Online Bidding

 

Q: How do I get the best price for an item?

A: This is simple two step process:

  1. Bid the highest price you are willing to pay
  2. Check after the auction to see if you won

Q: Won't I get a better price by placing a bid right before the auction ends?

A: No! You will get the same price plus you risk losing the item by missing the deadline or not noticing a bid come in after you place yours. The best strategy is to place your maximum bid then go to bed.

Q: How does the website calculate my bid?

A: Great question. The answer depends on the situation.

If your maximum bid is below the reserve price your maximum bid is your bid and it will show as the high bid but this does not mean you have won the auction. If it turns out your bid is the highest bid after the auction is over the system will show your bid as reserve not met. In this case, CIA will take your bid to the seller and they may chose to accept it despite their reserve.

If your maximum bid is above the reserve price but below another bidders maximum. Your bid will show as a losing bid. The other bidders bid will be adjusted to be your maximum bid plus the minimum increment. 

If your maximum bid is above the reserve price and is higher than all other bidders maximum your bid will show as the high bid. Your bid will be calculated to be the highest competing bid or reserve price plus the bid increment. If it turns out your bid is the highest bid after the auction is over the system will show your bid as winning bid.

Q: The site shows I have the "high bid" and the auction is over. That means I won right?

A: No, not necessarily. After you placed your high bid another higher bid may have come in. The timer on the website will continue to count down automatically but the status of your bid will only be adjusted when you refresh the page. Don't leave your maximum bid to the last minute or adjust your bid manually! By adjusting your bid manually a little bit at a time you risk losing out on the item. After the auction is over your bid will show as 'winning bid', 'reserve not met', or 'losing bid'. Just because you were 'high bid' a few moments before the auction ended does not mean you won the auction!

Q: The price was low when I placed a bid and it jumped way way up! Why?

A: Another bidder had a higher maximum bid or there was a reserve price. In either case you had to exceed that price to get a high bid.

Q: Can I see an example?

A: Of course.

Let's say the item is a 2010 Ford F-150 with a reserve price of $3600.

Bidder 'A' sees the truck right at the start of the auction for $0 and bids $100 on a lark. A's bid and the 'price' is now $100.

Bidder 'B' sees the truck at $100 and bids $1500. This is below the reserver price so his bid is his maximum of $1500. B is now the high bid and A has a losing bid.

Bidder 'C' sees the truck at $1500 and places a serious bid of $4500. The bid is above the reserve price and his bid is $3600.

Bidder 'D' sees the truck at $3600 and bids an extra $100. C's bid is automatically adjusted to $3700 and still has the high bid. D has a losing bid.

Bidder 'E' sees the truck at $3700 and bids an extra $100. C's bid is automatically adjusted to $3900 and still has the high bid. E has a losing bid.

E and D go back and forth incrementing $100 at a time until D bids $4600. Now C has a losing bid and D has the high bid.

E and D keep going back and forth incrementing $100 at a time until D bids $5600 a few moments before the auction closes. Now C has a losing bid and D has the high bid.

E sees the $5600 and again quickly bids an extra $100. Now D has a losing bid and E has the high bid of $5700. E now has a winning bid for $5700 and gets to drive the f-150 home. E could have achieved the same thing by simply bidding $5700 in the first place.

If D's was actually willing to pay more than $5700 he could have avoided losing the auction by simply bidding his real maximum right at the start.