How to Buy

REGISTER

This auction is FREE to EVERYONE but we do require that all sellers and buyers be registered. This enables our software to keep track of items for sale and who bids on what. It protects both us as auction providers and you as buyer and/or seller. Registration is simple and painless. Merely click on New Registration here or at the bottom of any auction page.

CHECK OUT THE ITEM

Check the item you're bidding on thoroughly. If you have any questions about the item, email your questions to the seller. Find out about the person you're doing business with. Look at the seller's feedback rating and read feedback comments to see how other buyers have rated their interactions. Make sure you clearly understand who pays for shipping; payment terms; whether you can pay by personal check, credit card; or other methods; and any other details you need to know.

BIDDING

We've gone to great lengths to find and list items starting at good prices. We hope you'll want to bid on some of these great auction lots. To get a category list, click on Category List here or at the bottom of any auction page. Click on one of the categories you find interesting. This shows you a list of sub-categories. Click on one of these to see specific items. Click on the name of items you'd like more information about. If you wish to place a bid, enter your bid in the box below the item, then just click on the "place bid" button nearby. We suggest that a good strategy for items you really want is to place the highest bid you are willing to pay. Otherwise, someone may beat you out. This system accepts proxy or maxbid bids (see Proxy Bids below). Should someone outbid you, the system sends you an e-mail notification with a link back here to the item. Click on the link right in your e-mail message and you will be returned directly to the item. You can then decide whether you want to raise your bid. Bidding automatically ends when the auction does.

RAISING BIDS

To raise your bid, go down to the "place bid" input box below the item's description and enter your new, higher bid.

RESERVE BIDS

Sometimes (and our auction supports this) a seller enters a Reserve Bid. For example, his item sells for $100 new. He or she decides to place a starting bid of $1 on the item but they want to get at least $80 for it. So a reserve bid of $80 is entered into the system. In such a case--even if you are the high bidder at, say, $60--you will not win the item unless you go over $80. We feel this is a poor auction strategy and wastes the time of buyers and sellers alike. We suggest this to sellers: enter the item at the least price you will accept, with no reserve.

AUTOMATIC E-MAIL

The system automatically sends the buyer (highest bidder) and seller of the item e-mail when the auction ends. The buyer and seller then are responsible for making their own arrangements to conclude the deal by payment and shipment. This auction merely offers a venue for buying and selling. We will not, and legally cannot, be held responsible in any way for any lack of performance by any and all parties. We simply provide a place that allows people to buy and sell. HOWEVER, do let us know of any problems. We can and will ban anyone who abuses our auction.

PROXY BIDS

There are several systems of "proxy" bids; i.e. the system bidding for you automatically. The system in the The Free Auction software is called "MaxBid." Think of 'Max' as someone who stays and watches the auction 24 hours a day while you're off doing more interesting stuff. You activate 'Max' by entering the highest amount you are willing to pay for an item into the "place bid" box. The system will then bid for you, bidding only enough to make you the high bidder. If someone tops that bid, good old 'Max' places another bid for you and so on up to the maximum amount you've specified. Under no circumstances will 'Max' ever bid MORE than you said. But the system will send you e-mail about an outbid and you can give 'Max' a few more bucks to play with, if you like. Just enter another bid amount. If your maximum bid is outbid by another bidder, you will be notified by email. But, realize that notification could happen minutes or seconds before the close of an auction. So if you really want something, you should bid the maximum amount you're willing to pay for the item when you make your first bid. Remember, in case of a tie for the highest bid, the earlier bid wins-so don't delay!

IF YOU ARE A WINNER

The high bidder and seller should contact each other within 3 business days of the end of the auction. It's a good idea to check your email regularly after the auction. If you're the high bidder, and the seller can't reach you within this time, he or she may contact the next-highest bidder and sell the item to that person. Pay the seller promptly. The seller will send you the item usually upon receipt of payment or once your check clears-depending upon the specific terms of your auction. And leave feedback about your experience!

AUCTION RULES

The binding contract of the auction is between the winning bidder and the seller. Please bid carefully! Once you make and confirm a bid, you can't withdraw it unless: 

The seller materially changes the description of the item after your bid.

The amount of your bid was clearly a typographical error.

Other exceptional circumstances; however, you can't back out because you decided to bid on another item, decided you couldn't really afford it, or changed your mind. Please note that it is up to the sellers to select their own payment options and by bidding on an item, you are agreeing to these terms. It is the bidder's responsibility to make sure that payment terms are clearly understood up front. Provide a valid email address or User ID with your bid so that you can be contacted when the auction ends. Auction results are available for everyone to see, showing the final bid price, the bidding history, and the email addresses for both the seller and high bidder. Remember, your bid is a legally binding offer to buy the item at any price up to your maximum bid amount. If your bid is accepted by the seller, you are legally obligated to complete the transaction. Not completing the transaction may be legally actionable by the seller. For details, check out The Free Auction's Terms and conditions.