Bidwatcher is a free auction tool for eBay users, available for Linux and (soon?) Microsoft Windows. It was created by Trent and Tom McNair, and is currently maintained by volunteers at SourceForge.


  • Tracks your eBay listings and items that you have bid on.
  • Allows you to track auctions that you do not own and have not bid on.
  • Snipe tool allows you to schedule your bid to be placed seconds before the auction ends, avoiding driving the price high early in the auction's life.
  • Prioritizes updates according to the time left in an auction. (i.e. updates auctions that are almost over more often than ones that have a while to go).
  • Clock on main window synchronized to eBay time.
  • Runs in the background with minimal toll on system resources.
  • It's free!

Who is this for?

If you regularly list/purchase items at eBay, you might find Bidwatcher useful for keeping track of your auctions. To use it, just plug in your eBay username and Bidwatcher does the rest. It checks eBay on a regular basis for your new auctions and deletes auctions as they end. You can bid on items on the fly, or set up a 'snipe' - an automatic bid that takes place a short time before the end of an auction. Bidwatcher saves all your settings and static auction information when you close it, so you can launch it whenever you need an update, or you can leave it running in the background and let it continually update your auctions.


November 20 2001: New Developer Today Kevin Dwyer joins the team, hoping to keep things going on an excellent project. He will be working on fixing bugs at first but then hopefully adding new features and reorganizing the source. OK, enough with the third person ;).

March 14 2001: GTK version 1.2.0 We've been working on a port to GTK for a long time, and it now feels close to ready for primetime.

Of course, it's not without bugs, but please play around with it and let us know what you think.

Highlights include:

  • Port to GTK+ -- runs faster, now absolutely 100% GNU GPL pure!
  • Rewrite of much of the networking code
  • Drag and drop support of URLS
  • HTTP proxy server support
  • The bidder/seller email feature is slated for destruction, as it's now much harder to get a user's email address from eBay.
  • Many bugfixes

Please download it here.

March 24 2000: After doing the March 22 release, I discovered that Wayne Schlitt released an independently-updated version 1.1.x of Bidwatcher at almost exactly the same time. Wayne started work on Bidwatcher before I did, but due to poor communication we weren't aware of each other's work until that time. Work is now under way to merge our 1.0.5 with Wayne's 1.1.2, the latter of which includes some important new fixes for breakage caused by new eBay design changes. After merging, future development will be done on SourceForge. Thanks to Wayne for the work he's done.

March 22 2000: It's finally here, the first release of Bidwatcher since being adopted and maintained here at SourceForge. Just enough bugs have been stomped so that the Linux version works again; visit the download page to get the latest source code. I apologize to Windows users, who will still have to wait an indefinite amount of time before they have a working version again; but the source code of the last Windows release is now publicly available if you would like to tinker with it.

March 7 200: The original Bidwatcher Web site has disappeared, which for better or worse makes us "official." This hastened the need to put up the Web site I've been working on, based on the original Web site design. I changed the logo, since the original "Low-Fi" logo was not relevant to us. I realize the new logo is somewhat wanting. If you would like to come up with a spiffy new Bidwatcher logo for the Web site, please e-mail me.

February 28 2000: The Bidwatcher development project at SourceForge was spun off from the original Bidwatcher developed by Trent and Tom McNair. If you would like to report bugs or even offer to help with developing Bidwatcher, please visit project central at SourceForge.

Last update: 20 Nov 2001

Project space graciously provided by SourceForge

Site design based on original design by Trent McNair