2 min article

Non-binding bid policy

In most product categories on eBay, when you place a bid in an auction it's considered binding – when you win an auction, you're agreeing to complete the purchase. However, there are some categories where bids don't create a formal contract between the buyer and seller.

Policy overview

Certain eBay listings involve non-binding bids, such as items listed in Property and eBay Motors classified listings.

A non-binding bid isn't a formal contract between the buyer and the seller, but it does represent a buyer's serious interest in buying the item. Insincere bidding isn't allowed on eBay.

Activity on eBay is required to follow this policy, the eBay User Agreement and all applicable laws, as well as respect the rights of third parties. If it doesn’t, eBay may take action consistent with applicable laws and the eBay User Agreement, and may even be legally required to do so. Such actions may include, as an example only: Removing the listing or other content, issuing a warning, restricting activity or account suspension.

Some examples

Example of a non-binding bid:

Mary is selling her house and has received several bids on the property. The listing closes with a winning bidder and Mary is ready to close the sale. Unfortunately, the winning bidder decides not to complete the sale. Upset by this, she tries to request a final value fee credit through the unpaid item process. Mary, the seller, is breaching the non-binding bid policy because bids on real estate are not contracts.

Example of a binding bid:

Steve is bidding on a new rug for his living room and he wins the auction. Later he finds out that the rug isn't big enough to cover his floor and he wants to back out of the sale, claiming the bid was non-binding. Steve, the buyer, is breaching the unpaid item policy because the rug he bid on isn't in a category that's covered under the non-binding bid policy.

Why does eBay have this policy?

In most cases, a bid on eBay is a legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller. Due to the complexities of property transactions, bids in this category are non-binding.

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