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eBay glossary

Wondering what a particular eBay term or icon means? Find out here. For the definition of an abbreviation you've seen in item listings or community discussion boards, see eBay acronyms.

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H-K, L-M, N-O, P-Q, R, S, T, U-Z

A

Administrative cancellation
The cancellation of a bid by eBay due to administrative reasons, such as when a bidder becomes unregistered.

Announcement boards
Pages where eBay posts current news and information. You'll find general announcements about new features and promotions, policy changes, special event information, and notices about system issues.

Answer Center
Community forum where you can ask questions and get help from other members.

Auction-style listing (online auction format)
The most common way to sell an item on eBay. This format lets sellers list an item for sale, collect bids for a fixed length of time, and sell the item to the highest bidder. Learn more about our different buying options.

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B

Best Match
Best Match helps buyers organize search results so they can find exactly what they're looking for. It uses historical buyer behavior and buyer ratings to evaluate listings and sellers on a number of factors, including how well the listing matches what the buyer is looking for, how popular the item is with buyers, and the seller's customer satisfaction rating. For more info, see improving your search standing.

Best Offer
A listing feature that lets a buyer make an offer to a seller. Sellers can use the Best Offer feature in fixed price listings. See selling with Best Offer for more info.

Bid cancellation
The cancellation of a bid by a seller during an auction-style listing. Once a bid is canceled, it can't be reinstated by the seller. However, the bidder can bid again. Sellers can use the block bidders or buyers feature to prevent a particular user from bidding on a listing. In general, sellers shouldn't cancel bids. However, in exceptional situations, such as being unable to verify the identity of the bidder after a reasonable effort to make contact, they might decide it's necessary.

Bid increment
The amount by which a bid must be raised in order for it to be accepted in an auction-style listing. The bid increment is automatically determined based on the current high bid. For example, if the current bid for an item is $5.00 and the bid increment is $0.50, the next bid must be at least $5.50.

Bid retraction
The cancellation of a bid by a buyer during an auction-style listing. In general, a buyer cannot retract a bid once it is placed during an auction-style listing, so please bid carefully. A retraction may be allowed under special circumstances. For example, if buyers accidentally enter the wrong bid amount (entering $99.50 rather than $9.95), they may retract it and enter the right bid amount as long as they do so immediately. Make sure you're aware of other rules and restrictions surrounding the retraction of bids. For more information, see retracting or canceling your bid.

Bidder
A member who bids on an item on eBay. Each bid enters you into a binding contract with the exception of bids in the Real Estate category and bids for vehicles on eBay Motors. For more information, see rules for buyers.

Block bidders or buyers
A list created by you of specific eBay members who are not allowed to bid on or buy items you list for sale. Users on the list will be blocked until you take them off the list. You may want to do this if you've had a negative experience with a buyer in the past. Go to your blocked bidder or buyer list.

Buyer
A member who buys an item from a seller on eBay. Remember each bid a buyer places enters them into a binding contract. For more information, see rules for buyers.

Buy It Now
A listing feature that lets a buyer purchase an item immediately for a price the seller has set. Sellers can use the Buy It Now feature in auction-style and fixed price formats.

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C

Case
The second step a buyer or seller takes to resolve a transaction issue. When a buyer initially asks to return an item or reports they didn't receive the item, we call the transaction issue at that point a 'request'. If the buyer and seller can't resolve the problem, and the buyer or seller asks us to step in and help with the transaction, the request then becomes a 'case.'

Category listings
The set of categories by which items are organized, such as Antiques, Books, Computers, Tablets & Networking, Sporting Goods, and so on. Anyone can browse the categories and look at lists of items until they find something they're interested in. Sellers can choose which category best fits an item to ensure maximum exposure for the listing. Browse our category listings.

Changed user ID icon
Indicates that the member has chosen a new user ID within the past 30 days. A member who has changed user IDs keeps the same Feedback Profile. Changing user IDs is not recommended because a user ID plays an important role in your reputation. However, members might change their user IDs for various reasons, such as updating it to reflect a new line of business.

Classified Ads 
A type of listing sellers can use to list items, services, or properties for sale to generate multiple leads. Interested buyers fill out a contact form, and their information is sent to the seller. For more information on buying formats, see different buying options.

Completed listings (search)
A search for items that have sold within the last 90 days and for items that didn't sell within the last 30 days. (Completed Motors listings are available for listings that have ended within the last 15 days.) This can be useful to help sellers determine how to sell an item. For example, a seller can view completed listings to decide what starting price to use in an auction-style listing.

