Q:

How do auctions on eBay work?

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Quick Answer

An eBay auction starts when the seller creates a listing with a minimum starting bid and specific options for buying. Potential buyers enter bids during the set auction period. The highest bidder when the auction ends wins the item.

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How do auctions on eBay work?
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Full Answer

The seller determines how to list the item on eBay. In addition to a traditional auction, sellers can offer a "Buy It Now" option where the buyer pays a set amount and automatically wins the item. The auction listing includes the details of the item, accepted payment methods and shipping options.

Buyers looking for items search available eBay auctions. When a buyer finds an item she wants, she places a bid on the item by entering the amount she is willing to pay. As eBay users bid on the item, the minimum bid price increases. eBay offers the option to watch an auction to see how the price progresses. Bidders often wait until the auction is almost finished to place a bid so the price doesn't go up as fast early in the auction.

When the auction ends, the winning bidder receives notification from eBay. The winner makes the payment based on the final bid and shipping costs. The seller ships the item according to the shipping method chosen by the buyer. Both parties leave feedback about the transaction.

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