Buy and Sell Vintage Postcards, Postage Stamps, Postal History, Antiques and Collectibles!

How our bidding system works

Our software automatically bids for you until your "secret" maximum bid is reached!

You can bid on an item as many times as you want, bidding just the minimum each time. However, the best method may be to make your first bid the MAXIMUM amount you are willing to pay. If your bid is OVER the minimum, it will be kept SECRET (not revealed on the bidding screen) and will NOT be used unless needed! By bidding more than the minimum, if someone else bids higher, our system will automatically increase YOUR bid by the next increment until your maximum bid is reached! This saves you the work of keeping track of the auction as it progresses - especially helpful if you are bidding on many items at once. It may also prevent you from losing to another bidder in the closing minutes of the auction...especially if you aren't online, or can't access our site.

Example: The starting bid on the vintage postcard you want is $10.00. You enter a maximum bid of $20.00. You will be shown on the screen as the high bidder for $10.00. If someone else bids $11.00, our system will automatically bid $11.50 for you. If no one else bids before the auction closes, you win the item for $11.50. If there are additional bids, our system will increase your bid until your maximum amount of $20.00 is reached. If someone else bids $20.00, the current high bid will immediately go to $20.00, but the bid will be yours because you bid $20.00 first.

You can raise your bid without bidding against yourself!

If you have bid previously, and are listed as the current high bidder, you can bid again and increase your maximum bid. Your current high bid will remain as it was before, and won't be increased unless someone else bids.

Reserve Price Auctions

Sellers have the option to choose a Reserve Auction. In addition to the minimum starting bid, they input a secret reserve price. This is the lowest price they will sell the item for. If the bidding never reaches the reserve, there is NO winning bidder, and the item does not sell. The auction listing will show that it is a Reserve Auction (in the box for "current high bidder"), but the reserve price will not be revealed unless a bidder meets or exceeds it.

While a reserve auction is in progress, you will notice several differences. When a reserve auction receives a bid, the maximum amount of that bid, if below or equal to the reserve price, will immediately be shown as the current bid. The user ID of the current high bidder, as well as the bidding history, will NOT be shown unless the reserve is met. If and when a bidder's maximum amount meets or exceeds the reserve price:

  • The current bid will show the reserve price
  • The current high bidder box will show the bidder's user ID
  • The bidding history will be revealed

From that point on, the auction will proceed in the usual manner.

Automatically emails you when you are overbid!

You will automatically receive an email if your maximum bid is outbid by someone else. The exception to this is in a Reserve Auction - you will not be notified if someone outbids you UNLESS the reserve price has been met. You should realize that you may be outbid minutes before the auction closes, thus not giving you the chance to bid again. Because of that, you are encouraged to bid your maximum bid the first time you bid. By doing so, you won't have to worry about someone else outbidding you at the last minute for that old postcard or other item you have been looking for.

Buying from and paying foreign sellers

Our site is open to buyers and sellers worldwide. It would be helpful if all sellers, both U.S. and International, would state in their descriptions what forms of payment they accept. But, if not stated, bidders should email a foreign seller inquiring what form of payment they accept BEFORE placing a bid. Most sellers are NOT able to accept personal checks from another country payable in a currency foreign to the seller. Note: the country of the seller is clearly displayed on ALL items on our site.

User Id's

You select your User ID when registering. From that point on, we display it automatically if you bid or list something for do not have to enter it. A user on our site has the option when they register to select TWO different User Id's, one for bidding, and a different one for selling. When someone lists an item for sale, we show their real name, and their User ID is part of the item number.

Bidding Increments

We have never liked auctions that allow bids with odd amounts such as $6.01 or $9.23. Therefore we use bidding increments like auction houses do, as outlined in the following table. You don't have to memorize it as we show it on every bidding screen. If you try to bid an amount not on this table, our software will prompt you to enter the correct bidding increment.


When does an auction close?

Each individual auction item has it's own closing time (the hour and minute the auction ends will be set to the same time of day it was listed for sale). The seller has the choice to run an auction to close on a specific time/date from 3 to 60 days, or 7 days AFTER THE FIRST BID, expiring in 28 days (most sellers use this option). If the latter, it will expire no later than 28 days after it was listed - sooner if it receives an early bid. A late bid can never extend an auction past the original closing time. A person can bid on an item with no bids in the closing minutes of the auction, knowing the ending time will not be extended.

When the auction is over

The transaction is entirely between the buyer and the seller. We at Playle's do not get involved in the transaction (unless we are selling our own merchandise). Within 10 minutes after an auction closes, and immediately on purchasing a store item, an email is sent to both the Buyer and the Seller listing each other's full name, postal address, email address, selling price, etc. Normally, the buyer is expected to send payment to the seller before the item is shipped.

Please read our Disclaimer.

We will notify you when one of your wanted items is posted!

To sign up, make a search for the word or phrase you are looking for, and follow instructions on the search results page. You will then receive an automatic email when an item is posted that matches your search!