eBay Glossary

Listed below is eBay terminology as provided by eBay.





About Me

A page you can create on eBay that tells other members about you and your eBay business. Click the icon_-_ebayMC.png icon next to the User ID of anyone who has an About Me page to view that person's page or to create your own About Me page.

Administrative Cancellation

The cancellation of a bid by eBay due to administrative circumstances, such as when a bidder becomes unregistered.

Account Guard

The security feature of the eBay Toolbar. The Account Guard feature identifies when toolbar users are on an eBay or PayPal website, and warns them when they are on a potentially fraudulent (spoof) website. The Account Guard feature also warns users when they are about to send their eBay password to a non-eBay site and enables users to report suspicious-looking websites.

Announcement Boards

Special pages where eBay posts current news and information. You'll find announcements about new features and promotions, policy changes, special event information, and notices about system issues.

Answer Center

Special pages where you can ask questions and get help about using eBay from other members of the eBay Community.

Auction-Style Listing (Online Auction Format)

The basic, most common way to sell an item on eBay. This format lets sellers list an item for sale, collect bids for a fixed length of time, and sell the item to the highest bidder.

Best Offer

A listing feature that lets a buyer make an offer to a seller. Sellers can use the Best Offer feature in Online Auction, Fixed Price and Store Inventory listings.

Best Match

The Best Match feature gives buyers another way to organize Search Results helping them find items more quickly. Along with the listing keywords and other information, one of most important elements in this calculation is the historical buyer behavior on the site for similar searches.

Bid Assistant

A bidding feature that allows a buyer to create a group of items and have Bid Assistant bid until the buyer wins one item from that group. After a buyer creates a group of items and enters maximum bids, Bid Assistant will move through the group (starting with the item that ends first), and bid on the buyer's behalf until one item is won.

Bid Cancellation

The cancellation of a bid by a seller during an auction-style listing. Once a bid is cancelled, it cannot be reinstated by the seller. However, the bidder may bid again.

The seller can use the Block Bidders/Buyers feature to prevent a particular user from bidding again on a listing.

In general, sellers should not cancel bids in listings. However, they might experience a situation in which they decide it is necessary. For example, sellers might cancel bids if they are unable to verify the identity of the bidder, even after they try all reasonable means of contact. Make sure you're aware of other rules and restrictions surrounding the cancellation of bids.

Bid Increment

The amount by which a bid must be raised in order for it to be accepted in an auction-style listing. The bid increment is automatically determined based on the current high bid. For example, if the current bid for an item is $5.00 and the bid increment is $0.50, the next bid must be at least $5.50.

Bid Retraction

The cancellation of a bid by a buyer during an auction-style listing. In general, a buyer cannot retract a bid once it is placed during an auction-style listing, so please bid carefully. A retraction may be allowed under special circumstances. For example, if buyers accidentally enter the wrong bid amount (entering $99.50 rather than $9.95), they may retract it and enter the right bid amount as long as they do so immediately. Make sure you're aware of other rules and restrictions surrounding the retraction of bids.


A member who bids on an item on eBay. Remember each bid placed enters a buyer into a binding contract.

Bidder Search

A search for all the items that a member of eBay has placed bids on. This feature lets you see what items you've bid on during the last 30 days. Although you can use search by bidder to view your own current auctions or history, eBay recommends you use My eBay instead. My eBay has many more functions to manage your bidding and buying activities.

You can also use this feature to see what another member has bid on during the last 30 days. All you need is the member's User ID. To protect bidder privacy, not all items that this member has bid on may be displayed.

To keep eBay a safe place for buyers and sellers, eBay limits how bid history information is displayed. When the highest bid, reserve or Buy It Now price on an item reaches or exceeds a certain level, members cannot view or search for member-specific information such as User IDs on the Bid History page. The Bidding Details page contains detailed information on bidders; however, all bidders are assigned anonymous names. Only the seller of the item can see a bidder's User ID.

