Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I need to do to start bidding?
  • Why do you need my credit card when I create my account?
  • How does bidding work?
  • How do I make a bid?
  • How do I know if I've been outbid on an auction item?
  • Are there any guidelines to bidding?
  • Can I watch items without placing a bid?
  • How do I add items to my Watch List?
  • How do I remove items from my Watch List?
  • Once I place a bid, can I retract it?
  • How does Automatic bidding work?
  • Do you have an example of automatic bidding?
  • How do bid increments work?
  • Can my bid be increased by more than the standard increment?
  • Can I be outbid by less than a full increment?
  • How do I know if I won an auction item?
  • How do I pay for my auction winnings and party signups?
  • How do I get my receipt for purchases?
  • Where do I pick up my items?
Just create an account and enter your credit card information. That's it!
Credit cards serve as a means to verify your intent to purchase if you win an item or buy a party.
Everyone wants to win, but only at the right price. You bid the maximum amount that you're willing to pay for an item. As the listing proceeds, we compare your bid to those of other bidders. When you're outbid, we automatically bid on your behalf up to your maximum bid. We increase your bid by increments only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder. When you're outbid, we send you an email message. You can increase your maximum bid at any time.
  • Carefully review the listing
  • Enter your maximum bid. Then click Place Bid.
  • Review your bid, then click OK to confirm your bid.
If you are outbid on an item you will receive an email. Click the link in the email to signin and increase your bid. You can also check your My PTA Pal — Summary to view the status of your bids at any time during or after the auction.
  • Bidding is meant to be fun, but remember that each bid you place enters you into a binding contract. All bids are active until the listing ends. If you win an item, you're obligated to purchase it.
  • Your bids affect how other users bid for an item and the item's final selling price. We carefully investigate all bid retractions to determine whether they are appropriate and conform to the rules for buyers. Abuse of bid retractions can result in the suspension of your account.
  • Please remember that every bid is binding, unless the item is listed in a category covered by the non-binding bid policy, such as parties, or the sale is prohibited by law or by our User Agreement. Bidding on multiple identical items should be done only if you intend to buy all of the items.
  • Don't bid on identical items in different listings if you only want one item. If you win both, you'll be obligated to buy both.
If you see an item you want to keep track of, you can add it to your Watch List. It's like bookmarking an item so you can easily get back to it and learn what happens.
Watching an item helps you keep track of it without having to bid immediately. If you decide to bid, you can do it quickly by clicking the watched listing in My Summary. You can watch an unlimited number of items.
  • Go to the listing for the item you're interested in.
  • Click Add to Watch List under the Place Bid button.
  • Go to My Summary and you'll see a list of all the items you're watching.
Once you've deleted an item from your Watch List, you can't restore it. You'll need to find and add the item to your list again. To delete a watched item:
  • Go to My Summary and you'll see a list of all the items you're watching.
  • Click stop watching next to the item you want to remove.
As a general rule, you're not allowed to retract or cancel a bid on PTA Pal. A bid on PTA Pal is considered a contract, and you're obligated to purchase the item if you're the winning bidder. However, honest mistakes sometimes occur. Whether you can retract a bid depends on the circumstances and timing of the bid. You can retract a bid for the following reasons:
  • You accidentally entered the wrong bid amount due to a typographical error. For example, you bid $100 instead of $10. If this happens, you need to contact support@ptapal.com right away. Changing your mind does not qualify as accidentally entering a wrong bid amount.
  • The item's description changed significantly after you entered your last bid. For example, the item listing updated details about the item's features or condition.
If you meet any of the above conditions, review the following time restrictions for retracting a bid:
  • If you retract the bid when the listing ends in more than 12 hours, we remove all bids you placed on the item. If you are correcting a bidding error, you must bid again.
  • If you retract the bid within one hour of placing it, and the listing ends in less than 12 hours, we remove only your most recent bid. Bids you placed prior to the last 12 hours of the listing are not removed.
Our automatic bidding system makes bidding convenient so you don't have to keep coming back to re-bid every time someone places another bid.
  • When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for the item. The other bidders don't know your maximum bid.
  • We'll place bids on your behalf using the automatic bid increment amount, which is based on the current high bid. We'll bid only as much as necessary to make sure that you remain the high bidder up to your maximum amount.
  • If another bidder places a higher maximum bid, we'll notify you so you can place another bid. Your maximum bid is kept confidential until it is exceeded by another bidder.


  • You're the first bidder on a listing where the starting price is $95, and you place a maximum bid of $150. Your opening bid will be $95.
  • When a second bidder places a bid of $100, your bid is automatically raised to $105. That's $100 + $5 (5% of the current bid) increment = $105.
  • If a third bidder bids $151, that third bidder becomes the high bidder at $151. Since $151 is more than $105, and is also more than your maximum bid, the third bidder becomes the winning bidder, unless you raise your bid or another bidder enters a higher maximum bid.
Bid increments are part of our automatic bidding system. As an auction-style listing progresses, we'll automatically increase your bid for you, up to your maximum bid, to maintain your position as the high bidder. The bid increment is the minimum amount by which your bid will be raised. The incremental amount is 5% of the current high bid on the item.
A bid can be increased by more than the standard increment if more than that increment is required to beat a competing bidder's high bid. We'll increase your bid to more than the incremental amount to beat another bid, up to the amount of your maximum bid.
You can be outbid by less than a full increment. The winning bid needs only to be higher than the next highest maximum bid by one dollar.
You receive an email from confirming that you won. You can also check your My PTA Pal — Summary to view the status of your bids at any time during or after the auction.
The credit card used to create your account is automatically charged at the end of the Auction.
You receive an email with purchase details and tax information. Or, you can check your My PTA Pal — Purchase History to view your account transactions.
Item Pick-Up is only for physical items only. Party sign-ups do not have a physical ticket. Item Pick-Up is typically held after school the week following the Auction. You do not need to bring your receipt — a copy will be provided at item pick-up.

If you have a question please drop us a line.

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