The World of Online Auction Addiction

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When we think of addictions we typically think about those who abuse drugs or alcohol. And, we all know those people who are absolutely glued to their screens scrolling miles a day with their pointer fingers through social media feeds (we might even be that person ourselves.) But, under the umbrella term of "internet addiction" is a more specific type of individual----the online auction addict. 

Ever since we first witnessed online auctions through the launch of eBay in the mid-90’s, people have found a great platform for buying and selling unique items with others across the nation or even the globe. Unfortunately, the ease of purchasing or having our things purchased can grow into an unhealthy dependence almost like you would see people have on narcotics, tobacco or food. But why?

The Thrills of Winning

Much like a casino-dwelling gambling addict, the rush of winning a bid on items online can be highly addictive. Winning the “prize” out of others who are bidding can make the items appear more desirable. One addict explained on about their problems with their eBay addiction stating their moment of clarity, “I had a complete breakdown [when unable to log in at 5 am,] I started crying, and my husband didn’t know what to do with me. That’s when I realized I had a real problem.”

The Signs of Online Auction Addiction

Though it’s difficult to truly diagnose yourself with an online auction addiction, there are some things to look for. Here are some things to ask yourself if you are debating your own addiction to eBay or other online auctions:

  • Have you ever lied to loved ones about your online bidding habits?
  • Do you feel the need to spend larger and larger amounts of money until you win?
  • Have you tried and failed to quit or control your online auction habits?
  • Do you feel the constant urge to log on to an auction or constantly keep tabs on them? 
  • Is online auction bidding something you use to escape your problems? 
  • Has online bidding ever interfered with personal life such as work, relationships or school?

What people are predisposed to addictions such as online auctions? Medical professionals find that in many cases, those who may have a void in their life or suffer from low self-esteem find that winning the bids and feeling like the #1 buyer or seller makes them feel a sense of accomplishment. 

The Downfalls of Online Auction Addiction

Losing control to your addictive auction bidding can be more than an annoyance. It can lead to financial burdens (or debt) or even relationship problems. Some addicts have jeopardized marriages by having to go to extreme measures such as taking money from their loved one’s accounts for their shopping urges, or needing to take out second mortgages. 

Another problem that comes along with a tendency toward over-doing-it online, is hoarding. By accessing items at any time of day and so easily, can cause a swift over accumulation of stuff. And, before you know it, you end up buried alive. The stress that follows a hoarder’s lifestyle seems to only be calmed by (you guessed it)…spending more time buying things at online auction. 


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Locate Auctions is a leading source for auction listings in North America, bringing auctioneers and bidders together in one easy-to-use online tool.

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