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  • Sniping on Ebay

    Posted on July 23rd, 2005 Alan No comments

    How to Snipe on eBay
    EBBay Bidders Sold on Sniping
    Why sniping isn’t necessary (read comment)
    Why eBay charges to use their API
    Beyond eBay, Yahoo & Amazon auctions compared
    Third party eBay apps
    eBay API and Open Source Great comment thread, including:

    The problem with ‘sniping’ is (as I see it) largely caused by people
    failing to understand the auction process. Many people seem to put in
    the minimum bid required to make them the high bidder and wait to see
    if they are outbid. If they used eBay ‘properly’ they would just put in
    their maximum bid at the start and if someone snipes them with a higher
    bid then they haven’t actually lost anything. If someone tries to snipe
    them with a lower bid then they still win.

    EBay Service Fees

    We understand that charging for API usage certainly discourages some developers from getting started with the program.

    As
    a result, we’re constantly reviewing data and listening to the
    community to make sure our pricings and offerings hit that careful
    balance spot between encouraging innovation and preventing runaway
    costs.

    Some developers have tried "screen scraping" eBay.com;
    however, most of them have found that’s a bad way to build a commercial
    application. The site changes every two weeks. That’s means your
    application can break on a regular basis, and you will need to devote
    time to repairing it. Additionally, it is against our terms of service
    to screen scrape, so you could be shut down at any time.

    In my
    opinion, given the hourly rate most developers can charge for their
    services, $500 a year is more than worth the time savings. However,
    every developer must make that choice for themselves.

    Adam Trachtenberg
    eBay Technical Evangelism

    Scraping EBay, a bad idea?
    Official Ebay User Agreement

    7. Access and Interference.

    The
    Site contains robot exclusion headers. Much of the information on the
    Site is updated on a real time basis and is proprietary or is licensed
    to eBay by our users or third parties. You agree that you will not use
    any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site
    for any purpose without our express written permission. Additionally,
    you agree that you will not: (i) take any action that imposes, or may
    impose in our sole discretion an unreasonable or disproportionately
    large load on our infrastructure; (ii) copy, reproduce, modify, create
    derivative works from, distribute or publicly display any content
    (except for Your Information) from the Site without the prior expressed
    written permission of eBay and the appropriate third party, as
    applicable; (iii) interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper
    working of the Site or any activities conducted on the Site; or (iv)
    bypass our robot exclusion headers or other measures we may use to
    prevent or restrict access to the Site.

    What others think about sniping

    Is Screen Scraping legal?

    Gartner Group’s Dataquest [2]
    eBay Inc was successful in obtaining an interim injunction on the basis
    of trespass which prevented Bidder’s Edge scraping eBay Inc’s internet
    auction website. In the US, it is necessary to show a likelihood of
    damage to succeed in an action for trespass. The court accepted that by
    using over 100,000 automated searches per day, Bidder’s Edge Inc was
    "draining" eBay Inc’s computer system resources away from legitimate
    customers and that this had caused some harm to eBay Inc. The decision
    has been criticised in the US on a number of fronts including on the
    basis that the harm to eBay was not in fact sufficient.

     

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