What Is eBay’s Reserve Price? (Full Guide)

Are you new to the world of online selling and aren’t sure what options you should use or ignore? For example, should you use eBay’s reserve price option? Well, many people have wondered the same thing, since they aren’t too sure what it entails.

Luckily, in this article I will be explaining and talking about eBay’s reserve price option and all it involves. Therefore, continue reading to learn more information on this option for sellers and more below!

What Is eBay’s Reserve Price in [currentyear]?

A reserve price is an option you may add to your listing that shows the lowest you are willing to sell your item for in [currentyear]. This price may be shown or hidden from the buyer during the auction but will let the buyer know if their bid is too low to meet this price.

Continue reading the article below if you’d like more information on eBay’s reserve prices, along with other useful facts and tips!

What Is a Reserve Price on eBay Auctions?

A reserve price is a hidden option that contains the lowest price you are willing to sell your item for.

However, sometimes eBay may disclose this price in your item’s description, and some sellers might willingly disclose it to put buyers’ minds at ease and take away the guessing game.

Furthermore, this feature has been around since the very beginning of eBay’s existence, but is slowly being used less and less by users. However, it is still an option for some auctions.

What Happens When the Reserve Price Isn’t Met?

When a reserve price isn’t met, the seller is under no obligation to sell their item and their reserve price lifting fee will be returned.

On the other hand, if the reserve price isn’t met, the seller may decide to lower their starting price for the higher bid.

If this happens, then the buyer is under no obligation to buy the item and the seller won’t be refunded for not making a sale.

How Do I Add a Reserve Price to a New or Already Existing Listing?

How Do I Add a Reserve Price to a New or Already Existing Listing?

To create a new listing with a reserve price, select this option while creating your auction. This option can be seen either in the selling details section or in the pricing section.

However, if you already have a listing posted, but it’s not getting much action, you may add a reserve price to it, provided there are more than 12 hours left in the listing.

Follow the steps below to add a new reserve price:

  1. Find your listing in your profile or the seller hub
  2. After, select “Revise” from more actions
  3. Next, in pricing details or in the business tool, enter your reserve price
  4. Lastly, click confirm

Is Using a High Starting Price Better in eBay Auctions?

There is no direct answer to this question, as everyone is different and prefers different methods of selling their items.

However, everyone shares one thing in common, and that’s not wanting to miss out on a profit by selling your item for too low of a price.

Therefore, let’s look at the pros and cons of both these options to see which one might be the best for you.

Choosing to start your auction off with a high starting price can be good, as you will always get at least the minimum amount you want for your item.

The only problem with this method is that potential buyers may avoid your listing altogether because of the perceived high starting price, and will instead find a cheaper listing.

However, choosing to use the reserve price option helps avoid that issue from happening.

This is because when you set your reserve price, buyers aren’t able to see it.

Furthermore, if you set your reserve price to $30, but the auction to $10, potential buyers will be able to place low bids, which can generate more buyers.

Until the reserve price is met, buyers will be shown a notification that reads the reserve price of the seller hasn’t been met, and they won’t be able to buy the item but can raise their bid.

Or, the seller can bring down their reserve price and negotiate a new price with the buyer.

A last thing to consider before choosing which way you would like to go, is that every time you use the reserve price option, you will be charged $2.00, which can add up quickly.

However, if you choose to start your bids high, you won’t be charged. This is something to consider when picking a method.

To know more, you can also read our posts on eBay UPC, eBay’s Global Shipping Program, and eBay insertion fee.


eBay reserve prices are set up by the seller, and most of the time aren’t visible to the buyer. However, they can be if the seller wishes. As well, they can be seen by the buyer if eBay adds it into the description of the item.

Furthermore, even though this feature has been up since the beginning of eBay and is not used often anymore, you are still able to use this option for some auctions if desired.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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