This is the third part in our series on Understanding Bid Increments and Proxy Bidding



Proxy Bidding Can Protect Against Snipers

In the previous post, I discussed a proxy bidding scenario in which I placed a bid on an item and declared my maximum bid to be $7.00.  A competing bidder came along and placed a bid with a maximum price of $6.00.  A round of proxy bidding ensued and, upon completion, I was the high bidder with the current bid standing at $6.50.

It’s worth reemphasizing it the fact that although I entered a maximum bid of $7.00, if the auction closed with no additional competing bids, I would only pay $6.50 for the ball cap.  This is an important point.  Always enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the item being auctioned – you won’t be forced to pay your maximum bid unless a competing bidder forces the price to that level.

How it Works

Your max bid is not necessarily the amount you will have to pay, but will protect you from eBay snipers swoop in at the last second and ad outbid you because you had no time to react with a manual counter bid.

I’ve received scores of comments from bidders who have lost auctions to snipers who ultimately paid less that the losing bidder was willing to pay for that item.  That’s often because the losing bidder was confused about the concept of proxy bidding and thought they would end up paying their maximum bid at auction’s close if they won.

The original bid was just enough to make them the high bidder at the time they made the bid.  Because sniping involves submitting a bid extremely late in the auction, the losing bidder did not have the opportunity to manually enter a counter bid and they can’t win.  Proxy bidding is the simple solution to this dilemma.  Even if you don’t win (because the sniper entered a higher maximum price than you), you can get some satisfaction in the knowledge that you forced the sniper to bid more than they had probably hoped for.

Practice Proxy Bidding

eBay actually has a page where you can practice with the proxy bidding system without actually logging in and placing a real bid.  Here’s the link:

The page details the current bid and asks you for your maximum bid.  After clicking enter – the proxy bidding happens instantly and you learn if you’ve been able to outbid the current high bidder’s secret maximum bid.  If not, your are provided the opportunity to bid again (try bidding significantly higher this time) and you can see how you will be become the high bidder without reaching your revised maximum bid.

So now that you understand the proxy bidding, don’t be afraid to enter the maximum you are willing to spend on that auction next time you make a bid on eBay