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Confessions of an Auction Sniper

by mandyguido


So there it is, that elusive item you have tirelessly been hunting for. You have been following the auction for days and spent countless circling your precious prize keeping other bidders at bay. Today is the day—you can feel it. Time is swiftly ticking by and the item is in the home stretch.

Finally, just one minute left! There is a flurry of bids, but you are always one-step ahead. In thirty seconds, that item is yours. You did it! All the scrimping and saving will finally pay off. Ten seconds... five... four... three... two—you place a quick last minute bid! The auctioneer pounds the gavel on the podium and loudly announces ... you lost!

Yup. You've been sniped.

Now before you get your pitchfork and chase me through Neopia Central, let me explain a thing or two about auction snipers. We are not as horrible and conniving as people may believe. Therefore, I, mandyguido, self-proclaimed auction sniper, would like to give you some tips and tricks on how to spot, and maybe even outbid Neopia's sneakiest snipers. Welcome to Auction Snipers 101; let's begin!

So, what exactly is an auction sniper? An auction sniper is another name for an auction reseller. A sniper has one goal in mind when bidding—making profit. Now in order to make a profit, snipers have to be diligent and on their toes at all times. It is easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. That is way many snipers set spending limits, or as I like to call them, bidding caps.

Now, a bidding cap is the maximum amount a sniper is willing to bid on an item. This is how snipers defer from buyers. Most buyers are willing to pay almost any price for an item. They want that item for personal use; like, painting a pet or adding to their stamp collection. However, snipers are solely bidding for profit and each sniper will most likely have a different bidding cap and strategy.

How exactly do snipers set there bidding cap you ask. Well, it on depends on the amount of profit they want to make. As a sniper, my bidding cap is fifty percent of what the item is worth. If an items worth 10 NP, the bidding cap would be 5 NP. I am always looking to double my money. On a side note, a great way to outbid a sniper is to find their bidding cap. If you exceed it, they will most likely back out of the auction and search for their next deal.

Now, let us move on to some sniper strategies. If you recognize the sniper's plan of attack, you will have a better chance of outbidding them and happily skipping home with treasure in hand. Now remember, each sniper will bring their own personal flair to these auction tactics and some of us are quite clever.

The Phantom Sniper:

This strategy is as basic as it gets. In order to remain under the radar, the sniper will place their bid at the last possible moment. This is one of the hardest strategies to overcome—but it is possible! When placing that last minute bid, the sniper is NOT going to stick to the minimum bid for that item. Also, keep in mind the whole time you have been bidding, they have been watching and taking note of your bidding pattern. Is someone always bidding 1, 10 or 100 NP? If people are constantly bidding the minimum or specific amounts, a sniper will recognize that and use it to their advantage. So keep your game faces on! Do not stick to a bidding pattern; you might just surprise the phantom sniper by winning!

The Lurker:

This is the most common sniper strategy. In order to give a false sense of security and not set of any alarms, the sniper places the minimum bid on an item then disappears. The sole purpose of that bid is to keep track of the item and easily access it from the My Bids area in the auction house. Now, they are free to go bid on other items, play some Cellblock or spend some quality time at the Art Centre with their neopets. By lurking, a sniper can easily keep track of an item without having to worry about hitting their bidding cap or alerting you to their presence. To out bid a lurker, be attentive and aware of who is bidding at all times. Finally, at the last moment NEVER place the minimum bid because your lurker is not going to either.

The All In:

When a sniper is performing the "All In," they are consistently placing the maximum bid (1000 NP) on an item in order to raise the price. But, wait! If a sniper is constantly upping the bid, they are just eating at their profit right? Well, when there is a greater amount of profit on the line, a sniper is willing to take a larger risk. Therefore, a sniper is prepared to get close to their bidding cap in order to weed out bidders who do not have the available neopoints. At the auction, there is always going to be someone who has more neopoints than you do and sniper wants you to believe it's them.

This strategy is one of my personal favorites. It is normally used when the item being bid on can generate a lot of profit or is one of those valuable unbuyables. Unfortunately, this strategy gives snipers their bad reputations. This tactic actually serves purpose. So buyers, if you recognize what a sniper is doing, keep your cool. This strategy can work to your advantage as well.

The easiest way to beat a sniper using this strategy is to go over their bidding cap. It is that simple. Moreover, by upping the price, the sniper has decreased your competitors in the process. See, there is a method to our perceived madness.

Now, if you happen to be one of the bidders the sniper knocked out in the process, do not take it personal. Neopia is full of opportunities. Try your luck at another auction. You only get better with practice, patience and experience. Sending strongly worded neomails to every person who outbids you is not necessary.

However, if you must drop a line, try approaching the situation from a different angle. In all my years of sniping, no one has EVER sent a neomail offering to PURCHASE the item. So, delete those forceful words and instead offer a deal that will benefit both of you. You might be surprised to find out how cordial snipers are and make a friend in the process.

Now stop dallying and head over to the auction! If you're lucky, you might just snipe the sniper.

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