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All About Bidding

If your question is not answered here, please contact us directly at Audiogon Support.


Placing a Bid

You must first register to bid on any auctions. Each auction will have a green "Place Bid" button. When you submit a bid, you will be shown a window with the current bid, and be asked for your Maximum bid, and then to confirm your shipping and contact information.

Once you confirm and submit a Bid, one of two things may happen:

  • You become the new High Bidder immediately
  • The previous bidder's Proxy outbids you immediately.

The system will tell you what happened immediately. If you are the new High Bidder, you will receive an email to confirm it. If you are Outbid later, or the Proxy raises your bid for you, you will receive emails. At the close of auction, you will receive an email with the results.


Raising a Bid

You can raise your bid by simply entering another bid.

If you are the current high bidder, the system will recognize this fact when you submit the new bid. It will confirm that you are raising your maximum bid. You will not be raising the current bid if you currently hold the high bid. If you have been outbid already, then you would simply enter another bid. The system will evaluate your bid against the current high bidder and inform you of the result.


Tracking your Bids

To see what bids you have made, you will go to your Dashboard and then view your Buying page. This shows all recent items you have bid or offered to buy. Your Bought tab will show auctions and classifieds you won.

In addition to your Dashboard, you will receive an email whenever you are outbid, you have hit your maximum bid, or if you are the winning bidder. Email notifications are sent immediately after these events, but it may take a few minutes for you to receive it.


Bid Removal Requests

In general, your bid is a binding contract which cannot be retracted. However, in exceptional cases, you may email our staff to request a bid removal. Please be aware that bid retractions are recorded, and consequently frequent retractions may jeopardize your membership.

Bid Removal requests MAY be considered under these circumstances:

  • A typo caused an erroneous bid such as $1000.00 instead of $100.00
  • The seller changed the listing in a material way after your bid.
  • An emergency or unforeseen circumstance, making it impossible for you to buy. These would be approved on a case by case basis.

You may NOT rectract bids under these circumstances:

  • You want to buy a different item.
  • You have found a better deal elsewhere after bidding.
  • You had questions that you didn't ask before bidding.

Bid removal requests are NOT considered in these situations:

  • The Reserve price has been met - bids cannot be removed.
  • The Auction has less than 48 hours left - bids cannot be removed.
  • Another bidder has bid after you - bids cannot be removed.

If none of the disqualifications fit your situation, you may request a bid removal by contacting support with the following information:

  • Your Username
  • A link to the listing
  • The reason for the bid removal

Contact us with the above information as soon as possible or we may not be able to retract your bid. For security purposes, please contact us from the email address registered with Audiogon.


Changing your Maximum Bid

You may change your maximum bid by entering a new bid at the new maximum bid price. 

How do I know if I've won?

All winning bidders are emailed following the close of an auction. If you are a winning bidder at the end of the auction, you will receive an email immediately after the auction ends. This email states the winning bid price and contains instructions to complete the transaction.

You may also find your bids in your Dashboard, which lists all of your current bidding activity, as well as the results of your bids for previously ended auctions.


What happens if I am outbid?

You will receive an email immediately if you are outbid on an auction. That email will contain a link to the auction in question, in case you wish to increase your bid.

You may also find your bids in your Dashboard, which lists all of your current bidding activity, as well as the results of your bids for previously ended auctions.


How do I proceed after I win?

If you are a winning bidder on an auction, the auction will be listed in your Bought tab of the Buying page of your Dashboard once you have logged in.

The seller will automatically receive your shipping address on file and contact information, and be prompted to calculate the shipping costs. Once the seller submits this information, you will receive an email directing you to make payment. This will include a link to the listing to communicate with the seller to discuss any particulars with shipping and payment.

Once the transaction is final, you have made payment, and received your purchase, you will want to remember to leave your seller feedback.


Viewing a closed Auction

You can view your recently completed transactions at your Dashboard home, or visit your Buying page's Bought tab to view your full history.


What is Proxy Bidding?

The Audiogon Proxy system employs an automated bidding system which increases your bid in small increments up to a specified maximum bid. This will start bidding at the minimum and increment only when someone else has outbid you, up to your maximum. It will never bid more than you have entered, and bid as little as possible to keep you the high bidder. If your maximum bid is met, you will receive a notification.

