2 min article

Automatic bidding

Automatic bidding is the easiest way to bid on an eBay auction. Simply enter the highest price you're willing to pay for an item, and we do the rest.

When you're ready to bid on an auction listing, enter the maximum amount you feel comfortable with. We'll then bid on your behalf – enough to keep you in the lead, but only up to that limit.

If someone outbids you, we'll let you know so you can decide if you want to increase your maximum limit.

Bidding on items can be exciting, but it is a contractual obligation. When you're deciding on your maximum bid, be sure you're happy to pay that amount if you win the auction.

Why you've been outbid immediately

If you get outbid immediately after placing a bid, it's likely another bidder is using automatic bidding, and has a maximum limit that's higher than yours. You'll need to bid again in order to be the highest bidder.

Bid increments

When someone else places a bid, we'll place a slightly higher bid on your behalf. The amount the bid increases by is known as a bid increment. Bid increments are smaller when the bid price is low, and larger in higher price brackets.

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
$1,000.00 - $2,499.99 $25.00
$2,500.00 - $4,999.99 $50.00
$5,000.00 and up $100.00

Occasionally you'll see the bid price increase by less than the normal increment. This means that someone else placed a bid just slightly higher than your automatic bid amount.

When someone else bids, we'll place a slightly higher bid on your behalf to keep you in the lead.

Was this article helpful for you?

Related Help topics