A reserve price is the lowest price at which you’re willing to sell your item. If you don’t want to sell your item below a certain price, you can a set a reserve price. The amount of your reserve price isn’t shown to your bidders, but they will see that your auction-style listing has a reserve price that has not been met. If a bidder doesn’t meet that price, you aren’t obliged to sell your item. Once the reserve price has been met, the reserve price text is no longer displayed.
Why have a reserve price?
Many sellers have found that too high a starting price discourages interest in their item, while an attractively low starting price makes them vulnerable to selling at a price that's too low. A reserve price helps with this.
Note: The reserve price option is only available for auction-style listings; it’s not available for fixed price or Classified Ad listings.
All auction-style listings with a reserve price are subject to a reserve price fee.
You may lower or remove your reserve price after you receive bids on the item.
How it works
Imagine that you want to sell an item for at least $100, but you’re worried that a starting bid price of $100 will discourage potential bidders from bidding. If you use a reserve price, you can list the item for sale with a starting price of $.99, $5, $10, or any amount below the amount of your reserve price. You can then enter a reserve amount of $100. Bidding will start at the lower price, but you won’t be obliged to sell the item unless the bidding reaches at least $100—your reserve price.
Until the bidding reaches your reserve price, the listing will display Reserve not met under the current bid. The seller isn't obliged to sell to the highest bidder until the reserve is met.
Important: eBay will never reveal your reserve price to potential bidders. But sellers often receive inquiries from bidders about the reserve price. This is allowed on eBay. Likewise, revealing your reserve to a bidder is allowed, but not required. If you don’t want to reveal your reserve price, you can politely let the bidder know that they can bid what they like and if the bidding meets the reserve price the item will be sold.
Creating a listing with a reserve price
When you list an item using the Sell Your Item form and select the online auction format, you’ll see a box where you can enter your reserve price in the Choose how you'd like to sell your item section.
Note: If you don’t want to use a reserve price, leave the field blank.
If you don’t see the reserve price option on the form, follow these steps:
Click the Add or remove options link next to Choose how you'd like to sell your item.
In the window that appears, select Reserve price, and then click the Save button.
On the Sell Your Item form, under the starting price, click the Change link next to No Reserve price set for this item.
Enter the reserve price in the window that appears, and then click the Save button.