Originally Posted by mano
Why would a seller hate it if it sends the price of their auction up during the last seconds?
Why would buyers (who don't use it) like it if sends the price of their auction up during the last seconds?
Because it prevents a bidding war from breaking out.
Without sniping, someone puts in their max bid, say $100. They get out bid and price is now $101. Suddenly, the item that was only worth $100 to the original buyer may now be worth more. The thought process moves away from the total cost of the item to the incremental cost of winning the auction. Thus, if the item was worth bidding on, it surely is worth another $2 to get it. Moreover, watching the auction over a period of days may increase the desire for the item further justifying an additional bid.
With sniping, the original buyer never gets a chance to increase the original bid and thus the purchase price stays lower than it might have otherwise.
On the other hand (there's always another hand), the prevalence of sniping may result in higher prices because you have to truly put in your max bid to make sure you don't lose to another sniper because you don't have the chance to rebid as you would without sniping. For example, there is a pair of Alden suede chukkas (size 7D) [blatant attempt to prevent other SF members from bidding against me
] that I'd really like. I put in my snipe bid when they were first listed. I've subsequently increased the amount of my bid even though there is only one low bid on the item because I don't want to lose these to another sniper (at least at a price between by original snipe and my increased price).
I think sniping may create the appearance of lower prices, but I'm not sure if it's really true.