A reserve price is the lowest price at which you’re willing to sell your item. If you don’t want to sell your item below a certain price, you can a set a reserve price. The amount of your reserve price isn’t shown to your bidders, but they will see that your auction has a reserve price and whether or not the reserve has been met. If a bidder doesn’t meet that price, you aren’t obliged to sell your item.
The Reserve Price option is only available for vehicles listed in the Cars, Bikes, Boats category (excluding Go Carts, Pocket Bikes and Trailers).
Why have a reserve price? Many sellers have found that too high a starting price discourages interest in their item, while an attractively low starting price makes them vulnerable to selling at an unsatisfactorily low price. A reserve price helps with this.
Note: The reserve price option is only visible in the online auction format; it’s not visible for fixed price or classified ad listings. It’s also not available for Multiple Item auctions.
All Reserve Price Auctions are subject to a Reserve Price Auction fee.
You may lower your reserve price after you receive bids on the item.
Note: To keep eBay a safe place for buyers and sellers, eBay limits how bid history information is shown. User IDs are not shown—buyers are identified only as anonymous names throughout the duration of the auction, even if you lower the price. Only you, the seller, can see the user IDs of bidders on your items.
Imagine that you want to sell an item for at least $100, but you’re worried that a starting bid price of $100 will discourage potential bidders from bidding. If you use a reserve price, you can list the item for sale on the Sell Your Item form with a starting price of $.99, $5, $10, or any amount below the amount of your reserve price. You can then enter a reserve amount of $100. Bidding will start at the lower price, but you won’t be obliged to sell the item unless the bidding reaches at least $100—your reserve price.
The following illustrates a reserve price listing.
Although the item has received a bid (see arrow B) the bid didn’t reach the seller’s reserve price (see arrow A) before the listing ended. So the seller isn’t obliged to sell the item to the highest bidder.
Important: eBay will never reveal your reserve price to potential bidders. But sellers often receive inquiries from bidders about the reserve price. This is allowed on eBay. Likewise, revealing your reserve to a bidder is allowed, but not required. If you don’t want to reveal your reserve price, you can politely let the bidder know that they can bid what they like and if the bidding meets the reserve price the item will be sold.
Creating a listing with a reserve price
When you list an item on the Sell Your Item form, using the online auction format, you’ll see a box where you can enter your reserve price.
Note: If you don’t want to use a reserve price, leave the field blank.
If you don’t see the Reserve Price option on the form, click the “Add/remove options” link.
In the window that appears, select “Reserve price,” then click the Save button.