Have you ever bid in an auction only to be outbid at the last second by an unknown user? Chances are, you were sniped—not by a gun, but by a bot.
A sniper bot is a computer program that automates the process of sniping, or placing a last-second bid on an auction item. Sniper bots are used by savvy buyers and auction participants worldwide. They’re either useful or frustrating, depending on which side of the sniping you’re on.
If you’re an auctioneer, sniper bots can be a pain. They often drive up the prices of your auction items and make them harder for you to sell.
However, buyers who like to bend the rules are best friends with sniper bots because these automated tools help them get great deals on auction items.
Modern sniper bots are commonplace in the NFT and crypto markets. Let’s take a closer look at specific use cases for sniper bots—and most importantly, how you can stop them from sabotaging your sales or auctions.
How Do Sniper Bots Work?
Sniper bots work by automatically placing a bid on an auction item at the last possible second. This process is also known as sniping.
Here’s how a basic sniper bot works. First, you’ll need to enter your maximum bid amount for an auction item. The bot will then place bids on your behalf, incrementally raising your bid until it reaches your maximum amount. Once another bidder outbids you, the sniper bot will stop bidding.
This process happens very quickly, and it’s often difficult for other bidders to keep up. As a result, sniper bots can snag great deals on auction items.
Anatomy of a Sniper Bot
Now that you have a high-level view of how a sniper bot works, let’s dig a little deeper into the inner workings of these pesky bots.
Components of a Sniper Bot
A typical sniper bot is made up of three main components:
1. User Interface
This is where you enter your maximum bid amount and other preferences. The user interface can be a web-based form or a desktop application.
2. Proxy Handler
This component is responsible for placing bids on your behalf. It connects to the auction site and submits bids as needed.
3. Log Handler
This feature keeps track of your bidding activity. It’s useful for monitoring your progress and making sure that the bot is working as intended.
Common Features of Sniper Bots
In addition to the three core components, most sniper bots also come with an array of features, including:
This is the hallmark feature of any modern sniper bot. As we mentioned before, the main purpose of a sniper bot is to automatically place bids on your behalf. This feature allows you to sit back and relax while the bot does all the work for you.
Rapid Price Checking
Many sniper bots can check auction prices very quickly. This is useful for getting a real-time view of the current bidding landscape.
Some sniper bots come with multiple wallets, which allow you to spread your bids across different auction items. This makes it easier to bid on multiple items at the same time.
Floor Price Tracking
This feature allows you to set a floor price for an auction item. Once the current bid falls below your floor price, the bot will automatically place a bid on your behalf.
Types of Sniper Bots
There are two main types of sniper bots: those that run on your computer and those that run on the auction site’s servers.
- Computer-based sniper bots are the most common type. These bots are installed on your computer and require you to be logged into the auction site to work.
- Server-based sniper bots are less common, but more difficult to detect. These bots are run on the auction site’s servers and don’t require you to be logged in. As a result, they can place bids on your behalf even when you’re not online.
A freebie bot is a type of sniper bot that’s specifically designed to take advantage of pricing mistakes on items. They scan the Internet for errors in pricing. (Ex. Listing an item for $1 instead of $100) The bot automatically purchases the product with the incorrect lower price before the merchant can resolve the error.
This type of bot is controversial because it takes advantage of human mistakes. However, some users see it as a way to get great deals on products.
The Difference Between Sniper Bots and Scalper Bots
It’s important to note that there is a difference between sniper bots and scalper bots. Sniper bots are used by people who want to get a good deal on an item. Scalper bots, on the other hand, are used by people who want to make a quick profit.
Scalper bots buy up large quantities of popular items and then resell them at a higher price. This practice is called—you guessed it, scalping! It’s commonly used to purchase tickets to popular events, like concerts or sports games.
While scalping is legal, it’s not always popular with the people who are trying to buy the item. This is because scalpers often prevent regular people from getting their hands on items that they want or need.
The Legalities of Sniper Bots
Bots are legal in most jurisdictions. However, there are notable exceptions, such as in New York.
New York’s Law Against Scalper Bots
In June 2022, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill that is designed to combat “anti-consumer ticketing practices” by making it illegal to use scalper bots.
Although scalper bots are often used to purchase event tickets to resell at a higher price, they share some similarities with sniper bots. The New York bill does not mention sniper bots specifically, but it is a step in the direction of banning bots within the state altogether.
California’s Bot Transparency Legislation
In 2019, California created a law that requires bots to self-identify when they are used “with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.”
