educational title? That was my response to the slug who lit into me on that forum (which I have never visited since).

Sometimes I want to use my title. I feel that I've put in the long hours (and years); why shouldn't I be able to use my title ocasionally? Why do I need to hide it? If I use it even once, then people like you get mad!

You know, I just keep thinking that 100 years ago, people had more respect for each other. Back then, an advanced educational degree would bring respect or deference or admiration, not resentment. It used to bother me that medical doctors are almost always expected to use their title, but non-medical doctors are seen as "wanna-bees" when they do the same. Luckily, I've grown much more secure, and I really don't care anymore. It probably has to do with the fact that I happen to think that my life is much better than it would be if I were a medical doctor! ;-)


I never thought about it that way. It has been nice, however, to hear from other M.D.'s about how they use their calculators in their business. That part has been great; making new friends in the same profession. I also had the impression that I'm one of the few non-engineers on the Forum.

Additionally, I had read complaints from people that writers don't give their name, e-mail address, etc.

As it is offensive to you, I will cease to use the suffix. It came up automatically in my browser when I typed the first letters in the "Your Name" slot. I have changed it for you.



Thanks for your "defense" of my title. You're right: I usually DON'T use my title; a "Dr." is almost exclusively used as a title for chiropractors.

By the way: every single one of my friends that dropped or flunked out of medical school is now a millionaire. Meanwhile, I can't pay my bills working 6 or 7 days a week. Boy, was I stupid! At least my hobby (calculators) is cheaper than golf. Though I'd love to have time to learn some day....


question; are you mad because he has a longer honorific than you? you're right that nobody here cares about his degree, except you. the only thing i ever thought about it was that i wondered (before he said that he's a shrink) if he ever used the nuclear medicine pac. you are not very nice, are you?

I love it! I was taught that this was called some other kind of envy.... very Freudian.

Do you know what a Freudian Slip is? It's when you say one thing, but you mean your mother.

Mines bigger! (My mother, that is.)


Actually, I did care about his title and found it interesting and discussed the first time we talked. So we know we have MD's and JD's to go with the Ph.D's and other froms of Dr. amongst a wide variety of others including those Michael mentioned who did not go.

I pity the fool.........

Bruce, you are being too darn nice in your response here!!!

Please count me in as someone who CARES, LIKES and WANTS people to display their well-deserved titles and degrees. To say no one here really cares is just dead WRONG.

Dr. Meyer is part of a profession that rises above most in the art of giving. Take a look around you, sometime, Mr. Question. There's a reason for degrees-- and a reason for the titles that follow a few of them.

Medical doctors are not just well-trained. They dedicate their lives and bind their reputations upon their practice of a VOLUME of skills, each and every one of which require them to keep the highest standards, so that they don't let down the patients who Trust them, their colleagues and the profession itself, which must Have that trust. The degree system is the best way anyone came up with to show that standards have been met... but the honorific Doctor and the M.D. after his name now ARE his name, because he has permanently pledged himself to engage in Medicine, with or without adequate compensation, perks and vacations; he IS Dr. Michael Meyer, M.D., to the community at large and to you and to me.

If you, Mr. Question, are related to him, maybe you can call him "Uncle Mikey". WITH his permission, of course.

The fact that he signed with his title, constitutes what permissions you DO have; learn it, live it, love it.

It irks me... courtesy, politeness, respect and honor are no big deal to some of you. You think in this forum or in this medium or in this age, we're all equals and therefore a title is some pretension we should all drop. On the contrary, Mr. Question.

We all need to have a certain respect shown to us based on what we offer others; our input, ideas and willingness to be involved-- that respect is an important glue that keeps discussion alive. We get a break for a little while: respect shown us in advance as a willingness to have us in as partners, not ignore and/or make fun of us. To be taken seriously and engaged in more than a flip answer or flame, we have to actually put out: ideas, commentary, reason that touches a chord or makes for more than what was, Builds.

So, think what a Medical Doctor offers others generally-- then think of the intellect honed through study and experience that, when applied here or in other forums, is always considered and reflective-- then understand that Doctors, by their nature, are always active and involved in Something, sometimes including our all-important endeavors. THIS is why Doctors automatically get INITIAL respect, where you or I might have to SHOW we deserve more than just the decency of a platform. Their own training and past actions make for an instant biography you or I may not share, but would be really good for us to know about. Beyond the Initial Respect accorded by the title, the doctor's contributions to this forum receive all the same scrutiny and are judged primarily for their content-- same as us all.

Primarily, I say-- but not Entirely. Every one of us (when not hiding behind a pseudonym) is also creating a bio for him or herself. If WE show our willingness to aid, to educate, to add to and not just waste the time of the others, our names get reputations and people choose to care or not care based on the track-record we lay down post by post. THAT's when we are equal: when those around us look at a name by a response, and they recognize the intellect and give it the respect of their time FOR THAT REASON, because it's by YOU.

And one reason I think titles get such a bad play on many forums is precisely because of envy: the "egalitarians" really, deep in their hearts, hate the idea that a reputation built on intellectual integrity follows some here via titles, but maybe will always be just outside THEIR own grasp, for whatever reason.