For example:

The current high bid is $500.00.
You enter a maximum bid of $550.00, so your starting bid will be $501.00
If another Member puts in a Max bid of $510.00, then your proxy bid would increase to $511.00
and so on until your maximum bid is reached.


What is Shill Bidding?

Shill bidding occurs when a seller bids on his own auctions in an effort to artificially raise the bid price. Needless to say, this is a serious violation of Audiogon terms of use.

Audiogon software and staff monitor auctions on a continuous basis. We track bidding patterns based on IP addresses, cookies, and other methods that help to reveal instances of shill bidding. While we cannot guarantee the integrity of every member that uses Audiogon, we do use all available tools to spot and prevent fraudulent activity.

High-end audio is a relatively small community, and the products offered for sale are of a relatively small collection of items. This allows our staff and members of the community to quickly spot patterns of abuse or deception. There is no fool-proof system anywhere but our close-knit community tends to weed out bad auctioneers quickly.

If you believe that an auction is being manipulated by the seller, then please report it to us at Audiogon Support and include the following information:

  • A link to the auction listing on the site
  • What makes you suspicious of the listing


What is a Reserve Price?

Sellers may choose a set a Reserve Price that is above the minimum starting bid. Bidders can see if an auction has a reserve, and whether it has been met or not. This will be indicated below the current bid display in any auction. The actual amount of the reserve price is not displayed to bidders. The seller is not obligated to sell if the auction does not meet the reserve, nor is the high bidder obligated to purchase. If the high bid meets the reserve price, the normal rules apply and both parties are obligated to complete the transaction.


Strategies to Win

The simplest strategy is to enter your maximum bid initially. Our system will not just enter your maximum as the bid, but will engage a Proxy for you, which will automatically increment your bid only when other bidders have outbid you. By bidding your maximum right away, you are sure not to pay too much at the end of an existing auction. By bidding early with your maximum, other bidders may try one or two minor raises before giving up. When your proxy outbids them instantly, they are less likely to compete with you later in the auction.

There are always bidders who wait until the last minute, trying to run out the clock. If you employ the proxy bidding, you do not have to worry about the last minute bidders, as your proxy will automatically pick up and outbid immediately up to your maximum bid.


Why was I outbid?

When you submit a bid on an Audiogon auction, one of several things can happen:

  • You become the high bidder
  • You are outbid immediately. This occurs when another bidder has set a maximum bid higher than your current bid.
  • You are outbid later. If someone bids higher than you before the end of the auction, you will receive a notification email. This is sent immediately but make take a few moments to be delivered. It is a good idea to be available for the last few minutes of an auction if you are not using a maximum bid proxy.
  • Your proxy bids again for you. If you use a maximum bid, you will receive a notification each time the system bids for you up to your maximum.

In certain circumstances, you may be outbid by smaller than the bid increment. usually all bids increase by at least the bid increment. For example, if the bid is currently at $95.00, the next increment would be $96.00. Increments will increase at $1.00. 

This rule is overridden in rare cases where a previous bidder's maximum bid comes in above or equal to your bid, but not as high as the next increment. For example: Joe holds the current bid at $94.00, and he had authorized a maximum of up to $95.50. You bid $95.00. The normal increment would now be $96.00, however, Joe's proxy would be authorized to bid the $95.50 maximum bid.

This scenario also applies if the previous maximum bid was equal to a new bid. In the above example, If Joe's max bid was $95.00 and you came in and bid $95.00, Joe would still be the high bidder because he authorized up to $95.00 first.

These instances are rare, but they can be confusing because you are not aware of the other bidder's maximum. However, rest assured that our system always tries to bid at the increments whenever possible.


Why did my bid go straight to reserve price?

If your maximum bid surpasses the seller's reserve price, then the system enters your bid at the reserve price. The idea is that if you are willing to pay as much or more than what the seller is willing to sell for, then the auction system makes a "deal" matching your "will pay" price with the sellers lowest "will take" price. That is the goal of any auction system, to allow the matching of a buyers best offer against the seller's lowest price. For example, an item is listed with a $100.00 opening bid and a reserve price of $250.00. You submit a bid of $300.00, which triggers the system to enter your bid as $250.00. Your maximum bid of $300 will be kept hidden from other bidders. The result is your bid will meet reserve immediately and engage a proxy for you to fight off any other bids up to your maximum of $300.00

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