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There are a few precautions that anyone needs to take before entering an online auction. First of all, one needs to know what kind of auction you are involved in. Online auction sites offer both English auctions (where bidders bid higher and higher until only one bidder remains) as well as Dutch Auctions (where the auction price slowly lowers until one bidder accepts it). They also may have a set price ceiling and auction times that limit bidding. Make sure that you know the rules of any auction that you decide to bid. Have a clear understanding of delivery, return, and warranty policies that on the site. Also, check to see if the site offers any kind of insurance to bidders -- the good ones will. Check to see if you can pay by credit card; it's easier to get your money back through a credit card company if you are defrauded.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|