auctions Are real bidders or bots sniping and extending auctions?

Spaceship Spaceship


Established Member
An auction I was bidding on ended this morning.
I placed a proxy auto bid last night before I went to bed in case I didn't wake in time to bid manually.
Did wake in time, so I watched "my" auction as it ended.

Nine times, in the final two minutes of the auction "Bidder 16" placed a single bid, bumped the price up and extended the auction by another five minutes.

I won the auction with my previously placed proxy bid, and then watched a few more ending auctions.

Exactly the same thing happened with them, a single bidder placed a $5 bid against a previously placed proxy bid and extended the auction by five minutes. Over and over again. One auction I watched the underbidder bid 18 times!! before the previously placed proxy bid finally won the auction.

This happened on all of the six or so ending auctions I watched.

Are these bids from bidders who don't understand that sniping doesn't work on auctions due to the auto-extend (and must learn reeeaalllyy slowly to not figure it out after 17 bids...)?
Or is a bot - who would presumably know the amount of any previously placed proxy bid - extending the auctions, thereby raising the final selling price and also possibly leaving time to create interest in other bidders who may be watching?

The original proxy bidder won on all the auctions I watched, but the price was bumped up from what it was before the "sniper" set to work and extended the auctions (and sales price) by considerable time...
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I have no evidence, but I believe that robots exist
This is programmatic bidding. Biggest bulk buyers use the auction API, more exactly their own software that utilizes the API. It always has a built in logic, like "check if I am not the highest bidder two minutes before the end and make another bid (until my max price)". So there is nothing suspicious here, it is very normal behaviour indeed.

maybe, it was me.
i like to bid at last minute to frustrate other bidders, hoping they will quit and go away.

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