Sometimes, after you’ve listed an item on eBay, you may want to end your listing early. While this isn’t usually a good idea as it can lead to disappointed customers (and perhaps even penalties on your account), there are certain circumstances in which it has to be done.


Just a heads-up that some of the services we’re reviewing here have affiliate partnerships with us, so we may earn a commission if you visit one of them and buy something. You can read more about how this works at This lesson will explain when it’s okay to prematurely remove an item from eBay, what happens when you do it, and how the process actually works.

When can I end an eBay listing early, and what happens when I do?

Delete an eBay listing There are two general reasons why you may be allowed to delete a listing on eBay before it expires:

  1. The item it advertises is broken, lost, or otherwise unfit/unavailable for sale.
  2. You made a mistake when creating the listing, such as entering an incorrect opening bid, sale price, or reserve price.

Generally, there are no restrictions on ending a “fixed price” listing early. However, there are restrictions on ending an “auction-style” listing early, depending on how much time is left in the listing and whether or not any bids have been placed for your item.

If your “auction-style” listing has 12 hours remaining or more:

  • If there are no current bids for your item, you may delete the listing without restriction.
  • If your item currently has one or more bids on it, you can end the auction early and sell your item to the current highest bidder.
  • If your item currently has one or more bids on it, you can cancel all bids on your item at once and end the listing early. However, if this is not the first time that you have done so during the current calendar year, you will have to pay a fee equal to the final value fee that you would have incurred if the auction had ended naturally and you had sold your item to the current highest bidder. See our article on eBay seller fees for more information about final value fees.

If your auction-style listing has less than 12 hours remaining:

  • If there are no bids currently on your item, and you haven’t manually blocked any bids for it, you can cancel the listing without restriction.
  • If your item currently has one or more bids on it, you can delete the listing early and choose to sell your item to the current highest bidder.
  • If there are no current bids for your item because you have manually blocked them all, you cannot end the auction early.
  • If your item currently has one or more bids on it, but the highest bid isn’t enough to meet your reserve price (if you’ve set one), you cannot end your listing early.

Those are the rules for when you can or can’t delete a listing early, and the potential conditions on doing so. Now, we’ll explain with step-by-step instructions how the process actually works.

To remove a listed item from eBay:

  1. Navigate to in your web browser and log into your account there.
  2. Move your mouse cursor over My eBay in the top-right corner of the home page. A drop-down menu will appear, from which you should select Selling.eBay Selling menu
  3. In the “Sell” menu on the left-hand side of your “Activity” page, click Active to see all items that you’re currently selling. Then, find the listing that you wish to cancel, click the check box beside it to select it, and then click End (or else click More Actions beside the item and then click End Item). Note that you may be asked to provide your account log-in credentials again; do so.End an Active Listing on eBay
  4. If the item that you are trying to delete is an “auction-style” listing that already has bids placed on it, you must choose how you wish to handle the cancellation of your listing on the next page. Click Cancel Bids and End Listing Early if you wish to delete all bids on your item and remove it from eBay without selling it to anyone.Or, you can click Sell Item to High Bidder if you want to end the listing, but still get some money out of it by selling your item to the current highest bidder. Note that if your listing expires in less than 12 hours, only the latter option will be available.If you are trying to cancel a “fixed price” listing, or an “auction-style” listing that currently has no bids for it, then you will skip this step.
  5. On the next page, you must choose a reason for why you wish to delete your listing. This reason will appear on the “Removed Item” page if anyone tries to find your listing after you have cancelled it. Click the button beside the reason that best corresponds to why you want your item removed from eBay, and then click End My Listing.End My Listing button

Those are the basics of cancelling an eBay listing! Remember, though, only delete a listing when you really need to. Doing it too often will frustrate your customers, and may even prompt eBay to restrict your selling privileges. It may be a better idea to simply revise the listing, or add a note to it. We’ll talk about that in our next tutorial on how to manage your eBay listings.

  • You can delete an eBay listing you’ve posted if you no longer want to sell the item, though certain restrictions apply.
  • Deleting your eBay listing will cancel all active bids and remove it from users’ watchlists.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Selling your unwanted items on eBay can be a great way to make extra income as well as getting rid of stuff that’s sitting unused and cluttering up your house. While the process is relatively simple and straightforward, there are times when sales don’t go smoothly on the seller’s end and you might need to delete your eBay listing. Whether the item you’re selling is no longer available, it’s become damaged or lost, you listed the wrong starting price, or you simply no longer want to sell it, it’s possible to cancel your eBay listing and delete it from the site. While you can delete a fixed listing at any time, certain restrictions apply for cancelling an auction-style listing:

  • You can cancel an auction listing early if there are no bids on an item, or if there are 12 or more hours left on a listing that has received bids (though eBay says it will charge a fee in the latter case).
  • You cannot cancel an auction listing early if you’ve received bids and there are fewer than 12 hours left on the listing.

If your listing meets the above requirements for cancellation, here’s how to delete it.

How to delete an eBay listing you’ve posted

1. Log into your eBay account and click the «Help & Contact» menu on the top of the page. 2. In the search bar on the next page, type «Canceling a listing» in the search bar, at which point the items you have listed for sale will appear below. Items you’ve listed for sale will appear. Jennifer Still/Business Insider 3. Click on the auction item you want to delete. 4. On the next screen, scroll down and click «Continue.» Click «Continue.» Jennifer Still/Business Insider 5. On the next page, select the reason for ending your listing, then click «Continue» again. Choose a reason for your cancellation. Jennifer Still/Business Insider Your listed item will then be deleted. Deleting an auction will cancel any bids that were placed on the item as well as removing the item from the Watchlist of any users who might have been keeping an eye on it.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to cancel a bid you’ve made on eBay in 5 steps

  • How to return an item on eBay if it’s defective or damaged, and meets the site’s requirements

  • How to sell items on eBay and make extra money off of things you no longer need

  • How to issue a refund on eBay in 3 different ways, to satisfy your customers

  • How to use eBay Bucks or sign up for eBay’s rewards program if you haven’t already

Jennifer is a writer and editor from Brooklyn, New York, who spends her time traveling, drinking iced coffee, and watching way too much TV. She has bylines in Vanity Fair, Glamour, Decider, Mic, and many more. You can find her on Twitter at @jenniferlstill.

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