Sometimes you'll be outbid as soon as you enter your bid, even though the bid you entered was higher than the current bid shown on the item listing. When this happens, you will usually be notified immediately and you’ll be given a chance to bid again.
This happens because another buyer had a higher maximum bid than yours. Your bid prompted eBay's automatic bidding system to raise the other buyer's bid above yours. The other bidder may have placed their bid hours or days before. If you and another bidder had the same maximum bid, the earlier bid would win.
Placing a high bid in the closing seconds of an auction-style listing is called 'sniping' within the eBay community. Sniping is part of the eBay experience and all bids placed before a listing ends are valid - even if they're placed one second before the listing ends.
To help avoid disappointment, ensure that the maximum bid you enter on the item page is the highest price that you're willing to pay. The eBay bidding system automatically increases your bid up to the maximum price you specify, so entering a higher maximum may help prevent you from being outbid in the closing seconds of a listing.
If you’re outbid on a listing, you’ll receive the following emails:
When another buyer's bid exceeds your maximum price, you’ll receive an email letting you know that you have been outbid. You can use the link in this email to return to the item page and increase your bid.
When a listing ends, an email is automatically sent to losing bidders, informing them that they didn't win the item. It also highlights items that are similar to the one they lost.
If you do not want to receive these emails, you can change your communication preferences.