This law is intended to make it easier for merchants (and consumers) to spot bots and avoid being scammed. However, it does not specifically mention sniper bots.
So, Are Sniper Bots Fair Game?
Aside from the examples we cited above, the use of sniper bots is generally allowed. Auction participants are free to use any tools or methods that they see fit—as long as they aren’t violating the guidelines of a specific auction.
As long as you’re not breaking any rules set by the site, you should be able to use a sniper bot without any problems.
Of course, just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical. Here are some of the debates surrounding the good, the bad, and the ugly of sniper bots:
- The Good: Sniper bots can level the playing field for small-time investors. If you’re not a professional bidder, it can be hard to compete with those who have more time and resources. Sniper bots give you a chance to win auctions without having to commit all of your time to bidding.
- The Bad: Some people argue that sniper bots are unethical because they take advantage of the system. By using a bot, you can submit bids faster than other human participants. This gives you an unfair advantage and takes away from the fairness of the auction.
- The Ugly: In some cases, sniper bots can be used to commit fraud. For example, if you’re bidding on an auction for a rare item, you might use a bot to place multiple bids and drive up the price. Once the auction is over, you can cancel your bid and walk away with the money. This sort of thing is known as “sniping” and it’s considered to be very unethical.
Where Do People Get Sniper Bots, Anyway?
Essentially, there are two options:
- Buying the bot and operating it yourself
- Using a bot-as-a-service (BaaS) provider
It’s common for people to use the first option when they’re just starting out. This is because it’s generally less expensive and you have more control over how the bot operates.
As you become more familiar with bots, you might decide to use a BaaS provider. These companies will operate the bot on your behalf and usually charge a percentage of your winnings.
Popular Sniper Bots on the Market (and How They Work)
There are a few different types of sniper bots on the market, but the most popular ones are web-based. These bots work by interacting with the auction site through your web browser.
One of the most popular web-based sniper bots is called Auction Sniper. This bot works with a variety of auction sites, including eBay and Amazon.
To use Auction Sniper, you first need to create an account and enter your auction information. Then, you’ll need to choose your bid amount and how long you’re willing to wait for the auction to end.
Once the auction starts, the bot will automatically place bids on your behalf. If you win the auction, the bot will notify you and you can pay for your item.
Another popular web-based sniper bot is called Trait Sniper. This bot aims to purchase NFTs at the lowest possible price. The software offers a rarity ranking on each NFT collection within 30 seconds of the drop, allowing you to make informed decisions about your bids.
The bot also has mass bidding features, which allow you to place bids on multiple NFTs at the same time. This is helpful for users who want to use the bot to purchase an entire collection of NFTs or purchase many NFTs at once for the purpose of reselling them.
…And Many More!
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of sniper bots to choose from on the web. Although the functionalities of these bots may vary, they all essentially work in the same way.
You can even find sniper bots on freelance marketplace sites like Fiverr. Merchants on these sites will usually charge a flat fee to build or operate the bot for you.
You might be wondering, “Do all of these bots really work?”
The answer is: it depends. Like any software, there’s always the potential for bugs and glitches. However, many sniper bots are designed and built by experienced developers. It all depends on the specific solution you purchase.
How Sniper Bots Target NFTs
Sniper bots are often used in the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The format of an NFT makes it very difficult to transfer ownership quickly, so the use of a sniper bot can be helpful.
What Are NFTs?
NFTs are digital assets that are stored on a blockchain. The most popular use case for NFTs is as collectibles, but they can also be used to represent ownership of digital artwork, gaming items, and other virtual assets.
NFTs are unique and non-fungible, which means that they cannot be replaced by another asset. This is in contrast to cryptocurrencies, which are fungible and can be swapped for other assets.
How Sniper Bots Swipe NFTs
NFTs are often sold in an auction format. This makes them prime targets for sniper bots.
Most sniper bots will place several low bids on an NFT. It decreases the perceived market value of the NFT so it can swoop in at the last second and secure the NFT at the lowest price possible.
So, what does the buyer do with the NFT once they get a steal of a deal on it? They can either resell it at a higher price or hold on to it as a part of their collection—but more often than not, we see people use sniper bots solely for the purpose of reselling items and earning a profit.
In some cases, the presence of a sniper bot can make or break a sale—if an NFT seller is only interested in getting the highest possible price for their item, they may include a clause in their auction listing that bans the use of sniper bots.
