How to make a bid on eBay? If you’re new to eBay, you may have noticed that there are two basic kinds of listings: auction format listings and fixed price listings. Fixed price listings behave just as you expect online shopping to behave: you click a button to make a purchase then pay for it.

Auction format listings, however, can be much more mysterious for new eBay shoppers, and the item pricing and bidding system for auction listings can make purchases seem unnecessarily complex.

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What is an eBay Bid?

eBay automatic bidding system is provided to the current high bidder in an auction listing. Through the system, eBay will bid automatically on behalf of the high bidder against underbidders. 

This allows bidders to bid very high while at the same time ensuring that they never pay more than the absolute minimum needed to beat the next highest bidder. Here’s how it works:

  • To use automatic bidding, bid the absolute maximum that you’re willing to pay.
  • If the maximum you entered is higher than the bids entered by anyone else so far, you become the new high bidder. eBay “bids up” the auction on your behalf until the current bid is a small increment above your closest competitor’s highest bid, but no higher.
  • If your maximum bid is not the highest bid entered so far, eBay registers your bid but continues to bid on behalf of the high bidder, automatically outbidding you by one bid increment and no higher. They remain the high bidder.
  • eBay continues to automatically bid on behalf of whoever is the highest bidder at the moment, up to and including their maximum, until auction time runs out.

Read also: 3 Important News Philippines: Selling on eBay Pros and Cons

What Does It Cost to Bid on eBay?

If you’ve made the highest bid, you win the auction and you have to buy the item. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t cost you anything to bid. You only have to pay if you win and even then, you don’t have to pay any fees to eBay. All eBay fees are charged to the seller.

How Does Making Bids on eBay Work?

What happens when you win a bid on eBay? In an auction-style listing, sellers name a starting price and you bid against other buyers. You can keep track of your bidding from the Bids or Offers then open in a new window or tab section of My eBay. When the listing ends, the highest bidder wins the auction and pays for the item. Remember, a bid is a binding contract.

In a nutshell, it’s as simple as telling eBay how much you’d be willing to pay for an item and then finding out whether anyone else is willing to pay more than you. If you’ve made the highest bid, you win the auction and you have to buy the item.

Read also: Ebay Dropshipping Policy to Follow for Good Business

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How Do You Bid on eBay for Beginners?

eBay bidding tips? Bidding for an item on eBay is a simple process, but it can become competitive pretty quickly if you are looking to buy a popular item. Not only do you want to place a bid, but you also want to win. Get it down to an art and you’ll be an eBay extraordinaire in no time at all.

Locate the Item You Want to Purchase

Browse the categories for an item you want to buy or use the search feature to find something specific. Scroll through the available listings and click on the one that suits your desires.

Review the Details of the Item

Check and double-check the price, condition, and overall product description so that you know exactly what you are bidding on. Do not simply make your decision by looking at the photo, since some sellers purposefully post deceiving photographs on their listings.

Check the seller’s rating. Previous ratings and reviews left by other buyers allow you to gauge if the purchase will be worth your effort and money. A good seller will have a rating between about 94 and 100 percent. 

The number of ratings a seller has is also indicative of popularity, and a seller with many high ratings is an even better option than a seller with only a few high ratings.

Click on the “Place Bid” Button

This initiates the bidding process. If you are not already signed in, eBay may ask you to sign in now.

  • If you do not have an eBay account, you may need to create one. An account is free to create, and having one allows you to monitor your ongoing bids and orders.
  • Type in your maximum bid. Your maximum bid is the highest amount of money you are willing to pay for an item. Type the amount in the box and click “Continue.”
  • Understand how incremental bidding works.
  • Only bid on an item you are willing to pay for. According to eBay, every bid you make is considered to be a binding contract.
  • Only bid an amount you are willing to pay. 
  • Do not bid on two of the same items at the same time. 
  • Raise your maximum bid, if desired.
  • Know the limits on retracting bids.

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Review and Confirm Your Bid

Verify that the maximum bid amount is correct and click on the “Confirm Bid” button to approve it.

Do You Have to Pay If You Win a Bid on eBay?

How do you pay after winning a bid on eBay? When a member wins an item, or uses Buy It Now to purchase an item, they must complete the purchase by sending full payment to the seller. Buyers must note: The cost of shipping and handling, and all terms that the seller has included in the listing before deciding to purchase.

Can You Cancel a Winning Bid on eBay?

How to cancel a bid on eBay? It’s possible to cancel a bid on an eBay item if you’ve done so in error. eBay doesn’t allow bid cancellation in all cases that conditions do apply. Cancelling an eBay bid means you will need to bid again if you’re still interested in the item. If you need to cancel a bid:

  • Go to then Cancelling bids placed on your listing.
  • Enter the item number, the username of the member whose bid you’re canceling, and the reason you’re cancelling the bid.
  • Select Cancel bid.


Know that you may not win the auction, even if you have the highest bid, if the seller has a hidden reserve price set higher than the amount of your bid. A reserve price is a minimum price on an item that remains hidden from potential buyers.

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