2 min article

Automatic bidding

Automatic bidding is the easiest way to bid on an eBay auction. Simply enter the highest price you’re willing to pay for an item, and we'll do the rest.

Once you set up automatic bidding, you can stay ahead of the competition for an item without needing to be on the eBay site.

How to set up automatic bidding

To set up automatic bidding on an auction listing, enter the maximum amount you’d like to pay for the item and select Place bid. We’ll bid in increments on your behalf to keep you in the lead but only up to your limit.

We’ll let you know if someone outbids you and you can decide if you want to increase your maximum limit.

Keep in mind when you’re deciding on the maximum amount you’d like to pay that you’ll need to pay the cost of shipping too.

Bidding on items can be exciting, but it is a contractual obligation. When deciding your maximum bid, be sure you’re happy to pay that amount if you win the auction.

Why was I immediately outbid?

If you are outbid immediately after placing a bid, it’s likely that another bidder is using automatic bidding and has a maximum limit higher than yours. You’ll need to increase your maximum limit in order to be the highest bidder.

Bid increments

When someone else places a bid, we’ll place a slightly higher bid on your behalf. The amount the bid increases by is known as a bid increment. Bid increments are smaller when the bid price is low and larger in higher price brackets.

Current price Bid increment
$0.01–$0.99 $0.05
$1.00–$4.99 $0.25
$5.00–$24.99 $0.50
$25.00–$99.99 $1.00
$100.00–$249.99 $2.50
$250.00–$499.99 $5.00
$500.00–$999.99 $10.00
$1000.00–$2499.99 $25.00
$2500.00–$4999.99 $50.00
$5000.00 and up $100.00

Occasionally you’ll see bids increase by less. This means that someone else placed a bid slightly higher than your automatic bid amount.

When someone else bids on the item you are bidding for, we’ll place a slightly higher bid on your behalf to keep you in the lead.

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