A 2 minute time extension exists after the last bid has been placed to ensure that the process is fair for all bidders. This is similar to a live auction, during which the bidding will continue as long as bidders increase the bid amounts.
The "Soft Close" feature exists to protect buyers from having items taken away from them during the last few seconds of the bidding period. During consumer trials before launching the online auction system, the preferred bidding system included this extended time bidding feature. For example, if the feature did not exist and you were the high bidder on an item at 11:59:50 and someone bid on the item you intended to purchase, you would be outbid and have run out of time to defend your bid. With the extended bidding feature, if someone bid at 11:59:50, bidding would be extended to 12:01:50 providing you with 2 full minutes to defend your bid. If they bid again at 12:00:45, you would have another 2 full minutes to defend your bid. Our consumer trials clearly indicated this was a superior and fairer way to avoid the perils of online auction sniping software.
This "Soft Close" mechanism and the "Max Bid" feature was built into the online auction system to build the fairest consumer bidding system possible. You will note there are no reserves, buy now prices, advertisements, etc. on the MaxSold website making it the most consumer friendly. Furthermore, consumers can search through past auctions to get some idea of what other items on MaxSold have sold for as a pricing / payment guide with no charge.