What does "reserve not met" mean, when using eBay?

In my particular situation, the starting price was "£1". I entered a maximum bid of "£40". Now the auction shows "current bid" as "£1" and "reserve not met" message.

Does that mean the reserve exceeds £40?

2 Answers 2


From eBay Community Center:

It means that your bid (your full, maximum bid, even if the full amount is not shown) is lower than the "Reserve" set by the seller as the minimum sale price, and you cannot win that item with that bid.

The item might be at least for £50 for instance.


That's indeed what it means.

When you set up an auction, you can set a reserve price. If the bidding doesn't reach that threshold the item won't be sold. The idea is to start with a low minimum in order to encourage bidding, but to save you from selling the item too low.

What's a reserve price?

  • Thanks. Suppose the reserve is £50 and I bid £60. No-one else bids. Do I win? How much do I pay? Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 15:29
  • It's been a while, but from what I recall, as soon as you set your max bid over the reserve, your current bid will jump to the reserve price. Assuming no one else tops your bid, that's what you'll get it for.
    – ale
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 16:20

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