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How To Cancel a Bid on eBay

Posted by Jamie on July 21, 2018

This tutorial was prompted by a reader question last week that simply asked ‘How can I cancel my bid on eBay.’ The reader didn’t specify whether they were the buyer or the seller, just that they wanted to cancel a bid. As always, TechJunkie is here to help so I’m going to show you how to cancel a bit on eBay both as a buyer and a seller.

Transactions are legally binding on eBay so you have to be careful when selling. When bidding, be sure that you’re bidding on the right product and offering the right price. For the most part, the process is smooth and painless but there are occasions when things don’t quite go to plan. That’s where canceling or retracting comes in.

In eBay terms, canceling a bid is what you do as a seller. If you’re a buyer, you retract your bid. They are essentially the same thing in practical terms but if you read the eBay T&Cs, the two terms are very distinct. So for the purposes of this article and for understanding, I’ll use the same terminology as eBay.

Canceling a bid on eBay

Sellers can cancel bids for a few reasons. The buyer requests you cancel the bid, the item is no longer fit or available for sale, you made an error in your listing or you are concerned about the buyer. eBay discourages canceling for obvious reasons so you will only usually be able to cancel a bid for these reasons.

Here’s how to cancel a bid:

  1. Log into eBay and go to this page.
  2. Enter the item number in the top box and the username of the bidder you want to cancel underneath.
  3. Select a reason for the cancelation.
  4. Select Cancel bid.

If you have certain criteria for bidders, such as low feedback or satisfaction scores, it is a good idea to say so in your advert. You could require those with feedback of less than 20 to contact you first or bar them altogether. Saying so up front should prevent you having to cancel bids.

You can also block bidders from buying from you.

Blocking bidders from your auctions

If you have persistent pests who keep bidding on your listings and messing you around, you can block them. It is a legitimate tool used within eBay and can be useful in those rare occurrences when someone is just trying to cause trouble or lower your feedback score.

  1. Log into eBay and go to this page.
  2. Enter the username of the person you want to block in the box.
  3. Select Submit to save.

You can add up to 5,000 different usernames into your blocked list. It is a little known tool but can be exceptionally useful when you come up against competitors who play dirty or someone who just wants to mess you around.

Retracting a bid on eBay

When a buyer cancels a bid, eBay calls it retracting. It’s semantics but as it is used on the platform, I’ll use it here. As eBay wants a fluid selling process that works for both parties, it discourages retractions as much as possible. Sometimes you need to genuinely take a step back from a transaction and there is a mechanism for that.

There are only a few criteria that allow you to retract a bid. They are if the seller significantly or materially changes the product description, you accidentally bid the wrong amount or if the seller doesn’t respond to communications.

If the auction has less than 12 hours to run, you can only retract a bid within the hour. Once that hour has passed, you cannot retract. If this happens, you have to communicate directly with the seller to get a cancelation.

To retract your bid on eBay, do this:

  1. Log into eBay and go to this page.
  2. Select the blue Get started button.
  3. You will be taken to a page that will list your activity. Select the bid you want to retract.
  4. Provide a reason for the retraction.
  5. Select Retract bid.

As long as you meet the eBay criteria, your bid will be withdrawn. If you don’t meet the criteria, eBay will refuse to retract your bid. You should now contact the seller directly. Explain the situation, apologize and request they cancel your bid. If you have a genuine reason, most sellers will agree to cancel the bid.

I have fallen out of love with eBay. It was once a place where normal people sold their old stuff for cheap and you could buy bargains and random items that are no longer sold in stores. Now it’s full of companies selling Chinese imports at inflated prices and you have to look very hard to find that individual seller of old. Nevertheless, it seems I am in the minority as eBay is still going strong.

If you’re still an eBay user but didn’t know how to cancel or retract a bid on eBay, you do now!

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