Everyone wants to win an auction, but only at the right price. Bidding for items is fun, but keep in mind that each bid you make is a binding contract to buy the item if you win.
The information here is for our auction-style listings. Bidding for items in live auction event works a little differently, and requires registration for an event before you can bid. Learn more about participating in live auction events.
Much of the information you need to know about your bids, the auctions you are following etc can be found when you are logged in and by going to the Auction page, then clicking the My Dashboard link.
We suggest that you bid the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay for an item, and let our system incrementally increase your bid for you, as necessary.
As the listing proceeds, we compare your bid to those of other bidders. When you’re outbid, we automatically bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid. We increase your bid by increments only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder. Your maximum bid reflects the amount you’re willing to pay for an item, but you could end up paying less.
Proxy (automatic) Bidding
Our proxy bidding system makes bidding convenient so you don’t have to keep coming back to re-bid every time someone places another bid.
In live auction events, max bids are called absentee bids, and work a little bit differently than in other auction-style listings on eBay. Learn more about participating in live auction events.
How Proxy Bidding Works
When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for the item. The seller and other bidders don’t know your maximum bid.
Our system placed bids on your behalf using the automatic bid increment amount, which is based on the current high bid. We increase your bid only as much as necessary to make sure that you remain the high bidder, or to meet the reserve price, up to your maximum amount.
If another bidder places the same maximum bid or higher, we notify you so you can place another bid. Your maximum bid is kept confidential until it is exceeded by another bidder.
The current bid for an item is $10.00. Tom is the high bidder, and has placed a maximum bid of $12.00 on the item. His maximum bid is kept confidential from other members.
Laura views the item and places a maximum bid of $15.00. Laura becomes the high bidder.
Tom’s bid is raised to his maximum of $12.00. Laura’s bid is now $12.50.
We send Tom an email that he has been outbid. If he doesn’t raise his maximum bid, Laura wins the item.
In reserve price auctions, if your maximum bid is at least the reserve price, we automatically increase your bid to meet the reserve, and bidding will continue from there.