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Community Member
Why does Ebay show what the highest bid is that a buyer is willing to pay?
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-04-2012

Showing what a buyer is willing to pay, (Max. bet) to the seller is an open invitation for underhanded tactics. Example, Say that i'm selling an item at .99 cents open bid. The clock is down to 5 minutes & bid is now $1.49 but this buyer has increased his maximum bid to $6.99. Seller can see this, so seller calls a relative, friend etc. & asks them to place a bid of $6.80, just under the max. bid placed buy other bidder.  Now the original bidder (who had a good deal) has to watch to see if he might have to raise his bid again in order to stay high bid. There is something wrong here. Ebay should not show seller the maximum bid someone is willing to pay. I truly believe that this has happened on several of my bids (can't prove anything) where I'm the only bid but have raised my max bid buy a large margin, . only to have bid increased in the last 30 seconds to .50 cents under my max. bid  by 1 other bidder. This has happened a few times to me, which has led me to believe that this scenario is underhanded ,wrong & should NOT be able to occur. I buy & sell on Ebay. I have had to sell at a low rate because that is where i started bid at. But i sometimes like to watch the last minutes of my sales to watch the bidding & thought, I'm going to have to sell low. Hummm, what if I were to call so & so & ask them to increase a bid on my item to .50 cents less than a maximum bid, so that they don't have to buy the item, now i got a lot more money for my item. I love Ebay, but i really feel that by showing a seller the max. bid is somehow, just wrong.

Other Answers: 9
Community Member
Posts: 3,161
Registered: ‎02-11-2004
in reply to antieqis4u

Member since: Mar-29-09


Amazing. The seller can't see your max bid. Other bidders can't see your max bid. Only you can see your max bid; eBay shows it to YOU because if you want to bid again, you have to bid higher than that amount. Other bidders only have to bid higher than the current price.


In your four years on eBay, haven't you ever placed a bid and instantly gotten a "You've been outbid" message? That's because the leader's max bid was hidden, just as yours is.

Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-05-2014
in reply to antieqis4u

yes i totally agree with antieqis4u i believe this goes on all the time and its so annoying .


Community Member
Posts: 8,030
Registered: ‎11-19-2002
in reply to antieqis4u

Hi. You evidently have no understanding of how bidding works on ebay.


The whole concept of proxy bidding is the core to ebay auctions.


Proxy bidding (placing a hidden max bid where ebay rebids for you just enough to keep you in the lead by a single bid incerment) is the best way to bid here.


Ebay NEVER shows this hidden proxy amount during or after an auction to anyone other than to the bidder.


The bidder can see this hidden proxy amount but EVERYONE ELSE only sees the amount you are actually winning by. 


Each time it is needed (after another bidder bids) ebay will rebid for you & the rebid is visable BUT only to ethe extend of the amount that bid actually is.


You can see this by clicking on the number of bids in (x) parenthisis on the listing & then each individual bid is visible BUT still the unused remaining of the proxy bid is not shown.


You should really go to the help files & read up on all of this.


Good luck, Jim

Community Member
Posts: 11,542
Registered: ‎08-13-2006
in reply to antieqis4u

"but this buyer has increased his maximum bid to $6.99. Seller can see this..."


Where can they see this?


I've never been able to see what the highest bidder bid, only the price they won the item for.


Community Member
Posts: 7,711
Registered: ‎06-17-2005
in reply to antieqis4u

A bidders max is only revealed when bid against, enough to have raised the bidding to that amount.


Prior to that NO ONE but that particular bidder is aware of a Max bid amount.



Community Member
Posts: 1,965
Registered: ‎11-24-2011
in reply to antieqis4u

Sellers cannot view your max bid. The only bid they see is your current highest bid. What you suggest is called shill bidding, and is illegal. eBay has software to detect if this is occurring, and while there is no guarantee someone isn't doing this, it is highly unlikely. Many bidders bid at the last few seconds, in an effort to snipe the auction. Simply bid your max bid, either early in the auction, or late in the auction during the last 15 seconds or so, and if you win, your max bid was more than what other bidders are willing to pay. 

Community Member
Posts: 17,879
Registered: ‎06-25-2012
in reply to antieqis4u

Only the buyer can see his maximum bid since he would have to bid more than that to raise his bid.  Sellers only see what the current high bid is.  I have never seen what my buyers max bid is on my sales, only the amount that made them the high bidder.  Even after an auction the bidders max bid is not revealed.

Community Member
Posts: 26,866
Registered: ‎01-23-2011
in reply to antieqis4u


Sellers CANNOT see the max bid.


The ONLY thing they can see is the bid that is shown as the top current bid. They have no way to know the max bid.


If what you think is happening actually happened, it would have never worked, and ebay would never have survived.

Community Member
Posts: 1,897
Registered: ‎10-20-2007
in reply to antieqis4u

It really doesn't show the max bid, only the latest bid.  On automatic bidding, I put the highest amount I want to pay, if others are bidding, the bids will only reflect the increment above the other highest  bidder, until the bidding goes higher than my bid.  Some people will play the bidding by increments, but most will put in their high bid.  You can this by looking at the bid history and looking at the times they were placed. It also will not show any third party sniper bids, that come in on the last five seconds  of the auction.  Sniper bids are made through subscription services and frequent buyers use them a lot.  That's all part of an auction, so its best to set your starting price at a price you can live with.  Or try a fixed price listing with a best offer option, if you know the true value of an item, but are willing to accept less. . 

I haven't had my coffee yet, so forgive my typing....The only question you may regret is the one you never asked!