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Chapter 1. Reviewing eBay Basics > How an eBay Auction Works

How an eBay Auction Works

In essence, an online auction on eBay works pretty much like an old-fashioned real-world auction—you know, the type where a fast-talking auctioneer stands in the front of the room, trying to coax potential buyers into bidding just a little bit more for the piece of merchandise up for bid. The only difference is that there's no fast-talking auctioneer online (the bidding process is executed by special auction software on the auction site), and all the bidders aren't in the same room—in fact, they might be located anywhere in the world, as long as they have Internet access.

eBay is kind of like a newspaper that runs classified ads—eBay isn't the actual seller, and isn't even really a “middleman.” All eBay does is facilitate the transaction, and therefore can't be held responsible for anything that goes wrong with any particular auction or sale. When someone buys an item on eBay, they buy it directly from the seller—they don't pay any money to eBay.



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