Rules for buyers – overview
We want to maintain a safe, fair, and enjoyable marketplace for both buyers and sellers. As a buyer, we ask that you review and understand our policies, including the eBay User Agreement, before you bid on or buy an item.
Our policies are intended to:
Follow local laws and regulations
Minimize risks to buyers and sellers
Make sure no buyer has an unfair advantage
Create an enjoyable buying experience
Guidelines for buyers
The buying practices policy outlines unfair and unsafe behavior that we don't allow from buyers—such as making unreasonable demands of a seller or taking advantage of our protection systems.
Rules about bidding and paying
Buyers and sellers need to be able to get in touch with each other, and we need to be able to get in touch with our members.
You must pay for any item you commit to buying.
Some of the items on eBay are sold in an auction-style format where you can bid on an item. Bidding is a lot of fun, but keep in mind that each bid you make is a binding contract to buy the item if you win. The same is true for Buy It Now purchases. Not paying for an item after you agree to buy it has negative consequences, explained in our unpaid item policy
You can only bid if you really intend to buy the item, even if you're making a non-binding bid
Non-binding bids can only be made on certain items, such as real estate and vehicles, but this type of bid still means that you intend to buy the item. The bottom line is, don't place a bid unless you mean to buy the item.
You can't bid on your own item.
We call this shill bidding
and it not only violates our policies, it's against the law in many places.
Be careful about bidding on several items if you only want one.
If you are the winning bidder of more than one listing, you're required to purchase all the items you've won, even if they're the same or similar.
You can only retract a bid under very specific circumstances.
For example, if you meant to bid $10.00 but accidentally bid $1,000.00, you can retract the bid. Even then, you're required to immediately bid the amount you intended. Never use bid retraction to manipulate the bidding process. It's unfair, and it has serious consequences. Learn more about retracting or canceling your bid
Make sure you read the item description before you bid.
Many of the problems buyers and sellers encounter start with a simple misunderstanding about what is for sale and the terms of the sale. For example, some sellers only want to sell to bidders who live in a certain country, or who will pay using PayPal. You should only bid on or buy an item if you can meet the seller's requirements described in the listing. If you bid on an item and you don't meet the seller's requirements, we consider that unwelcome and malicious buying
If you know the seller, you can't bid on the item with the intent to artificially increase its price or desirability.
This rule applies to family, friends, roommates, employees, and online connections.
Buying items from someone just to increase their Feedback or improve their search standing is called shill bidding
, and it's against our policies.
You can't offer to buy items outside of eBay.
Items bought outside of our site aren't covered by our policies, and you aren't protected against fraud. Sellers must follow the same rule, so if a seller offers to sell you something outside of eBay, don't accept the offer. For more information, see our rules for everyone
If you're buying an item from a seller in another country, you can't ask the seller to mark the item is a gift in the customs declaration.
When you bid on or buy a vehicle in eBay Motors, your contact information may be shared with sellers.
Sellers may also contact you about that vehicle or a similar one for sale. Learn more about eBay Motors bidding
Rules about Feedback
You can't abuse the Feedback system.
This means you can't threaten to leave a seller negative Feedback if that seller won't do something that wasn't promised in the original listing. This is called Feedback extortion and is not allowed.
Also, you can't leave Feedback if you are only doing it to help increase a seller's Feedback score. This is a type of Feedback manipulation and is also not allowed.
Make sure you understand and follow all of our Feedback policies.
If you're having a problem with a seller
You can't try to contact other potential buyers to "warn" them about a seller. This is called transaction interference. If you have a concern about a seller's behavior, report it to us and we will investigate.
If you're also a seller
If you're also a seller, please be sure to also read our rules for sellers. Make sure your listings follow our guidelines. If they don't, they may be removed, and your buying and selling privileges could be restricted.
To learn more about our policies, see our Marketplace Policy Tutorial and other Trust and Safety tutorials.
Reporting other members
If you want to report a policy violation:
First, read the policy page that deals with the violation (see our rules & policies) and make sure the other member is really breaking the rules.
If you still want to report a member, go to Customer Support and select the topic that best describes the issue. We'll show you how to send us a report or contact us.
Reports of policy violations must be specific and you must submit them with the intent of addressing a known or suspected violation of our policy. False reporting of policy violations can have serious consequences.
Report a listing only once. Multiple emails about the same listing will slow down our investigation.
Have a question? We can help.
Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Center to post a question.