How to Fix the Bid Price on eBay


Online auctions enable buyers to pay a fair price by bidding as much as they feel an item is worth. Sometimes buyers may overbid or sellers may start an auction too low, but eBay includes features for revising a listing or maximum bid. If an auction has more than 12 hours left, buyers can retract bids at any time, and sellers can revise the starting price of items without bids. While sellers can't change the starting price of an auction with less than 12 hours left, buyers can retract bids within an hour of placing the bid.

Revise Your Starting Price

  • Fix your auction's initial bid price by revising your listing in My eBay (see Resources for link). After signing in with your seller ID and password, point the cursor to “My eBay” and choose “Selling.” This link takes you to your Active Listings page, which displays your auctions in the order in which they were listed.

  • Make changes to an auction by opening the Edit Your Listing form. Point the cursor to the “Action” menu and choose “Revise.” The Edit Your Listing page is identical to the page originally used to list the item. From this page, you can edit the listing's title, description, shipping terms, photos and price.

  • Revise your item's starting price by entering a new price in the Starting Price field. Your other settings are saved from your original listing, so you don't need to choose an auction format or listing duration. Preview your listing by clicking “Continue,” and apply your changes by clicking “List Your Item.” Your new price takes effect immediately, and buyers searching for your item no longer see the old price.

Retract Your Bid

  • Cancel your bid by visiting eBay's Bid Retraction page (see Resources for link). This page explains eBay's bid retraction policy and includes a menu of reasons for your retraction, such as bidding the wrong amount, discovering that the seller changed the description or being unable to contact the seller.

  • Fill out the Bid Retraction form by entering the auction's item number, which is displayed in the item description. Copy this number by opening the auction page, selecting the item number and pressing “Ctrl-C.” Paste it into the Bid Retraction form by clicking the Item Number field and pressing “Ctrl-V.” Choose an explanation for your retraction by clicking the drop-down menu and selecting an option.

  • Correct your initial bid price by returning to the auction page and placing a lower bid. Read the auction's description before placing another bid because the seller's offer may change, especially if the auction ends in more than 12 hours. If other buyers place bids higher than your new maximum bid, you may still win the auction. When bidding ends, the seller can make a second-chance offer to buyers who were outbid. You receive an email notification for second-chance offers.

Tips & Warnings

  • When bidding on an item, eBay automatically bids the lowest amount up to your maximum bid. You aren't obligated to pay your maximum bid unless another buyer places a large-enough bid.

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