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Imagine I'm shopping for a model XL-3Q widget on eBay. There are a half dozen for sale, all with different end times and conditions. Yet I want only one.

Is there a way I can chain the bids? If I fail to win the first listing, I'd like to roll over and bid on the next one. It might look like this:

Auction 1: light scratches: $55 max bid (auction ends in 10 minutes)
Auction 2: perfect condition: $65 max bid (auction ends in 13 minutes)
Auction 3: missing case: $55 max bid
Auction 4: perfect condition: $70 max bid
Auction 5: perfect condition: $75 max bid (auction ends in 2 days)

I'll shoot for a bargain with the first auction, but if that fails I'll raise my offer. This might play out over a few hours or days. Or maybe I'd just bid $55 for the XL-3Q, and simply try that bid on each auction until I finally get it.

And what's the proper term? Chained bidding, linked bidding, like goods bidding? Is there a reason eBay does not support it directly?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I believe some 3rd party eBay "sniper" software (which sometimes run as a web service, rather than desktop software) will do this sort of thing for you. The sniper software is generally used to automate the process of placing a bid in the last few seconds of an auction to increase the chances of a win.

From techradar's review of "The best free and paid eBay sniper software" it states that for "Auction Stealer" and "Auction Sniper":

...you can also place your bids in groups, so you can make bids on multiple auctions of the same type of item. When you win one, the others are cancelled.

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More specifically, once you win an auction, the future bids are never placed. These sites bid only at the last moment, resulting a flurry of last minute activity on the auction. –  Bryce Apr 4 '13 at 17:52
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