Actually slamming is allowed on this site and most others that I know of. This is not illegal.
The best way to guard against this practice is when you place your initial bid, make it the highest bid you are willing to pay. Your bid will not go up unless others bid and you have a better chance against slamming at the very end of an auction.
The issue is though, he is using an automated program to do his dirty work. I would be perfectly fine if it were human to human. It is not. I have seen him win a bid in the last 2/10's of a second which is NOT a human response time. I understand it is good for your business to have this douchebag bidding on your site. It is however, in the end going to cost you business because eventually he is going to run out of money and you will have run out of customers that want to bother with the site because of this unchecked and unmanaged behavior. Just one man's opinion.
You're right, and I apologize. That wasn't very professional or civil. This is after all a gentlemen's hobby. I was just a little swept up in my mood.
This particular person has "sniped" three different auctions from me this week, and all of them took place within the last 2 seconds of the auction. Making it impossible for me to respond. I know that you will just say "well increase your proxy bid". That would be all well and fine except like most hobbyists I have a family and this is my hobby, not what I do professionally. I know you understand what I am saying I have read the story of how you came to create this site. So, in my mind your aim for this site was for the hobbyist not the person looking for a good deal so they could resell what they get on ebay or in their own shop.
Nevertheless, this is a ONE site that actually sells the software I am talking about so that you can see I am not some conspiricy nutjob. They are real and they do exist. http://www.auctionsniper.com/
While my concern is that I am upset about being beaten out of something I wanted. I believe you should be as well, and here is why. What this man is doing is basically robbing your company of additional profits. Basically the way this software works is you put in the closing time of the auction and you put in your bid, in this case we'll say he puts 1000 dollars for a Boxcar that is going for 20 dollars. The software then waits running in the background of the computer. The human is no longer necessary in the equation. By him using the software to intercede at the very last tenths of a second, he is in effect robbing the other bidder of the chance to respond. As I said above I like a lot of the people on here am a collector/hobbyist, so I will put in a proxy bid that is somewhere close to the price asked let’s say it’s a boxcar so I put in a 10 dollar buffer. He using the software knowing that my proxy bid is not going to be anywhere near 1000 dollars and because it happens by automation it beats my total bid by ONE dollar and I don't get to respond. That is where it is affecting the profitablility of your business. I would be more than willing to bump another dollar or two, even 5 or 10 depending on what we are talking about. But, I don't get the chance to do so because that software has and will always beat a human, because it doesnt click a button, it merely sends a request to the server node with the information necessary to make a bid. Over the course of a year, this software and this action is costing your company thousands of dollars, even if we look at the last months transactions and assume he has only bought 50 items at an average of 5 dollars difference, you are out 250 dollars add that up over the course of a year and this becomes 3000 dollars.
Again, I apologize for what I said, it was decidedly undiplomatic of me, however, I am Senior programmer for BlueCross BlueShield, I specialize in building real-time response web applications, and I am telling you he is using a piece of software, and if you don't believe me, at least ask your server/IT guy to look at the bid logs for the transactions he has won and pay special attention to the timestamp for when his bid is recieved. I would be willing to bet on several of the auctions, that you would need to see the timestamp in milliseconds to actually ascertain when the bid was received by your server.
In the end, I am still not sure what you can do about it. You ulitmately need business and I like everyone else on here appreciate this site greatly. I find it to be a place to come that is much like a virtual version of the "old hobby shop" I used to have in downtown. It is by all measure one of the most reasonable and easiest sites to use for this hobby and I appreciate it greatly and I don’t like the idea of it being exploited. Again very sorry about the unpleasentness of my first post. I did not feel right leaving this conversation in the state it was in, I wanted to apologize and I didn’t want you to think I was a conspiracy nut either.
In a timed auction some one will always win at the buzzer. Automated program or not. It is not the other guys fault your bids were not high enough. I lose bids all the time because I was not willing to go higher. Even if I was willing to go higher it's my fault for not raising my limit. Some people just want a particular item more than I do.No one is robbing anybody,Internet auctions are not like a live auction where you keep bidding till you reach your limit, you put in your limit up front and hope it goes your way. I have sat at the key board and waited for the last second and hoped the other guys auto bid was not higher. Sometimes I win sometimes I don't. That is the glory or the agony of auctions. I don't write to a public forum that I don't have the money to outbid someone else. Timed auctions don't care if you were willing to bid more and did not get the chance. It is just like a sealed bid on a government contract. You put in what you think you can do the job for. If someone else's bid is lower do you say, well wait maybe I can do it for less, do over. BRAAAAGH sorry you don't get the contract. Say "crap" and move on. Even on the price is right tv show the guy at the end that is closer to the actual price wins the showcase and the other guy gets to go sit down. Auctions are not for the timid or weak of heart. Sorry if I have offended anyone.
I too have lost auctions at the last minute to anyone biidding. I usually will put in a bid as high as I am willing to go, if I lose at the last oh well, I just keep looking and trying to bid again if that item shows up again. I have been lucky the last 6 years, I have been bidding on this site, I have won some great trains at very good prices. I will continue to bid on this auction site. thank you
On a similar note, I have seen several items that show an initial bid with a time prior to the auction start time. In other words, the item first shows up on the site with a bid already made on it hours earlier. Has anyone else noticed this? Have some people found a way to hack into the listings before they are made public? It really does not matter except that it takes away the "buy it now" option...