ReadySetAuction allows you to control how quickly the bidding can increase on your packages. You do this by setting a minimum raise amount on a package.
The minimum raise is the minimum amount by which a new bidder must bid over the current leading bid to become the new leader.
For example, let's say you have set up a package with a minimum raise amount of $5. John is the current leading bidder, having placed a bid of $15. If Jane wants to place a bid on this package, she must bid at least $20 ($15 + $5). She may bid more than $20. The minimum raise is just that - a minimum.
Note that setting a minimum raise amount on a package does not force bidders to bid in strict increments of that amount. In the example above, Jane could have bid any amount greater than or equal to $20. For example, $20.01 would be a perfectly valid bid amount. In that case, any subsequent bidder would then have to bid at least $25.01 ($20.01 + $5) to become the new leading bidder.
What About Otto?
Otto simply places bids on behalf of a bidder, up to that bidder's established maximum, while adhering to the same rules that a human bidder would be required to follow (with one special exception explained below).
Here's an example:
Your package has a minimum raise amount of $5, as above. Again, John is in the lead with a regular bid of $15. Jane wants to bid using Otto. She must bid at least $20, but can bid any amount over that. Jane chooses to bid $35. This will put Jane in the lead at $20 ($5 over John's current leading bid), with Otto watching the bidding for her and ready to go as high as $35.
Now, John comes along, sees the leading bid is currently $20, and bids $25 ($20 + $5). Otto steps in and increases Jane to $30 ($25 + $5).
Otto's Special Exception
As seen above, when a bidder places a maximum bid with Otto, Otto will attempt to increase that bidder's bid by the full minimum raise amount. But what happens if increasing by the full amount of the minimum raise would result in a bid higher than the bidder indicated he was willing to go?
Answer: Otto will bid up to, but never more than, a bidder's established maximum bid.
Assume the same initial scenario as above: package has a minimum raise amount of $5. Again, John is in the lead with a regular bid of $15. Jane wants to bid using Otto. She must bid at least $20, but can bid any amount over that. This time, Jane chooses to bid $25.01. This will put Jane in the lead at $20, with Otto watching the bidding for her ready to go as high as $25.01.
Now, John comes along, sees the leading bid is currently $20, and bids $25 ($20 + $5). Otto steps in and increases Jane to her maximum bid of $25.01, as high as he can go.
Although it might seem like Otto broke the rules and only increased Jane's bid by a penny, this is not really the case. Because Jane placed her maximum bid of $25.01 before John placed his bid of $25, Jane's bid takes precedence. In effect, John never really beat Jane's prior maximum bid, so Jane remains in the lead at $25.01.
In fact, even if Jane had placed a maximum bid of only $25 (instead of $25.01), she would still maintain the leading bid at $25. This is because both she and John are tied with the same high bid of $25, but Jane placed her maximum bid before John placed his bid. Early bird gets the worm (or in this case, breaks the tie)!