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How to Retract an Offer on Ebay


Buying and selling on eBay can be a lot of fun, or it can make you a tidy profit. Bidding on items offers you the chance to snag a thing for the lowest possible price if no one is willing to pay more. However, you can also make a seller a Best Offer on some items to get a better price.

When you do this, it's like bidding, but there's no competition. The sellers usually accept if the offer is fair and you can still save money, but what if something goes wrong? How can you retract an offer on eBay?

Can You Retract An Offer On eBay?

You can retract an offer on eBay, but only under some circumstances. When you put the offer in, it's a lot like bidding because you are committing to pay that price and purchase the item described if the seller agrees.

It's a serious commitment. Good communication between buyers and sellers is vital. If you plan to make a Best Offer, always check the seller ratings first. Then check how long an item has been listed. If it's been on the site a while, then you can probably convince the seller to cut the price more than a newly listed item. When you do send that offer, take the time to write a quick note to the seller.

When you keep in contact throughout the process, it helps in case there's an issue later. However, waffling about whether you want something is not a seller issue. Be sure you want the item before you hit send on any bid or offer.

If you change your mind too many times, you could end up with a bad reputation, or in the worst case, eBay could call your account into question for strange activity. Fortunately, most people don't need to retract an offer, or if they do, it's rare.

When You Cannot Retract Your Offer

Regrettably, in some circumstances, there's no going back. Once you commit to buying, you will usually be charged for the item via your registered payment options. If this happens to you, you may still be able to contact the seller and request a mutual cancellation, but they don't have to agree.

Luckily, most people are reasonable if you're honest with them. First, you cannot retract if there are less than twelve hours left before the listing ends and you made your offer more than an hour ago.

Since you're given plenty of opportunities to review your request, it's reasonable to assume you'd know what you were bidding for and how much you offered the seller. Second, you can't retract the offer if you've made more than five offers in a specific category. Finally, you can't retract an offer that has been accepted, counteroffered, or declined.

Once the seller accepts, it's a binding agreement, and not a lot will get you out of it. Similarly, you can't rescind an offer that the seller doesn't want. If you get a counteroffer and no longer want the product, or the price is too high, you don't remove your original offer. Instead, you refuse the counter.

As Good Housekeeping points out, "If you just change your mind about an item you have bid for, you can't retract your bid, however. This is what eBay calls an ‘invalid bid retraction’. If you make an invalid bid retraction, the seller has the right to report you to eBay, which can then take further action like suspending your account, if necessary, So, only cancel a bid if you are confident you meet the criteria."

How To Cancel An Offer You Made On eBay

Although it is vital only to make serious offers, there are three ways you can cancel. However, it's important to note that time is of the essence. You can only retract if it's more than twelve hours until the listing closes or less than an hour after you made the offer.

According to eBay, you can retract a Best Offer or counteroffer if one or more of the following three issues apply. You accidentally entered the wrong offer amount, such as adding an extra number or putting a decimal in the wrong place.

If the item's description has changed since you made the offer, you can retract, but only when the change was substantial. When you can’t get in touch with the seller, that's a good reason to retract.

Though it's rare, sellers without contact information slip under the wire sometimes. If any or all of these issues occur, go to the bids and offers section on your eBay profile. From there, you can locate the offer, assuming it hasn't been accepted. Click on it to review and then select the retract option. Please note, this only works on the desktop version of the site.

Can The Seller Retract An Offer You Made

No one can cancel your offer except you. If you share an account, use someone else's card, or you have an accountant, guardian, or other legal entity that manages your money for you, then those people could, in theory, cancel for you. A seller can only decide if they will accept.

Can A Seller Refuse An Offer

Offers are just that, an offer. The seller doesn't have to accept your price. Always make a reasonable bid for the product(s) you want. Most sellers are happy to come down a little bit on the price, especially if it's a bulk purchase. After all, that's why the 'or best offer' option exists.

How Does a Seller Retract a Counteroffer

If you are the seller and you've made a bad counteroffer, you can retract it. Once the other party accepts, you will have to go through eBay and give them a valid reason to cancel the sale.

For example, when you typed $9.99 instead of $99.99, this is a good reason to cancel that sale. Otherwise, if the buyer hasn't responded yet, you cancel the counteroffer through the Manage Offers Page. You can reach this page via the Seller Hub or Selling section of My eBay. Once there, you should scroll down to the item in question and select Retract.

Final Thoughts

Sellers only choose the Best Offer option when they are willing to come down on the price of an item or they need to get rid of it. As a result, you should always think carefully before placing an offer or responding to a counteroffer. It's easy to treat the internet as impersonal and less valid than in-person contact, but an agreement to buy is a binding contract in most cases.

Take the time to review any transaction carefully you propose, double-check your numbers and be sure you want the item. Sellers are reasonable up to a point, but getting cold feet or big buyer's remorse after you agree isn't one of the three good reasons to cancel.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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