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Getting outbid
In this article
In this article

You've been outbid when another buyer has placed a higher maximum bid than yours, and you're not the current high bidder.

Sometimes you'll be outbid as soon as you enter your bid, even though the bid you entered was higher than the current bid shown on the item listing. When this happens, you'll usually be notified immediately and given a chance to make another bid.

This happens because another buyer had a higher maximum bid than yours. Your bid prompted our automatic bidding system to raise the other buyer's bid above yours. The other bidder may have placed their bid hours or days before. If you and another bidder had the same maximum bid, the earlier bid would win.

Avoiding being outbid in the final minutes

Placing a high bid in the closing seconds of an auction-style listing is called "sniping" within the eBay community. Sniping is part of the eBay experience, and all bids placed before a listing ends are valid, even if they're placed 1 second before the listing ends.

These tips can help you avoid being outbid:

Make sure that your maximum bid is the highest price that you're willing to pay. Our bidding system automatically increases your bid up to the maximum price you specify, so entering a higher maximum might help prevent you from being outbid in the closing seconds of a listing.
In the final 60 minutes of a listing, use 1-click bids to quickly increase your bid. When you click the 1-click bid button, we automatically raise your bid by one increment. To use 1-click bidding, you need to be signed in to eBay and have at least one bid on the item already.

Receiving email notifications

You can receive email notifications if you're outbid on a listing.

Outbid notice

When another buyer's bid exceeds your maximum price, you'll receive an email letting you know that you have been outbid. You can use the link in this email to return to the item page and increase your bid.

End of item notice

When a listing ends, an email is automatically sent to losing bidders, informing them that they didn't win the item. It also highlights items that are similar to the one they lost.

If you don't want to receive these email notifications, you can change your communication preferences.

  1. Go to My eBay and click the Account tab.

  2. On the left side of the page, click the Communication Preferences link.

  3. Click the Show link next to Notification Delivery Format.

  4. Change your communication preferences.

Receiving alerts

We can alert you when you've been outbid or when an item has ended by:

  • Sending an IM (instant message) to your chat window

To subscribe to these alerts, change your communication preferences.

  1. Go to My eBay and click the Account tab.

  2. On the left side of the page, click the Communication Preferences link.

  3. Click the Show link next to Buying Activity.

  4. Change your communication preferences by selecting your preferences from the drop-down menus.

  5. Once you're finished, click the Save button at the bottom of the section.

Avoiding being outbid in the final minutes

We can alert you when you've been outbid or when an item has ended by sending you an instant message (IM) or calling you. Find out how to sign up for these services.

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