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D

Detailed seller ratings
Detailed seller ratings (DSRs) provide a more complete picture of the member's performance as a seller. When buyers leave an overall Feedback rating for a seller, they can also leave detailed seller ratings in four areas: accuracy of item description, communication, shipping time, and shipping cost. The rating system is based on a one- to five-star scale. Five stars is the highest rating, and one star is the lowest rating. Detailed seller ratings do not count toward the overall Feedback score.

Defect rate
The defect rate is the percentage of your transactions that have one or more of the following transaction-related defects:

  • Detailed seller rating of 1, 2 or 3 for item as described

  • Detailed seller rating of 1 for shipping time

  • Negative or neutral feedback

  • A return initiated for a reason that indicates the item was not as described

  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection case opened for an item not received or an item not as described

  • Seller-initiated transaction cancellation

Learn more about transaction defect rates and our seller performance standards.

Discussion boards
Pages where members can post messages to the eBay Community about various topics. Anyone can ask questions, learn valuable tips, share experiences, and connect with other eBay users.

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E

eBay Community
A group of buyers and sellers who are the members of the eBay community. Members can see announcements and calendar events, as well as use discussion boards, groups, and find quick help from other members. Go to the eBay Community.

eBay Groups
A group of buyers and sellers who share a common interest. You can create your own community or participate in discussions, newsletters, polls, and calendars of an existing group. For more information on group guidelines, see the eBay Groups guidelines.

eBay Money Back Guarantee
A buyer protection program where we work with sellers to ensure that buyers either get the item they paid for or get a refund. Learn more about the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

eBay Shop
A website offering officially licensed quality merchandise with the eBay logo—from apparel to office accessories to cool collectibles. Go to the eBay Shop.

eBay Stores eBay Stores icon
Pages on eBay that feature all the items offered by an individual store seller. Buyers can shop at eBay Stores to find unique items they can buy right away. Sellers can use eBay Stores to maximize their business through customizable displays, categories, promotions, and access to an additional listing format. Go to eBay Stores.

eBay time
The official time of day at eBay headquarters in San Jose, California in the United States. This location is in the Pacific Time zone. See the current eBay time.

Escrow
A procedure in which a third party holds a buyer's payment in trust until the buyer receives and approves the item from the seller. Escrow gives buyers and sellers extra peace of mind when they exchange payments and items. Escrow is recommended for purchases of $500 or more.

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F

Feedback  
For each transaction, buyers and sellers can choose to rate each other by leaving Feedback. Feedback from buyers can consist of a positive, negative or neutral rating, and a short comment. Feedback from sellers can consist of a positive rating and a short comment. These ratings are used to determine Feedback scores. See what is Feedback.

Feedback Profile
A page showing all of a member's Feedback information, including ratings and comments from others who have bought or sold with that person. To see a member's Feedback Profile, click the Feedback score in parentheses next to their user ID.

Feedback score 
A number used to measure a member's reputation on eBay. In most cases, members receive points for ratings as follows: +1 (positive), 0 (neutral), or -1 (negative). Find out more about how Feedback works. A high Feedback score means that the member has received a high number of positive ratings from other members. A high Feedback score is usually a good sign, but buyers and sellers should also check the Feedback Profile to read comments from other members. Every member of eBay has a Feedback score. You'll find it in parentheses next to their user ID. Click the Feedback score to see that member's entire Feedback Profile. See what is Feedback.

Feedback star
The color of the star Indicates that an eBay member has achieved a certain Feedback score. For example, a yellow star means a member has achieved 10 – 49 Feedback points. In most cases, a high Feedback score is a good sign, but buyers and sellers should also check the Feedback Profile to read comments from other members. For more information, see Feedback scores, stars, and your reputation.

Final value fee
A fee eBay charges to a seller when an item sells. The final value fee is based on the item's total cost to the buyer. The item's total cost to the buyer includes item price and shipping cost plus any other costs to the buyer (less any sales tax). No final value fee is charged if an item doesn't sell, if there are no bids on an item, or if the high bid doesn't meet the reserve price the seller set. See fees for selling on eBay to learn more about how the final value fee is determined for different types of listings.

Fixed price
A selling format that lets sellers list an item for an unchanging, set price, with no auction-style bidding. This is a common alternative to using auction-style format, in which people bid for an item. For more information on buying formats, see different buying options. Sellers must have a minimum Feedback score of 0 to use the fixed price format.

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G

Groups
A group of eBay members who share common interests. As a group member, you can participate in discussions, newsletters, polls, calendars, and photo albums. Also, you can create and grow your own community. Go to eBay Groups.

Guest Buying

A guest buyer can purchase most items without being required to register on eBay. For more information on guest buying, see buying as a Guest.

Guides
eBay or eBay members write and share their expertise on a topic or category. Readers can research and learn about all kinds of information. Anyone can research or write a guide. For more information, see Reviews & Guides.

