3 min article

Setting a reserve price

A reserve price is the lowest price you’re willing to sell an item for. By using a reserve price, you can set a low starting price for your auction—and boost interest in your item—without the risk of selling your item for less than you think it’s worth.

Reserve price is an optional upgrade for auction-style listings, with a fee that is charged at the time of listing.

When you set a reserve price, bidders will see that you have a reserve price in place and whether it has been met, but not the reserve price itself.

If the highest bid at the end of the auction is below your reserve price, you don’t have to sell the item, however the reserve price fee won’t be refunded.

When to add a reserve price

When listing a high price item, consider adding a reserve price if you’re not sure of its true value, but don’t want to sell below a certain price. The reserve price will protect you from selling your item for less than you're happy with.

However, if you're selling an item with a low average selling price, the reserve price upgrade fee, combined with the final value fee, might be too high to justify adding a reserve price.

Instead, set your auction starting price to the minimum amount you’re happy to sell the item for, with no reserve. If your item sells, your fees will be lower than if you’d added a reserve price, and if it doesn’t sell, you won't be out-of-pocket for the reserve price fee.

Remember, final value fees may vary depending on the item price and listing category.

Tip
For more information and examples on when to use or not use a reserve price, see our Seller Center page.

How to add a reserve price to a new listing

When you’re creating an auction-style listing, you’ll see the option to add your reserve price in either the Selling details section (business tool) or in the Pricing section (new listing tool or quick listing tool).

How to add a reserve price to an existing listing

If an existing listing hasn’t received any bids and there are at least 12 hours left in the listing, you can add a reserve price.

To add a reserve price to an existing auction listing:

  1. Find your listing in My eBay Selling - opens in new window or tab or Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Select Revise from More actions.
  3. In Selling details (business tool) or Pricing (quick listing tool), enter your reserve price.
  4. Select Continue.

How to change a reserve price

If your reserve price isn’t met, then your listing will end without a sale. To help make sure that doesn’t happen, you can lower the reserve price.

You can lower the reserve price when:

  • No bidder has met the reserve price, and
  • At least 12 hours are left on the listing

You can remove the reserve price when:

  • There are no bids on your listing, and
  • At least 12 hours left on your listing

To lower or remove the reserve price:

  1. Find your listing in My eBay Selling - opens in new window or tab or Seller Hub - opens in new window or tab.
  2. Select Revise from More actions.
  3. In Selling details (business tool) or Pricing (quick listing tool), lower or remove your reserve price.
  4. Select Continue.

If you lower the reserve price below the high bidder’s maximum bid, we’ll lower the high bidder’s maximum bid to $1.00 below the new reserve price. After you lower a reserve price, we’ll contact bidders to let them know about the change and ask them to bid again to reconfirm their interest. You can’t remove the reserve price if there are bids on your listing. 

When you lower or remove a reserve price, you won’t receive a credit for the reserve fee.

Within eBay Motors vehicle categories, you can lower reserve prices on listings with less than 12 hours left in the auction.

A reserve price is the lowest price you’re willing to sell an item for. Bidders can’t see the reserve price, but they’ll see whether it has been met.

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