When we roll out our big refresh of the alpha (soon), you may notice that we have tweaked the way we handle niche slots.
Here's what will be changing:
1. You will no longer have to withdraw any auction bids.
2. The 5-niche limit per member will still apply, but it will only count the niches you own AND the niches you are currently the leading bidder on (at auction). Thus, if someone outbids you, you will immediately have a free slot available. There will no longer be a requirement to withdraw your old bid to free up a niche slot.
3. If, after a niche auction ends, the winner fails to pay, the niche will immediately go back up for auction again. Previously, we allowed the next highest bidder to pay for the niche. However, because we will only allow leading bids to count toward your niche count, we can no longer allow defeated bidders to essentially purchase with a lesser bid (and potentially exceed the 5-niche limit in the process). Thus, if the winner fails to pay, a new auction will commence (and any previous bids will no longer apply).
These changes will vastly simplify the niche bidding process. The spec has been updated today to reflect these changes, as well.