2 min overview

How buying works on eBay

There are two ways to buy on eBay. With Buy It Now, you pay a fixed price and buy the item immediately, or you can bid on an item and try to win it for a lower price in an auction. On some listings you can also make an offer of the price you’d like to pay.

How eBay works

On eBay, sellers create listings for their items which include the item description, photos, and payment and shipping options.

Some listings are auctions where the highest bidder wins the item, while many sellers offer a Buy it now option so you can buy and pay for the item immediately.

Whether you've bought an item straight away or you're bidding on a listing, you can keep track of all your buying activity in your Purchase history - opens in new window or tab.

Below you can find links to helpful articles around buying an item on eBay.

How to buy an item on eBay

How bidding works

Find out how automatic bidding works, what reserve prices mean, how to win auctions, and more.

Buying as a guest

If you've bought an item as a guest, find out how you can track your item, return it if there's a problem, and how you can register for an eBay account.

Making a Best offer

On some listings, sellers accept offers. This article will guide you through how to make an offer and how to respond if the seller sends you a counteroffer.


Once you've found the item you'd like to buy, simply go to checkout to complete your purchase.


Shopping tools

Your shopping cart

Learn how to add items to your cart so you can continue shopping and complete your purchase later.

Your Purchase history

Keep track of all the items you've bought on eBay, leave feedback, and more, with your Purchase history.

Your Watchlist

If you've got your eye on something but you're not quite ready to commit, you can add it to your Watchlist while you make up your mind.

Saved searches

If you frequently search for the same types of items on eBay, you can save time by creating saved searches.


After you've bought an item

Paying for items

You can pay for items in different ways on eBay. This article will help you find the one that works for you and the seller.

Cancel an order

If you've bought an item and you've made a mistake, we can walk you through the process of canceling your order.

Returns, items not received, and refunds for buyers

Find out how to get a replacement or your money back if your item hasn't arrived, is damaged, doesn't match the description, or you simply changed your mind.

Contact the seller

Get in touch with your seller if you've had an issue with an order.

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