The use of sniper bots in the world of NFTs is controversial. Some people believe that they take advantage of the system and should be banned indefinitely. Others believe that they’re a necessary evil in a market where prices can fluctuate rapidly.
Surprisingly, not all NFT sellers are opposed to the use of sniper bots. Some believe that they provide a level playing field for buyers and sellers. We disagree with this viewpoint and believe that sniper bots give an unfair advantage to those who are using them.
If you’re interested in buying or selling NFTs, it’s important to be aware of the role that sniper bots play in the market. Whether you love them or hate them, they’re here to stay.
The Sniper Bot Crypto Crisis
In recent years, we’ve seen an influx of new investors in the world of cryptocurrency. This is largely due to the fact that crypto prices have been on a tear, with some coins reaching record highs.
However, there’s another reason why people are flocking to cryptocurrency: the rise of sniper bots.
Sniper bots have been around for years, but they became a major problem during the 2017-2018 crypto boom. At that time, prices were rising so quickly that bots were able to take advantage of human errors and make huge profits.
Inexperienced investors were often caught off guard by the quick price changes and ended up selling their assets at a loss. Meanwhile, the bots were raking in the profits.
This caused a lot of problems for regular people who were trying to buy cryptocurrencies. In many cases, they were unable to get their hands on coins because the bots had already bought them up.
The situation became so dire that some exchanges were forced to put limits on the amount of crypto that could be bought per day. This was done in an effort to prevent people from losing all of their money to bots.
Many sniper bots are controlled by big-time investors who have deep pockets. This gives them a huge advantage over regular people who are trying to get into the market. However, in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of bot-trading platforms that allow anyone to trade like the big boys.
This has led to even more people using bots to trade cryptocurrencies. As a result, the problem of bot-trading has become even more widespread.
How Frontrunning Bots Exploit the Crypto Market
While most bot-traders use simple bots that follow predetermined rules, some bot-traders have developed more sophisticated bots that are capable of frontrunning.
Frontrunning is a process whereby a bot buys up a large amount of a particular cryptocurrency, then sells it off at a higher price when the market starts to move. This allows the bot-trader to make a quick profit without taking on any risk.
Frontrunning is a controversial practice that many people believe is unfair and harmful to the market. After all, it’s not just big investors who are taking advantage of the system—it’s also the bot traders.
This type of activity can cause prices to fluctuate wildly, which can be very dangerous for investors. In a worst-case scenario, it could even lead to a market crash.
What is the PancakeSwap Sniper?
PancakeSwap is a decentralized crypto exchange. It allows users to trade a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Binance Coin.
PancakeSwap also has its own native token, called CAKE. The token is used to pay transaction fees on the platform and can also be staked to earn rewards.
PancakeSwap has become very popular in recent months, due in part to its low fees and fast transaction times. However, the platform has also been plagued by bot-trading activity.
In particular, there has been a lot of activity from a bot called the PancakeSwap Sniper. This bot has been responsible for frontrunning a number of trades on the platform, causing prices to jump up and down.
The PancakeSwap Sniper works by connecting to the network, then watching for trades that are about to take place. Once a trade is detected, the bot buys up a large amount of the currency that is being traded.
The bot then sells the currency back to the market at a higher price, making a profit in the process. There you have it: frontrunning at its finest.
The anti-bot properties on the PancakeSwap Sniper Bot have been put in place to try and mitigate the effects of bots on the platform. However, it’s not yet clear if these measures will be effective in the long run.
If you’re thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, it’s important to be aware of the role that sniper bots play in the market. Otherwise, you could end up losing a lot of money.
How to Stop Sniper Bots
As a seller or auctioneer, there are several actions you can take to prevent sniper bots from sniping your items. Let’s take a look at your next steps:
Certain types of auctions are better equipped to handle sniper bots than others. Here are ways you can configure your auction to prevent sniper bots from sniping:
Add Intervals to Your Auction
Adding intervals after every bid is the best way to prevent sniper bots from sniping your auction items, including NFTs. By adding an interval, you’re giving other potential bidders time to place their bids. This makes it more difficult for sniper bots to swoop in and place a low bid at the last second.
If you’re using an NFT marketplace that doesn’t have this feature, you can add it yourself by creating a smart contract.
Add a Reservation Price
Another way to prevent sniper bots is to add a reservation price to your auction. This is the minimum amount that you’re willing to sell your item for. If the highest bid doesn’t meet your reservation price, the NFT will be sold to the next highest bidder.
