Are you addicted to online auctions?

addictedCan you be addicted to online auctions? The answer is yes, you can. More and more people have been coming forward to talk about their addictions to online auction websites like eBay. Although being addicted to online auctions is not a physical addiction like being addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is a compulsion that can cause the sufferer to repeat their behavior again and again even if there are negative consequences. This compulsion usually stems from the adrenaline rush that comes from winning, or even just participating in these online auctions.

If you are worried that you or someone you know may be suffering from an online auction addiction, this article provides information on the possible signs of this type of addiction and some suggestions for how to get help.

Signs of an online auction addiction

With an online auction addiction, the addictive part is the auction itself, not the item up for bidding. So, if you tend to get overly excited about bidding against others, and find yourself participating in auctions even if you have no real interest in the item up for auction, you may have a problem. Winning is the ultimate high of an online auction addict, and losing can be devastating.

Generally speaking, online auction addicts tend to feel a sense of accomplishment when they win, which can be a sense of personal recognition that makes them feel important, and this is a feeling they want to feel over and over again. Another feeling that could result from participating in online auctions that could be addictive is when the participant scores what they perceive as an amazing deal. They will then continue to participate compulsively in other auctions in order to have this feeling again.

In general, feeling extreme highs and lows in relation to anything can be a sign of an addiction, and online auctions are no exception. If you feel these kinds of intense highs and lows when you participate in online auctions, then you may have an addiction.

Another sign of an online auction addiction is spending money you don’t have in order to participate in these auctions because you crave the thrill of it. In addition to spending money you don’t have and racking up debt, online auction addicts usually let their addiction take over their lives in other ways. They stop spending time with friends and family, they lose interest in other activities or hobbies that they previously enjoyed, they stop paying attention to their other responsibilities, their productivity at work decreases, and they stop taking care of themselves of their home. If you find that you have stopped caring about other parts of your life, and that even when you’re not participating in an online auction you’re thinking about it, it is likely that you have an addiction and should seek help.

According to, you should ask yourself the following questions in order to determine if you are addicted to online auctions. Any “yes” responses to these questions could be a sign of an online auction addiction: Do you need to bid with increasing amounts of money? Are you preoccupied with bidding in e-auctions? Have you lied to friends and family members about your online bidding?

Do you feel restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop online bidding? Have you made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop online bidding? Do you use auction houses as a way of escaping from problems or unpleasant feelings? Have you jeopardized a relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of online bidding? Have you committed illegal acts such as forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to finance online activities? Answering yes to any of these questions could be a sign of an addiction.

What you can do about your online auction addiction

There are some actions you can take to try to deal with your addiction on your own. Above all, you’ll need to find a way to limit the amount of time you spend online, and stick to it. It may be necessary to enlist the help of family members to hold you accountable and make sure you’re not spending too much time online and sticking to your goals and rules. You could even set a timer for how long you are going to spend online to keep you on track. You should also keep a log of the time you spend online and see if there are any habits or patterns you can break. It may also be a good idea to delete all of your accounts from online auction websites, making it harder and less convenient if you try to use them again.

If you can’t image going cold turkey with your online auction addiction, then cut down slowly by setting a new financial budget and the amount of time you have allotted to participate in auctions each week. Plan a reward for yourself when you reach your goal (the reward should not be related to your addiction but rather something else you enjoy).

Finally, the best thing you can do for an online auction addiction, or any internet addiction really, is to spend time doing other things and get away from the computer. So, accept all social invitations, get involved in something new (a class or volunteering, for example), take walks, and do other things that keep you busy and away from the computer and online auctions.

If no matter what you do you can’t seem to cut down on your online auction addiction, then it may be time to seek professional help from a counselor or psychologist that specializes in this type of compulsion.

An online auction addiction is a real thing, and can happen to anyone. It is also just as likely to happen to men as it is to women. This addiction can have serious and detrimental consequences such as deteriorated relationships, and even financial ruin or divorce. If you or someone you love is afflicted with this problem, there are actions you can take to start dealing with it.