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Bidding histories

Friday, Apr. 22, 2011 - 7 am | Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

Yesterday we looked at Purple Wave’s Internet bidding system and how maximum bids can be used to automate auction buying. Today we’re going to examine bidding histories and see what they can tell us.

Some auction companies don’t display the bidding histories for the items they sell. We think it’s impossible to build trust in a no-reserve auction system without the transparency that bidding histories provide.

The example on the right shows the bidding information from an item’s details page. Here, at the time the image was captured, we see that the item has received 20 bids. The currently-winning bidder is 74708. Note that the bid count is a link. Clicking on that bid count link takes us to the bid history for the item where we see the following bid table.


bidding history

Each line represents a bid, and the table is sorted chronologically from the first bid submitted to the most recent. The left column shows the bidder submitting the bid. The right column shows the currently-winning bidder after that bid was calculated.

As you can see, 74708 placed the last two bids. The first bid he placed was less than the maximum bid placed earlier by 50211, which is why 50211 remained the currently-wining bidder after the first bid by 74708. After placing the first successful bid, 74708 was notified that his bid was less than or equal to a previously-submitted maximum bid by 50211. 74708 elected to place another bid, this time successfully becoming the winning bidder at $25,000. He may have a higher maximum bid, but a currently-winning bidder’s maximum bid is never displayed or disclosed.

Bidding histories tell us how many and which customers have placed bids on any item. They tell us the current price and currently-winning bidder after each bid. Bidding histories are available for all active items on and are a valuable resource for anyone who is curious to see how bids are recorded, calculated and displayed by Purple Wave.

One response to "Bidding histories"

  1. […] histories Purple Wave makes the complete bidding history available for every active item. In our pictured example above, we know that the item has received […]

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