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Say I'm holding an online auction. How can I make sure that if somebody bids on my good/service, he or she is legally obligated to pay?

  • It might be a better model to require bidders have funds sufficient to cover their bids in some account that is frozen until after the bid has been decided. I think this is typically the function of an escrow account. You could make placing the funds there required to register a bid. Alternatively - you could simply request payment after the bid, offering the highest bidder an opportunity to pay at his price, then the second higher bidder an option to pay the second highest price, and so on until you have somebody actually pay. – Patrick87 Oct 5 '15 at 20:43
  • People who bid are not legally obligated to pay. Only the winners are obligated. Put a screen on the registration which says, "Your bid is a contract. If you win you are legally obligated to pay." EDIT - I see that the title "how are bidders held to their obligation" is different from the language in the question "how can i make sure she is legally obligated to pay"."What is it that you are asking? – jqning Oct 5 '15 at 21:25
  • They're not. The mechanisms involved are utterly unenforceable. – Joshua Nov 2 '15 at 17:27

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