How to Cancel a Bid on eBay in 7 Steps (With Photos)

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How to Cancel a Bid on eBay in 7 Steps (With Photos)

Have you ever been browsing eBay and placed a bid on something? Chances are, you probably have. The eCommerce store, eBay, has been around since 1995. So it stands to reason you’ve spent at least some time poking around looking for that perfect something. You could have even bid on a few items or won an auction or two. However, what if you’ve made a mistake while bidding? You may need to cancel a bid on eBay before you overpay or buy something you didn’t mean to. 

Now let’s say you’re a seller on eBay. Maybe you need to unload some sports memorabilia, or perhaps you run an eCommerce store. As a seller, there may be reasons you need to cancel a potential buyer’s bid. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the steps it takes to cancel a bid on eBay, both as a buyer and seller. Withdrawing an offer can help both parties out of a jam if a bid was made by mistake or if a listing needs to be updated. Whatever the reason for canceling a bid, let’s take a look at how to do so. 

Before we get started, remember that eBay calls it canceling a bid when sellers remove it. When a buyer cancels a bid, it’s called retracting. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get started. 

How to Cancel a Bid as a Seller on eBay

As a seller, you can cancel a bid that another user has made on your item. However, be aware that once you cancel a bid, you cannot reinstate it. Canceling a bid without a legitimate reason can lead to some buyers being disappointed or disgruntled with your eBay store. 

Here are some reasons you may want to cancel a bid:

  • The potential buyer asks you to
  • You’re concerned the potential buyer may be fraudulent
  • You need to end the listing, or you need to change something about it

Step 1: Make Sure You Log In to Your eBay Account

You will only find options to cancel a buyer’s bid if you’re logged in to your eBay account

Step 2: Go to “Site Map” Under “Tools and Apps”

Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the Site map. 

"Tools and apps" is located at the very bottom of the page toward the left-hand side.
“Tools and apps” is located at the very bottom of the page toward the left-hand side.


Step 3: Select “SELL,” Then Select “Cancel Bids on Your Listing”

Click on “SELL” just under the word “Sitemap,” or you can scroll down the page until you reach the “Sell” options. Then click on “Cancel bids on your listing” in the top line on the right under “Sell activities.”

"Cancel bids on your listing" is located in the top line of options on the right-hand side.
“Cancel bids on your listing” is located in the top line of options on the right-hand side.


Step 4: Fill Out the Form and Click Submit

Selecting to cancel bids on your listing will bring up a dialog box with a form you can fill out to explain why you’re canceling a bid. Be sure to include the item number and the username of the person who bid on your item. Also, include the reason you’re canceling the bid. Submitting your form should cancel the bid. If you need further help, contact eBay customer service.

Image showing where to cancel a buyer's bid
Make sure you fill out the form completely before you click “Submit.”


How To Retract a Bid You Placed on eBay

Remember that placing a bid on eBay is an agreement you intend to pay for the item in the auction. However, sometimes mistakes happen. In the case of a legitimate error on your side, you should be able to contact the seller and make sure they can cancel it for you. If not, you will need to cancel it yourself. It only takes a few steps, so let’s get started. 

Here are some reasons you can retract a bid:

  • If you accidentally entered the wrong amount. For example, you wanted to bid $40 but accidentally bid $400.
  • The seller significantly changed the listing

To cancel an eBay bid, follow these steps: 

Step 1: Make Sure You Log in to Your eBay Account

You can only cancel a bid if you placed one by registering or logging in to eBay. So be sure always to do your buying and selling when logged in to your eBay account. 

Step 2: Go to Help and Contact

You can find this near your name and the eBay logo.

Image showing Help and Contact setting
Click on “Help and Contact” at the top of the home page.


Step 3: Select the Item That You Wish to Cancel a Bid For

After clicking on Help and Contact, a new page will appear. You should see a list of the items you’ve recently placed a bid on. You’ll also see all of your recent purchases here. Find and select the item that has a bid you want to cancel. Then, a list of actions will appear.

Image showing eBay help screen for items you are bidding on,
Under Help and Contact, you will see a list of all of the items you are currently bidding on.


Step 4: Choose “Retracting a Bid”

Choosing “Retracting a bid” should appear in the list of possible actions. Selecting the link will take you to a new page.

Image showing how to select an auction to retract your bid from,
Select “Retracting a bid” from the top of the list of options.


Step 5: Select Whether to Place Another Bid or Cancel Your Bid

Next, choose to place another bid on the item if you entered the wrong price, or you can cancel your bid all together. Then click continue.

