the auction’s (mostly) over, now what?

If this post has published when scheduled, it is 4:01 p.m. Eastern and Con or Bust’s 2017 auction is now over, except for items with last-minute bids. This post addresses: (1) how to tell whether bidding on an item is over and if you won; (2) what to do after winning; (3) what to do if you offered an item for auction; and (4) what to do if you need help.

Is Bidding Over? Did I Win?

Bidding gets extended by last-minute bids, so here’s a refresher on whether the bidding on any specific item is over yet:

Was a valid bid on an item posted with a timestamp from 3:50 through 4:00 p.m. on May 7? A valid bid is higher than the last one.

  • No.
    • If the last valid bid on an item was timestamped 3:49 p.m. or earlier, then that bid is automatically the winner.
  • Yes.
    • If a valid bid was timestamped 3:50 p.m., 4:00 p.m., or any time in-between, then bidding on that item is automatically extended until 4:10 p.m.
    • Next, either:
      • no further bids are received timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and therefore bidding is over at 4:10 p.m. and the last high bid wins; or,
      • another valid bid is timestamped on or before 4:10 p.m., and bidding continues until 4:20 p.m. Repeat as necessary.

If an item’s bidding period has been extended by last-minute bids, the bidding period will automatically extend until no bids have been received during the last extension period, at which time bidding automatically closes. A moderator ruling is not required for bidding on an item to be extended.

Similarly, a moderator ruling is not required to determine if you’ve won: if you’re the last valid bid within the applicable time period, you’ve won. (I will be happy to confirm, however! Leave a comment on the auction item in question.)

I Won; What Do I Do Now?

Congratulations and thanks very much! Please pay for your winnings; you don’t need to wait for me to notify you that you’ve won. (However, if you can’t quite remember what you bid on, you can comment here using the same email address you would have used for bidding and I will email you when the spreadsheet is sorted out.)

When you pay, please provide the following information:

  • What item or items you are paying for (if you won multiple items, it’s preferable to pay for them all at once);
  • If your email address is different than the one you used to comment, what email address was on your comment; and
  • Your shipping address, if you’re having something shipped. Please note that PayPal no longer provides this information automatically.

If you have a PayPal account and would like 100% of your auction payment to go directly to Con or Bust, please use the below button (which is a link to the PayPal Giving Fund). (Edit: it appears this may not work outside the US; my apologies, this is outside my control.)

If you use the above button, you must then forward your acknowledgment email only to with the information requested above. (Please do not send money directly to that address!) The Giving Fund doesn’t allow you to leave notes with your donation and doesn’t notify us immediately that your donation has been made.

If you need to use a credit card rather than a PayPal account, you can also use PayPal to make a one-time donation; your donation will be reduced by a PayPal fee (a lower charity rate of 2.2% + $0.30).

If you’re donating using the above button, please click “Add special instructions to the seller” (below the donation amount) and include the information requested above.

Once I’ve matched up your donation with your winnings on the spreadsheet, you’ll get two emails from a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your seller in touch. Please check your spam folders for these emails! (I will do these as quickly as I can, but judging by past experience, there will be dozens tonight alone, and I do have a family and a day job. I promise I will do my very best to be quick and accurate.)

You can also mail a check, but please contact me at before doing so.

I Offered Something for Auction, Now What?

Thank you for offering something! If your auction item sold, you’ll get two emails from a thank-you receipt for your records, and an email putting you and your winner in touch. Then make whatever arrangements are necessary!

Finally, I mention this only because some people have asked if they could do it in past years: if bidding was vigorous, you may, where practical and in your sole discretion, offer additional items to people with the high losing bids or who got their bids in late. But that would be an entirely optional exercise of extreme generosity on your part—which means, bidders, don’t importune or I will frown disapprovingly at you over the Internet.

I Need Help!

Comment here or email It is very important to me that everyone who participates in the auction be satisfied that they were treated fairly, and I want to hear about any concerns or problems, at any time.

Bidding is now CLOSED on all items. Here's what to do next.


 Add your comment
  1. If you could please shoot me an email with the damages once you have the spreadsheet sorted, I would super appreciate that. I think I have everything straight but want to be sure.

  2. I would love an email too once you have everything sorted out. I saw I won one thing, but I slightly lost track of what I bid on before that. Thanks!!

  3. Likewise I am not sure how much I owe please do send me an email.

  4. Ok, emails off to Neongrey, Sarah B, and B.A.; now, to the rest of the inbox. *pushes up sleeves*

  5. Would you mind sending me an email with the items I won? I lost track after a little bit. LOL Thanks!

  6. Kate, is it okay if I pay on Thursday or Friday? I am traveling and don\’t have access to a secure Internet connection. Thanks!

  7. Yes, Liviania, that’s fine, no problem at all. (And Liz H. has an email.)

  8. Hi! I know how much I owe, but when I try to click the PayPal Giving Fund link, it just takes me to my PayPal account home. I’m pretty sure I’ve got all the scripting allowed on the webpages; is there a way for you to invoice me, or is there some reason this might not work for out-of-US accounts? (I’m in Canada.)

  9. Frances K R, the Giving Fund’s help . . . isn’t, but I had someone else from Canada say that they couldn’t get it to work, either.

    Can you send money to ? If not, just use the other button, because invoicing also carries a fee, and so it’s probably six of one, you know?

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  10. Hi, Kate; I sent the money, but I didn’t see a place to leave a note. It was $55 for Seanan McGuire’s FINAL GIRLS, plus $20 for Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s HEX, plus $20 for shipping the latter outside of the US. I did use the same email address to send PayPal as I did on my comments on the items. Can I just email you my shipping address at, or is there anything else you need?

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