Multiple-Item, or Dutch, eBay Auctions

A multiple-item, or Dutch, auction on eBay allows a seller to auction multiple identical items. You can bid on as many of the item as you want. To place a bid in a Dutch auction, you must input the amount of items you want to bid on and the amount you want to bid per item. When the total number of items has been bid upon at the opening price, the next bids have to beat the previous bids by one bidding increment.

A Dutch auction can run for 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10 days. When the auction is over, all winning bidders (those with the highest bids) win their items at the lowest bid price. That may sound ridiculous, but that’s the way it works.

For example, suppose you want to sell five dolls on eBay in a Dutch auction. Your starting bid is $5 each. If five bidders each bid $5 for one doll, they each get a doll for $5. But, if the final bidding reveals that two people bid $5, one person bid $8, and another bid $9, all bidders win a doll for the lowest final bid of $5.

The following list details the Dutch auction:

  • The listing fee is based on your opening bid price (just like in a traditional auction), but the fee is multiplied by the number of items in your auction, to a maximum listing fee of $4.00.

  • The auction’s Final Value Fees use the same scale as in a traditional auction, but they’re based on the total dollar amount of your completed auctions.

  • When bidders bid on your Dutch auction, they can bid on one or more items at one bid price. (The bid is multiplied by the number of items.)

  • If the bidding gets hot and heavy, rebids must be in a higher total dollar amount than the total of that bidder’s past bids.

  • Bidders may reduce the quantity of the items for which they’re bidding in your auction, but the dollar amount of the total bid price must be higher.

  • All winning bidders pay the same price for their items, no matter how much they bid.

  • The lowest successful bid when the auction closes is the price for which your items in that auction will be sold.

  • If your item gets more bids than you have items, the lowest bidders are knocked out one by one, with the earliest bidders remaining on board the longest in the case of tie bids.

  • The earliest (by date and time) successful high bidders when the auction closes win their items.

  • Higher bidders get the quantities they’ve asked for, and bidders can refuse partial quantities of the number of items in their bids.

If you want a more in-depth description of the Dutch process, read eBay's description of Dutch auctions.

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