Why did my absentee bid open at my max amount with no other bids?
When this happens, it means that you are the highest absentee bidder and there were absentee bidders with lower bids. Since you are the highest bidder, there is no point of starting at a lower amount because the bids will eventually end up with your maximum bid. This is why the system started with the highest absentee bid. Unless there were live bidders who placed a lower bid amount. Then the auction will follow the increments until your maximum bid is reached.