Regardless of the current high bid, when the reserve or Buy It Now price is initially set at a certain level, User IDs will appear as anonymous names throughout the duration of the auction, even if the seller lowers the price. Anonymous names may also appear more than once in the bid history and may represent different bidders from different auctions.

Note: The price or bid amount at which User IDs are no longer viewable is determined by eBay and varies by country.

Block Bidders/Buyers

A list of specific eBay members that you create, who are not allowed to bid on or buy items you list for sale. Users on the list will be blocked until you take them off the list. You may want to do this if you've had a negative experience with a buyer in the past.


member who buys an item from a seller on eBay. Remember each bid a buyer places enters them into a binding contract.

Buy It Now

A listing feature that lets a buyer purchase an item immediately for a price the seller has set. Items with this feature will display the icon_-_buyitnow.png icon and the Buy It Now price in their listings. Sellers can use the Buy It Now feature in Online Auction, Fixed Price, and Store Inventory formats.

Category Listings

The set of categories by which items are organized on eBay, such as Antiques, Books, Computers, Sporting Goods, etc. Anyone can browse the categories and look at lists of items until they find something they're interested in, (as opposed to doing a keyword search). Sellers can choose which category best fits an item to ensure maximum exposure for the listing. Browse eBay's category listings.

Changed User ID Icon

Indicates that the member has chosen a new User ID within the past 30 days. Changing User IDs is not recommended because a User ID plays an important role in a member's reputation. A member who has changed User IDs keeps the same Feedback Profile. Be sure to examine it as you would with any other trading partner. However, members change their User IDs for various reasons. For example, a seller might update it to reflect a new line of business.

Classified Ads

A type of listing a seller can use to list items, services, or properties for sale in order to generate multiple leads. Interested buyers fill out a contact form and their information is sent to the seller.

Completed Listings (Search)

A search for items that have ended over the last 15 days. This can be useful to help sellers determine how to sell an item. For example, a seller can view completed listings to decide what starting price to use in an auction-style listing.

Detailed Seller Ratings

Detailed seller ratings provide a more complete picture of the member's performance as a seller. When buyers leave an overall Feedback rating for a seller, they can also leave detailed seller ratings in four areas: accuracy of item description, communication, shipping time, and shipping and handling charges. The rating system is based on a one- to five-star scale. Five stars is the highest rating, and one star is the lowest rating.

Discussion Boards

Special pages where members can post messages to the eBay Community about various topics. Anyone can ask questions, learn valuable tips, share experiences, and connect with other eBay users. There's a discussion board for just about any eBay topic you can think of.

Dispute Console

The Dispute Console helps buyers and sellers manage, track and take action on disputes related to their transactions. Accessible through My eBay, the Dispute Console is used for the Unpaid Item Process and the Item Not Received Process.

Dutch Auction

(Multiple Item Auction)

A listing in which a seller offers multiple identical items for sale. Unlike a regular listing, Multiple Item Auctions can have many winners. Buyers can specify the number of items they're interested in and the price they're willing pay. Winning bids are determined by their overall value (bid price times the number of items bid on).

eBay Community

A group of buyers and sellers who are the members of the eBay community. Members can see announcements and calendar events, as well as use discussion boards, groups, and find quick help from other members.

eBay Groups

A group of buyers and sellers who share a common interest. You can create your own community or participate in discussions, newsletters, polls and calendars of an existing group.

eBay Shop

A website offering officially licensed quality merchandise with the eBay logo - from apparel to office accessories to cool collectibles.

eBay Storesicon_-_stores.png

Special pages on eBay featuring all the items offered by an individual Store seller. Buyers can shop at eBay Stores to find unique items they can buy right away. Sellers can use eBay Stores to maximize their business through customizable displays, categories, promotions, and access to an additional listing format (Store Inventory format).

eBay Time

The official time of day at eBay headquarters in San Jose, California in the United States. This location is in the Pacific Time zone.

eBay Toolbar

A free eBay tool that you add to your Web browser that enables you access to your favorite eBay and Yahoo! features. eBay Toolbar Featuring Yahoo! includes Account Guard and My eBay buttons as well as easy access to, eBay Express, eBay Motors and more. Yahoo! features include Web search and one-click access to Yahoo! Mail and My Yahoo!. eBay Alerts track items you're bidding on or watching and notify you when you've been outbid or when an item is ending. Because eBay Toolbar is added to your browser, it's easy to search for an item on eBay, even when you're on a non-eBay site.


