How to Retract Your eBay Bid in an Emergency - dummies

How to Retract Your eBay Bid in an Emergency

By Marsha Collier

People make mistakes. Luckily for everyone, eBay members are allowed to retract bids under certain circumstances. You may retract your eBay bid if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You accidentally typed the wrong bid amount: Say you typed $900 but you meant $9.00. Oops. In a case like this, you can retract the bid, but you’d better rebid the proper amount (that original $9.00) immediately, or you may be in violation of eBay’s policies.

  • The seller has added information to the item description that changes the value of the item considerably: The bull that was let loose in the seller’s shop has changed the mint condition of the Ming vase you just bid on? No problem.

  • You can’t reach the seller through eBay’s e-mail or through the telephone number you got from eBay’s find members area: Seller has gone AWOL, and you have a question about an item? You can use eBay’s e-mail system by clicking the Contact Member link near the bottom of the listing page. To get the seller’s telephone number, click the Advanced link and then click the Find a Member link.

    Next, input your transaction number and the seller’s User ID. After checking to make sure that you’ve begun a transaction with this person, the good people at eBay will send the seller’s telephone number in an e-mail message to your registered e-mail address. Your phone number will also be e-mailed to the seller.

Every time you retract a bid, it appears in the feedback area of your eBay feedback page.

Here are a couple of additional restrictions to retracting bids:

  • You can retract a bid if it was placed during the last 12 hours of an auction. If you bid more than once in the last 12 hours of the same auction, you can retract a bid within one hour of placing it. In this case, only that bid will be retracted; any other bid placed before the last 12 hours of the listing remains valid.

  • When you retract a bid and the listing has more than 12 hours to go, you wipe out any of your previous bids in the auction. To reinstate yourself as a bidder, you must bid again.

If you want to retract your bid within the last 12 hours of the auction and you placed the bid before the last 12 hours, you must send an e-mail to the seller asking him or her to cancel your bid. It is up to the seller whether to cancel your bid.

A bid retraction isn’t a guarantee that you will get out of purchasing the item. Sometimes sellers simply don’t have the opportunity or time to cancel a bid. That means you have to buy the item.

You may never need this, but you can retract your bid or find more information in a pinch.

eBay vigorously investigates members who abuse bid retractions. Too many bid retractions and you may find yourself suspended from the system.