I'm pleased to have made the discovery this weekend of Auction Sniper...a company that places your Ebay bids at the last minute. This gives a higher chance of winning the item (at a lower price, even), because it avoids the early bidding wars that take place using Ebay's proxy bidding.
The first few (3? 5? I don't remember) are free, after that a 1% fee is charged.
Oooh, and if you sign up using the link below, I get some free snipes. Enjoy!