A procedure in which a third party holds a buyer's payment in trust until the buyer receives and approves the item from the seller. Escrow gives buyers and sellers extra peace of mind when they exchange payments and items. Escrow is recommended for purchases of $500 or more. eBay recommends that buyers and sellers use as the escrow company. If a seller suggests a different company, please use caution. Buyers should independently check on any escrow company by ensuring it is bonded and licensed.


A system that eBay members use to rate their buying or selling experience with another eBay member. After a listing is completed, the buyer and seller can leave a rating (positive, neutral, or negative) and a comment about each other. These become a permanent part of a Feedback Profile and can be viewed by the rest of the eBay Community. To see a member's full Feedback Profile, click the number in parentheses next to their User ID. The Feedback system helps members build a reputation on eBay and helps check the reputation of other members of the community.

Feedback Profile

A page showing all of a member's Feedback information, including ratings and comments from others who have bought or sold with that person before. To see a member's Feedback Profile, click the Feedback Score in parentheses next to their User ID.

Feedback Score

A number used to measure a member's reputation on eBay. Members receive points for ratings as follows: +1 (positive), 0 (neutral), or -1 (negative). The Feedback Score is the sum of all the ratings a member has received from unique users. A high Feedback Score means that the member has received a high number of positive ratings from other members. A high Feedback Score is usually a good sign, but buyers and sellers should also check the Feedback Profile to read comments from other members. Every member of eBay has a Feedback Score. You'll find it in parentheses next to their User ID. Click the Feedback Score to see that member's entire Feedback Profile.

Feedback Star

The color of the star Indicates that an eBay member has achieved a certain Feedback Score. For example, a yellow star means a member has achieved 10 � 49 Feedback points. In most cases, a high Feedback Score is a good sign, but buyers and sellers should also check the Feedback Profile to read comments from other members.

Final Value Fee

A fee eBay charges to a seller when a listing ends. This fee is based on the "final value" of the item, which is the closing bid or sale price. The Final Value Fee is not charged if there are no bids on an item or the high bid did not meet the reserve price the seller set.

Fixed Price

A Format selling format that lets sellers list an item for an unchanging, set price, with no auction-style bidding. This is a common alternative to using Online Auction format, where people bid for an item. Sellers must have a minimum feedback score of 10 or be ID Verified to use Fixed Price format.

Gift Services 

A listing option that lets sellers promote the item they're selling as something that would make a great gift. When sellers use this feature, a gift box icon appears next to the listing on search and browse result lists. Sellers can also promote gift-related services, such as gift wrapping and shipping to the gift recipient.


A group of eBay members who share common interests. As a group member, you can participate in discussions, newsletters, polls, calendars and photo albums. Also, you can create and grow your own community.

Guest Buying

A guest buyer can pay for up to two items with a credit card before being required to register on eBay.


eBay or eBay members write and share their expertise on a topic or category. Readers can research and learn about all kinds of information. Anyone can research or write a guide.

Help Boards

eBay members and staff moderators answer questions and solve problems together. Anyone can ask a question, add a topic for discussion, or browse for an answer.

ID Verified

The icon_-_idverify.png  icon indicates that the identity of a seller has been confirmed, giving buyers an extra measure of security. To ID Verify a seller, a third-party company works with eBay to cross-check the seller's contact information across consumer and business databases.

