Everyone wants to win an auction, but only at the right price. Bidding for items is fun, but keep in mind that each bid you make is a binding contract to buy the item if you win.

The information here is for our auction-style listings. Bidding for items in live auction event works a little differently, and requires registration for an event before you can bid.

Incremental bidding

We suggest that you bid the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay for an item, and let our system incrementally increase your bid for you, as necessary.

As the listing proceeds, we compare your bid to those of other bidders.¬†When you’re outbid, we automatically bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid. We increase your bid by increments only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder. Your maximum bid reflects the amount you’re willing to pay for an item, but you could end up paying less.

Automatic bidding

Our max bidding (also called automatic bidding) system makes bidding convenient so you don’t have to keep coming back to re-bid every time someone places another bid.

In live auction events, max bids are called absentee bids, and work a little bit differently than in other auction-style listings on God’s Help Stores.

How max bidding, or automatic bidding, works

  • When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for the item. The seller and other bidders don’t know your maximum bid.

  • We place bids on your behalf using the automatic bid increment amount, which is based on the current high bid. We increase your bid only as much as necessary to make sure that you remain the high bidder, or to meet the reserve price, up to your maximum amount.

  • If another bidder places the same maximum bid or higher, we notify you so you can place another bid. Your maximum bid is kept confidential until it is exceeded by another bidder.


Here’s an example:

  1. The current bid for an item is #5,000. Riches is the high bidder, and has placed a maximum bid of #5,200 on the item. His maximum bid is kept confidential from other members.

  2. Laura views the item and places a maximum bid of #5,500. Laura becomes the high bidder.

  3. Riche’s bid is raised to his maximum of #5,200. Laura’s bid is now #5,550.

  4. We send Riches an email that he has been outbid. If he doesn’t raise his maximum bid, Laura wins the item.

Other terms

In reserve price auctions, if your maximum bid is at least the reserve price, we automatically increase your bid to meet the reserve, and bidding will continue from there.

How to bid

Here’s how to bid on an item:

  1. Carefully review the listing.

  2. Click the Place Bid button. You may need to sign in.

  3. Enter your maximum bid, and then click the Continue button.

  4. Review your bid, and then click the Confirm Bid button.


When the listing ends, you’ll receive an email indicating whether you’ve won the item and an explanation of what to do next.

Changing or retracting your bid

As a general rule, you can’t retract or cancel a bid. Once you place a bid, you agree to pay for the item if you’re the winning bidder. However, honest mistakes sometimes occur.

If you want to retract a bid:

  • Review the conditions and time restrictions for canceling a bid in an auction-style listing.

  • If you feel you have a valid reason for canceling a bid, fill out a Invalid Bid Retraction.

  • If you want to cancel a Best Offer, use the Best Offer Cancellation form.

If you won an item and you no longer want to buy it, you need to contact the seller.

A bid on God’s Help Store is considered a contract, and you’re obligated to purchase the item.

Under what conditions can I retract a bid?

Whether you can retract a bid depends on the circumstances and timing of the bid. You can retract a bid for the following reasons:

  • You accidentally entered the wrong bid amount due to a typographical error. For example, you bid #900 instead of #995. If this happens, you need to reenter the correct bid amount right away. Changing your mind does not qualify as accidentally entering a wrong bid amount.

  • The item’s description changed significantly after you entered your last bid. For example, the seller updated details about the item’s features or condition.

  • You can’t reach the seller

What if I can't retract a bid?

If you can’t retract a bid, you can contact the seller to request that your bid be canceled. The decision to cancel a bid is up to the seller.

Other terms

Remember that every bid is binding, unless the item is listed in a category covered by the non-binding bid policy or the sale is prohibited by law or by our User Agreement. Bidding on multiple identical items should be done only if you intend to buy all of the items.

Your bids affect how other users bid for an item and the item’s final selling price. We carefully investigate all bid retractions to determine whether they are appropriate and conform to the rules for buyers. Abuse of bid retractions can result in the suspension of your account.

Bids retracted within the last 24 hours of an auction-style listing can be viewed as an example of shill bidding, which is a serious violation of God’s Help Stores policy.

You cannot retract a purchase made through a Buy It Now listing. Once you confirm your purchase, you are obligated to pay the seller.

Other terms

  • Bidding is meant to be fun, but remember that each bid you place enters you into a binding contract. The only bids that are non-binding are those placed in the Real Estate category and for vehicles on God’s Help Store Motors. All bids are active until the listing ends. If you win an item, you’re obligated to purchase it.

  • Don’t bid on identical items in different listings if you only want one item. If you win both, you’ll be obligated to buy both.

  • If you’re outbid on an item, wait until the listing has ended before placing a bid on an equivalent item. If the bidder who won doesn’t complete the transaction for any reason, you could become the winning bidder.

  • If you’re blocked from bidding on a seller’s listings, you cannot bid using another user ID.