How to Bid on an eBay Auction
If you don’t have the time to follow an eBay auction closely from its beginning to its conclusion, you can place a proxy bid using eBay’s automatic bidding system. This allows you to place your bid for the highest amount you’re willing to pay for an item, without spending your valuable time constantly following the auction.
Before you place your proxy bid, you should give serious thought to how much you want to pay for the item. When you place an automatic bid (a proxy bid) on eBay, eBay’s bidding engine places only enough of your bid to outbid the previous bidder. If there are no previous bidders and the seller has not entered a reserve price, your bid appears as the minimum auction bid until someone bids against you.
When you place a bid for the highest amount you're willing to pay, that doesn't mean that you'll have to pay that amount. eBay will auotmatically change your bid so that it just beats the next highest bid, or the next highest bidder's total proxy bid. If you place a proxy bid and no one else bids on the item, you'll only have to pay the starting bid price.
To place a proxy bid in an auction, follow these steps:
Log in to eBay and find an auction you want to bid on.
Type your maximum bid in the appropriate box and click the Place Bid button, shown here.
A confirmation page appears, and you have one last chance to back out.
If everything is in order, click Confirm Bid. Or, if you get cold feet, click Back to Item.
After you’ve placed your bid, the next page lets you know whether you’re the high bidder.
If you’re not the high bidder in an auction, just scroll down the acknowledgment page to the rebidding area and place another bid.
Your bid increases incrementally in response to other bids against yours, up to your maximum bid amount. The following table lists eBay’s bidding increments.
|Current High Bid||Next Bid Increased By|
|$5,000.00 and up||$100.00|
No one will know how much your proxy bid is unless someone outbids you and becomes the high bidder.