EBay is massive at the moment. Like millions worldwide, you've probably used it at some stage, whether to pay off debts, clear out your loft or find that limited-edition LP you've always been looking for.

If so, it may interest you to hear that Z Group, the company that brought you OnSpeed - a program that makes dialup and broadband internet connections quicker - has come up with another innovative and unique product in the shape of Onbidder. It's a tool designed to keep an eye on all the eBay lots you are interested in, place bids for you at the last minute - you don't even have to be awake - and make sure you don't go over a predefined limit.

It tracks an auction until it's about to close, and - provided that the highest bid is under the limit you have set - will make a bid in the closing seconds. Onbidder's clock automatically synchronises itself with the eBay servers for improved accuracy.

EBay does offer a service, the eBay proxy, that is designed to place bids for you when you can't track the auction in real time, but this is frequently unreliable. When we used Onbidder to enter five auctions on eBay, we won four of the items - and we didn't win the fifth only because another user had made a bid that was higher than the amount we were prepared to pay.

In terms of overall usability, we were very impressed by Onbidder. Installation was over in seconds and it's very easy to use. Click on the My bids option and you'll see all the items you've bid for and real-time information about the state of play for each auction.

Onbidder: Specs

  • 233MHz Pentium II processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • internet connection
  • 233MHz Pentium II processor
  • Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
  • 128MB RAM
  • 10MB hard disk space
  • internet connection

OUR VERDICT

Here at PC Advisor we are particularly keen on software that saves you time, and Onbidder should ensure you don't have to check your eBay portfolio every five minutes. It's easy to set up and simple to use, making it well worth a Gold award.

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