A method for automatic auction extension and user controlled standardized bid increment/decrement. The method is implemented in an electronic commerce exchange. The auction method implements automatic extension of an auction in response to bidding activity from auction participants. The method includes the step of setting an end time for concluding the auction. Bids are received from remote bidders via a distributed computer network. The received bids are analyzed to determine whether a predetermined number of bids are received within a predetermined time of the auction end time. If a greater number of bids are received within the predetermined time, the duration of the auction is automatically extended and a new auction end time is set. The auction participants are notified of the new auction end time. Standardized bid increments can be set defining a minimum amount at which a subsequent bid differs from a previous bid. Similarly, standardized bid decrements can be set defining a minimum amount at which a subsequent bid subsequent bid differs from a previous bid. A total number of possible extensions can be set defining a number of times the auction can be extended due to bidding activity. The settings can be changed dynamically during the auction by the auction operator/user.