Retract eBay bid with caution

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Q. How can I withdraw my eBay bid while an auction is ongoing? I made a mistake when I entered my bid.

A. As a general rule, once you place a bid, you agree to pay for the item if you’re the winning bidder. However, honest mistakes do happen so a bid can be retracted under certain conditions. For example, if you accidentally bid $99.50 instead of $9.95, simply re-enter the correct bid amount immediately after you retract your erroneous bid by filling out a BRF, also known as a Bid Retraction Form.

You can also retract a bid if an item’s description changes significantly after you enter your last bid. For example, if the seller updates important details about an item’s features or condition that are not to your liking, it may be grounds for a retraction. For complete information, search eBay’s Help section for “bid retraction.”

Changing your mind or suffering from bidder’s remorse is a different story and does not qualify for retraction under the “Oopsie” exemption clause, however.

Don’t expect any seller to be happy about a bid retraction. A seller is entitled to contact you and request a more detailed explanation. You may also hear from other bidders. After you retract a bid, your retraction becomes part of your bidding history, so that’s another good reason to have a good reason for your retraction. The number of bids you retract is also reflected on your feedback rating score, so you don’t want to become known as a serial retractor.

Q. How can I remove graphics from a Web page I want to print?

A. There are several ways you can do this. One is to copy the page to your word processing program (such as Microsoft Word), then paste it as text by clicking Edit > Paste Special. That will strip out all graphics. If you paste it without selecting Paste Special, you can manually select and delete graphics or any extraneous material.

An easier way would be to use the free emailSTRIPPER program at In addition to its intended function of cleaning up annoying >>>> email forwarding marks, it also removes graphics from most Web pages.

To use it, highlight (select) the Web-page text you want (including graphics), right-click and select Copy. Place your cursor within emailSTRIPPER, right-click and select Paste, followed by Strip, which will remove the graphics. Next, copy the cleaned-up text to your destination location, right-click where you want to insert the text, and select Paste.

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