What Do the Different Symbols on eBay Mean?

By Sasha Maggio

Making the most of eBay for buying or selling involves understanding the symbols found throughout the website.

Whether selling or buying, eBay is a popular platform for online shopping and the website has seen a variety of changes over time as it evolved. For convenience, eBay provides an icon legend in the Selling section of My eBay. The icon legend is located in the left-hand column of the website, beneath the Totals and Shortcuts.

The icon legend is in the left column of the Selling section in My eBay.

Understanding the eBay Symbols

The following list describes the symbols found on eBay, as depicted in the icon legend located in the My eBay section of eBay members' accounts.

The Mallet

When listing a product for auction on eBay, the mallet symbol will accompany the listing to indicate the auction format of the listing. These are products that have a starting bid and continue until the end date given in the listing.

The Lock with Dollar Sign

Items listed on eBay with a fixed price will have a padlock symbol with a dollar sign on the lock. These are items sold on eBay at a set price, as opposed to a bidding auction, and usually end with a Buy It Now.

The Speech Bubble with Dollar Sign

Fixed price and auction listings can be set with a Best Offer format that allows potential buyers to make an offer on the item. The concept is similar to haggling. If the item is listed with a Best Offer format, the seller can accept or decline offers as they come in. The listing ends when the offer is accepted or when someone uses the Buy It Now option.

The Newspaper

A newspaper symbol accompanies eBay listings that are presented in a Classified Ad format, similar to those found in newspaper classifieds. These are often items that are available for local pickup, just as they would be in a newspaper ad.

The Round Shape with a 2

Sometimes an auction will end before the minimum price is reached through bidding. The seller has the option to present a Second Chance Offer to the highest bidder, and these items are typically marked with a round symbol with a number 2 in the center, similar to a second-place prize button or medal.

The Check Mark

After an item is purchased on eBay, and the checkout process is complete, the item is marked by a check mark to show the process has been completed. Payment is often part of the checkout process when PayPal is used. This indicates that the buyer has done his or her part and now the seller will ship the item.

The Dollar Sign

When a buyer pays for his item on eBay, often through PayPal, the item is marked with a dollar sign to show payment has been sent. If the seller uses the checkout process, the buyer typically completes checkout then pays for the item. At this point it is the seller’s turn to act, preparing and shipping the item that was purchased.

The Envelope

Items that have been shipped are marked with an envelope symbol. This shows the buyer that the seller has received payment, prepared the package, and shipped it. Tracking information may or may not be offered, depending on the listing. If tracking is available, the buyer can track the item from My eBay by locating the item in their Purchase History and selecting Track Package from the available options.

The Pencil and Yellow Star

Most buyers wait until the item arrives in the mail before leaving feedback. When the buyer or seller leaves feedback for an eBay transaction, a pencil symbol with a yellow star next to it appears with the completed listing.

The Envelope with Yellow Star

When the buyer or seller receives feedback from the other party in a given eBay transaction, the listing in their account shows a dark envelope symbol with a yellow star at the top. This indicates that her counterpart has left feedback for her on that particular listing.

The Dollar Sign with Arrow

Not every purchase is a smooth one. If something happens and the seller refunds the buyer’s payment, the listing is marked by a dollar sign with an arrow pointing to it. This may occur if there was a problem with the item and the buyer requested a refund, or if the buyer returns the item within the stated return period. It can also happen if the auction or listing ends and there is a problem on the seller’s end where the item is no longer available.

The Gradient Dollar Sign

Although most eBay listings include the accurate price, tax (if applicable) and shipping fees, occasionally additional fees are required. This can happen if the shipping costs are higher than anticipated, for example if the buyer requests a different type of shipping, such as Express Mail rather than Parcel Post. When a partial payment is sent, the listing is marked by a dollar sign with a gradient tone that fades from dark at the bottom to light at the top.

The Pie Chart

Items marked by a pie chart show that the buyer requested a total. This often happens when the buyer is uncertain of the shipping costs or if the buyer has purchased multiple items from the same seller and wishes to receive a discount for combined shipping.

The Price Tag with Arrow

The seller can re-list items that end without a sale. If the seller chooses to re-list an item, it is marked in the seller’s Selling list with a dark price tag symbol and a white arrow in the center.

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