FAQ for Astro-Auction
(Frequently Asked Questions)
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.
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). 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.
Proxy bidding allows the system to bid for you automatically. Think of
Proxy bidding as someone who stays and watches the auction 24 hours a day while
you're off doing more interesting stuff. You activate Proxy Bidding 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, our system places another bid for you and so on up to the
maximum amount you've specified. Under no circumstances will Proxy Bidding ever bid
MORE than you said. But the system will send you e-mail about an outbid so you can
enter a higher Proxy Bid amount if you'd like.
If you are the current high bidder on an item, you can find out what your maximum
bid amount is by placing a bid at the default amount. Your bid will be rejected, and
the error message will tell you the amount of your maximum bid for the item.
If you are not the current high bidder, your last bid will be the amount of
your maximum bid for the item.
You can also see your maiximum bid amount by clicking on the green text, "Place by
proxy", on the bid history page. You must be logged in and the current high bidders to
see this link.
"Sniping", waiting until the last seconds of an auction to place a bid, has become
a popular auction strategy at eBay and other online auctions. Astro-Auction.com protects
you from snipers by automatically extending the auction. No auction will close within less
than 10 minutes since the last bid. Placing a new bid or raising your maximum bid will
extend the auction. Bids placed by proxy do not extend the auction.
If you are outbid on any auction, you will receive an email notice within moments of
the new bid. Even if the auction is scheduled to close in seconds, you will have several
minutes to decide wheter to raise your bid.
This auction requires 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
ourselves as the auction providers and you as buyer and/or seller. Registration
is simple and painless. Merely click on
[New Registration] here or near the
top or bottom of any auction page.
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. 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.
Sometimes (and our system supports this) a seller enters a Reserve Bid.
For example, the item sells for $100 new. The seller 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.
Posting your items for sale here at Astro-Auction easy.
Simply register if you have not already (by clicking
[New Registration] here or at
the top or bottom of any auction page). Our system automatically mails your
password usually within 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 you might
more easily remember.
Again, we currently charge nothing to buy or sell items. In the future, we
do reserve the right to add premium features that other auction sites have like
bold listings, featured auctions, and the like. For those, we will charge a
Posting items for sale is accomplished by clicking on
[Post New Item] here or at the top
or bottom of any auction screen. Fill in the form 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 us Auction Administrator
and ask for that category to be added. Be a little patient, please--we get LOTS of e-mail.
If you have any questions about an item, by all means contact the
seller and ask him or her (not us!). Click on the Ask Seller A Question
link found on the item page. You can ask about the condition of the item,
payment and shipment terms, or anything else not already spelled out in the
Sellers will receive an email message with a link to a page that will accept
your answer to any questions asked about your item. Alternatively, after using the
auto-login feature, go top the page to display the item, then click on Ask
Seller A Question. Be sure to select the question you are answering, then
type your answer into the box and click on Rate User.
When buying something from someone--whether on the internet, in any kind of
auction, or anywhere else--your best protection is to be an informed buyer. We
do police this auction, but we can give no blanket guarantee. You might read our
Terms and 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.
Sellers on Astro-Auction must apply for and receive approval from Astro-Auction
before being allowed to post items for auction. Sellers are investigated before being approved.
Only reputable dealers and collectors are accepted.
All negative feedback on buyers and sellers is investigated. If the matter cannot be resolved,
the buyer or seller may be removed from the list or blocked from placing new items for auction. Any
item with questionable authenticity will be removed from auction until such authenticity can be
The system automatically sends the buyer (highest bidder) and seller of the item
e-mail when the auction ends. The buyer and seller are then 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.
Dutch auctions are used when the seller has many of the same item to sell
and wants the bidders to be able to bid on one or multiple items. In the
Dutch auction format, the bidders specify how many of the items they want to
bid on as well as the amount they are willing to pay. When the auction ends,
the bidders who bid the highest for the items will earn the right to purchase
the items at the lowest successful bid made by one of the winning bidders.
For example: John has 25 unsigned lithos he wants to
sell. The lithos are all brand new and of the same image. He
sets the starting bid at $200 per litho. Sally wants to buy 10 of
the lithos so she places a bid for 10 of them at $200 a piece. Mike
is also interested in these lithos and places a bid for 15 of them at $200
a piece. Currently both Mike and Sally are bidding on separate items and a
bid has been placed on all of the available lithos.
Now Vicky decides she wants 5 lithos. Since all of the lithos now have a bid placed on
them, she must outbid the last bidder which was Mike in this case. She places
a bid of $250 each for 5 lithos. Now Mike is the high bidder for only
10 of his original 15 he bid on. If the auction ends with no more bids placed,
Sally would have a winning bid for 10 of the lithos, Mike would have a winning bid
for 10 of the lithos, and Vicky would have a winning bid for the remaining 5 lithos.
