Correcting Your Current eBay Auctions

Don't worry if you make a mistake filling out the Sell Your Item page but don't notice it until after the auction is up and running. Pencils have erasers, and eBay allows revisions. You can make changes at two stages of the game: before the first bid is placed and after the bidding war is underway. The following sections explain just what you can (and can't) correct — and when you have to accept the little imperfections of your Auction item page.

Making changes before bidding begins

Here's what you can change about your auction before bids have been placed (and when it does not end within 12 hours):

  • The title or description of your auction
  • The item category
  • The item's Minimum Bid price
  • The duration of your listing
  • The URL address of the picture you're including with your auction
  • Accepted payment methods, payment methods, checkout information, item location, and shipping terms

When you revise an auction, eBay puts a little disclaimer on your auction page that reads Seller revised this item before the first bid. (Think of it as automatic common courtesy.)

To revise an auction before bids have been received:

1. Go to the auction page and click the Revise link.

The link will only appear if you've signed In to eBay. If the item hasn't received any bids, a message appears on your screen to indicate that you may update the item.

You're taken to the Sign In page, which outlines the rules for revising your item. At the bottom, the item number will be filled in.

2. Click Revise Item.

You arrive at the Revise Item page, which looks like the Sell Your Item form.

3. Make changes to the item information and then click the Verify button at the bottom of the page when you're finished.

A summary of your newly revised auction page appears on your screen.

4. If you're happy with your revisions, click Submit Revisions.

If not, click the Back button of your browser and redo the Update Your Information page.

You're taken to your newly revised auction item page, where you see a disclaimer from eBay that says you've revised the auction before the first bid.

Making changes after bidding begins

If your auction is up and running and already receiving bids, you can still make some slight modifications to it. Newly added information is clearly separated from the original text and pictures. In addition, eBay puts a time stamp on the additional info in case questions from early bidders crop up later.

After your item receives bids, eBay allows you to add to your item's description. If you feel you were at a loss for words in writing your item's description or if a lot of potential bidders are asking the same questions, go ahead and make all the addition you want But whatever you put there the first time stays in the description as well.

You've discovered that the Apollo 11 cookie jar you thought was a reproduction is really an original? Better change that description before you sell it. When your item has received bids, you can add to your item's description.

Follow the same procedure for making changes before bidding begins. When you arrive at the Revise Your Item page, you'll only be given the option to add to your description, add features, or add more payment information. Your initial listing will not be changed — only appended.

Alternatiively, click Services in the navigation bar at the top of the page, scroll down to Manage Your Active Listings and click the Add to Item Description link. If you use the route, you'll have to have the item number written down, as it must be input before you make any changes.

Don't let an oversight grow into a failure to communicate, and don't ignore iffy communication until the auction is over. Correct any inaccuracies now to avoid problems later on.

Always check your e-mail to see whether bidders have questions about your item. If a bidder wants to know about flaws, be truthful and courteous when returning e-mails. As you get more familiar with eBay (and with writing auction descriptions), the number of e-mail questions will decrease. If you enjoy good customer service in your day-to-day shopping, here's your chance to give some back.

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