The background

How much must you bid?

eBay puts a few restrictions on how much you must bid in an auction. Bid too little, and your bid won't be accepted.

The first restriction is the minimum bid: the minimum amount for the first bid in an auction. The seller sets the minimum bid when posting the auction. If there are no bids yet, the auction description's "First bid" field shows the minimum bid.

The second restriction is the bid increment. This is the smallest amount by which you're allowed to raise the previous high bid. The bid increment is determined solely by the current high bid. For example, for a current high bid between $100 and $250, the bid increment is $2.50. If the current high bid is $127.50, the lowest bid that eBay will accept is $130.00.

The third restriction is the reserve price. This is the lowest price the buyer will accept. eBay will accept bids less than the reserve price, but the item won't actually sell unless the highest bidder meets or exceeds the reserve.

Not all auctions have a reserve price. If an auction has a reserve price and it has not yet been met, the auction description will show that fact next next to the current price.