Why Do People Watch eBay Items But Not BuyOne common question I receive from eBay sellers is, “Why do I have watchers but no bids?” There are several reasons why other eBay users may be watching your items.

The wrong time

The customer may not be ready to buy the item yet, so they are just watching the auction to learn about the process. Maybe they don’t have the money yet either but they are keeping an eye on it in case it does not sell and they end up cashed up!


The user is afraid to make a commitment and bid. They might be new to eBay and are hesitant to place a bid yet. They just want to see how eBay works.

Keeping an eye on several items

Buyers generally watch several auctions or listings for the same exact item and are waiting to decide which one to bid on. They don’t want to bid on several of the same items at once – because they don’t want to end up winning several auctions for the same product. They are price shopping basically.

Sniper program

A bidder may be using an auction sniper program and not placing their bid until the last minute – literally. I have seen more and more of this in the last few months. 15-20 watchers, and no bids until the last 30 seconds.


A potential seller might just curious to see how high the price will go. Maybe they are thinking of selling a similar item. (I do this all the time – watch an item to see if it is worth selling. Sometimes there are none in completed listings to review, so I am forced watch an active listing.)


There is always a very good chance that the person watching your listing is actually a competitor.  They may be keeping an eye on you and your listing to see your images, descriptions and the prices you both list and sell items for.

The key is, don’t get frustrated or be impatient – watchers are good!

They have saved your listing in their watch list.

Maybe they will come back and buy the item, or visit your store again for something else. Granted, bids are more exciting, but watchers are a good thing!

And remember if your item does end without a sale and there are still watchers on it, make sure you know the difference between relist and sell similar on eBay so you don’t lose your connection.

Happy selling!