Why do you require a credit card in order for me to bid?
In order to prevent non-qualified bidders from tainting the integrity of our online bidding process, the Auction Nonja platform only accepts bids by people whose credit cards are valid, registered and vetted by our credit card processing
platform. We require a valid credit card for all bidders (Amex, Discover, Visa, or MasterCard). Additionally,
to ensure efficient processing, the primary credit card on file for all winning bidders is charged once the
auction closes. The charge will include the hammer price, buyers’ premium, pertinent sales tax, and any
associated transportation fees (if bidder opts to have lots transported back to the MDS warehouse for pick-up).
Please note: All credit card information is encrypted to the highest levels of safety possible and will not be used or distributed for any other purposes.
How do I keep track of all of the items I’m following and bidding upon?
One of the most useful things about the Auction Ninja Dashboard is that you can bid and manage what you’re
following directly from the dashboard. That way, you don’t need to sift through multiple catalog pages while
trying to recall what lots are your favorites or which items you've bid upon. Login to the dashboard and
watch the action on only the items you are actively interested in from one convenient location.
What is an “Opening Bid”?
Most of the time, our lots have an opening bid set at $1. Occasionally, our clients want “reserves” set on select pieces. A reserve is a minimum dollar amount that must be reached before an item can be sold. In order to have full transparency with our bidders, MDS sets any reserves on our lots to show as an opening
bid. Here’s an example:
Lot #3 in an auction has a reserve of $500. It will not sell for less than $500, but can certainly sell for more. Other auction houses might start the bidding at a lower number and hope that the $500 reserve is met in the bidding, but they are under no obligation to let their bidders know what the reserve is or when it is met (although many do).
At MDS, this $500 reserve will show as a $500 opening bid. If no one places a bid for $500 or more, the lot will remain unsold. If someone chooses to bid at least $500, the lot is open for bidding and the highest bidder will win the vase.
What is extended bidding & why is it necessary?
Much like bidding during a live auction, the auctioneer generally won't hammer at the first bid. Auctioneers will give other bidders an opportunity to increase their bids until there is no further action/interest in the piece. The Auction Ninja system features "extended bidding" in our online auction format because it best mimics live bidding (albeit in a timed format).
The AN system resets the countdown clock to five (5) minutes on any lots that receive bids within the last five minutes of its closing. This gives other bidders an opportunity to increase their bids if they wish. Once there are no additional bids placed in the last five minutes of a lot's closing, the clock will run out. It's that simple.
For example: Lot #1 is set to close at 8:05 p.m. You are the highest bidder at 8:03 p.m. Another bidder joins the bidding on Lot #1 at 8:03. Even though there was only two minutes left on the clock, because a bid was placed within the last five minutes of closing, the clock will reset and the lot will now close at 8:08. If other bids are placed (some by you), the clock will keep resetting until there is no other interest in the lot. When all is said and done, Lot #1 doesn't close until 9:12 because there was a lot of bidding action.
Why do we use extended bidding? In order to create the fairest simulated "real-life" auction scenario
possible, we use extended bidding. Sometimes, a bidder thinks that they can place a last second high-bid just as the clock runs out to ensure that they win the lot. This is known as "bid sniping". Unfortunately, bid
sniping does not allow other bidders an opportunity to increase their bid if they wish to do so. The fairest way
to control bid sniping is to offer extended bidding. (If you've ever bid in auction on another very well-known
site, chances are you've experienced bid sniping.) Much like a live auction, extended bidding keeps going as
long as someone is willing to pay a higher price.
Why was I outbid by an amount less than the next minimum increment?
Sometimes our bidders wonder how they were outbid by an amount lower than the minimum bid increment
(see bid increments in our Terms & Conditions). All bidders may place their max bid at anytime. As a result,
you may be outbid by what seems to be an incorrect increment. Let us try to give you an example:
Let's say you place your maximum bid of $100 on lot #2 but another buyer wins the lot for $101, even though the next bidding increment is $5, not $1. Here is how this scenario might occur...
It's 4 p.m. on closing day and lot #2 is currently at $15. At 5:10 p.m. you place a maximum bid of $100.
There are a few bidders at play and so by the time 5:45 comes around, the current bid is at $78 with you as
the highest bidder. At 7:05 p.m. a new bidder joins in and places his maximum bid of $101. Since this new
bidder's bid of $101 is above the minimum increment at the time she placed the bid, it is accepted by the
system. Since there were no additional bids placed before the countdown clock ran out, the $101 bidder wins the lot because it is higher than your $100 maximum bid.
Sometimes I'm immediately outbid. Why?
Because all maximum bids are "masked" (hidden from other bidders), you do not know what any other
bidder's maximum bid may be or when they placed it. Sometimes you will be outbid as soon as you enter
your bid. This only occurs when another bidder had a higher maximum bid than yours already "on the
board". Your bid set in motion AN's automatic bidding system which raised the other buyer's bid above
yours. The other bidder may have placed their max bid days, hours, or mere moments before you placed
However, if you place a bid and there are no competing bids against your bid, the system will not immediately go to your maximum bid. In fact, if you are the only bidder by the time the lot closes,
you will win the lot for the lowest possible dollar amount (based on whatever the opening bid was for that
item), not your max bid. So if you place a max bid of $25 on a lot with an opening bid of $1 and there are no other bidders vying for that lot, you will win it for $1. NOTE: This only happens when there are no competing bids.