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esniper(1)		    General Commands Manual		    esniper(1)

       esniper - a lightweight ebay sniping tool

       esniper	[-bdhHimnPrUv] [-c conf_file] [-l logdir] [-p proxy] [-q quan-
       tity] [-s secs|now] [-u user] (auction_file | [ auction price ... ])

       esniper 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  com-
       mand line.  See the AUCTION FILE	section	below for more details.

       -b     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 user-
	      name cannot be determined	from options or	read  from  configura-
	      tion or auction files, esniper will fail.

       -c     Specifies	 a configuration file to read.	All options can	be set
	      either by	command-line flags or in the configuration file.   See
	      the CONFIGURATION	FILE section for details.  The default config-
	      uration  file  is	 $HOME/.esniper	 (or   $USERPROFILE/My	 Docu-
	      ments/.esniper in	Windows).

       -d     Enable  debug  mode.   The corresponding configuration option is
	      debug,  default  value  is  false.   Log	files  are  named  es-
	      niper.<auction_num>.log  and esniper.log,	and are	written	to the
	      current working directory.  If the -l option or logdir  configu-
	      ration  option  is  used,	log files are written to the specified

       -h     Show command line	option help.

       -H     Show configuration and auction file help.

       -i     Print information	on given auctions and exit.

       -l     Set the directory	where log files	will be	written.   The	corre-
	      sponding	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.

       -m     Print user's my eBay watched items list and  exit.   The	user's
	      myEbay watched items list	must use the default column ordering.

       -n     Do  not bid.  The	corresponding configuration option is bid, de-
	      fault 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.

       -p     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

       -P     Prompt the user for their	ebay  password.	  This	overrides  the
	      password set in any configuration	or auction file.

       -q     Set  the	quantity.   The	 corresponding configuration option is
	      quantity,	default	value is 1.  esniper will quit when it has won
	      enough items.

       -r     Do  not  reduce  quantity	 on startup for	items you have already
	      won.  The	corresponding configuration option is reduce,  default
	      value is true.

       -s     Set  the	bidding	 time, specified as now, or seconds before the
	      end of an	auction.  If now is used, bids will be placed  immedi-
	      ately.   The  corresponding configuration	option is seconds, de-
	      fault value is 10	seconds.  You should snipe late	enough	in  an
	      auction  to prevent a manual bidder to update their bid, but be-
	      fore other snipes.  In case two bids are within one  bid	incre-
	      ment of each other, the first bid	placed wins.

       -u     Set  the	ebay username.	The corresponding configuration	option
	      is username, there is no default value.

       -U     Prompt the user for their	ebay username.

       -v     Print version and	exit.

       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 run esniper.

       A  configuration	 file  consists	 of  option  lines, in the format "op-
       tion=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 com-
       mand-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

       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  op-
       tions set in the	user's default configuration file.  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 op-
       tions set in any	configuration 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, op-
       tionally	 followed  by a	bid price.  If no bid price is given, the auc-
       tion 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 CONFIGURATION FILE 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
	    # read.
	    # 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
	    # owner.
	    # 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 =
	    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)
	    9298389738 25

	    # seller highqualityprintersupplies, shipping $8,
	    # excellent	reputation
	    9982309829 42

	    # seller nonbusinesshomeseller, shipping not mentioned
	    # (assume $10), good reputation
	    9287398473 35

	    # seller lasersuppliesforcheap, lousy reputation,
	    # don't buy!!!
	    #9239889372	0

       http_proxy     The  default http	proxy.	The -p command-line option and
		      proxy configuration option override this setting.

       USERPROFILE    Windows user's home directory.  If no configuration file
		      is  specified,  esniper  tries to	read the file My Docu-
		      ments/.esniper under the USERPROFILE  directory.	 Note:
		      esniper for Windows 95, 98 and Me	is compiled under cyg-
		      win, a unix-like environment for Windows.	 This  version
		      of  esniper  uses	 the HOME environment variable,	as de-
		      scribed below.

       HOME	      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

       If you are running the most current version and you are	still  encoun-
       tering a	bug, please report the bug at  To keep
       up to date with new releases and	major bugs, subscribe to  the  esniper
       announce	mailing	list at

       Many thanks to all contributors and users.

       Copyright (C) 2002, 2003, 2004 Scott Nicol  <>  All
       rights reserved.

				  31 Jan 2005			    esniper(1)


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