Guide to the terms and icons you'll be seeing as run your business on eBay



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eBay Glossary


A quick guide to the terms and icons you'll be seeing as run your business on eBay.


  • About me: an eBay page that tells other users about you

  • Announcements board: a special online bulletin board where eBay posts timely information and updates; regular eBay users should check this board daily

  • Bid cancellation: the cancellation of a bid by a buyer or a seller

  • Bid increment: the amount by which a bid is increased each time the current bid is outdone

  • Bid retraction: the withdrawal of a bid; bid retractions are rarely allowed on eBay

  • Bidder search: a search for all the items on which a particular user has placed bids

  • Bidding: the act of placing a bid on a listed item

  • Card not present: a term used by credit card companies to describe a transaction when the seller has not seen the actual credit card; typically, this applies to Internet and mail order sales

  • Completed search: a search of eBay listings, which has
    ended in a sale

  • Customer issuing bank: a financial institution that provides a customer with a credit card or other payment instrument

  • Cybercrime: crime related to technology, computers and the Internet

  • Domain name: the textual name assigned to a host on the Internet

  • Dutch auction: when a seller has two or more identical items offered in the same listing; also known as a Multiple Item listing
  • Dutch avoidance: avoiding posting a Dutch Auction by listing a single item and offering additional items for sale in the item description; this is a violation of eBay policy


  • Featured listing: a marketing service provided by eBay that gives listings extra exposure in the "Featured" sections at the top of listings pages

  • Feedback: comments made by one user about another regarding the trading experience between the two

  • Final value: the amount for which the item sells

  • Final value fee: the percentage of the final value that is paid by the seller to eBay as part of the listing fees

  • Gift services: an eBay service that allows you to feature your item as a gift and let buyers know that you offer services such as gift wrapping, cards and shipping directly to the recipient

  • Hot item: a designation that appears in search results given to nonreserve items that have received more than 30 bids; hot items are symbolized by a burning-match icon

  • HTML: stands for Hypertext Markup Language, a simple language used to create Web pages; can be used to enhance eBay listings

  • Indefinite suspension: the suspension of a user's eBay privileges for more than 60 days with no definite reinstatement date

  • Insertion fee: the nonrefundable fee charged by eBay to post a listing; insertion fees vary by type of listing

  • Internet merchant account: a special account with an issuing bank that allows a seller to accept credit cards over the Internet

  • Internet Service Provider (ISP): any company that provides users with access to the Internet
  • Item lookup: a method for searching for an item on eBay when you know the item number


  • Live auctions: a way to bid in real time at offline auctions through eBay

  • Markup: the amount by which the wholesale price of an item is increased to reach the retail price

  • Maximum bid: the maximum amount the buyer is willing to bid and pay for an item in a specific auction

  • Merge: combining several eBay User IDs (including feedback scores and comments) into one

  • Minimum bid: the lowest amount that can be entered as a bid for a specific auction

  • Mint: a subjective term used to describe an item that is in perfect condition

  • Multiple item listing: see Dutch Auction

  • Opening value: another term for a starting price

  • Outbid: a bidder is outbid when another bidder has placed a higher maximum bid than theirs

  • Outsource: hiring outside firms to provide products and services traditionally handled within a company

  • Password: a data string used to verify a user's identity

  • Payment gateway: a service that provides connectivity among merchants, customers and financial networks to process and authorize payments

  • Piracy: the act of illegally copying software, music or movies that are protected by copyright

  • Powerseller: an eBay designation for experienced, reputable eBay sellers who consistently sell a significant volume of items, maintain a 98 percent positive feedback rating, and provide a high level of service; PowerSellers are marked with icons next to their User IDs
  • Private listing: a type of eBay listing where the bidders' User IDs are not disclosed on the listing page or the transaction history page


  • Processor: a large data center that processes credit card transactions

  • Proxy bidding: a service that allows you to enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for an item; the eBay system automatically places bids on your behalf, increasing your bid as necessary by standard increments to maintain your high-bid position

  • Reserve price: a hidden minimum amount the seller is willing to accept for a listed item

  • RMA: return merchandise authorization; usually a code number issued by a seller who agrees to accept a return

  • Shill bidding: the deliberate placing of bids to artificially raise the price of an item; shill bidding is not allowed on eBay and is illegal in many jurisdictions

  • Sniping: placing a bid in the closing minutes or seconds of an auction

  • Spam: unsolicited commercial e-mail

  • Starting price: the price at which bidding on an item begins; also, the lowest price a seller is willing to accept unless you have specified a Reserve Price

  • Supplier: a company that sells goods and services to
    other companies

  • Trademark: any word, name, symbol or device, or any combination used or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods

  • Turbo lister: an eBay service that allows sellers to create and upload bulk item listings instead of manually entering information for each item
  • Unpaid item process: an online process provided by eBay through which a buyer and a seller can communicate to resolve a situation involving an Unpaid Item (aka nonpaying bidder/buyer)


  • User ID: an eBay nickname or screen name chosen by the user

  • Vendor: another term for supplier



Every Picture on eBay Tells a Story



About Me: An About Me icon placed after a User ID indicates that the user has an "About Me" page that contains more information about his or her eBay operation. The About Me icon also serves as a link to the user's "About Me" page.



Buy It Now: The Buy It Now icon means the item has a set price for which it can be purchased immediately without going through the bidding process.



Camera: A camera means that a picture of the item is included with the listing.



PayPal: This icon shows that the seller accepts PayPal, an eBay service that enables users to receive and send online payments through credit cards and bank accounts.

PayPal's Buyer Protection Program: This icon means that the item is eligible for PayPal's Buyer Protection Program.




Person with a sunburst behind the head: This icon following a User ID indicates a new eBay user, and also alerts the seller that the new user might need a little extra patience and assistance.



Picture Frame: A small picture frame means that the item is featured in eBay's gallery. It also means that you can see the item's photo in search results and browse listings.



PowerSeller: A blue silhouette in a gold star next to the word PowerSeller indicates that the user has achieved a certain level of sales volume and performance status within eBay.



Rising Sun: A Rising Sun icon indicates that the item has been listed within the past 24 hours. New item icons are removed after the listing is 24 hours old.


Two people with an arrow between them: This is the Changed ID icon, which indicates a member who has changed his or her User ID within the last 30 days.



Wrapped Present: The Wrapped Present icon means the seller wants to highlight the item as a potential gift, as well as offer associated Gift Services.



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