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The Free Auction - FAQ's (Frequency Asked Questions) | The Free Auction

FAQ's

May I browse listings without Registering?
You may browse as much as you'd like without signing up.

How do I Register?
It takes just a few minutes to register. To complete the registration process, you will need to provide us with required information such as your Username, Full Name, Address, Email Address, and Country.  Once you have confirmed your choices, you will then have to agree to the site rules and restrictions by clicking the Accept command button on the following Terms and Conditions page.  You can change your user-specific Password or your address at any time by going to your user area.
You can register here.
 
Do I have to enter my Credit Card information when I Register?
The Registration process does not require you to enter Credit Card information. But we do need you to enter a valid email address so our system can send your password to you.
 
Why can't I have a P.O. Box as my Mailing Address?
There are Listings on our site placed by Merchants who might be able to ship your item immediately upon a Listing close. (You may even receive your item the next day!) Because many of these Merchants use carriers that do not deliver to post office boxes, having a street delivery address on record avoids any delays in processing your purchase.
 
Who determines the minimum or starting bid?
The seller (the person who posted the item) decides what he or she wants the bidding to begin at. Usually this is (and should be) just below the lowest price acceptable for the item. If you bid, the system will ask you to bid the starting price PLUS the Bid Increment. Sellers are encouraged to start items at a reasonable amount and not absurdly high. Buyers like the auction process because it allows bargain shopping. If an item is priced right, people recognize the bargain and bid on it.

What is the Bid Increment?
The Bid Increment ($1 is the default increment) raises the bidding each time by that minimum amount (you can always bump it up even higher or enter a Proxy Bid, in which case the system will bid either the bid increment or enough of your stated amount to make you the leading bidder. The purpose of the bid increment is to keep someone from outbidding you by some silly amount like $.01. It protects you and assures the seller of getting a decent return if the item is hotly contested.

Okay, what are Proxy or MaxBids?
There are several systems of "proxy" bids; i.e. the system bidding for you automatically. The system in 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.

What does using this auction cost and how do I qualify?
This auction is FREE to bid and sell. Keep in mind we do have optional premium features to spice up the average looking auction. For example, we have: bold listings, featured auctions, category featured auctions, and attention grabbers. For those, we charge a nominal rate. 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 near the bottom of any auction page.

How do I bid?
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 to the directly to the item. You can then decide whether you want to raise your bid. For more information on How To Bid, click Here.

What are Reserve Bids?
Sometimes (and our system supports this) a seller enters a Reserve Bid. For example, his product 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.  A seller might specify a Reserve Price if they are unsure of the real value of their item and would like to reserve the right to refuse to sell the item if the market value is below a certain price. If the seller has specified a Reserve Price, the Listing will be marked with an  so you know immediately that your leading bid may not be a Winning bid.

How do I Post an item for sale?
Posting your items for sale here at The Free Auction is both free and easy. Simply register if you have not already (by clicking New Registration here or at the bottom of any auction page). Our system automatically mails your password within usually a few seconds (no need to disconnect while you wait). Once you have the password, you might want to copy it from your e-mail and go to Change Registration to replace our rather obtuse collection of letters and numbers with something more easily remembered.  Again, we charge nothing to buy or sell items. But, we do have optional premium features like: bold listings, featured auctions, catagory featured auctions, attention grabbers, and the like. For those, we charge a nominal rate.  Posting items for sale is accomplished by clicking on Post New Item here or at the bottom of any auction screen. Fill in the form that pops up with a short descriptive title (make it snazzy to get people's attention). Next, select the category the item should be in (if you don't see an appropriate category on the drop down list, please e-mail the Administrator and ask for that category to be added. Be a little patient, please--we get LOTS of e-mail. For more information on How To Post, click Here.

How do I find out more about a posted item?
If you have any questions about an item, by all means contact the seller and ask him or her (not us!). You can contact the seller by clicking on the (ask seller a question) link, when viewing their auction. From there enter your username and password, then type in your question and click "send".

How do I know I'm getting a good deal?
When buying something from someone--whether on the internet, in any kind of auction, or anywhere else--your best protection to be an informed buyer. In Latin: Caveat Emptor! The age-old warning of Buyer Beware! We do police this auction and make our best effort to keep it clean and pleasant, but we can give no blanket guarantee. You might read our Terms & Conditions page for more info on this. However, we also go to great lengths here to make sure you have plenty of great stuff at bargain prices to bid on.

How do I know I won?
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, nor 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 banish anyone who abuses our auction.

How can I contact you?

Please fill in the Contact Us form on the help homepage or tweet us.

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