"Sniping" is the auction bidding tactic of bidding as late as possible in order to secure an item without giving other participants the time to outbid you. It is a controversial practice, widely aknowledged to be the most effective way to win an auction with a fixed end time. There are even automated computer programs out there to do the dirty work for you. In fact as I write this another article has turned up criticising it. But maybe the only people who suffer as a result of sniping are the snipers themselves.