There are many restrictions and rules that apply to the posting and selling of items on eBay. Even so, if you are a seller and have posted an item for sale, you still have the opportunity to cancel that auction under specific circumstances. This article will discuss how and when you can cancel your eBay auction.
Log onto your eBay account.
Ensure your reason for ending the auction early meets eBay's requirements for cancellation. Valid reasons include when the item is no longer available for sale due to damage or loss, or if you notice a significant error in your item listing, such as an incorrect start price or reserve amount. If you are unable to edit or change the listing, you can try ending the auction.
Check the remaining time for in your auction. If there are 12 hours or more before the end of the listing, you are permitted to end the listing early. However, if there are any bids on your item when you end the listing, you'll be asked whether you want to cancel the bids or sell the item to the high bidder. If there are 12 hours or less before the end of the listing, your ability to end the listing early depends on whether there are any bids on the item and whether the item has a reserve price, which is a minimum price you can set when you create an auction.
Check to see if you have any bids on your item to determine your next step. If you have no bids, you can cancel the auction. If you have one or more bids, you can end the listing, but you MUST sell the item to the current high bidder or contact the bidders to get them to cancel their bids. If there are one or more bids but the item's reserve has not yet been met then you cannot end your auction early.
Access the "End the Listing Form" on the eBay website by going to your My eBay page. This can be done through the links at the very bottom of the page. Open the eBay Site Map. Under the "SELL" category, click on the blue "End Your Listing" link. This opens the "End Your Listing Form."
Type the item number into the box under the words "item number". You can find your item's number in several places including on your actual listing, in your confirmation e-mail from eBay, and on your My eBay page. It contains a series of numbers, typically 13 or more. After you enter the number, click on the "Continue" button.
Select your reason for cancelling your auction by clicking in the circle next to one of the reasons listed. Hit "Enter." Your auction is now concluded. You'll still be charged listing fees (such as the insertion fee) even if you do end the auction early. If you had bidders when you cancelled, those who didn't win will automatically receive an e-mail from eBay explaining that the auction ended early.
If circumstances prohibit you from ending your listing early, your best option is to communicate with the bidders, explaining your problem and asking them to retract their bids. You could also cancel their bids, but it is easier to contact the bidders and explain the situation. If the listing ends and there is a winning bidder that you do not want to give the item to, you will need to contact the bidder. Ask the winner to agree to not complete the sale. If agreed, you can file an unpaid item notice with eBay, noting that you and the buyer have agreed not to complete the transaction. The bidder will be notified and must confirm the agreement. You'll want to use this process so that eBay will not charge you their percentage for your "sold" item when you didn't sell one.
eBay policy states: "Sellers are not permitted to cancel bids and end listings early in order to avoid selling an item that did not meet the desired sale price. This is considered to be a reserve price violation. Although there are legitimate reasons for ending a listing early, abuse of this option will be investigated."