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The bid increment is the amount by which a bid will be raised each time the current bid is outdone. It is pre-determined based on the current winning bid.
Here is how increments are determined:
Note: A bidder may be outbid by less than a full increment. This would happen if the winning bidder's maximum bid beats the second highest maximum by an amount less than the full increment. Here's an example.
You're the first bidder and you place a maximum bid of $20.00. The bidding system will automatically bid on your behalf up to $20.00 against other bidders. When a second bidder places a maximum bid of $9.00, your bid will automatically be raised to $9.50. When a third bidder bids $20.01, this bidder becomes the winning bidder because your maximum bid is only $20.00. It seems that the third bidder should be required to bid in 50-cent increments, which would be $20.50. But not in this case, because the third bidder needs only to exceed the next allowed bid amount of $10.00 ($9.50 plus $0.50). Since $20.01 is more than $10.00, the third bidder satisfies the bid requirement. Experienced bidders often use this technique of bidding a few cents over the bid increment.
A bid increment will go higher than the standard increment in two situations:
If you were bidding against another bidder's maximum bid, your bid has to meet the other bidder's maximum bid plus one cent to become the current winning bidder on the item.
Sometimes the item page for an item will show that there are 2 bids, yet there is only one bidder. This happens when a member places more then one bid to increase his or her maximum bid amount. For example, if you are the first bidder on an item and you place a second bid to increase your maximum bid amount, the item page would show the current winning bid at the opening bid amount, but would show that two bids have been placed on this item.
Learn more about bidding:
Read the basics of how to bid.
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