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H - K

Insertion fee
The fee eBay charges to a seller for listing an item. This fee varies by the type of listing and is non-refundable. See the fees for selling on eBay page to learn more about how the insertion fee is determined in different types of listings.

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L - M

Member
A buyer or seller who has created a profile with eBay. A member has a user ID and password for accessing features, such as My eBay. As a member, you can track items you are buying or selling, review or leave Feedback, or update and change your personal information and notifications.

Multiple item listing
A listing in which a seller offers multiple identical items for sale. Unlike a regular listing, when you sell multiple items can have many winners. Buyers can specify the number of items they're interested in and the price they're willing pay. Buyers can specify the number of items they're interested in and the price they're willing pay. Winning bids are determined by their overall value (bid price times the number of items bid on).

Motors Local Market listing
Classified ad–style listing where subscribed dealerships can list within 200 miles of their vehicle.

Motors National listing
Auction-style, Buy It Now, or Best Offer vehicle listing for selling anywhere within the United States.

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N - O

New member/user icon  New member icon
Indicates that the buyer or seller has been a registered member of eBay for 30 days or less. New members join the eBay Community everyday. Knowing that a person has recently joined can be helpful in various situations. For example, when dealing with a new member, an experienced seller will know to be more patient as the new member learns how eBay works.

Online auction format (auction-style listing)
The basic, most common way to sell an item on eBay. This format lets sellers list an item for sale, collect bids for a fixed length of time, and sell the item to the highest bidder. For more information on buying formats, see different buying options.

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P - Q

PayPal PayPal icon
A fast, easy, secure payment method offered by most eBay sellers for purchasing items. When buyers use PayPal, payment is sent from their credit card or bank account without giving any account information directly to the seller. With PayPal, credit card or bank account information is kept private and safe. Sign up for PayPal.

PayPal Purchase Protection
A buyer protection program that offers coverage up to the full purchase price and original shipping charges for buyers who pay with PayPal on qualified listings. Learn more about PayPal Purchase Protection.

PowerSeller
A seller on eBay who has maintained a 98% positive Feedback score and provided a high level of service to buyers. When buyers see the PowerSeller icon next to a seller's user ID, they know they're working with an experienced eBay seller.

Pre-approve bidders/buyers
Allows select sellers of high-profile listings to create a list of specific eBay members who may bid on or buy an item they are listing for sale. Each pre-approved list applies only to one item, so sellers can restrict bidding or buying on one listing without changing their other listings. Members not on the pre-approved list need to email the seller for approval before they can bid on or buy an item as a pre-approved bidder.

User Privacy Notice
eBay's policy on how we use and protect your personal information. For more information, see our User Privacy Notice.

Private auction listing
A listing in which the bidders' user IDs are not shown to others. When a private auction listing ends, the seller and high bidder are notified through email. Sellers may want to use this option when they believe that potential bidders for an item may not want their user IDs disclosed to others.

ProPay
Secure payment method with which individuals and small businesses can process credit cards. Payment is transferred directly into the seller's ProPay account.

Proxy bidding
The feature of an auction-style listing in which eBay automatically bids on the buyer's behalf, up to the maximum amount they set. Enter the maximum amount you're willing to spend on an item, and eBay will continue to bid incrementally for you until either you're the high bidder or your maximum is reached. This means you don't have to keep coming back to bid every time someone else places a bid.

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R

Registered member/user
A person who has registered with eBay by providing basic contact information. This contact information is kept private on our secure servers. Once you register and choose a user ID and password, you can begin bidding on and buying items on eBay. Register now.

Relisting
Listing an item for sale again after it did not sell the first time. If a seller relists an item and it sells the second time, we automatically refund the relisting fee (some restrictions apply).

Request
The first step a buyer takes to resolve a transaction issue. A buyer opens a request to return an item, or a request to report that an item wasn't received.

Reserve price
The lowest price at which a seller is willing to sell an item in an auction-style listing. When sellers list an item, they can set a secret reserve price. If the highest bid does not meet the reserve price, then they're under no obligation to sell the item to the bidder. This feature lets sellers set a low starting price to stimulate bidding among buyers, yet ensures that the item will not be sold below a price they're willing to settle for. eBay charges an additional fee for setting a reserve price. For more information, see the fees for selling on eBay page.

Resolution Centre
The Resolution Centre helps sellers resolve problems related to unpaid items. Accessible from My eBay, the Resolution Centre is used when a buyer doesn't receive payment for an iten. Learn more about what to do if a buyer doesn't pay.

Return policy
Sellers can specify their return policy from a list of pre-formatted return policies when they list their item. Once the seller chooses a return policy, it appears in the Return policy section of the listing.

