Do you want a reliable answer?
To answer a "What do others do?" question, it is common to do a competitor review. I realize it's a time-saver to ask people on this site what they know, but you're asking about such a specific implementation—auction websites—that you're unlikely to get a range of responses. In other words, sometimes, you have to do the research yourself if you want quality data on which to base your design decisions.
Fortunately, a competitor review isn't difficult. It will take you some time to do the work, though.
UX Magazine has a description with considerable detail, but here's a summary definition:
- Functional audit of client and competitor sites – "Do we have what they have?"
- Comparison of performance against standards, heuristics, and task completion to determine which competitor does it best and, more importantly, how the client stacks up.
- Comparison of salient characteristics – Dimensions of the user experience, such as trust or personalization, that distinguish businesses in the competitive space.
In your case, you'd be asking a variation of the "Do we have what they have?" question: "Do others apply the design pattern that I have in mind?" Some additional benefits of doing your own research may include: realizing that you can have a small usability advantage of other sites do not use the pattern you have in mind, and producing an inventory of design patterns that other auction sites use, which you can then test with your users and/or use as ideas that you can iterate and implement.
- There are some drawbacks and limitations to a competitor review, so read the source article.
- Context is everything. A solution that works on one site may not have the same effect on conversion rates on another site, especially if the users are in a different industry, have different motivations, are in a different culture, or even if the content is organised, laid out, and formatted differently. And, let's face it—on different sites the content is almost always resented differently.
- A heuristic review may not have the credibility you want. But that's a whole other topic.
Hope this helps you move forward.