The Auctions site promises “the most secure buying and selling environment on the Web” and offers “several ways to sell your items to our millions of customers.” The auction categories range from art and antiques to cars, tools, jewelry, real estate, and games.

However, the auction site's link is not readily visible when you log on to the main site. You have to hunt for it while trying to avoid being distracted by Amazon's numerous links to online stores, bargains, and specials.

Scroll down toward the bottom of this page, looking on the left for the Bargains heading. Beneath that heading, click on the Auctions link. This will open the Auctions main page.

To find the site's tutorial for newcomers, scroll down the page, again looking on the left side. In the Do you have questions? box, click on the See our tutorial link.

The tutorial describes how to:

  • Search for a particular auction item

  • Bid on it

  • Pay for it and have it shipped

  • File a claim if the item is not shipped or is significantly different than described in the auction listing

Features and Transaction Limits

When bidding, you can place your maximum high bid into Amazon's Bid-Click feature. Bid-Click then acts as your automatic bidding proxy. It conceals your maximum bid and raises your current bid at the smallest amount possible when you are competing against other bidders.

All sellers, meanwhile, must offer the Amazon Payments choice to buyers. The Amazon Payments program “is first and foremost a credit card service,” according to Amazon. Because of this, Amazon imposes “selling limits” on auction transactions. The selling limits, also known as “velocity limits,” are applied to both buyers and sellers. The limits can apply to both the size of individual transactions and the total dollar amount processed.

Amazon's “buyer velocity limit” is $2,475 worth of transactions over a twenty-eight-day rolling period. If you spend the maximum $2,475 in one day, you have to wait another twenty-eight days to bid again. Sellers have the same $2,475 maximum transaction limit. But the amount that a seller can receive in a given period will depend on Amazon's evaluation of the seller's application. Auctions charges its sellers twenty-five cents per item purchased using Amazon Payments, plus 2.5 percent of the transaction amount.

The Amazon Payments plan offers an advantage for sellers who hate hassling with buyer payments. According to Amazon: “When you're paid via Amazon Payments, there's no need for you to do anything but ship your item. deposits the buyer's money into your account and notifies you via e-mail. Funds in your account are deposited directly into your bank account every two weeks.”

Not everyone can pay a seller through Amazon Payments. In mid-2005, the payment program was recognized in the United States and U.S. protectorates, plus twenty-eight other countries listed on the Auctions site.

Dollar Deals

In a variation on the popular “dollar stores” found in many cities, Amazon. com Auctions offers a Dollar Deals auction site where bidding starts at one dollar for items ranging from antiques and collectibles to beanbag toys, books, music, and videos.

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