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If you made a mistake when typing in your bid, or if the description of the item drastically changed after you placed your bid, then eBay allows you to retract it. Here’s when and how you can cancel your bid.

When You Can Cancel Your Bid

eBay tries to protect both the buyer and seller from unfair actions on its platform. That said, you can’t always cancel your bid. For example, if there were 15 seconds left in an auction and you suddenly canceled your bid, that would be unfair for the seller (although the opposite of that, bid sniping, is allowed).

If you want to retract your bid, one of these conditions must be met:

  • The seller significantly changes the description of the item and you no longer want it.
  • You accidentally enter an incorrect amount when placing the bid. For example, you enter $500 instead of $50.
  • You can’t contact the seller.
  • You contact the seller and they agree to let you cancel the bid. Note that the seller isn’t obligated to let you cancel it.

The rules also change a bit when less than 12 hours of an auction remains. If you place a bid on an item in an auction that ends in less than 12 hours, you only have one hour to retract your bid. If you wait more than an hour, you won’t be able to cancel it.

Before placing a bid, make sure you read the item description carefully and double-check the amount you entered is the correct amount you want to bid.

RELATED: What Is Bid Sniping on eBay, and How Do I Beat It?

How to Cancel Your Bid on eBay

To remove a bid you’ve placed, open any web browser and log in to your eBay account. Once logged in, click “Help & Contact” at the top of the window.

On the next screen, type “Retract Bid” in the Search box and then click the top result, which brings you to their official help page on retracting bids.

Search for Retract Bid.

Read the info on retracting bids if you want, and then click the blue “Retract a bid” button about halfway down the page.

On the next page, a list of items you currently have a bid placed on will appear. Click the item you’d like to cancel your bid on.

Select the auction item.

The next page will show the item name and number, as well as a list of reasons why you want to cancel the bid. Select a reason and then click the blue “Continue” button at the bottom of the screen.

The next page will show the item information again. Click “Retract Bid” below the item’s information.

On the next page, you’ll see some information on retracting bids again, as well as the item number of the item you selected and the reason for retraction that you selected in the previous step. You can change this if you like by clicking the down arrow and selecting a new reason. Click “Submit” when you’re ready to cancel your bid.

If you met one of the criteria for canceling the bid, then your bid will now be canceled.

Auctions are a fun part of shopping on eBay. You can sometimes score awesome deals when you win an auction. If you’re not sure if you’re getting a good deal, do a bit of research on an item before you place your bid.

RELATED: How to See What Something Is Worth Using eBay

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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