Proxy Bidding

Sites such as eBay use a bidding system known as proxy bidding. Instead of placing an incremental bid, you place a maximum bid. If you are the first bidder and the opening bid is $49.99, even if your proxy bid is $500.00, it will only appear as $49.99. As bidding proceeds, other bidders will place their bids, which in turn will raise the current selling price. As long as nobody places a bid over your $500.00 proxy bid, you remain the high bidder. However if another bidder places a bid over your $500.00 maximum, naturally they are now the high bidder, and the auction price continues upward as additional bids are placed. That other bidder could have dethroned you with a bid of $500.01 or $1000.00. Regardless of the other high bid, the auction is continuing, and you are not winning! In reality, the amount is raised by an automatic increment and another bidder could have placed a $600.00 bid at the last minute, raising the closing price to $510.00 - the next automatic increment for a $500.00 to $1000.00 range.

Dang! You lost out by a lousy $10.00 in the last few seconds! Why did this happen? The name for last second bidding is "sniping".

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Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML SMR Group, Images SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

SMR Group 2000 - http://www.smr-group.co.uk/