Insertion Fee

The fee eBay charges to a seller for listing an item. This fee varies by the type of listing and is non-refundable.


A buyer or seller who has created a profile with eBay. A member has a User ID and password for accessing features, such as My eBay. As a member, you can track items you are buying or selling, review or leave feedback, or update and change your personal information and notifications.

Multiple Item Auction (Dutch Auction)

A listing in which a seller offers multiple identical items for sale. Unlike a regular listing, Multiple Item Auctions can have many winners. Buyers can specify the number of items they're interested in and the price they're willing pay. Winning bids are determined by their overall value (bid price times the number of items bid on).

My eBay

A central place on eBay where you can manage all of your activities including buying, selling, feedback and general account preferences. To get to My eBay, sign in and click the My eBay link at the top of any eBay page.

New Listing Icon icon_-_listing.png

Indicates that the item has been listed within the last 24 hours. If you search or browse for the same kind of items repeatedly, this icon_-_listing.png  icon helps you spot items you may not have seen before.

New Member/User Icon icon_-_member.png

Indicates that the buyer or seller has been a registered member of eBay for 30 days or less. New members join the eBay Community everyday. Knowing that a person has recently joined can be helpful in various situations. For example, when dealing with a new member, an experienced seller will know to be more patient as the new member learns how eBay works.

Online Auction Format (Auction-Style Listing)

The basic, most common way to sell an item on eBay. This format lets sellers list an item for sale, collect bids for a fixed length of time, and sell the item to the highest bidder.


A fast, easy, secure payment method offered by most eBay sellers for purchasing items. When buyers use PayPal, payment is sent from their credit card or bank account without giving any account information directly to the seller. All the buyer need is the seller's email address. With PayPal, credit card or bank account information is kept private and safe on eBay's secure servers.

PayPal Buyer Protection

A buyer protection program that offers up to $2,000 of free coverage for buyers who pay with PayPal on qualified listings. Listings are qualified if the seller has a feedback score of 50 (98% positive) and meet other transaction-related requirements. Items that qualify for PayPal Buyer Protection are denoted under Buy Safely in the Meet the Seller section on the View Item page.


A seller on eBay who has maintained a 98% positive feedback score and provided a high level of service to buyers. When buyers see the icon next to a seller's User ID, they know they're working with an experienced eBay seller.

Pre-Approve Bidders/Buyers

Allows select sellers of high-profile listings create a list of specific eBay members who are allowed to bid on or buy an item they are listing for sale. Each pre-approved list applies to only one item, so sellers can restrict bidding or buying on one listing without changing the other listings. Members not on the pre-approved list must email the seller for approval before they can bid on or buy an item.

Private Auction Listing

A listing in which the User IDs of bidders are not displayed to others. When a private auction listing ends, the seller and high bidder are notified through email. Sellers may want to use this option when they believe that potential bidders for an item may not want their User IDs disclosed to others.

Proxy Bidding

The feature of an auction-style listing in which eBay automatically bids on the buyer's behalf, up to the maximum amount they set. Enter the maximum amount you're willing to spend on an item, and eBay will continue to bid incrementally for you until either you're the high bidder or your maximum is reached. This means you don't have to keep coming back to bid every time someone else places a bid.

Registered Member/User

A person who has registered with eBay by providing basic contact information. This contact information is kept private on eBay's secure servers. Once you register and choose a User ID and password, you can begin bidding on and buying items on eBay. Register now.


Listing an item for sale again after it did not sell the first time. If a seller relists an item and it sells the second time, eBay automatically refunds the relisting fee (some restrictions apply).

Reserve Price

The lowest price at which a seller is willing to sell an item in an auction-style listing. When sellers list an item, they can set a secret reserve price. If the highest bid does not meet the reserve price, then they're under no obligation to sell the item to the bidder. This feature lets sellers set a low starting price to stimulate bidding among buyers, yet ensures that the item will not be sold below a price they're willing to settle for. eBay charges an additional fee for setting a reserve price. For more information, see the Fees page.


eBay members write and share their experience with products. Readers can research and learn about all kinds of information. Anyone can research or write a review.

