nzgeek:kiwijunglist: I don't think you understand how auto bid works. An auto bid is the maximun amount you would pay for an item, trademe automatically tries to bid as low as possible when using an auto bid.
1. Placing a bid early doesn't lead to being out bid, because you are placing an auto bid for the max you would pay.
2. An auto bid would only extend an auction if it is placed between 0-2 mins before the auction ends. If someone else bids in this time slot, then your auto bid is processed immediately so doesn't extend the auction anymore than the other person that placed a bid in the final 2 minutes.
2. If your auto bid doesn't meet the minimum bid then obviously the item is to expensive for you.
I understand how the auto-bid process works. I was commenting on the other stuff that happens when you're bidding that close to the end of the auction.
1. If you're not there to watch what's happening with the bidding, someone can see your bid come in and exceed your auto-bid limit. You have no chance to response because the software made the bid for you, and you may not even be aware that the bid was made until after the auction closes.
2. If the clock on your phone is out, your bid might be made 10 seconds before the bidding closes. That will auto-extend the auction, making it easier for someone who's watching to out-bid you. In other words, someone has had to increase their bid to get around your late auto-snipe, but you obviously don't care enough about winning the auction to actually go in there and watch what happened.
3. If you're only auto-bidding up to a preset limit, why can't you make your auto-bid half an hour before the auction closes? It doesn't matter what point in time that your bid gets exceeded, because you were never going to increase it anyway.
Sniping really doesn't gain your much on TradeMe, given that all auctions auto-extend. If someone really wants the item, they'll be watching and will see your bid come in. If they had a hard limit themselves, they won't try to out-bid you no matter when your bid is placed. The only time you might make any gains is if you're bidding on something with very few people interested, and none of the other bidders have bothered to watch the end of the auction. In these cases you probably could have made the bid 30 minutes before the end and had the same result.
1. This is not a problem, because if they exceed my auto bid then I don't want the item, as it is now too expensive. Regardless of whether they bid $1 more or $100 more than my auto bid.
2. My clock is unlikely to be more than 1-2 minutes different to the trademe clock, as android has function to sync with internet time servers and I assume that the trademe server also is auto syncing with a time server.
3. Because someone may place a non auto bid 25 minutes before auction finishes and have the leading bid, and believe they have won the auction and will not recheck immediately prior to auction ending (either because they forget, or because they are busy).
Placing an auto bid 30 minutes before the auction ending, is also sniping at 30 minutes, if you could snipe at 2 minutes or 30 minutes prior I would choose 2 minutes prior.