Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > eBay/Yahoo/Google

This chapter is from the book

What to Do After You’ve Bid

Let’s forget about all those special types of auctions and fixed-priced items for a minute, and get back to the normal auction process. Let’s assume that you’ve found an item you want and you’ve placed a bid. What happens next?

The answer to this question is a four-letter word: wait. And, as Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part.

That’s certainly true with online auctions.

Immediately after you place a high bid, eBay automatically sends you an email notifying you of your bid status. You’ll also receive an email once a day from eBay, notifying you of your status in any and all auctions in which you’re the highest bidder. In addition, if you get outbid on an item, eBay sends you an immediate email informing you of such.

Otherwise, feel free to check in on all of your auctions in progress, just to see how things are proceeding. Remember that a watched kettle never boils—and constantly tracking your auctions doesn’t make the time go any faster, either.

Keeping Track of Your Bids

The easiest way to keep track of your bids is with the All Buying view on your My eBay page. Just click the My eBay link in the eBay Navigation Bar to view all the items on which you’re currently bidding. (Learn more about My eBay in Chapter 25, "Creating a Home Base with My eBay.")

Increasing Your Bid Amount

As you get further along in a particular auction, you might suddenly realize that your maximum bid isn’t going to hold, and you want to ensure a large enough bid to win a long, hard-fought auction. How can you increase your bid—even though you’re currently the high bidder?

It’s really easy. Just return to the item listing page and place a new bid, making sure that your new maximum bid is higher than your old maximum bid. (You can’t decrease your maximum bid!) When you enter this new bid, it replaces your previous bid.

Pretty easy, isn’t it?

Oh, No! You’ve Been Outbid!

It happens. Your auction is progressing, and then you get that dreaded email from eBay informing you that you’ve been outbid.

What do you do?

First, you have to decide whether you want to continue to play in this auction. If you decided up front that an item was only worth, let’s say, $10, and the bidding has progressed to $15, you might want to let this one go.

On the other hand, if you hedged your bets with the earlier bid, you might want to jump back into the fray with a new bid. If so, return to the item’s listing page and make a new bid. Maybe your new bid will be higher than the current high bidder’s maximum bid.

Or maybe not. You don’t know until you try!

Retracting a Bad Bid

Everybody makes mistakes. What happens if you place a bid in an auction that you shouldn’t have placed?

Fortunately—but reluctantly—eBay lets you retract bids under certain circumstances.

When does eBay allow you to retract your bid? Well, if the seller has substantially changed the description of the item after you bid, you’re free to change your mind, too. You can also retract your bid if you made a "clear error" in the amount of your bid. What’s a "clear error?" Well, bidding $100 when you meant to bid $10 is clearly an error; other circumstances are left up to your judgment.

The thing is, you can always retract a bid (because you can always claim a "clear error"), but you won’t win any friends doing so. In fact, if you retract too many bids, eBay will come after you and possibly kick you off the site. So retract a bid if you have to, but don’t make a habit of it.

How do you retract a bid? It’s actually fairly easy; just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Services link above the Navigation Bar.

  2. When the Services page appears, scroll down to the Bidding and Buying Services section and click the Retract Your Bid link.

  3. When the Bid Retractions page appears, enter the item number of the auction and then choose an explanation for your retraction from the pull-down list.

  4. Click the Retract Bid button; your bid is now deleted from the auction in process.

Bidding in the Final Moments

It’s during the last hour of most auctions that the bidding really heats up. If you wait for an email to inform you when you’ve been outbid during an auction’s final minutes, you might not have enough time to log on to eBay and make a new bid. For that reason, many bidders will log on to eBay (and on to the individual auction about to end) and manually monitor the auction’s closing minutes. Just remember to hit the Refresh or Reload button on your browser frequently, to keep the item listing page up-to-date with the latest bids!

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020