General Guidelines

At the seller's option, auctions last from 15 minutes to 14 days from the initial listing of the item. Bidding automatically terminates at the end of the auction.

When the auction ends, the seller and high bidder are notified by email. Auction results are also available for everyone to examine. These results indicate the final bid price, and the seller's and high-bidder's email addresses. Additionally, the complete bidding history is available as a link from the item's description page.

After an auction ends, the high bidder and seller should contact each other within 3 business days to arrange payment and delivery. If within 3 business days the seller is unable to conclude the transaction with the high-bidder, the seller may contact the next-highest bidder to purchase the item. In summary, if a high bidder does not contact the seller within 3 business days after the end of the auction, the high bidder may lose his/her place as winning bidder.

Before you make a bid, you should verify the particulars about the item you're bidding on, and as best as you can, investigate the seller's trading practices. If you have any questions about the item, email your questions to the seller. Make sure you clearly understand the shipping terms (who pays?), payment terms (can you pay by personal check? credit card? and so on) and other details.

When you are viewing the item you would like to bid on, you can place a bid by using the form on the lower part of the page. Please bid the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the item. As other bidders increase the bid price, your bid will be increased to your maximum bid, or increased by the preset bid increment, to outbid other bidders. (Note: All bidding is done with bid increments.)

By placing a bid, you are placing a legally-binding and irrevocable offer to purchase the item at any price up to your maximum bid amount. If your bid is accepted by the seller, you are then legally obligated to complete the transaction. Your failure to complete the transaction is a breach of the User Agreement, and may be legally actionable by the seller. You must provide your Username with your bid.

Once you make and confirm a bid, you may not be able to retract it (depending on the system settings and only for extraordinary or unusual circumstances). Exceptional circumstances include situations where the seller materially changes the description of an item after your bid, and clear typographical errors. Exceptional circumstances do not include bidding on or winning a bid on another (perhaps similar) item, not having the budget to pay for an item, changing your mind, and so on. Please bid carefully!

Our system will automatically email you, subject to the reliability of email, if your maximum bid is outbid by another bidder. However, you might be outbid minutes or seconds before the close of an auction, in which case, you may not have the opportunity to place a new bid. Therefore, you should bid the maximum amount you would be willing to pay for the item when you make your first bid.

Proxy Bidding
When you place a bid, enter the maximum amount you are willing to pay for that item. This amount will always be kept secret. Whenever someone else places a bid, our auction software will automatically enter the lowest possible bid for you, up to your maximum bid, until you are the winning bidder.

At the end of an auction, if you are the high bidder, you are the winner. As the winner of the auction, you only pay the lowest possible winning bid, not necessarily your maximum bid.

Buying an Item
If you have not done so before the bid, call or email the seller to clarify the terms of shipping and/or insurance. Negotiate with the seller for escrow, sales tax, shipping fees, and payment terms. Pay promptly!

Selling an Item
It's fun and easy to start your own auction. Simply register, and then fill out the listing form. Provide a short, descriptive title, and provide a complete description of the item. You cannot use HTML tags in the title, but you may use HTML in your item's description. This means that you can link to pictures or reference pages, if you so choose. All content linked to the item description must comply with the User Agreement.

To grab attention and get the auction going, you might consider setting the initial minimum bid a little lower than you think the item will eventually be sold for. If your minimum bid is too high, people may not bid on your item. However, keep in mind that the minimum price you specify indicates the minimum amount you will accept for the item, so set your initial minimum bid wisely.

By auctioning an item, you are irrevocably (except as described below) and legally committed to accept the high bid for the item (or the highest bidder's bid who does not renege). If you receive one or more bids above the minimum price you stated you would be willing to accept, then you are legally obligated to complete the transaction. Your failure to complete the transaction is a breach of the User Agreement, and may be legally actionable by one or more of the bidders.

Note: The seller has the right to cancel a transaction with any user with whom they are uncomfortable completing a transaction.

You may place any merchandise up for auction that you have the right to sell, so long as it complies with the User Agreement, and all federal, state, and local ordinances. Please list your item in its appropriate category.

You can advertise your auction by using the auction URL sent to you in the confirmation email.

In the description of your item, you should clarify any additional terms or expenses associated with the item, such as who will bear shipping and insurance expenses.

We, and your bidders, expect you to be truthful in your listings. Disappointed buyers are likely to leave you negative feedback.

Bidders or potential bidders may email you during the course of the auction. It's good business to respond to all inquiries promptly.

Notice of End of Auction/Account Status
Once the auction is over, you will be notified via email. However, if you are bidding on an item, you are responsible for checking back at Northwest Flea Mart to see if you have won. If you do not receive notice, and think you may be the top bidder, you need to check the auction status at Northwest Flea Mart. After the auction has ended, the top bidder needs to contact the seller within three business days. Likewise, you can check your account at any time online. The notice is provided as a courtesy to you, but does not invalidate your responsibility to check the auction results, directly. Note: If your account is past due, you may incur late fees, or find your account on suspension. Keep your account payments current!

Some guidelines regarding pricing:

  • First, we encourage sellers to set the minimum bid for their auction at the lowest fair price at which they are willing to sell their item.
  • Second, a seller may employ a reserve price auction. This allows the seller to set a price below which he or she does not agree to sell the item.

Reserve Prices
At the seller's option, auctions may be conducted with reserve prices. The reserve price is the lowest price at which a seller is willing to sell an item. The reserve price is not disclosed to bidders. A seller might specify a reserve price if he or she is unsure of the real value of the item, and would like to be able to refuse to sell the item below a certain price. If the seller has specified a reserve price, an annotation will be displayed on the item's information screen indicating a reserve price has been set.

The seller specifies the reserve price when he or she lists an item. This price should be above the minimum bid price. The auction begins at the minimum bid price. When a bidder's maximum bid is equal to or greater than the reserve price, the item's current price is raised to the reserve price. At this time, the item's information page will indicate that the reserve price has been met. The bidder is also notified that his or her bid met the reserve price.

We encourage everyone to leave feedback about experiences with other trading partners. However, please do not abuse the privilege. If posting negative feedback, stick to the facts, and avoid inflammatory speech.

User Information
During your transactions, take the time to record the member information you obtain permission to use. That way, should you have questions regarding your transaction, you can contact that member at a later date. For the safety of our members, Northwest Flea Mart only gives out contact information to registered users.

When registering to become a member of Northwest Flea Mart, you must enter complete and correct contact information. This information is only available to other registered users, enabling them to contact you regarding transactions.

Most fraud complaints tend to be misunderstandings about the product, shipping terms, or shipping addresses. Therefore, you should clarify all of these elements before you bid, and definitely before you send money. However, fraud is a reality of doing business, both on and off the Web. You should report it to the authorities if it happens in our community.

Illegal Items
Some items are not legal to sell at Northwest Flea Mart. Please do not list an item that is illegal to sell.

Members of Northwest Flea Mart do not tolerate spam. Do not add a member's email address to your address book unless you have permission from that member. Spam is unsolicited, commercial email.

Please be careful of what you say about other people online. Again, stick to the facts, and don't post slanderous comments.