Conveniently, 2,147,483,648 is 2^31, so I'm guessing Yahoo auctions uses a signed 32-bit field to store maximum bids. Strange, however, as a normal signed 32-bit number would allow values from -(2^31) to (2^31)-1 (i.e. 2,147,483,647) - I think I must be close to the answer however. EDIT: What I'm saying is that this is clearly the "Live8" effect - when London Live8 tickets were given away for free as a kind of ballot, loads of people put them on eBay to make a quick buck. Some people understandably got a bit annoyed by this (either because they had tried and failed to get tickets themselves and lost out to touts, or because they objected morally to the cynical exploitation of tickets to a charity event for personal profit), and there were lots of clearly absurd bids on there (e.g. £5m for a pair of tickets etc.) to spoil the auctions. Clearly the same is happening here - Japanese gamers are peeved at having been denied a zero-day PS3 because some tout paid a Chinese guy $50 to stand in line, then tried to sell it for absurd profit elsewhere. The lesson - if you're going to buy things at launch and then sell them on eBay, use BuyItNow. Personally, I don't see why anyone would pay massively over the odds for something they will be able to buy over the counter for the retail price in a few weeks.