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Shopping options

We offer several options so you can have an enjoyable and convenient shopping experience.

Start by comparing buying formats and then learn more about each one.

If you're new to buying, you might also want to check out our Buying basics.

Comparing buying formats
Method Benefits and Considerations

Auction-style format

You bid up from the seller's starting price along with other buyers to get the best deal. You can watch the item to see how the bidding is going.

When the listing ends, the highest bidder wins the item and completes the purchase. 


  • Bidding can be lots of fun.

  • You can find some great deals.

  • You can use the eBay Feedback and, if needed, eBay Money Back Guarantee.


  • You need to wait until the auction ends to buy the item.

  • You might be outbid.

Buy it now

You can buy the item immediately at a fixed price. This is can also be an option in auction-style listings.

If a seller offers this option, you’ll see the Buy it now icon next to the listing and in search results.

For some items, free Click & Collect may be available for collection at your local shop.


  • You can buy the item right away.

  • You don't compete with anyone else for the item. Once you buy it, it's yours!

  • You can use the eBay Feedback and, if needed, eBay Money Back Guarantee.


  • If you want the item, you have to act fast. Buy it now items are only available for a limited time on auction-style listings.

eBay Shopping basket

The eBay shopping basket is an easy way to keep track of multiple fixed price items you want to purchase. Any time you see a Buy it now item you want to buy, you can add it to your basket.

Click the Add to basket button and the item will be added to your eBay shopping basket.

Buy it now items can be purchased straight away, and paid for in one transaction as long as all the sellers accept PayPal.


  • Helps you keep track of all the items you're interested in buying.

  • Allows you to pay for all your fixed price purchases and won auction-style listings in a single transaction.


  • Remember that an item in your eBay shopping basket remains available on eBay until you check out and pay for the item.

Classified Ad

Classified Ads connect buyers and sellers, who then complete the sale outside of eBay. You'll see 'Classified Ad' in the item listing and search results.



  • You can find items or services that don't fit into standard categories.

  • You can deal personally with the seller.


  • Classified Ad sales aren't backed by eBay services and protection, including Feedback and eBay Money Back Guarantee.

  • Classified Ads are offered only for certain items.

Auction-style format

In an auction-style listing, sellers choose a starting price and sell to the highest bidder.

To bid auction-style:
  1. Search or browse to find an item you'd like to buy.

  2. Review the entire listing and decide if you want to place a bid. Some things to note are:

    • When it ends (always in your local time)

    • How many bids have already been placed on the item

    • Amount of the current high bid

    • The description (and possibly picture) of the item

    • Payment methods and postage costs

    • The seller's return policy

  3. Enter your bid.

If you'd like to try automatic bidding, we automatically raise your bid only as much as needed for you to remain the high bidder. You can win an item for less than your maximum bid, but you can also be outbid if someone else enters a higher maximum bid.

Learn more about how bidding works.

Buy it now 

Buy it now is the simplest way to buy on eBay. It lets you buy an item when you want it, at a known price.

To shop using Buy it now:
  1. Look for items with a Buy it now price. The Buy it now icon appears next to items on category browse pages or in your search results.

  2. If you're only looking for Buy it now items, click the Buy it now tab on search results or browse pages.

  3. Compare similar items to figure out what would be a good price and what you're willing to pay.

  4. Look at the item description and make sure you're happy with the item and the seller's terms.

  5. Check the Buy it now price of the item. This is the price you'll pay for the item. Also check the payment options, P&P cost and any other additional costs that may be listed in the item description to know the total cost for the item.

  6. To purchase the item, click the Buy it now button in the listing.

Buy it now variations Description

Items that only have a Buy it now price

You can use Buy it now to purchase the item right away.

Items that have a bid price and a Buy it now price

You can place a bid and compete in the auction or use Buy it now to purchase the item immediately, before bidding starts.

Items that include a Best Offer option

If a seller offers this option, you can suggest a price that you're willing to pay for the item. Learn more about making a Best Offer.

eBay Shopping basket

To add an item from a fixed price listing to your eBay shopping basket, click the Add to basket button in the listing.

You can add items from the same or different sellers to your eBay shopping basket, and check out and pay for all the items in your basket at once. Each item will show up as a separate purchase with its own item number and the seller's user ID associated with it, exactly as it always has in My eBay. If you add multiple items from the same seller, the seller's items are grouped together in your basket.

Find out more about using the eBay shopping basket

Classified Ads

When you see a Classified Ad listing (in the Property; Cars, Motorcycles & Vehicles; Vehicle Parts & Accessories; Accommodation; and Business, Office and Industrial categories), it means that you deal directly with the seller and buy the item at a fixed price. Because your Classified Ad purchase is outside eBay, you won't be able to use eBay Feedback or eBay Money Back Guarantee.

To find Classified Ads:
  1. Click the Advanced link at the top of the eBay home page.

  2. Enter information for the item you're looking for.

  3. In the Buying formats section, tick the Classified Ads box.

  4. Click Search.

The small print

In all types of listings, including Classified Ads, sellers must treat the buyer's contact information according to the eBay Privacy Policy. This policy prohibits sharing the buyer's information with third parties as well as using the buyer's information for any purpose other than communicating with the buyer about the item, unless the buyer gives express permission to do so.

Contact Customer Support

If you have an additional question about this subject, please email us at Customer Support.
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