This is more of a report than a chat, but did I leave anything out?
Winning or losing on eBay is purely a matter of bidding the higher price. Sniping is nothing more than sending in your order just before the close, just as it is done in the stock market. You can adjust your bid up or down before it fires, and no one will know. To win using a snipe, you bid your maximum once, very late in the auction. eBay always uses a proxy bidding system, in which you specify the most that you want to pay. It is very rare that you will actually have to pay your highest bid. You will usually either win the item for considerably less money than you planed, or else will lose the auction to a higher bidder.
Sniping is scheduling your bid to be sent later to eBay, nothing more. Bidding early in an auction simply telegraphs your intent and attracts others to bid against you. By bidding late you do not leave enough time for anyone to react. Sniping makes use of their inability to strike back.
When you place a bid, enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for the item and bid it, ONCE. The first highest bidder always wins, at just above the first losers price. It is the unexpected aspect of sniper fire that gives it power.
Taking one shot, making one bid, embodies snipers tactics and philosophy, of efficiency and stealth. Successful snipers take their time in analyzing and sniping individual items in a methodical fashion with a relatively low risk of putting the price up on themselves. You should know the value of the item, and bid a bit more. eBay has all sorts of powerful search features that let you find price histories and interest levels. Be sure to use "search titles and descriptions" rather than titles only. Remember that only "completed items" represent the final prices. Auctions in progress will usually have much lower than final bids, and cannot be used to determine value..
My winning technique is to look at things that I want (Coup d'oeil), until I have made up my mind the most that I will pay. Then I place my delayed offer, online and forget about it, until I get an alert. I need the first loser to bid the lowest price they think can win, without thinking of outbidding me.
It is an established sniper technique to use two teams approaching simultaneously from different directions. Gixen’s Mirror, uses two servers, with two databases firing from different locations, eliminating your chances of missing your bid because of network glitches, or computer malfunctions.
With this strategy, there are only two possible outcomes: You will either be overjoyed at winning, or laughing yourself silly over someone paying too much for the item. This strategy is also utterly and totally immune to shilling, sniping, and other price building or item grabbing ploys. It does not matter if you forget, fall asleep, your computer crashes, or the global international internet network is down. Your defense against being sniped, is to bid your max once, close to the end of the auction, from more than one server.