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Community Member
how to hide my bid
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-15-2012

Iwas bidding on an item and with 15 seconds to go I placed what I thought was the high bid, but then time expired and I lost. The problem was that the winning bidders bid occured 20 seconds before mine and never showed up until I placed mine.I called EBAY and they told me to hit the show automatic bidding words. I did and a bid he had placed a couple hours before showed up . My question is how come he was able to hide that first bid? nowhere else had he even bid on this item. How can I hide my bid in such a manner that I can place a bid, have it not show, and at the same time put a max bid with it and no one know about my bids on the item?

Other Answers: 5
Community Member
Posts: 6,893
Registered: ‎10-06-2008
in reply to tommy8kidz

Although your question has been answered, I'd like to suggest that you...


Also remember when trying to snipe - it is the highest bid that wins - not the last one.  So in-my-opinion (and I do practice this) - I never wait - I use proxy when I find the item (day 1 or 3 or 7 makes no difference) and bid as high as I am willing to go. That way I am not tied to a clock, or the keyboard and my budget stays in tact.  If I eventually win - great - if not, then I keep looking.  If you try this next time, you will discover it much easier and less stressful.


Better luck next auction!

Live simply. Care deeply. Love generously. Speak kindly. Laugh loudly. Act responsibly. Rejoice daily. Help cheerfully. Plan carefully. Travel safely. Criticize sparingly. Invest wisely. Forgive willingly. Shop seriously.
Community Member
Posts: 12,168
Registered: ‎01-10-2006
in reply to tommy8kidz

The bid was not hidden (though I doubt you were looking at the Bid History page to see it BEFORE you bid, just not enough time for you to do that in the timeframes you are describing) but the AMOUNT of the leader's bid is hidden and instead eBay displays a "current bid" which is what the leader would pay (or not, if it is "Reserve not met") if there is no further bidding activity before the auction ends.


This is what makes eBay fair to people in 24 time zones with different work/leisure/sleep schedules:  the highest bidder wins (NOT the last bidder) but at a price set by the second highest bidder (generally 1 increment more than the underbidder's maximum bid; less if the leader's bid is higher by less than a full increment, including an earlier tie; more if needed to meet the reserve in a reserve auction; the starting bid if there is no reserve and only 1 bidder).


eBay hides the full amount of the bid (unless the full amount is needed  under the above formula) because if it were revealed then the results would be suspect (because the price is set by the underbidder):  either someone honest would not bid because s/he sees that his/her bid would not be high enough to win and the price would be unduly low; or someone dishonest would bid just under the leader's maximum bid to make him pay an artificially high price.

Community Member
Posts: 7,711
Registered: ‎06-17-2005
in reply to tommy8kidz

That was a max bid,and until bid against,

no raise of a max bid would be shown.


Read here:



Community Member
Posts: 209
Registered: ‎06-21-2008
in reply to tommy8kidz

max bids are hidden (mostly)

They are only revealed after a competing bid surpasses the former max bid.


The key that you don't grasp yet is that: only enough of the max bid is used to increase the bid by one increment. 


If the showing bid is $5.00 and you place a max bid of $10.00 the increment is 50 cents thus sending the showing bid to $5.50 where it will stay unless a competitor bids at least $6.00


There's still more to it; but, you need to do the work.

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity. . . . . John F. Kennedy
Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-07-2011
in reply to tommy8kidz

I think the main thing people misunderstand is the incremental bidding process and why placing a bid higher than the one shown currently does not always automatically give you high bidder status.


Whether or not you're bidding at the last minute or at the beginning of an auction you should always place a bid high enough that you are willing to let the item go if it goes higher than that.


Compounding the frustration of this, is the final auction result which could be as low as $0.25 higher than what you placed. Realize that the high bidder could of been willing to spend much higher than what you see at the end. You need to take a deep breath, and try again if a similar item pops up.


If you bid on retail items, place your bid on at the absolute highest you're willing to spend including shipping and let nature takes it course. You'll probably manage to snap the item up eventually.


For those people who bid on rare items at auction, realize that rarity is in the eye of the beholder. You'll always find someone who will be willing to pay many times more than the "expected" value of an item. If you think its a once in a lifetime item, your max bid should reflect that.


If you follow the correct mindset, eBay can be a relaxed long-term way of obtaining some cool stuff for the lowest price possible. If you're the type that likes instant gratification its going to be an expensive and sometimes stressful.