How to Retract a Bid on eBay (Complete Guide for 2022)

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With around 180 million users, eBay is one of the leading marketplaces attracting a huge number of buyers and sellers. As online bidding is so convenient, you could be easily attracted to placing bids without giving it much thought. But what if you get bidder’s remorse and want to retract your bid? Here you’ll find all the information on how to retract a bid on eBay, including a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the site more easily.

Differences Between Retracting and Canceling a Bid

If you ever find yourself having to call off your bid on eBay, there are several things you should know. First of all, you have to make sure you’re familiar with the correct eBay terminology.

In eBay terms, you cancel a bid if you’re a seller. If, however, you’re in the role of a buyer, you retract a bid. These terms are essentially the same, but for the purposes of eBay’s Terms and Conditions, they are fundamentally distinct.

The main difference has to do with the terms under which you’re allowed to retract your bid on eBay. Generally, eBay (as well as other Amazon alternative sites) discourages bid cancelation for obvious reasons, so you have to provide a specific one in order for it to be approved.

As a seller, you can cancel a buyer’s bid under the following circumstances:

  • You’ve been requested to cancel the bid by the buyer
  • The item is no longer available or fit for sale
  • You’ve made an error in your listing
  • You’re concerned the bid is placed by a fraudulent buyer

We’ll get into the specifics of how a buyer can retract their bid on eBay further along.

How to Retract a Bid on eBay?

There are times when you really need to back out of a transaction, and in some cases, eBay will allow you to proceed with your bid retraction. All you have to do is follow the steps listed below:

  • Go to eBay and Log in to Your Account

The first step is to go to the eBay site and enter your login details to access your account.

  • Find the Retracting a Bid Page

Next, click on the “Help&Contact” button in the menu bar at the top of the screen. To find the “Retracting a Bid” eBay page faster, type retract bid in the search box that appears on the following screen.

Then, select the “Retracting a Bid” help page and click on the blue “Retract a bid” button. Once the next page loads, click on “Get started.”

  • Select an Item You Want to Retract and Click on “Continue”

At this point, you need to select the item you want to retract your bid from. Once you choose the item, click on “Continue.”

  • Select the Reason for Bid Retracting

From the drop-down menu that will appear next, select the reason why you want to retract the offer from eBay, and then click on “Continue” before clicking on “Retract a Bid” again.

From this point, everything will depend on the reason you provide for retracting the bid.

  1. If you select “I entered the wrong amount,” the eBay site will request that you rebid, asking you to provide the amount you initially wanted to put down. However, you won’t be forced to do this, so you can choose to proceed with entering the amount you want to bid with only if you don’t want to lose the chance of winning the selected item.
  2. If you try to retract a bid on eBay by clicking on “I’m unable to contact the seller by email or phone,” or “The description of the item changed significantly after I placed my bid,” you won’t be requested to do anything else.
  3. If, however, you select “Another reason” from the drop-down menu, you will be asked to contact the seller to resolve any issues you have, and you won’t be able to retract the bid afterwards.
  • Click on the Blue “Retract Bid” Button

After providing the reason for your eBay bid retraction, you will be able to select the “Retract Bid” button, after which your bid should be successfully retracted.

DID YOU KNOW: You can do your bid retraction from the eBay mobile app is pretty much the same way you can from a browser. Just go to your “Recently viewed items” to select the item, tap “More”, and then “Help&Contact,” after which you should follow the same steps as listed above.

Key Takeaways

Using eBay terminology, you’ll be retracting a bid on eBay if you’re a buyer, and canceling it if you’re a seller.
You can easily remove your bid if you follow several simple steps that’ll help you navigate the eBay site.
Providing a valid reason is a must if you want eBay to allow you to call off your bid.
eBay’s mobile app also allows you to do a bid retraction, and the steps are pretty much the same as those you need to follow when using a browser.

When Can a Buyer Retract an eBay Bid?

While in general eBay bids are binding, meaning that you’ll be required to pay for the item if you win the auction, eBay will let you withdraw your bid under certain conditions. These conditions mainly depend on whether there are more or less than 12 hours left from the moment you’d like to make the retraction to the time the auction ends.

Retract Bids More Than 12 Hours Before Auction End

If you have more than 12 hours left before the auction ends, you can retract any bid you made on eBay, provided that the site recognizes your reason as valid:

  • If you’ve accidentally bid the wrong amount (e.g. $7,000 instead of $700)
  • If the seller has significantly changed the item description
  • If all your attempts to contact the seller failed

In practice, sometimes eBay may let you remove the bid even if none of these circumstances apply to you, yet you should never rely solely on this possibility, but make sure you always have a justifiable reason.

Retract Bids Less Than 12 Hours Before Auction End

Although it is possible to retract a bid even if there are less than 12 hours left until the auction ends, the conditions that apply are more strict:

  • You can do the bid retraction only within an hour of placing it
  • You will only be able to remove the last bid you made.

Even if you don’t fall under any of these conditions, there is another alternative you can try. You can contact the seller directly, asking them to cancel your bid and providing your reason why you need them to do so. Keep in mind that no seller is obligated to cancel your bid, so make sure to explain politely and apologize.

You can ask the seller to withdraw your bid on eBay by going to Purchase History> Contact Seller.

DID YOU KNOW: You might be wondering if retracting a bid on eBay follows the same steps no matter if there are more or less than 12 hours left before the auction closes. The answer is yes, as long as you meet the conditions.

Conclusion

Even though there is such a thing as making a bid retraction if you provide a valid reason, practicing good buying techniques is a better option that will save you some regret in the future. But if you have to deal with this issue now, keep in mind that the sooner you make the bid retraction, the better for you and the other bidders, as well as the seller.

FAQ

Why can I not retract a bid on eBay?

The site may not let you retract your eBay offer for several reasons, such as if you don’t provide a valid reason for retraction, you want to remove a bid near the auction’s end, or you simply change your mind about buying the item.

Is it OK to retract a bid on eBay?

The answer is yes, as long as you meet their retraction conditions, such as bidding the wrong amount, failing at your attempt to establish communication with the seller, or if the description of the product has changed after you’ve placed a bid.

Can eBay force you to pay?

If you made a mistake when placing your bid, make sure you know how to retract a bid on eBay. If you simply refuse to pay for the item, after several unpaid item strikes eBay will most likely suspend you.

How do I contact eBay about a refund?

If you’ve been a victim of an online selling scam, make sure you contact eBay customer service as soon as possible, either through their online help center, or by calling eBay’s fraud assistance team directly via the number displayed on the eBay site.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I’m an entrepreneur by profession and an artist by passion. I do business to pay the bills and make music to bring the thrills. Thanks to a bachelor in Business Administration, I'm well-versed in all things business. Owning a construction company certainly helps, too, but it also brings out my love for building and home protection.

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