Bidding on e-bay

I have a distinct feeling that I may be talking to myself but I would still like to ask a question to you readers: does anyone have any significant experience with bidding-rounds on e-bay?†

Lets start at the beginning. About a week ago, I came across a “souvenir” from Thai Airways that I have long wanted to have in my “collection”: a A pilot cap wing badge. The item was only available for bidding, with deadline a few nights ago. A short couple of minutes before deadline, there was 6 bids, and I placed a bid for US$26. Once that bid was placed, I got informed that I was not the highest bidder, and that another user had bid US$27. With few seconds to spare, I increased my stake to US$28. I was told I was the highest bidder. I tried refreshing the page several times as the seconds ran out, and it kept on saying I was the highest bidder. Once the seconds had elapsed, and the auction ended, I was suddenly told “Sorry you missed out on this item”. Apparently, it was sold to another bidder for US$29.†

I find this whole set up rather odd, because it kept on saying I was the highest bidder until the time ran out.†

Checking my e-mails, e-bay had sent me several mails and among them, it told me that I was not the highest bidder (when I placed my first bid), and that I should significantly increase my bid to make sure I would win. I find this as a tactic to raise and inflate the price of an item abnormally. As a buyer, I feel this tactic is horrible.†

For those of you with a whole lot more experience than me, is there anything I could have done differently, anything I did wrong or how should I have handeled this bidding differently?. Any tips would be appreciated for my future searches.†

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