Auction Rules

Note: Auction days end at 11:59pm Eastern Time (UTC-4 or UTC-5).


Your registration or any other use of this web site constitutes your implicit agreement to these auction rules.


If you have not received auction registration information and you wish to bid, then please contact the Please include the email address you want me to use (for your your login ID and official communication), and your postal mailing address. I'd also like to hear how you found out about the auction and your general puzzle collecting experiences. Please also read the privacy policy (below) regarding this site's use of personal information.


Bidding is done directly from the Auction Catalog, by clicking the Place Bid link for the desired lot.  This will take you to the Auction Bid page, where you will enter your bid amount and click the Submit Bid button. Your bid will be entered into the auction database, updating the auction catalog immediately. You will then see a Bid Confirmation page that will give a brief summary regarding the success of your bid. You will then have the option to view a Bidding Summary page, which will summarize all of the lots on which you have bid.

Bids must be in whole US dollars. Usually the first bid must be at least 25% of the estimated value given.  For items with no estimated value, the minimum bid is $2. Some items will have an alternate preset minimum bid.

The minimum required overbid is the Current High Bid plus the minimum increment, as defined in the table below. A Current High Bid of "$0" means there are no bids.

If you bid $0 on an item, no bid will be placed, but the lot will be added to your bidding summary, effectively creating a "watch list".

Current High Bid

Minimum Increment

















PLEASE NOTE: any shipping/handling costs and applicable sales/use tax are extra, and are not included in the bid amounts. (California sales tax will be collected for CA residents buying for personal use; payment of any applicable use tax in other states is the responsibility of the bidder.)

Email Notification

Starting with phase 44, I will turn on a new feature near ther end of each auction: email notification when you are outbid. This is a courtesy, and is not guaranteed due to the unreliable nature of Internet email -- you are still responsible for knowing the status of your bids (see your Bidding Summary)

Maximum Bids (aka Proxy Bidding)

This is a technique like that used by eBay and elsewhere. All bids are treated as the maximum amount you are willing to pay for an item. However, if your bid is the highest, it will automatically be reduced to the least amount that still outbids everyone else and the starting/reserve price (see below). Only the reduced amount is what everyone will see in the public auction catalog as the current high bidyour maximum bid will be hidden from other bidders so that your leading bid cannot be unfairly driven up. Later, if other bids are received that are less than or equal to your original maximum bid, then we will automatically increase your bid to an appropriate increment over all intervening bids, up to your original maximum bid.

Starting in Phase 10, you can increase your leading bid (previously this was disallowed). To do this you simply place a new bid. The original bid timestamp will be retained, and there will be no effect on the closing of the lot. In rare cases, it is possible that your current high bid will be increased to the next increment over an opposing bid. Otherwise there is no visible or immediate effect on the auction status, except that competing bidders will find it harder to outbid you.

Lot Descriptions

The items described are offered as is. Some photo images have been corrected for exposure (not color), but may deviate slightly from the true color image; your monitor or printer may also distort the colors. Any questions about the accuracy of the descriptive information should be made before the end of the auction. All bids and sales are final.

Changes to the lot descriptions may occur during the auction. If this happens, all corresponding bidders will be notified, and the changes will be logged online.

Reserve Prices

Some items have reserve prices. This is the minimum price, below which the item will not be sold. The reserve price can be thought of as a bid made by the seller.

Auction Duration

Note: Auction days end at 11:59:59 pm ET.

The unofficial auction period is noted on the home page. At the end of this period, if the leading bidder has changed any time during the final day, that lot will remain open for an additional day.  This will continue until the leading bidder has retained the lead at least one full bidding day. The purpose of this rule is to give the penultimate bidder a reasonable time to counter-offer, and thus to discourage poaching.

The auction clock uses US Eastern Time (UTC-5 in winter, UTC-4 for summer/daylight saving time). An auction day runs from 12:00 am to 11:59:59 pm.

Winning Bids

Generally, the current high bid at the end of the auction (and any necessary extensions) becomes the winning bid, and the bidder wins the right to (and is obliged to) purchase the item. Some items have reserve prices and will be so noted in the auction catalog (see above); the high bid must also meet or exceed the reserve price in order to be a winning bid.

All winning bidders will be notified via email after the end of the auction (or extensions thereof). Notification will include total costs, including shipping, handling and applicable sales tax (I will charge California state sales tax for deliveries to California). Payment must be received within 10 days of end of the auction. If full payment is not received, we reserve the right to sell items to a lesser bidder or via other means.

Note: If we are unable to contact you via email, for any reason, we reserve the right to sell to the next bidder.

Payment and Shipping

Payment must be in US dollars. PayPal, Zelle, cashier's check, cash, Wise (formerly TransferWise), and wire transfer are acceptable. Sorry, no credit cards. Personal checks will only be accepted with prior arrangement. PayPal must be prearranged and subject to applicable fees.

You assume the risk for failure of postal transfer of payment. Thus, we recommend you consider taking appropriate precautions when sending payment, such as insurance or registered/certified mail.

All puzzles will be shipped by via US Mail from SF Bay Area, California. Domestic packages will be sent Priority Mail. Overseas packages will be shipped air mail (note: surface mail is no longer available out of the United States); alternative shipping arrangements, such as DHL, can be arranged during the COVID-19 related postal delays. You assume the risk of postal loss or damage; so insurance is recommended and available upon request.


There is no restriction on who may participate. We reserve the right to cancel bids and/or disable account access for bidders/buyers who ignore or abuse the auction rules, do not bid in good faith, do not properly protect their account credentials, or otherwise in our judgment exhibit bad behavior.

The Auction catalog is only available online at this web site. If you do not have access to the Internet, then you should contact someone who does, and have them print the catalog pages and then place the bids for you.

Privacy Policy

The auction database contains personal information for all registered users, including individuals previously known by the auction administrators to have an interest in collecting mechanical puzzles. Logs of transactions, including individual bidding, are retained for historical record. Personal and transaction information may be used for future auctions or similar puzzle-related activities by the auction administrators.This information will not be sold or otherwise shared with any outside entities, except with permission, if it is otherwise known publicly, when required by law, or when deemed necessary to detect and/or prevent abuse. The identity of a person associated with an individual bid or sale is also considered private, and the auction administrators will make their best effort to maintain the strictest privacy, with similar limitations.

This site uses limited Javascript to allow your browser to perform limited data validation, and cookies to persist login credentials and site navigation. Your login email address is retained as a cookie for seven days; your password is retained for the current browser session only. Cookies are not shared with any other web sites. You will not be able to place a bid if cookies are completely disabled; at a minimum, cookies must be made available to the originating server. 

You may request to be removed from the mailing list for bulk solicitations at any time by sending email to the

© 2022 by Nick Baxter