Everyone wants to win, but only at the right price. Although we suggest that you bid the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay for an item, you could pay less. As the listing proceeds, we compare your bid to those of other bidders. When you’re outbid, we automatically bid
on your behalf up to your maximum bid. We increase your bid by increments only as much as necessary to maintain your position as highest bidder.
How to bid
Here's how to bid on an item:
Carefully review the listing.
Enter your maximum bid, and then click the Place Bid button.
Review your bid, and then click the Confirm Bid button.
When the listing ends, you'll receive an email indicating whether you've won the item and an explanation of what to do next.
To help you avoid being outbid, we offer 1-click bidding during the final 60 minutes of a listing. When you use 1-click bidding, we automatically raise your bid by one increment. To use 1-click bidding, you need to be signed in to eBay and have at least one previous bid on the item.
Changing or retracting your bid
As a general rule, you're not allowed to retract or cancel a bid on eBay. However, there might be times when you’d like to change your maximum bid and have a valid reason for doing so. Review the requirements for bid retractions.
Bidding on multi-quantity listings
Some sellers list a quantity of the same item at a fixed price. You can purchase one or more of the items immediately by clicking the Buy It Now button.
Variations of an item in a single listing
In some categories, you’ll find items listed with variations that you can select, such as a T-shirt in various colours, sizes, and styles. Items listed with variations are always fixed price listings. Choose the variations you want before you click the Buy It Now button.
Listings with special bidding requirements
This table describes listings types in which the seller is able to set bidding requirements:
Type of listing
Reserve price auction-style listings
Some sellers specify a reserve price, which is a hidden minimum price on their item.
Bids over $15,000
To place a bid of $15,000 or more, you must provide a valid credit card
(your card won't be charged)) or go through our ID Verify process (no credit card required). This requirement helps ensure that members involved in large sales are of legal age and serious about completing the transaction.
You need to provide this information only once. To find out if you already have a credit card on file, check your Account Activity page. We encourage you to file your credit card or become ID Verified
Occasionally, for certain high-profile listings, we allow a seller to create a pre-approved bidders list to restrict their listings to a specified group. Here’s what you can expect if you bid on a listing that has a pre-approved bidders list:
If you're a pre-approved bidder: The bidding process will proceed as usual.
If you're not one of the pre-approved bidders: If you bid, you’ll get a notice that the item is restricted, and you will not be allowed to bid on the item. If you're interested in the item, contact the seller to ask to be added to the pre-approved bidders list.
Sellers can make their listings unavailable to certain bidders based on certain criteria, such as whether or not they have a PayPal account, their country of registration, or their buying history on eBay.
If you're blocked from a listing and want to discuss the situation with the seller, click the seller's user ID or the Ask a question
link on the listing page. Learn about managing bidders and buyers from a seller's point of view.
The fine print
Bidding is meant to be fun, but remember that each bid you place enters you into a binding contract. All bids are active until the listing ends. If you win an item, you’re obligated to purchase it.
Don't bid on identical items in different listings if you only want one item. If you win both, you'll be obligated to buy both.
If you're outbid on an item, wait until the listing has ended before placing a bid on an equivalent item. If the bidder who won doesn't complete the transaction for any reason, you could become the winning bidder.
If you're blocked from bidding on a seller's listings, you cannot bid using another user ID.
To protect your privacy, we limit how your bid history information is displayed by using anonymous names. Your complete user ID is shown only to the seller of the item you’re bidding on. Bidders are assigned anonymous names, such as x***y, which are used consistently across all listings.