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How do maximum bids in ebay get executed?

Let's say Tom bids $10 for an item, and Dick enters a maximum bid of $15, but it only displays as $11 to best $10. Then let's say without being necessarily accurate about the time intervals that with 2 seconds remaining before auction end Harry enters a max bid of $20. Would he surely win the bid barring any manual intervention by Dick? Or would something to the effect of the following play out on eBay's computer?

  • Harry's bid proxy enters $12, taking 1 second, and a second later Dick's proxy bids $13, winning the auction as it then subsequently ends with no time for any more bids to take place.

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No, they don't go back and forth like that. When Harry's bid comes in, his maximum ($20) is simply compared to the current leader's maximum ($15) in one operation, without regard to where the current price is.

Assuming no other snipes at the end, Harry wins at $15.50, (Bidding increments in that price range are in 50¢ steps.)

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