.TH esniper 1 "31 Jan 2005"
esniper - a lightweight ebay sniping tool
.RB [ -bdhHimnPrUv ]
.RB [ -c
.IR conf_file ]
.RB [ -l
.IR logdir ]
.RB [ -p
.IR proxy ]
.RB [ -q
.IR quantity ]
.RB [ -s
.IR secs|now ]
.RB [ -u
.IR user ]
.RB "(auction_file | [ auction price ... ])"
is a lightweight ebay sniping tool. It doesn't have a lot of features, and
that is by design.
Auctions are specified on the command line, using the auction number and
your bid price. Multiple auctions can be bid on by specifying more auctions
and bid prices. esniper stops when the desired quantity has been won
(default is 1).
You can use an auction file instead of specifying auctions on the command
line. See the \fBAUCTION FILE\fP section below for more details.
Enable batch mode.
The corresponding configuration option is batch, default value is false.
In batch mode, esniper never prompts for password and/or
username. If the password or username cannot be determined from options or
read from configuration or auction files, esniper will fail.
Specifies a configuration file to read.
All options can be set either by command-line flags or in the
See the \fBCONFIGURATION FILE\fP section for details.
The default configuration file is $HOME/.esniper
(or $USERPROFILE/My Documents/.esniper in Windows).
Enable debug mode.
The corresponding configuration option is debug, default value is false.
Log files are named esniper.<auction_num>.log and esniper.log, and are
written to the current working directory.
If the -l option or logdir configuration option is used, log files are
written to the specified directory.
Show command line option help.
Show configuration and auction file help.
Print information on given auctions and exit.
Set the directory where log files will be written.
The corresponding configuration option is logdir, default value is the
current working directory, or if an auction file is specified the directory
of the auction file.
The directory must exist and be writeable.
Log files are written when the -d option is used.
Print user's my eBay watched items list and exit.
The user's myEbay watched items list must use the default column ordering.
Do not bid.
The corresponding configuration option is bid, default value is true.
Useful for debugging, it exercises most of esniper except
actually placing bids. It is also be useful for checking the status of
an auction, without accidentally placing a bid.
Specify an http proxy to use.
The corresponding configuration option is proxy, default value is the
value of the http_proxy environment variable.
The proxy should be of the form http://host:port/.
Prompt the user for their ebay password. This overrides the password set in
any configuration or auction file.
Set the quantity.
The corresponding configuration option is quantity, default value is 1.
esniper will quit when it has won enough items.
Do not reduce quantity on startup for items you have already won.
The corresponding configuration option is reduce, default value is true.
Set the bidding time, specified as now, or seconds before the end of an
auction. If now is used, bids will be placed immediately.
The corresponding configuration option is seconds, default value is 10 seconds.
You should snipe late enough in an auction to
prevent a manual bidder to update their bid, but before other snipes.
In case two bids are within one bid increment of each other, the first
bid placed wins.
Set the ebay username.
The corresponding configuration option is username, there is no default value.
Prompt the user for their ebay username.
Print version and exit.
.SH "CONFIGURATION FILE"
Most command-line options can also be set in a configuration file.
The advantage of using a configuration file is that you can set all of you
options once and not have to enter them on the command line every time you
A configuration file consists of option lines, in the format "option=value",
blank lines, and comments. Option names are listed above with their
corresponding command-line flags. Comments begin with #.
One configuration file option that doesn't have a corresponding command-line
flag is password. The password option allows you to set your eBay password.
If you store your eBay password in a configuration file, you should ensure that
the configuration file can be read only by you.
The default configuration file is $HOME/.esniper
(or $USERPROFILE/My Documents/.esniper in Windows).
If an auction file is used, esniper will also attempt to read .esniper
from the directory that contains the auction file; options set in this
configuration file will override options set in the user's default
However, if the -c command line option is used, then only the configuration
file specified by the -c command line option is read.
Options specified on the command line override corresponding options set in
an auction file, and options set in an auction file override options set in
any configuration file.
.SH "AUCTION FILE"
An auction file is similar to a configuration file, but it also has one or
more auction lines. An auction line contains an auction number, optionally
followed by a bid price. If no bid price is given, the auction number uses
the bid price of the first prior auction line that contains a bid price.
If an auction file is specified and the -c option isn't used, esniper
attempts to read .esniper from the directory where the auction file
is located. See the \fBCONFIGURATION FILE\fP section for more details.
An example of a configuration file:
# A configuration file contains option settings,
# blank lines, and comments (begin with #). The
# default configuration file is $HOME/.esniper, and
# if you specify an auction file, .esniper in the
# auction file's directory as well. If you specify a
# configuration file using the -c command-line option,
# then that configuration file will be the only one
# If you set your password in a configuration file
# and you are on a unix system, you should be the
# owner of the file, and you should set the
# permissions so that it is readable only by the
# Here are all the options. Note that if the
# default (as defined in esniper -H) is fine, you
# don't need to specify it in a configuration file.
# boolean parameters can be set to:
# true, y, yes, on, 1, enabled
# false, n, no, off, 0, disabled
batch = false
bid = yes
debug = enabled
reduce = y
# Note: it would be nice if logdir could use ~myuser,
# or $HOME. Perhaps in a future version.
logdir = /export/home/myuser/esniperlogs
password = myebaypassword
# Note: proxy authentication not yet supported
proxy = http://192.168.1.1:8080/
username = myebayusername
# Note: quantity is usually set in an auction file
quantity = 1
# Note: seconds can also be "now", if you want to
# bid immediately
seconds = 10
An example of an auction file:
# An auction file may contain any line that is valid
# in a configuration file (see sample_config.txt for
# details), plus it may also have auction lines.
# An auction line contains an auction number, optionally
# followed by a price. If a price isn't specified, the
# price used is the same as the previous auction line.
# You should have one auction file for each type of item
# you are bidding on, so that you can change the quantity,
# username, or other options to suit the item you are
# bidding on. For instance, you may want to buy up to 10
# laser print cartridges, but only one digital camera.
# Sample auction file for laser printer cartridges
# I'd like 10 of them, and my target price is $50
quantity = 10
# seller surpluslaserjunk, shipping $15,
# questionable reputation (so I'll only pay $40 total)
# seller highqualityprintersupplies, shipping $8,
# excellent reputation
# seller nonbusinesshomeseller, shipping not mentioned
# (assume $10), good reputation
# seller lasersuppliesforcheap, lousy reputation,
# don't buy!!!
.SH "ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES"
The default http proxy. The -p command-line option and proxy configuration
option override this setting.
Windows user's home directory. If no configuration file is specified, esniper
tries to read the file My Documents/.esniper under the USERPROFILE directory.
Note: esniper for Windows 95, 98 and Me is compiled under cygwin, a unix-like
environment for Windows. This version of esniper uses the HOME environment
variable, as described below.
Unix user's home directory. If no configuration file is specified, esniper
tries to read the file .esniper in this directory.
eBay likes to change their website often. Some of these changes will
break esniper. If esniper doesn't work for you, please make sure you
have the most recent version. You can check the version of esniper you
are using by running esniper with the -v option. Updates to esniper are
available at http://esniper.sf.net/.
If you are running the most current version and you are still encountering
a bug, please report the bug at http://esniper.sf.net/. To keep up to date
with new releases and major bugs, subscribe to the esniper announce mailing
list at http://lists.sf.net/lists/listinfo/esniper-announce
Many thanks to all contributors and users.
Copyright � 2002, 2003, 2004 Scott Nicol <email@example.com>
All rights reserved.
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