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Getting alerts about items

Setting alerts helps you keep track of items that you're interested in, without having to be on the eBay website.

There are 2 ways to get alerts about items you're bidding on while you're on-the-go:

  • Using the eBay app on your smartphone or tablet

  • Using an instant messaging (IM) application on your computer

You can set alerts on your smartphone by downloading the free eBay app to your device. You'll be notified when you've been outbid, when a watched item is ending soon, or when you receive a Best Offer for an item you're selling. You can also track items you're buying and selling from the app.

IM alerts are instant messages sent to the chat window of your computer's or smartphone's IM app. To receive IM alerts, you need an account with one of the following instant messaging providers: AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Windows Live, or Yahoo! Messenger.

When you subscribe to IM alerts in My eBay, you'll be notified when you've been outbid or when a listing ends. You'll see the word "outbid" or "end" followed by a short description, the item number, and the item's current price. If you receive an alert about being outbid, you can respond to it and bid again.

Setting mobile alerts

You first need to download the eBay app to your smartphone or tablet before setting mobile alerts. The eBay app is available for:

To download the eBay app:
  1. Go to the app store (for example, the App Store on the iPhone or the Android Market on an Android phone).

  2. Search for "eBay Mobile".

  3. Install the app to your device.

To set mobile alerts on your smartphone or tablet:
  1. Launch the eBay app, and then go to Settings.

  2. Select the notifications you want to receive or turn off: Outbid, Watched item ending, or Best Offer. (The Best Offer alert is available only on iPhone and Windows Phone.)

  3. In your phone settings, find the notifications option, and turn it on to receive alerts for the eBay app, or you can turn it off if you no longer want to receive alerts. (For details on how to set your phone's notification options, be sure to read the user guide for your device.)

Adding IM alerts

You need an account with one of these instant messaging providers—AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Windows Live, or Yahoo! Messenger—to receive IM alerts. If you don't have an account set up, you can create one while subscribing to IM alerts in My eBay (follow the steps below).

To add IM alerts:
  1. Go to My eBay. You may need to sign in.

  2. Place your pointer over the Account tab, and then click Communication Preferences.

  3. Click the Show link in the Notification Delivery Format section.

  4. Click the Subscribe link to sign up for IM alerts.

  5. Select your IM provider, and then click the Continue button.

  6. Sign in to your IM account (or create an account if you don't have one) and follow the instructions to complete the process.

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