How to Cancel Bids on an eBay Auction

On Line auctions
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Everyone makes mistakes, and eBay buyers are no exception, which is why the e-commerce corporation sets guidelines for canceling bids. Generally speaking, eBay doesn't encourage the cancellation of bids and tends to take a hard line on them.

In the event you do need to cancel a bid, here's are the necessary steps to take:

Fill Out a Bid Retraction

eBay understands that accidents happen and that occasionally a bid needs to be canceled. If you, your child, or your intoxicated friend bids on an item by mistake, follow these steps to have the bid canceled:

  • Review the conditions and time restrictions for canceling a bid in an auction-style listing.
  • If you feel you have a valid reason for canceling a bid, fill out a Bid Retraction.
  • Navigate to eBay's Resolution Center to find out how to access the Bid Retraction form on the eBay site if the link above doesn't work, or you otherwise have trouble locating the page.

How to Cancel a Winning Auction Bid

If you bid by mistake and actually won the item, the steps are different. Contact your seller through the eBay messaging system and explain that you want to cancel the sale. While they will be disappointed, most sellers will honor the request and move on. Sellers only get a strike against them when they cancel sales because of damaged or missing inventory. eBay sellers cannot force buyers to pay, so if the seller makes any threatening or harassing statements, report them to eBay Customer Service.

How to Cancel a Winning Best Offer

Best Offer is another situation where buyers may change their minds. Granted, sellers are not happy to hear that buyers want to cancel a sale. For many, eBay is how they earn their living. But buyers have the right to cancel a sale. Again, contact the seller and ask to cancel the transaction. Neither trading partner will be able to leave the other feedback since the transaction isn't completed and money isn't exchanged. 

For eBay, bidding is a buying commitment and that’s why the company takes such a strong stance on them. In most cases, bidding on an eBay item creates an actual binding agreement. Frequent bidding and then canceling a bid is not an accepted practice and too many retracted bids can result in eBay closing your account.

The Bottom Line

No transaction is set in stone on eBay. Respect the platform and understand that bidding and offers are a commitment to buy. Sellers are hard-working, reasonable people and will usually work with buyers in an accommodating manner.