Buying Instructions

Placing a bid is a binding contract between the bidder and the seller.  Bid retraction is not allowed; please think carefully before submitting any bid.  Should a buyer not honor a bid they have placed, they will be permanently barred from participating in future Marketplace events.

Listing Details
The seller alone is responsible for the content of their listing, to include descriptions and photographs.  Marketplace Admins do not have access to the items and can not provide any further details.  Should you need more information, please contact the seller using the Messaging feature.  Requests for more information should be done prior to placing a bid; subsequently learning new information after placing a bid does not constitute a valid reason to retract a bid unless it contradicts previously published information.  Ask first!

What is the SPH Item Size?
The SPH ( Standardized Puzzle Hamster) is a unit of measure pioneered by collector Steve Nicholls.  One SPH equals 160mm x 76mm and weighs 64grams.  And is furry.

Listing Durations
The Marketplace is a scheduled event that runs three times per year; all items start with a seven-day duration and close at the same time unless the anti snipe feature is activated by bidders.

Auction Fees
All fees are paid by the seller; the buyer pays no fees.  Therefore the buyer has no need to send payment directly to the Marketplace; all purchase amounts including shipping should be paid directly to the seller after the item is won.  Do not use the "Credit Account" button in the Members Area as this is used by sellers to pay their listing fees.

To place your bid simply enter the amount you wish to bid (e.g. 50.00). Please note no currency symbols are required. The bid will be placed in the default auction currency (USD).
Once entered, you will be asked to review your bid. At this time you should also review vital item details such as the shipping conditions before confirming your bid. To submit your bid simply press the Place Bid button.

International Bidding
Some sellers do not wish to ship internationally and have therefore disallowed bids from buyers in a different country.  This is their personal choice and can not be changed by appealing to Marketplace Admins.

Proxy Bidding
The Marketplace utilizes a proxy bidding system. That means that when you place any bid, only the minimum necessary amount to maintain status as the highest bidder is committed.  The amount of your maximum proxy bid is not revealed to other bidders; you pay only what is necessary to win the auction within the constraints of the bidding increment.
Put another way, if an item is opened at $20 and you make the first bid for $100, the system will bid the minimum amount ($20) at that time.  Another user now comes after you and bids $30.  The system will immediately respond with another bid according to the bid increments table below, in this case resulting in a $32 bid being automatically placed on your behalf to defeat the new bidders' maximum bid.  Should another bidder exceed your maximum bid they will be the high bidder, and their maximum proxy bid will function the same as yours did.

Reserve Auctions
At times a seller may elect to protect his item with a reserve amount. This can be thought of as an undisclosed bid by the seller. If an auction is protected by a reserve, the seller is not obligated to sell the item unless the reserve amount has been met. If the final bid does not meet the reserve, the seller may elect to accept the final bid anyway, in which case the item is sold and the bid is considered binding. To reiterate, if you bid on an item with a reserve yet do not meet or exceed the reserve amount, the seller may still elect to sell the item to you for the amount you bid, and you will be obligated to pay for the item in question.

Anti-Snipe Feature
Auctions within one day of closing are protected by an anti-sniping feature. Due to the international nature of the clientele, any bid placed within the last 24 hours automatically extends the bidding time by a certain amount the moment the bid is placed. Therefore, sniping auctions is foiled. A sniper bidding during the last few seconds of the auction simply extends the auction time, allowing the sniped bidder to reply.  This extension diminishes over time to encourage resolution as shown in the table below:

Day 1 through 3 = 24 hour extension
Day 4 = 12 hour extension
Day 5 = 6 hour extension
Day 6+ = 3 hour extension

Proxy Bidding and Anti-Snipe
When a bid is placed that increases the existing leading bidders proxy bid, the anti-snipe time extension WILL be triggered whether or not the new bid exceeds the current high bidders' reserve. This is intentional so as to give the losing bidder a chance to re-bid.

Reserve and Anti-Snipe
If an item is protected by a reserve, the anti snipe feature will not be activated unless the previous bid has met the reserve. To say it another way, if you place a bid and it does not meet the reserve requirement, the auction will end at the originally scheduled time, and will not be extended.

