How to back out of a bid on eBay (even after winning)

Tim Vickers

Sellers on eBay have the autonomy of not selling their products.

They can do that if a buyer has too many unpaid bids, they are unable to verify the identity of a bidder, or they want to end their listing because they have sold off their items.

As a buyer, you can also retract a bid on eBay. However, you must follow a specific process to back out of a sale.

That is because bidding means you are entering into a contract to buy the item.

Note: On eBay, when a buyer backs out of a bid, it is called retracting. When a seller removes a bid, it is known as canceling.

But sometimes that does not happen, meaning that you can back out of an eBay auction by canceling the purchase.

One way that works is by contacting the seller informing them that you want to back out of a sale. You can also use an automated method on e-bay.

2 ways to retract your bid on eBay

eBay gives you two options of backing out of a bid. These are:

1. Contact the Seller to retract your bid

You can only contact a seller to cancel your bid or unbid a bid on eBay if you have less than 12 hours remaining in an auction.

Here is what to do:

  • Visit eBay and sign in to your account.
  • Click on My eBay.
  • On the dropdown list, click on Bids/Offers.
  • Click on the item you bid on recently and want to retract.
  • Select the seller’s username under the Seller Information section.
  • Click on Contact.
  • Click on the Contact the Seller button and select Continue.
  • In the message field, type your request for the backing out.
  • Click on Send Message once done.
Understand that a seller has the autonomy of not canceling your bid. But writing to them with concrete reasons may force them to honor your request and cancel a winning bid on eBay.

2. Retracting a bid from eBay automatically

If you want to retract the offer on eBay, here are the steps you should follow:

  • Visit eBay and sign in to your account.
  • Click on Help & Contact.
  • Navigate to Retracting a bid and click on the link.
  • On the next page that opens up, click on Retract a Bid.
  • A list of items you bid on recently will display on your screen.
  • Click on the item you bid on but would like to retract.
  • A list of eBay bid retraction reasons will appear.
  • Select your primary reason for backing out.
  • Click on Continue.
  • Click on Retract Bid.
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The steps above will help you retract your bid even if you accidentally bid on eBay and won.

What happens if you win a bid on eBay and don’t want it?

You must buy an item once you won a bid that you placed on it. That is because you have entered into a contract with the seller.

But if you win it and do not want it, the best option is to contact the seller with concrete reasons why you are backing out of the contract.

It is upon the seller to decide whether to cancel or not cancel the transaction.

What happens if you bid at an auction and don’t pay?

If you win a bid, you must pay for it. But that does not happen all the time because people have different reasons.

So, if you do not pay for a winning bid on eBay, the seller will record it as an unpaid item on your account.

Should your account have many of these items, eBay will suspend you or limit your activities.

In summary

You can retract eBay bids and offers if you have accidentally bid the wrong amount or you have less than 12 hours before the listing ends.

If you decide to retract a bid, the best cause of action is to contact the seller or use the procedure offered by eBay.

However, you need to understand that you risk your account getting suspended if you have many unpaid items due to retracting.

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