The selling price of all 25 lithos is determined by the lowest winning bid price.
In this scenario, all 25 lithos would sell for $200 each.
The seller of an item may choose to designate the auction as private. This
protects the identity of bidders and the buyer. Only the seller will see the
user name for the high bidder or buyer of the item. The bid history for the item
does not display the bidders' username, but does show the bid amounts and notes.
UPDATE: All auction with a bid of $100 or more now show as private
Feedback allows both buyers and sellers to rate each other as positive, neutral or
negative after the close of an auction. They may also leave comments about each other.
Buyers may wish to leave comments on the quality of merchandise, service or communication.
Sellers may wish to leave comments on the effort level required to close the
transaction with the buyer.
To leave feedback, go to "My Space" (you'll find the link in the action bar
at the top of the page. Once you've logged in, you will see a page with three columns
of options for users. In the third column, the last two options allow you to leave
feedback on items you've either purchased or sold. Click on the appropriate link
to get a list of items for which you have not yet left feedback. Click on the buyer/seller
user name to leave feedback.
Saved searches do two things. You can save searches that you run frequently
and run them all at once. In addition, you'll automatically receive email notification
of any new items that match your search.
First, you can save several searches from "My Space" and execute them all at once
any time you visit Astro-Auction. The "Auction Saved Search Options" page first lists
all of your current saved searches. Click on the Search Name to change the search, or
click on "Add New Search". Below the list of Saved Auction Searches is a form you may
use to add new searches or to edit an existing search. When you click on "Execute Saved
Searches", all of your saved searches are executed and all matching items are displayed.
Second, saved searches are run each night around midnight (MST). The results are
then filtered to display new auction items that have been listed in the last 36 hours.
This list is then emailed directly to you so you can easily monitor new items that
match your personal preferences.
For more information see
How to Get the Most Out of Astro-Auction Saved Searches.
Astro-Auction sends email messages when you register, each time you place a bid,
when your bid is no longer the high bid and when you win an auction. We also send email
messages to the seller when an item is placed for auction, with each bid on the seller's
item, and at the close of each auction.
With recent advances in "Spam Protection", we find it difficult to send mail to
some accounts. At times in the past the problem has been the configuration of our mail server.
We have fixed this problem with several ISP's including AOL.
Some spam protection software will not allow email messages from addresses not on your
recipient list. Some ISP's, such as WebTV run the spam protection software on their servers.
Other software packages run on your computer. In order to recieve email messages from
Astro-Auction, you will need to add email@example.com to your list of recipients.
Please consult your software documentation for details on how to accomplish this.
If you still don't recieve your auction email messages, please send an email message to
firstname.lastname@example.org and explain your problem.
We will be glad to answer any questions and do whatever it takes to get your messages to you.
Bulk Relist allows a seller to relist several items at once rather than one at a time. The Bulk
Relist page shows your auction items that did not sell and have not been manually relisted. Once
an item is relisted with either "Bulk Relist" or "Relist Your Unsold Items", that item will no
longer be available for relisting.
When you use Bulk Relist, relisted items will appear exactly as they did in the previous
auction, except that bidding will start all over. As always, you will be able to edit the
title, description, category, location, and country at any time before bidding begins. You
will also be able to assign a consignee, or set the number of times to relist automatically.
You will not be able to change any bidding amounts, the shipping information, type of payment
required, or the condition of the item.
Bulk Relist can save a seller quite a bit of time when compared to individually relisting
items. But there are trade-offs involved. If you need to adjust your prices on an item, you
will want to relist that item individually. Neither method of relisting an item allows you
to change the photo. If you wish to send a new image of the item, you will need to list it
as a new item.
Any page that lists items can be sorted using the links shown in blue at the head of each
column. The main listing pages can be sorted by the item title, the number of bids, the current
bid amount, or the amount of time remaining for the auction.
Clicking on the link at the top of a sorted column will reverse the order. For example, if
you click on "Item", the list will be sorted by the title from A-Z. If you click on "Item" a
second time, the list will be sorted by the title from Z-A.
You can choose to see only Instant Purchase, New, Hot, Ending or Dutch auctions by clicking on
the icons or text that appears near the to of the page. If you have already chosen a category, the
selection will show only the items within that category. If you wish to list all items within
a category, click on one of the category links on the right side of the page.
Some auction categories include newly added sub-categories shown in a lighter blue color. If
you click on the darker blue category, listings will include items in that category and the
lighter blue sub-categories shown beneath. If you click on the lighter blue category, listings
will include only items in that sub-category. If you click on one of the yellow category headings
listings will include all items in categories shown below the yellow heading.
For any other questions you might have, please feel free to e-mail our
auction administrator, Auction Administrator.