I've never relied on a bid engine. I like the thrill of the chase, so to speak. I will wait until 3 or 4 seconds before the end and then bid. I've won lots of stuff this way, especially items with few bidders. Also, time of day makes a lot of difference. As already said, decide what you want to pay and bid that amount. What I don't agree with, though, is placing a bid early on. It just brings out auction fever in others.