Why are new Buy-It-Now items already sold when I bid?

Why are items already sold when I get to them?

The answer is, of course, that someone else beat you to the item.

BINSniper is a tool that lets you setup searches and alerts you in realtime when new matching items are posted on eBay. It’s free and available thru the Firefox add-ons feature or from this site in the Firefox Add-ons section.


You can’t win ’em all

One of the most common questions we see from BINSniper users is “Why do I lose some items to other buyers?”  While system speed and update delays can occur, the biggest factor by far, especially in popular categories, is your competition.

For example, take a hypothetical case where only ten people worldwide are buying used iPhone 5’s.  Let’s say three of them are using BINSniper. If the three BINSniper users combined win every single iPhone 5, each one is still only going to win only a third of the listings (give or take). While that would be a balanced result, all three would still feel they are missing items. Imagine how the seven users not using BINSniper feel. In reality there are hundreds, thousands, or maybe more people at any given moment trying to buy an iPhone on eBay.


BINSniper and VieBuy.com let you compete against the speed-buyers.  Please keep in mind that there are thousands of eBay users vieing for new items. There are no guarantees that you will beat another user to a new item. There are other users running the applications listed on this website every day. Power users are generally focused on electronics categories such as phones, computers and cameras. These categories are in high competition.

The tools presented here are designed to speed up the buying process. To this end, there are some features that were developed based on user input, to make things faster. Aside from the obvious features, such as the real time alerts:

  • The listing details screen has a Buy Now button that takes you directly to the offer page.
  • The detail screen provides a quick view of most of the item details and doesn’t have the image and javascript delays you experience on the eBay site.

There are some other things you can do to make sure you are getting the fastest results:

  • keep your searches as simple as they can be.
  • login to eBay before using the tools. That way you won’t be prompted to login when bidding
  • make sure you have at least DSL speed for your Internet connection.
  • make sure your computer is reasonably fast. You don’t need a new computer, but a ten year old computer running Windows 95 probably won’t do the job.
  • try VieBuy’s RSS feed option if the API option is slow
  • UK users can set BINSNiper to use our server in the UK to speed things up

There are other issues which may affect speed that are not under your control:

  • how long eBay takes to add the item to the feeds (shown as lag time at the bottom of the VieBuy screen)
  • how long it takes to fetch data from eBay (shown as response time at the bottom of the VieBuy screen)
  • sellers updating items shortly after listing. This may cause the item to reappear in VieBuy.
  • the load on the eBay systems. During heavy use times (e.g. Sundays) response time will be slower and may vary throughout the day
  • In some cases the website will be faster than the data feeds, but usually the feeds are faster.

In BINSniper, multiple searches can be configured. Searches are executed in parallel and the results are displayed as they arrive.

Combining searches is usually faster. For example, if you have the following searches:
ipod nano blue case
ipod shuffle blue case

You could replace these with:
ipod blue case

The nano and shuffle searches would be included, as well as other ipod models.

Or you can use the OR syntax to limit the results to nano and shuffle only:
ipod blue case (nano, shuffle)
which means: items containing “ipod” and “blue” and “case” and either “nano” or “shuffle”

VieBuy.com has added an RSS option that users buying from UK and other eBay sites outside the USA may find faster. For users outside the US, the RSS feed may be a bit faster. The RSS feed may also be affected by server loads at eBay on busy days.