Mr. Question, you said, "In general, the people on this board have fairly high degrees (Ph.Ds, etc), but we don't advertise it." That may be, and if so, we are sorrier for it. Physicists, Teachers, Architects, Engineers, Lawyers, Chemists-- hey, I don't have the time to go through the
WHOLE list; but their titles MEAN SOMETHING, to you, to me, and to us all, as a small introduction to the character of the person engaged in those crafts, and their area of expertise on the "outside". Why in the world should we wish not to know these things? While text-based communication is, at best, much less personal than most other forms of interaction? The actions of some here, prevailing upon the owner of this board to create a special Biographies section, is PRECISELY BECAUSE there is a THIRST to know more about who the heck we are talking to, interacting with.

Mr. Question, you asked a simple question, and I have tried to answer. Yours was in an open forum, not a private email. That gives me the opportunity to state my opinions. I have no degree. I have no "title". I am not involved in anything professionally that DESERVES a nod or a more-attentive ear because I am in it.

But *I* DO care about degrees and titles and professional honorifics. Nobody with a degree scares me out of my thoughts and opinions, not even on his "home turf"; indeed, if the titled professional is not ready to sufficiently back up his arguments against mine, it won't be MY reputation suffering. For all these reasons, Mr. Question, I am vexed that anyone WITH a deserved title wouldn't wear it like his own skin, in and out of this Forum.

Now more than ever, the professions that keep society from dropping off the edge of this troubled earth should be lauded, their positions uplifted, their voices should be greeted with listening and respectful ears.

All you professionals, cut the modesty and be who you are: dedicated men and women who are 24 hours, 7 days a week, all your life, in the position of having CHOSEN to be, and then been chosen by others, to represent us all with your PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: in the decision of how to support that bridge; in how to save that life; in how to uphold our liberties; in how to serve and protect and defend and build and edify.

If you choose to utilize your title, yeah, there will be some with inner animosities; but maybe as they interact more with you, they'll start dealing with real persons with dignity and not impersonally to a screen message, which is why courtesy and respect sometimes seem foreign to them.

Mr. Question, just be yourself, be real, and be honest. Think for yourself, not others. Title or not, we're not here either for ego boosts nor deconstructionist deflating. We're people and our reputations and honor are a part of US.

LOL Dr. Mikey...

I should have a separate screen going to see whether or not to write that next paragraph...

... glad I ranted; glad you are as full of humor as you are; me not mad no more....


Who cares about titles? I will from now on only answer to those who address me as:

Snaipah, MD, JD, PhD, DVM, DPM, DVD, CD, RW, 24x/10x/40x, LCD, LSI, TTL, CMOS, MCSE, CCIE, MCSD, MCDBA, the Great

No, I do not view bid sniping as a form of theft.

I said it FEELS like theft. There's a big difference.

I got my Post Hole Digger from Miguel's Implements and Tools ;-)

Dr. Meyer, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't continue to add MD to your name. I thinks it's nice to know one's "Object Type"

Matt, B.S. (double-meaning implied;-)

Hmmmm. You don't seem to practice what you preach. Ebay shows you've bid very early on two items, and not sniped them at the end. Or are you using two identities?

How about this solution:

Everybody put their degrees and educational achievements in their biographies on the Bio page for reference. On this discussion board, everyone can refer to each other by first names. We're all friends, after all.

Just to add to the mix, I have a Ph.D. (biochemistry) and a J.D. (law degree).


No. Just getting tired, complacent, and collected-out. I'd snipe if I had the serious motivation to buy something more. Now, as other collectors, I'm leaving it more to fate.... <grin>



Thank you, and I agree. I think I initially put the M.D. after my name because I felt OUT of my league, being a non-engineer, etc. Then it was what popped up in my browser and I didn't think about it.

I appreciate the tremendous support from the forum and I'm now thoroughly embarrassed about the whole issue brought up by my adding the suffix. Because of the support, I am somewhat in a "bind" if I drop it!!!

So, again, while I appreciate the support from so many here when someone "dissed" the title, all-in-all I agree that it's continued use is unecessary, and I agree with your conclusion. I would also feel better dropping it.

Let's move on to other topics, PLEASE. Back to the important thing... HP calcs!!! Thanks for your support, and sensible conclusions as well.


How about just plain, moron?

I could not help myself not posting...

I did not laugh in 2001 so much as now, thanks to Snaipah, MD, JD, PhD, DVM, DPM, DVD, CD, RW, 24x/10x/40x, LCD, LSI, TTL, CMOS, MCSE, CCIE, MCSD, MCDBA, the Great

Dr. Mickey, M.D. (with much, sincere respect), thanks a lot. That`s what I call therapy.


Hello, Dr. Mickey (if I may);

I have received this message after sending you an e-mail:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors ----- <mlmeyer@pol.ne>

----- Transcript of session follows -----
550 <mlmeyer@pol.ne>... Host unknown (Name server: pol.ne: host not found)

I tried contacting you, Doc, to tell you my house is up and working, and I`m delivering that stuff this week.


Hi Luiz,
Sorry for reading your personel post to Dr. Michael Meyer.
But let's come to the point. The problem with the e-address sounds to me like an answer of a server when an email infected with the so called 'badtrans.b' virus tries to penetrate into the system. I had similar problems.
Check your system.


Hi Luiz!

I think that his right account is mlmeyer@pol.net (from his previous post) note the last "t" you're missing.


Hey, Massimo;

thanks showing me I need glasses...


... please, I am the one to be sorry using a common space for personal messages. At least for me, I`d never feel anything but thankfulness for this gesture of yours. Thanks trying to help.


(If you are curious enough, read Massimo`s post and you will see the reason for the error message. I`m ashamed...)

I always wear them Luiz... 8)

Happy New Year