Reviews
eBay members write and share their experience with products. Readers can research and learn about all kinds of information. Anyone can research or write a review. For more information, see Reviews & Guides.

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S

Second Chance Offer
A seller can make an offer to a non-winning bidder when either the winning bidder has failed to pay for an item or the seller has a duplicate of the item. A seller can create a Second Chance Offer immediately after a listing ends and up to 60 days after the end of the listing. We don't charge an insertion fee, but if the bidder accepts the offer, the regular final value fee is charged. If you're making a Second Chance Offer because you didn't receive payment from the winning bidder, first try to resolve the problem with the winning bidder. Learn more about what to do when a buyer doesn't pay.

Secure server
A special server used for processing credit card and other sensitive information. This server uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption to keep your information private and safe.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
An industry-standard encryption protocol that is used to transmit users' personal or credit card information securely and privately over the Internet. eBay uses this technology to keep your information safe. By convention, web pages that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:. When you see https: in the address box in your web browser, you know you're using an SSL connection.

Security Centre
The Security Centre provides resources and tips that help members learn how to stay safe on eBay and online. Go to the Security Centre.

Sell similar item
A feature that lets sellers list new items based on the information they've previously entered for another item. When a seller chooses this option, eBay automatically transfers information from the old listing into the new one for easy editing. Sellers save time by not having to enter the same information again.

Seller
A member who sells an item on eBay. We have rules to help ensure that transactions are safe and hassle-free for the seller and the buyer. For more information, see rules for sellers.

Seller's return policy
Sellers can specify their return policy from a list of pre-formatted return policies when they list their item. Once the seller chooses a return policy, it appears in the Return policy section of the listing.

Seller search
A search for a specific seller on eBay. Enter a seller's user ID, and you'll see all the items the seller is currently listing. Search for a seller.

Selling Manager
An advanced eBay selling tool that lets sellers perform all of their listing and sales-related activities from one location in My eBay. With Selling Manager, sellers can perform a variety of selling activities, such as tracking listings and managing post-sales activities (Feedback, email, payments, and so on). Learn more about Selling Manager.

Selling Manager Pro
An eBay selling tool that has the features of Selling Manager, plus additional capabilities to track inventory, list items in bulk, send feedback and emails in bulk, and generate profit and loss reports. Learn more about Selling Manager Pro.

Shill bidding
Bidding by anyone—including family, friends, roommates, employees, or online connections—with the intent to increase an item's price or apparent desirability. Shill bidding is not allowed on eBay.

Sniping
Placing a bid in the closing minutes or seconds of an auction-style listing. Any bid, placed before the listing ends, is allowed on eBay. To protect yourself from being outbid at the last moment, enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for an item upfront, and eBay will bid automatically for you, making sure you're the high bidder until your maximum is reached. This system is sometimes called proxy bidding.

Starting price
The price at which a seller wants bidding for an item to begin in an auction-style listing. The starting price may not necessarily be the lowest price they're willing to sell their item for. Sellers can also set a reserve price that represents the true minimum and is not shown to bidders. If the high bid does not meet the reserve price, then the seller is under no obligation to sell the item to the bidder. This feature lets sellers set a lower starting price to stimulate bidding.

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T

Title search
A method of finding items on eBay by entering keywords that match the title of the items. You enter keywords that you think will appear in the title of the item you're looking for. The search function will return with a list of items that match your keywords. Search by title.

Top Rated Plus Top Rated Plus seal
Listings from Top Rated Sellers that offer either same business day or 1 business day handling and a 14-day or better return policy, money back.

Top Rated Seller
Sellers who have achieved the highest buyer ratings by offering excellent customer service, including fast shipping and great communication.

Turbo Lister
An advanced eBay selling tool that helps sellers create multiple listings quickly and easily on their computer. Turbo Lister is a desktop application. You use it on your computer to create your listings, and then upload the listings to eBay. Turbo Lister's features helps sellers save time if they list many items. Download Turbo Lister.

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U - Z

Unpaid item process
The process used by sellers when they haven't received payment for an item. The seller opens a case for the unpaid item in the Resolution Center and the buyer is given an opportunity to respond. If the buyer doesn't respond to the case or the seller isn't satisfied with the resolution, the seller may qualify for a final value fee credit.

User Agreement
The terms under which eBay offers registered members access to eBay services. All registered members must agree to these terms before they can bid on, buy, or sell items, or use any other eBay service. Read the eBay User Agreement.

User ID
The unique name you use to identify yourself on eBay. You choose a user ID when you register on eBay. As you buy and sell on eBay, your user ID may become an important part of your reputation on eBay. You'll want other members to associate your user ID with a reliable, positive buying or selling experience.

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