Reserve the Right to Not Sell If the Price Isn’t High Enough in eBay
Okay, this post gets a little complicated, so pay attention. In regular eBay
auctions, you specify a starting bid price, and as long as one user
makes a bid at that level or above, you’re obligated to sell the item for the highest
bid price. So if you start an item at $1 and it gets a single $1 bid, you have to
sell the item for $1—even if you think the item is worth a lot more.
If you like the idea of a low starting bid price (to get the bidding started), but
don’t want to sell the item unless it reaches a higher price, you want to engage
in what is called a reserve price auction. In a reserve price auction, you have to
determine two prices:
1.The starting bid price, and
2.The higher reserve price.
The auction isn’t successful unless the bids have met or exceeded your reserve
Let’s take an example. Say that you start an auction with a $1 starting bid price,
but specify a $10 reserve price—which is hidden from bidders. The bidding
starts (at $1), and continues until the auction ends, at which point the highest
bid is $8. Since the $8 high bid is lower than the $10 reserve price, the auction
ends with no winner. If, on the other hand, this fictional auction ends with a
high bid of $11, that bidder wins the auction.
So if you think your item has a certain value, but don’t want to start the bidding
that high, then choose the Reserve Price option on the Sell Your Item page.
Remember to enter a reserve price higher than your starting bid price and then
see how it plays out.