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.

For items listed in Property and eBay Motors classified listings, bids are considered non-binding. When you bid on an item in these categories, you're expressing a strong interest in buying the seller's item, but no formal purchase contract is created if you're the winning bidder. For more details on non-binding bids, please see our full policy guidelines below.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why are bids in these categories non-binding?

Properties and vehicles are usually high-priced items, and their sale is often both complex and subject to a variety of laws. As such, it will often be necessary for potential buyers and sellers to exchange additional information before completing a transaction.

Read our full policy

Non-binding bid 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.

Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of other actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

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.

Visit Seller Help - opens in new window or tab to find details of any policy issues with your account or listings, and get the information you need to quickly resolve them.

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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