Listed near the top of every item listing, three different prices tell you just how much it may cost you to buy an eBay item. Depending on the type of the listing you're viewing, you'll see one or all of them:
- Current bid price. This price is similar to the current bid price at a "real" auction—if the current high bidder were to win, this is what he or she would pay. Conversely, if you want to try to win, you must bid a higher amount.
- Buy it now price. Not all auction listings display a "Buy it now" price. When you see the words "Buy it Now" listed next to a price, you can buy the item immediately for the listed price, without having to outbid other eBay members first.
- "Reserve not met." When you see this phrase after the current bid price, it means that the seller has selected a secret minimum price, called a "reserve," that has not yet been exceeded by bidding. If bidding does not carry the item's price above the reserve price, the seller can opt not to sell the item to anyone.
- "Reserve met." When you see "reserve met," it means that the seller set a secret minimum that has already been exceeded by bidding amongst would-be buyers.
Understanding Bid Prices
If the current bid price is more than you are willing to pay for the item, no need to look further. Return to your search or browse results to look for other items, since the item is already priced beyond your range. Unless you change your mind and are willing to bid a higher price for the item than is shown, there is no way for you to buy it any longer.
More Bid Pricing Tips
Many eBay shoppers prefer to buy items listed with the "Buy it now" option, because it means that the transaction can be completed and payment sent immediately, instead of having to wait until the auction's close to see if someone else places a higher bid. Some shoppers also dislike bidding on auctions with reserve prices, since there is no guarantee when a bid is placed that the item will eventually be sold at all.
Next, read about the remaining time and current high bidder, or learn more about all of the elements of eBay item listings!