Second Chance Offer

A seller can make an offer to a non-winning bidder when either the winning bidder has failed to pay for an item or the seller has a duplicate of the item. A seller can create a Second Chance Offer immediately after a listing ends and up to 60 days after the end of the listing. eBay does not charge an Insertion Fee, but if the bidder accepts the offer, the regular Final Value Fee is charged. In the case of an Unpaid Item, the seller should ensure that everything has been done to resolve the issue with the winning bidder before sending a Second Chance Offer to another bidder. See the Unpaid Items Process for details. Make sure you're aware of other rules and restrictions surrounding Second Chance Offers.

Secure Server

A special server used for processing credit card and other sensitive information. This server uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption to keep your information private and safe.

Security and Resolution

The Center central location on the eBay site for members to report problems as well as for members to learn how to stay safe on eBay and online.

Sell Similar Item

A feature that lets sellers list new items based on the information they've previously entered for another item. When a seller chooses this option, eBay automatically transfers information from the old listing into the new one for easy editing. Sellers save time by not having to enter the same information again.


A member who sells an item on eBay. Remember eBay has rules to help ensure that transactions are safe and hassle-free for the seller and the buyer.

Seller's Return Policy

A feature in the Sell Your Item form that enables sellers to specify their product's return policy. This feature includes a set of pre-formatted policy from which the seller can choose. Once the seller chooses a Return Policy, it appears in a corresponding section of the View Item page.

Seller Search

A search for a specific seller on eBay. Enter a seller's User ID, and you'll see all the items the seller is currently listing.

Shill Bidding

Bidding that artificially increases an item's price or apparent desirability, or bidding by individuals with a level of access to the seller's item information not available to the general Community. Shill bidding is prohibited on eBay.


Placing a bid in the closing minutes or seconds of an auction-style listing. Any bid, placed before the listing ends, is allowed on eBay. To protect yourself from being outbid at the last moment, enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for an item up front, and eBay will bid automatically for you, making sure you're the high bidder until your maximum is reached. This system is sometimes called proxy bidding.

Starting Price

The price at which a seller wants bidding for an item to begin in an auction-style listing. The starting price may not necessarily be the lowest price they're willing to sell their item for. Sellers can also set a secret reserve price that represents the true minimum. If the high bid does not meet the reserve price, then the seller is under no obligation to sell the item to the bidder. This feature enables sellers to set a lower starting price to stimulate bidding among buyers.

Store Inventory Format

A selling format that eBay Store sellers can use to list items in their Store for a fixed price. Store Inventory items do not appear in regular browse and search item lists on eBay. However, they have a lower Insertion Fee and longer listing durations. Sellers can draw buyers to their Store and Store Inventory items by promoting them in auction-style listings and outside of eBay. This format is available only if the seller has an eBay Store.

Title Search

A method of finding items on eBay by entering keywords that match the title of the items. You enter keywords that you think will appear in the title of the item you're looking for. The Search function will return with a list of items that match your keywords.

Unpaid Item Process

The dispute resolution process used by sellers when they have not been paid for their item. Sellers who are not satisfied with the resolution can file for a Final Value Fee credit from eBay.

User Agreement

The terms under which eBay offers registered members access to eBay services. All registered members must agree to these terms before they can bid on or list items, or use any other eBay service.

User ID

The unique name you use to identify yourself on eBay. You choose a User ID when you register on eBay. As you buy and sell on eBay, your User ID may become an important part of your reputation on eBay. You'll want other members to associate your User ID with a reliable, positive buying or selling experience.

Want It Now

eBay's place where buyers can tell sellers exactly what they want. Buyers post a message to Want It Now with a description of what they'd like to buy. Sellers can review these posts and respond to buyers with items they are selling on eBay.



See Also




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