How to Cancel eBay Bids as a Buyer

By Tim Hesse

Demonstrating a low tolerance for bidder's remorse, eBay has an unpaid item policy in place that protects sellers, who pay insertion fees to list items, and protects buyers by creating a disincentive to shill bidding. Shill bidding is the practice of using an alternate username or an accomplice to bid on your own items in order to pump up the final price. If you find that you must cancel a bid on eBay, here's what to do.

Requesting a Bid Cancellation

Step 1

Sign in to your eBay account, browse to the item page and write down the item number. Click on the seller's member ID. On the seller's My World profile, click "Contact member."

Step 2

Select "Enter your item number" from the drop-down menu on the page that appears, then enter the item number and click "Continue."

Write a message to seller in the form that appears explaining your situation and asking them to cancel your bid. Make yourself as sympathetic as possible. Be honest, be courteous and apologize for any inconvenience. In many cases a seller will approve your request and cancel your bid. If the seller refuses to cancel your bid -- or if you can't reach the seller at all -- you'll need to file a formal bid retraction with eBay.

Requesting a Bid Retraction

Step 1

Browse to eBay's bid retraction form (link in Resources).

Step 2

Enter the item number and choose your reason from the drop-down menu. eBay will grant bid retraction requests if you made a typing mistake and bid the incorrect amount, if the seller changed the description for the item after you bid on it and the new description reveals information that makes the item undesirable to you or if you can't get in touch with the seller.

Click "Retract bid."