From the eBay site:

"eBay uses an automatic bidding system to make bidding on auctions more convenient and less time-consuming for bidders. There is nothing you have to set up in order to bid in this way.

Here's how bidding on eBay works:  When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for the item. The seller and other bidders won't know your maximum bid amount.

eBay places bids on your behalf starting with the next bid increment for the auction. We'll bid as much as necessary to make sure that you remain the high bidder (or to meet the reserve price). We'll keep bidding for you until bidding reaches your maximum amount.

If another bidder has placed the same bid before you or a higher maximum bid, we'll let you know that you've been outbid so that you can place another bid if you want. However, if no other bidder has a higher maximum bid at the end of the auction, you win the item even if your bid doesn't go as high as your maximum bid.

You could pay significantly less than your maximum price. This means you don't have to keep coming back to re-bid every time another bid is placed."
Updated: 5/21/2013
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Here is a sample how increments are determined: Things are always changing on eBay so please check their site for accurate updates.

Current Price    Bid Increment
   * $ 0.01 - $ 0.99    $ 0.05
   * $ 1.00 - $ 4.99     $ 0.25
   * $ 5.00 - $ 24.99   $ 0.50
   * $ 25.00 - $ 99.99        $ 1.00
   * $ 100.00 - $ 249.99     $ 2.50
   * $ 250.00 - $ 499.99                   $ 5.00
   * $ 500.00 - $ 999.99          $ 10.00
   * $ 1000.00 - $ 2499.99                      $ 25.00
   * $ 2500.00 - $ 4999.99                      $ 50.00
   * $ 5000.00 and up                   $100.00
eBay Bid Assistant
Heard the term Bid Assistant? 

WELL, IT IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE

For more information about bidding in general go to
http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/bid-assistant.html

The one constant thing about eBay is that things will change, so if you stay away for a while, be prepared to learn something new when you come back.

The page appearance might (and probably will) change, the navigation tools, buttons will be different and the rules, so either stay on top of things or browse the site for important details before you start using it again.

No one likes surprises when it comes to money.
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