Our company has been running auctions now for over 5 years (since 2010), but only recently we have experienced last minute freezes/hangups. These recent errors are preventing some users from winning, and if you’re one of those users, please take a few moments of your time to read the following guide. Over the past two days, we have extensively tested our platform and wanted to share a few observations we have made and changes that were implemented.
1. The most important change we have made (and a permanent rule) is that we will now automatically add an additional two minutes with each new top bid. Sometimes our server gets overloaded with requests when auctions are nearing the end, preventing some bids from registering. This only happens within the last five minutes of each auction, and the time is only added when user bid is higher than the current top bid. So, if your last second bid didn’t beat the top bidder, no extra time will be added.
2. We have enabled cloud services on our website. Sometimes during the last seconds of an auction, the website may give you a 520 error, and that error will come from CloudFlare (our CDN). This does NOT mean that the auction has crashed, it is still running in the background. The error you may receive is simply CloudFlare telling you that it couldn’t get you the data in time, because our server took too long to send it to you, or connection on your end was lost. A simple refresh will solve the problem. We’re trying to reduce these errors, hopefully we will get them wiped out soon.
3. Don’t wait until the last minute to place your final bid. We have seen 20-40 second page loads when auctions near an end. The cloud should improve loading time now, but it’s still risky to wait until the end. The safe zone would be around 2-3 minutes.
4. Make sure your PC clock is synchronized correctly with time.windows.com. If you don’t know how to do it you can synchronize your time manually via this website: http://www.time.gov/ (make sure the time zone is correct). If you don’t have your time synchronized correctly the auction might end too soon or too late on your end.
5. While design-wise our auctions are mobile friendly, many mobile phones don’t have their time synchronized correctly, causing them to display wrong auction ending times. We don’t recommend using a mobile device while bidding in our auctions.
That pretty much covers it. We apologize for all the problems recently, we are doing our best to keep things running smoothly.