Auction Sentry

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Auction Sentry

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There is nothing as frustrating for an eBay addict as winning an auction right up until the last minute...only to have someone outbid you with seconds to spare. Now, Auction Sentry puts the power of ninja bidding--or sniping, as the professionals call it--into your hands.

Auction Sentry requires you to first enter your eBay user ID and password, so be sure you're the sole user of the computer on which you install the program. Once this is done, you can easily download your active auctions, or just watch an auction you're not currently bidding on. From the convenient front end, you can make a bid, or, if you're canny, set the program to place a bid at the moment you specify.

In addition, if you are a seller, Auction Sentry allows you to track profits. The program records your purchase price, and tracks the current high bid. Further, Auction Sentry takes into account the amount of money eBay will take from the transaction, as well as costs from extra features such as boldface listing. This is a valuable aid in setting the reserve price for an auction high enough to cover all expenses. When viewing the auctions in the display, the current profit (or loss) is shown as if the auction were to end right now. As an additional aid to both sellers and buyers, the entire set of auctions watched can be exported to Excel for further manipulation and calculation.

Last, Auction Sentry will also make sure that your clock and eBay's are synced up. When dealing with last-second bidding, a difference of even a few seconds between the time set on your computer and eBay's internal system time can be critical; Auction Sentry makes sure both systems are running on the same schedule and constantly adjusts your computer to allow for any slight deviations.

Tip: The optimal time to place a bid is right before the auction closes--but a lot depends on the speed of your connection to the Internet. The slower or more unstable your connection, the earlier you must place your bid to avoid missing the window altogether. It's best to experiment on a few auctions of lesser importance to determine how close to the line you can get without risking going over.

Auction Sentry is useful even if you use eBay only occasionally, though it is more useful for constant buyers and sellers. If you would rather be the sniper than the snipe-ee, this program is a valuable tool.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Auction Sentry

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