Sunday, September 14, 2008

How to retract eBay bids (and why you shouldn't)

Veronica Mars computer
First the link:

Then the official quote: "As a rule, retracting bids is not allowed on eBay."

eBay buries this page. A cursory google search found plenty of outdated information and wrong answers.

Timing is crucial when cancelling a bid. If the auction has more than 12 hours to go, just fill in the form and your bid is retracted. If there are less than twelve hours bids placed within the hour can be cancelled. If there are less than twelve hours and you bid over an hour ago contact the seller immediately and ask them to cancel it.

So here's why bid retractions suck:

1. Number of retractions show on your feedback page.
Sure, most sellers only look at the total feedback score. Some folks look at how many negatives you've received. The super anal will check out how many times you've retracted and have the option of cancelling your bids based on it.

2. You may be accused of shill bidding and suspended from eBay.
Shill bidding is bidding on items, without intention to buy, in order to drive an item's final price up. eBay dislikes this.

3. The domino effects screws over sellers.
Suppose you bid $50 and the next person bid $49. Your bid is cancelled and now $49 guy is in the lead. Well they no longer want the item so they retract. Now the high bid may be $30 and potential bidders who passed over the auction when it was at $50 may not notice the lower price.

The retraction tool is exists but make sure to use it responsibly!