How to Withdraw a Bid on eBay


By placing a bid on eBay, you agree to pay the amount you offered if you win the auction. However, if you made a mistake, do not despair. There are some circumstances under which you can withdraw, or cancel, a bid.

According to eBay policy, valid reasons for withdrawing a bid include: accidentally bidding the wrong amount, inability to reach the seller by telephone or email, and the seller substantially changing the item’s description after you entered your bid. To withdraw a bid for one of these reasons, you must fill out a bid retraction form.

  • Obtain the item number for your auction. You can find this on the right side of the item description page in the box labeled "Other item info."

  • Access the Bid Retraction form on eBay's Web site at and proceed to Step 5. To access the Bid Retraction form from the main site, go to and click on the Help link at the top-right corner of the page and choose "Help topics."

  • Click on the second link under “Bidding & Buying,” titled “All about Bidding.”

  • Click on “Retracting or Canceling your Bid,” which you can find under "Help topics: Basic."

  • Click on the link in the first paragraph titled “Bid Retraction form.” This will take you to the form you need to fill out to withdraw your bid.

  • Fill out the form. Use the item number you obtained in Step 1.

  • Submit the form by clicking the “Retract Bid” button.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the auction ends in less than 12 hours, you must withdraw your bid within one hour of placing it and no previous bids you have made on the item will be removed. If the auction ends in more than 12 hours, all bids you have placed on the item will be removed.
  • EBay states that it investigates all bid withdrawals to ensure that they are not made in violation of eBay policy. If eBay detects abuse of bid withdrawals, your account might be suspended.
  • Shill bidding, or bidding for the sole purpose of inflating an item’s price, or bidding on an item being sold by someone you know, is strictly forbidden by eBay policy. If you elect to withdraw a bid during the last 24 hours of an auction, it may be viewed as an example of shill bidding, and your account might be suspended.
  • The number of bid withdraws made by a buyer in the past twelve months is displayed on their feedback profile.

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  • Photo Credit Bryan Bedder/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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