There are bidding programs you can download and use that will submit bids quicker than you can manually, within the last 5 seconds of the auction. I have sold popular items and watched this happen. I have had items sell with the winning bid increasing by hundreds of dollars in the last 2 or 3 seconds!
I have also won items in the last few seconds. I once saw an item I was interested in at a very low price with less than a minute to go. I put in a bid and won the item by less than a dollar over the previous bidder. I received an email from that bidder stating he was "pissed off and going to turn me in to Ebay". Evidently he didn't realize I didn't do anything wrong. Bottom line, I was willing to pay more for the item than he was. My advice is to always bid the maximum you are willing to pay for an item. If it sells for more than that have no fear, there will ALWAYS be another one listed and another opportunity! If you are just looking to get something as cheap as possible, you can sometimes get it by sniping.
By the way, what kind of controller are you looking for Mike?