How to Cancel Your EBay Bid

EBay discourages users from canceling bids, and on most auctions other than those for cars and real estate, a bid represents a contractual agreement to buy the item should you win. In a few cases, such as if you enter the wrong bid, the site does permit retractions. Outside of these situations, the only legitimate way to remove a bid is to contact the seller and ask him to cancel your bid. Retracting a bid without a qualified reason can lead to account suspension.

  1. Allowed Bid Retractions

    • EBay allows bid retractions only in three situations. The first case covers accidental bids, such as if you bid $100 instead of $10. The second case allows you to cancel if the seller makes significant changes to an item after you bid, such the item's condition changing from "new" to "used." Finally, you can cancel a bid if you make an attempt to contact the seller by phone or email and find that the number or address don't work.

    Retraction Time Limits

    • If an auction has over 12 hours remaining, retracting your bid cancels all bids you placed on the item. With less than 12 hours remaining, you can retract bids made only in the last hour, and the retraction just takes back the final bid you made. For live auctions, you can retract absentee bids made in advance, but can't retract bids made live.

    Retract a Bid

    • To cancel your bid, log in and fill out the bid retraction form (link in Resources). Enter the item's number, which you can find at the top of the item's description or in the "Bidding" list on the My eBay page. Choose one of the three reasons from the drop-down menu and click "Retract Bid." If you select "Entered wrong amount" you must return to the item's page and place a new bid immediately after retracting.

    Contact the Seller

    • If your reason for canceling doesn't fit any of eBay's three allowed conditions, contact the seller by clicking "Ask a Question" on the item's page. Choose any question topic to see frequently asked questions, and then click "No, I want to contact the seller." If the seller agrees, he can remove your bid by filling out a bid cancellation form (link in Resources). Sellers do not have to agree to remove a bid, however, and if you win the auction you must pay the winning bid.

    Retract a Best Offer

    • EBay places the same restrictions on canceling best offers as on canceling bids. If you need to retract an offer for one of the three permitted reasons, log in and enter the item number on the best offer cancellation form (link in Resources). If the seller has set a maximum number of offers per user, retracting your offer does not grant you an additional offer.

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