glossary of auction terms

Deadbeat Bidder

A bidder who does not honor their bid. Could be someone who refuses to pay for an item won or someone who pays fraudulently.

Domain Name

The address of a website. e.g. For eBay, is the domain name. The domain includes anything after the www. including the .com, .net or any other extension.


A wholesaler that will package and ship a product to your customer, on your behalf. They are often used by sellers on eBay because there is no need to stock inventory or do the shipping yourself.

Dutch Auction

An auction for multiple quantities of the same item. All bidders pay the lowest successful bid. For example, if a seller lists 10 units of an item at auction, and 15 people bid, the 10 highest bidders win the items, but at the lowest bid price of those 10 people.

End of Auction Notice

An email that is automatically sent to both the high bidder and the seller at the end of an auction. It usually includes the total price (high bid plus any shipping and handling charges) and give information on how to pay the seller.

Escrow Service

A third-party service that will hold the buyer’s money “in escrow” to be forwarded on to the seller when both parties are satisfied with the transaction. Usually used for high-value auctions.


A feature on many auction websites whereby a user can create a list of favorite sellers, favorite searches, favorite categories, etc.

Featured Listing

An optional selling feature on eBay in which, for an additional listing fee, a seller can have their auction “featured” at the beginning of the list of auctions.


A feature on eBay, and most other auction websites, in which the buyer and seller can leave feedback for one another. On eBay, feedback can be positive, neutral or negative and a comment can be left along with the rating.

Final Value Fee

The fee charged by the auction website at the end of the auction. It is normally a percentage of the high bid price.


A listing upgrade option on eBay that lets the seller include a small picture of the item beside its title in the auction listings.

Gift Services

An option on eBay listings that shows a small gift icon in the auction listing if the seller offer gift-wrapping service.

Highest Bidder

The winning bidder, who bid the highest price for the auction.


An optional listing upgrade offered by eBay that highlights the auction title in the auction listings.

Home Page Featured

An optional listing upgrade offered by eBay that will feature the auction on the home page of the site. The home page only displays a few at a time, but they are rotated through on a regular basis so all home page featured auctions are visible at various times.

Hot Item

Most auction websites identify “Hot Items” in the listings, which are auctions that have received more than a certain number of bids.


An abbreviation meaning “hard to find”


The computer language used to program web pages. HTML can be used in auction listings to make them more attractive.

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