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Webbots, Spiders, and Screen Scrapers by Michael Schrenk

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Sniper Theory

Of all procurement bots, snipers are the best known, largely because of their popularity on eBay. Snipers are procurement bots that use time as their trigger event. Snipers wait until the closing seconds of an online auction and bid just before the auction ends. The intent is to make the auction's last bid and avoid price escalation caused by bidding wars. While making the last bid is what characterizes snipers, a more important feature is that they enable people to participate in online auctions without having to dedicate their time to monitoring individual items or making bids at the most opportune moments.

While eBay is the most popular target, sniping programs can purchase products from any auction website, including Yahoo!, ...

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