Bidding Increments
Bid increments are as follows: 
$0.01 - $0.99  - $0.25 Increment 
$1.00 - $4.99  - $0.50 Increment 
$5.00 - $19.99  - $1.00 Increment 
$20.00 - $49.99  - $2.00 Increment 
$50.00 - $99.99  - $5.00 Increment 
$100.00 - $249.99  - $10.00 Increment 
$250.00 - $499.99  - $15.00 Increment 
$500.00 - $999.99  - $25.00 Increment 
$1,000.00 - $2,499.99  - $50.00 Increment 
$2,500.00 - $4,999.99  - $100.00 Increment 
$5,000.00 - $9,999.99  - $200.00 Increment 
$10,000+  - $250.00 Increment

Bid Cancellations
Bids are a binding contract between the buyer and seller, and will not be canceled under any circumstances.  Non-paying bidders will be permanently banned from the Marketplace.  Before placing a bid, think twice and make sure you are willing and able to honor that bid.

Make Offer
The Make Offer function allows a bidder to make an instant offer on the item being sold. If the offer is within the range specified by the seller, he/she will be notified. Once notified, the seller can choose to accept or turn down the offer. Please note that the offer range must be specified by the seller during the auction listing process.

Combined Shipping
If you win more than one item from a seller you may wish to combine shipping into one package for more efficient and affordable delivery.  It is up to the seller to decide if they wish to offer this service.  Always check with the seller first to confirm combined shipping!

Combined Invoices
Buyers may combine purchases from a single seller provided the following criteria are met:-Sale ---Transaction fees are paid
-Items prices are in the same currency
-Items are in the same location
To combine invoices, from the Purchases menu (Home -> Members Area -> Buying -> Purchases) select two or more invoices and click Combine.  Please note that by doing so you will be charged the full shipping amount for each item.  A better option is to request combined shipping from the seller, and if they should allow for such they will be able to combine invoices from their end and manually enter a lower combined shipping amount.  Finally, please note that combining invoices is irreversible, therefore please ensure you are finished bidding on items from that seller before requesting or combining invoices yourself.

Contacting Seller
The seller may be contacted through the built-in Marketplace messaging system.  Communication outside the Marketplace framework may be considered bypassing the fee structure and result in either buyer or seller being banned from future events.  Buyers are expressly forbidden from soliciting sellers in order to purchase puzzles outside the Marketplace framework.  Marketplace Admins have access to all communication on the Marketplace messaging board and reserve the right to monitor such information to detect users bypassing the system.

After Sale
After the sale is complete, the buyer and seller use the built-in invoicing and messaging function to coordinate payment and delivery.  The seller may send you an invoice using the built-in Invoicing feature.  Buyer and seller work together to handle payment and delivery; Marketplace staff are in no way involved in the transaction and will not be able to answer questions specific to a particular listing.

To leave feedback, go to Members Area > Feedback > Leave Feedback. There you may rate the user and leave specific comments. Please remember that comments are permanent and will not be deleted. Always attempt to work out any issues with the other member first - leaving negative feedback should be an absolute last resort.

Problems After Sale
The buyer and seller should make every effort to resolve any disputes arising from the sale of an item between themselves.  If as a buyer you are unable to come to a resolution, please contact us using the "Contact Us" button at the bottom of each page.  In the case of clear and documented misrepresentation, we will attempt to mediate.  Our remedy is limited to disallowing future participation in the marketplace by the seller.  Under no circumstances will we be able to, nor held liable for, replacing misrepresented items or recovering funds.

Non-Paying Bidder / Non-Shipping Seller
Non-Paying Bidders: Payment must be sent to the seller within two weeks of the item close. Extensions to this timeline may be approved at the seller's option. After two weeks the bidder loses all right to the item and will be banned from the next event. On the second non-paying offense, the bidder will be permanently banned from the Marketplace (this applies if they bidder defaults on two separate bids in the same event - they will be permanently suspended).
Non-Shipping Seller: Any seller who refuses to ship the item once payment has been sent will be immediately and permanently banned.