glossary of auction terms


A service provided by most auction sites in which an item that does not sell can be automatically relisted in a new auction. In many cases, there is no fee to relist the same item if it does not sell.


Refers to a copy or replica of a collectible item.

Reserve Price

An auction seller can set a reserve price, which is the lowest price they will sell the item for. The starting bid can be lower, but unless the bidding passes the reserve price, the item will not sell.

Retaliatory Feedback

Refers to a negative feedback given to an auction user in return for having given one to the other party.


An abbreviation meaning “shipping and handling”

Second Chance Offer

A feature on eBay in which a seller can offer an item to the second highest bidder, at their bid price, if the winning bidder does not complete the transaction.

Secure Server

A secure, encrypted connection to an internet website. Anytime you are providing personal information like credit card #s or identification information, you should ensure you are using a secure server. Can be identified by “HTTPS://” instead of “HTTP://” in an internet addess. Also indicated by a small lock icon in the status bar of your internet browser.

Seller’s Assistant

A service offered by eBay to automate many tasks for auction sellers.

Shill Bidding

Fraudulent bids placed by the seller or someone related to the seller in order to artificially raise the bid price.


Bidding on an auction in the final seconds of the listing in order to try to beat the highest bid without leaving other bidders enough time to counter-bid.


Refers to email or other forms of contact that are designed to solicit payment, passwords, or other personal information. Spoofs can include fake invoices for auctions you have won, sent by someone other than the seller. They can also include email messages that are made up to look like they came from eBay or Paypal, asking you to log in to their site. They can redirect you to another site, that is designed to look like it is the official site, where you enter your user information. They can steal this information and take over your account.


An internet service that provides verification services for sellers, in order to add an element of trust for people dealing with them. Also provides mediation services if a problem arises between buyers and sellers.

Starting Price

The minimum opening bid price in an auction.


Auction websites can suspend users for breaking the rules of the website. Suspensions can be short-term in some cases and permanent in others, depending on the severity and whether the user has had prior offences.


An abbreviation meaning “terms of service” (ie. The rules)

Turbo Lister

A software program offered by eBay for listing multiple items easily.

Unpaid Item Process

The term used by eBay for the process that must be followed in the case of a buyer that does not pay for the auction they have won.

User ID

The “name” of the user on any online auction website.

Want It Now

A service being offered by eBay in which users can post items they are looking for, to which sellers can respond by listing it for auction.

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