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

 

  • Part II discusses the specifics of Proxy Bidding
  • Part III discusses protecting yourself from snipers with Proxy Bidding

 

Many bidders who fall prey to eBay snipers and lose auctions because they do not understand the proxy bid system.  This can sometimes be confusing to beginners and experienced auction users alike.  Unfortunately, eBay doesn’t do a terrific job of explaining how this system works and the consequences of not understanding it can mean the difference between winning and losing an auction or paying more than you should have.   To understand eBay’s proxy bidding system, you first need to have a good grasp of bid increments.

Bid Increments

On eBay, a bid increment is the minimum amount the current bid must increase in order to outbid the previous high-bid.

Any new bid must be greater (by a certain amount) than the current high-bid.  The additional amount you must bid depends on the current price of the item being auctioned.  In other words, bid increments are determined by the item’s price.  For example, if you want a leather iPod case with a current bid price of $16.00, you must place a bid of at least $16.50 to out-bid the current bidder.

eBay’s Bid Increments are detailed in the chart below:

Current Price Bid Increment
$ 0.01 – $ 0.99 $ 0.05
$ 1.00 – $ 4.99 $ 0.25
$ 5.00 – $ 24.99 $ 0.50
$ 25.00 – $ 99.99 $ 1.00
$ 100.00 – $ 249.99 $ 2.50
$ 250.00 – $ 499.99 $ 5.00
$ 500.00 – $ 999.99 $ 10.00
$ 1000.00 – $ 2499.99 $ 25.00
$ 2500.00 – $ 4999.99 $ 50.00
$ 5000.00 and up $ 100.00

The next article in this short series will delve into the details of eBay’s Bid Proxy system and explain how bidders can use it to defend themselves against auction snipers.