I have been involved in something like 200 Ebay auctions and have won almost 100. I do "snipe", which means bid at the last second, as you describe. I can't remember a single auction where I didn't bid my limit. There is no penalty for doing so (a point you make). I was outbid by substantial sums in many of the auctions that I lost. The only "steals" I have ever gotten were when there was no one else bidding � in that circumstance the timing of bids is irrelevent. I guess if we bidders were all in the same room, we could get caught up in "bid fever"... but that can't be achieved in a 24 time zone system. Ebay offers the only real bidding of any of the sites so far, because the others are so relatively immature. Ebay's system works great (when it's up). Even so, it is hard to imagine Ebay generating enough income to support its current cap... or anything close to it.