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Bid increments

Bid increments are part of our automatic bidding system.

Bid increments in live auction events work a bit differently than in other auction-style listings on eBay. Learn more about participating in live auction events.

How bid increments work

As an auction-style listing progresses, we automatically increase your bid for you, up to your maximum bid, to maintain your position as the high bidder or to meet the item's reserve price. The bid increment is the minimum amount by which your bid will be raised.

What determines the amount of the bid increment?

The incremental amount is determined based on the current high bid on the item.

Current price Bid increment

$ 0.01 - $ 0.99

$ 0.05

$ 1.00 - $ 4.99

$ 0.25

$ 5.00 - $ 24.99

$ 0.50

$ 25.00 - $ 99.99

$ 1.00

$ 100.00 - $ 249.99

$ 2.50

$ 250.00 - $ 499.99

$ 5.00

$ 500.00 - $ 999.99

$ 10.00

$ 1000.00 - $ 2499.99

$ 25.00

$ 2500.00 - $ 4999.99

$ 50.00

$ 5000.00 and up

$ 100.00

Note: Although we specify our usual bid increments in the table above, we may, from time to time, change (increase or decrease) these increments. We may do this on all or parts of our site in order to test new features, optimize the site, improve usability, or for other purposes.

Can my bid be increased by more than the standard increment?

A bid can be increased by more than the standard increment if more than that increment is required to:

  • Meet the reserve amount. In reserve price auctions, we'll automatically increase the bid to meet the reserve, and bidding will continue from there. We won't exceed your current maximum bid, however.

  • Beat a competing bidder's high bid. We'll increase your bid to more than the incremental amount to beat another bid, up to the amount of your maximum bid.

Can I be outbid by less than a full increment?

You can be outbid by less than a full increment. The winning bid needs only to be higher than the next highest maximum bid by one cent.

Here's an example:
  1. You're the first bidder on a listing where the starting price is $8.50, and you place a maximum bid of $20.00. Your opening bid will be $8.50. When a second bidder places a bid of $9.00, your bid is automatically raised to $9.50.

  2. If a third bidder comes in and bids $20.01, that third bidder becomes the high bidder at $20.01. Since $20.01 is more than $10.00, and is also more than your maximum bid, the third bidder becomes the winning bidder, unless you raise your bid or another bidder enters a higher maximum bid.

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