Why was my winning eBay bid much, much higher than the second highest bidder?

Summary: The bidding sequence in eBay Reserve Price auctions is different than non-reserve price auctions. In eBay reserve price auctions, your bid amount and amount you pay may be determined by the seller’s hidden reserve amount.


Sally S. asked “Please would you explain a recent bid that I have won. There were only two bids on this item. My bid was for £555. The other bid was for £375 Please explain why my bid was put in at £500. This seems rather excessive, as surely a bid of even £400 would have won.”

Chuck’s Answer:

The auction on which you were bidding was one in which the seller specified a RESERVE PRICE. Sellers use reserve prices to protect the value of the item they are selling.
The way reserve price auctions work is that eBay allows bidders to submit bids below the seller’s reserve price, but the seller isn’t obligated to accept the bids below the reserve price. In reserve price auctions, you’ll see a link displayed, “Reserve not met” although you’ll not know the seller’s reserve price since it is usually hidden.
So, at the time bidding exceeds the seller’s reserve price, the high bid is then set at the seller’s reserve price and bidding continues.

So, in the auction in which you were bidding, the seller’s reserve was £500. The single bid from the other bidder was £375 and did not meet the sellers reserve prices. When www.BidRobot.com submitted your snipe bid at £555, eBay set your payment amount to the seller’s hidden reserve price of £500.

The seller’s reserve price was satisfied, and you used www.BidRobot.com to win the item for £55 less than you would have been willing to pay.

Thanks for using www.BidRobot.com

Chuck Eglinton


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