Image showing "Retract a bid" screen
Choose what you would like to do, then click “Continue.”


Step 6: Select the Reason for Retracting Your Bid

You should see a few options for canceling your bid. Choose the one that best fits. 

I entered the wrong amount: Choose this selection if you accidentally entered the incorrect amount for your bid. If you select this option, eBay will cancel your bid. You can make another bid on the item as soon as you choose this option. 

The description of the item changed significantly: Choose this option if the seller changed their information on the item significantly. For example, they updated the information to include damage that wasn’t listed before, they’ve changed the object itself, or any other significant change that seems odd or suspicious. 

I’m unable to contact the seller by email or phone: Choose this option if you have tried to contact the seller but they have yet to respond. 

Another reason: If none of the other options fit your reason for retracting your bid, you should choose this option. 

After you make your choice, select the “Continue” button to finalize your retraction.

Image showing reasons why to retract bid
Click on the reason for retracting your bid, then click “Continue” at the bottom of the menu.


Step 7: Click the “Retract Bid” Button

Finally, click on the “Retract bid” button. Retracting your bid should happen automatically. Also, you may get an email confirming your bid retraction, depending on your settings. 

Image showing final bid retraction screen
If all of the information is correct, click on “Retract bid” to complete the process.


Here is a step-by-step video for further reference:

How to Place a Bid on eBay

If you’re wondering how to place a bid on eBay, don’t worry. It only takes a few steps to find something you love and to submit a price you’re willing to pay. So let’s go through the steps. 

Step 1: Make Sure You Log In to Your eBay Account

While it’s possible to make a bid on eBay without registering or logging in to your account, you should still log in. If you make a mistake, you won’t be able to cancel your bid. 

Step 2: Search for an Item You Want to Buy

Search using the search field in the navigation bar.

Image showing searched for items eBay
Type in the item you are looking for in the search bar at the top of the page.


Also, be sure to narrow your search to auctions only by choosing Auctions under Buying Format.

Image showing buying format
You can narrow your search by selecting the buying format.


Step 3: Enter Your Price and Click “Place Bid”

Decide how much you want to pay, and enter your price in the box. Don’t always put the highest amount you’ll pay. You’ll get a chance to increase your bid if someone outbids you. You can also search completed listings to get a better idea of what to bid by searching for completed auctions. To do so, check the Sold Items box under Show only. Now you can see how much you can reasonably expect the listing to go for. Of course, looking at completed auctions doesn’t guarantee a price. You may pay more or less depending on how the auction goes. That’s part of the fun! After you enter the amount you’re willing to pay, select the Place Bid button.

Image showing where to enter dollar amount
Enter the price you are willing to pay, then click on “Place bid.”


Step 3: Review and Confirm Your Bid

Once you review your bid, you can edit it if you entered the wrong price. When the price is correct, confirm your bid. Now sit back and relax until the auction ends. Or until someone outbids you.

Image showing review bid and confirm screen
Review that the information is correct, then click “Confirm bid” at the bottom of the window.


Here is a step-by-step video for visual representation:

Canceling an eBay Bid

If you have a legitimate reason, canceling a bid on eBay takes just a few steps but can save both the seller and the buyer time and money. You can retract your most recent offer if you placed the bid less than an hour ago. However, if there are more than 12 hours before the listing ends, you can retract every bid you place. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a penalty for canceling a bid on eBay?

Yes. You may end the listing by canceling a bid. If so, eBay may charge you a final value fee.

What happens if you win a bid on eBay and don't want it?

You will have to pay the amount you bid. Bidding on an item is a contract. When you bid on a listing, you agree to pay should you win.

Can an eBay seller cancel a winning bid?

Yes, sellers can do this by adding a buyer to their blocked buyer list. Sellers can cancel bids on eBay for a few reasons, but know that it may disappoint other potential buyers.

What are the rules canceling bids on eBay?

You can cancel a bid if the buyer asks you to, if you need to change the item or the listing, or if you’re concerned the bid may be fraudulent.

Do eBay sellers have to accept cancelation?

As a buyer, you can request to cancel a bid by contacting the seller. However, in general, only sellers can cancel a bid.

Can an eBay seller deny a bid retraction?

Yes, they can choose to deny or honor a bid retraction.

Why can't I retract my bid on eBay?

Once you bid on an eBay listing, it’s as good as a binding contract. You can only retract a bid for special circumstances.

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