The process begins several days before the scheduled auction when the Treasury announces the details of the upcoming issue, including the amount to be auctioned and the maturity date. When you participate in an auction, you have two bidding options – competitive and noncompetitive. TreasuryDirect allows noncompetitive bidding only. Noncompetitive bidding is limited to purchases of $5 million per auction. Bidding limits apply cumulatively to all methods (TreasuryDirect, banks, and brokers) that are used for bidding in a single auction.
A ring can also be used to increase the price of an auction lot, in which the owner of the object being auctioned may increase competition by taking part in the bidding him or herself, but drop out of the bidding just before the final bid. In Britain and many other countries, rings and other forms of bidding on one's own object are illegal. This form of a ring was used as a central plot device in an episode of the British television series Lovejoy (series 4, episode 3), in which the price of a watercolour by the (fictional) Jessie Webb is inflated so that others by the same artist could be sold for more than their purchase price.
At times, customs may decide to not only seize goods but detain the passenger as well. This can happen for a number of different reasons. One reason is if, as mentioned above, a passenger has not declared the item(s) or if they have been declared falsely. Another reason would be if an individual carried with them over 200 grams of tobacco or a very large amount of alcohol.