In an auction-style listing, sellers name a starting price and you bid against other buyers. You can watch the item to see how the bidding is going. When the listing ends, the highest bidder wins the item and completes the purchase.
Remember, a bid is considered a binding contract. That means that when you bid on an item, you're committing to buy it if you win.
To answer any questions you might have, this article has links to all of our most useful bidding articles.Automatic bidding
Learn about how automatic bidding and bid increments work.Retracting a bid
Find out how and when you can retract a bid for an item.How reserve prices work
Discover how reserve prices on auctions work.Responding to Second Chance Offers
If you aren't the winning bidder on an auction the seller may still send you a Second Chance Offer. Find out how these offers work, and how to respond.Tips for winning auctions
Improve your chances of being the top bidder with our tips for winning auctions.
Frequently Asked Questions
To see your bid history, go to My eBay and select Bids/Offers - opens in new window or tab.
There you'll find any items you're currently bidding on, items you bid on but didn't win, and any Best Offers you've made.
If you want to delete your bid history, check the box next to items you want to remove and select Delete.
Sellers sometimes create private listings that keep bidders and the buyer anonymous, particularly when selling highly priced items or pharmaceutical products. There will be a note on these listings stating that they're private, and that only the seller can see your username.
The seller may have had to end the listing early – although this is something we strongly discourage. Or, if the seller breached one of our policies, we may have had to cancel the listing.
Sellers sometimes set requirements for potential buyers, based on their payment or shipping preferences. For example, if you don't have a PayPal account or you live in an area that the seller doesn't ship to, you may not be able to bid on their item.
If that happens, you'll see a message when trying to place a bid, asking you to contact the seller. Let them know you'd like to bid, and they may change their requirements to allow you to take part.
It's important to us that auctions are always fair and honest. Sometimes a member who knows the seller – perhaps a family member or friend – bids on an item to drive up the price. This is known as shill bidding and isn't allowed on eBay.