This method isn’t foolproof, but it’s a good way to deter sniper bots from placing low bids.
Limit the Number of Bids per User
Limiting the number of bids that each user can place is another effective way to prevent sniper bots. This method is often used in conjunction with other methods, such as adding intervals or a reservation price.
By limiting the number of bids, you’re making it more difficult for sniper bots to place multiple low bids. This gives other potential bidders a better chance of winning the auction.
Use a Decentralized Exchange
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, you can use a decentralized exchange (DEX) to trade NFTs. DEXes are powered by smart contracts and don’t rely on centralized servers. This makes them much more difficult to manipulate.
DEXes are a great option if you’re looking for a more secure way to trade NFTs. However, they’re not without their own set of risks. It’s important to do your own research before using a DEX.
Monitor the Activity of Sniper Bots
If you’re serious about preventing sniper bots, it’s important to stay up-to-date on their activity.
There are a few ways you can do this:
Follow Bot-Tracking Twitter Accounts
For example, @whale_alert is a Twitter account that tracks the activity of sniper bots. It often shares information about new bots as well as updates on existing ones.
This is a great way to stay informed about the latest bot activity. However, it’s important to remember that not all bot-tracking Twitter accounts are reliable.
Join a Discord Server
Another way to stay up-to-date on sniper bot activity is to join a Discord server. The NFT community is very active on Discord, and there are several servers dedicated to tracking bot activity.
Keep an Eye on Your Own NFTs
If you’re an NFT owner, you can also monitor the activity of your own NFTs. This is a great way to see if your NFTs are being targeted by sniper bots.
There are a couple of ways you can do this:
- Check the transaction history: The first action you should take is to check the transaction history of your NFTs. This will show you all of the bids that have been placed on your NFTs. If you notice any suspicious activity, such as multiple low bids being placed at the last second, it’s possible that your NFT is being targeted by a sniper bot.
- Monitor the activity in your wallet: Another way to monitor the activity of your NFTs is to check your wallet. Most wallets will show you the current bids that have been placed on your NFTs. This is a great way to see if there’s any suspicious activity going on. If you notice anything unusual, it’s possible that your NFT is being targeted by a sniper bot.
Protect Your Website From Sniper Bots
Regardless of what you’re selling on your website, it’s important to protect it from bots. This is especially true if you’re running an online auction.
Think you can just set up a CAPTCHA and call it a day? Think again. CAPTCHAs are not effective against bots. In fact, they’re often more of a hindrance to legitimate users than they are to bots.
So, what can you do to protect your website from bots? You need an advanced bot mitigation and detection solution that can identify and block bots in real time.
What to Look For in the Right Bot Mitigation Software
When you’re looking for the right bot mitigation software to solve a sniper bot problem, there are many factors you should keep in mind. Here are the features to keep an eye out for:
Protection Against Price Scraping
The first feature you should look for is protection against price scraping. Price scraping is a type of bot activity that’s often used by snipers. It involves bots that collect pricing information from websites and then use that information to place bids on auctions.
The best bot mitigation software will be able to detect and block price-scraping bots.
Real-Time Bot Blocking
Bots can complete transactions at superhuman speed. So, it’s important to have a bot mitigation solution that can block bots in real time. You need a solution that can identify and block bots before they’re able to place a bid.
Ideally, the solution you choose should also be able to distinguish between human users and bots. You want to be sure that legitimate users are able to use your website without any problems.
User Behavior Analytics
Understanding the behavior of both human users and bots is paramount to effective bot mitigation. Robust analytics that take into account the behavior of both humans and bots can help you identify suspicious activity. This, in turn, can help you block bots before they’re able to place a bid.
Flexible Deployment Options
The solution you choose should have flexible deployment options. In other words, it should be able to run on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment.
This will give you the flexibility to choose the deployment option that best meets your needs. It’s also important to choose a solution that can scale as your needs change.
Defense Against Application Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
An important benefit you should look for in bot mitigation software is protection against Application DDoS attacks. Application DDoS attacks are a type of attack that’s often used by botnets. They involve flooding a website with traffic in an attempt to overload the server and take the website offline.
Although sniper bots don’t typically use DDoS attacks, it’s still important to have protection against them in case a DDoS attack occurs as part of an advanced series of bot attacks.
Schedule a Demo of Kasada
At Kasada, we specialize in bot mitigation for e-commerce websites.
Our technology is designed to stop bots without impacting the user experience. We do this by identifying and blocking bots before they can place bids or make purchases.