Ebay is a great place to find a bargain or track down a rare item. Unfortunately, combing through eBay listings can chew up valuable time and effort. Luckily, these search tips can help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a fraction of the time. Some of them can even save you money.
Deliberately Misspell Your Search
You’d be amazed as to how many careless sellers list their items under the wrong spelling. While eBay’s powerful search algorithm is able to compensate for some misspellings, it isn’t able to catch all of then. Unfortunately, this means that there is a good chance that you’ll completely miss out on a misspelled item. However, if you do manage to spot a misspelled listing, you could nab yourself a bargain.
Because misspelled items reach far fewer people, there is much less competition. As a result, this means far fewer bids and better odds at winning the auction for significantly less cash. While you can manually search for misspellings, there are a number of websites that specialize in finding eBay listings with typos like Fat Fingers and Goofbid.
Use Boolean Search
Boolean search is a type of search that allows people to find more relevant results. It achieves this by combining search keywords with modifying words like “AND,” “NOT,” “NEAR” and “OR.” Since Boolean logic is a core principle in search engines, you will be able to use these modifiers to help narrow down your eBay searches.
For example, let’s say you were looking for a Nikon DLSR camera. Simply typing “DSLR” and “Nikon” in a search engine might yield results that you’re not interested in, like DSLR cameras from other manufacturers. However, by adding the modifier “AND” to your search, your results will be limited to only those that include both search terms, in this case “DSLR” and “Nikon.” Many of us already use Boolean search terms without even realizing it, and they can help supercharge your eBay search results.
Tick the “Include Description” Box
When searching for items on eBay, you may have noticed the teeny tiny little box labelled “Include Description” directly underneath the big blue “Search” button. Given its diminutive size, you might not have given it much thought. However, that little box can be the difference between a fruitless search and success. Clicking this box tells eBay to use your keywords to search not only listing titles, but the listing description as well.
For example, let’s say you’re in the market for a Sony Mirrorless camera. Your search results will only include listings with those terms in the title. However, let’s suppose a seller lists their Sony Mirrorless camera as a Sony DSLR in the title, but mentions it is a mirrorless system in the description. If you tick the “include descriptions” box, this listing will appear in your results. If you don’t, you might miss out!
Use Advanced Search
Most folks who use eBay pop their keywords into the main search bar at the top of the page and call it a day. However, if you really want to refine your search, you need to use Advanced Search Page. Advanced search has a number of additional parameters to help you narrow your results and find exactly what you’re looking for. To access the advanced search page, just click on the link labelled “Advanced” next to the big blue “Search” button.
Here, you can specify how you want the eBay search engine to interpret your keywords. You can tell it to search based on all the words you typed, some of the words you typed or the exact phrase in the order you wrote it. Furthermore, you can identify words you want to exclude from your search.
In addition to honing your search entry, you can also specify a number of other options. You can determine the price range of the search results and even specify your preferred shipping method. While advanced search has a number of other useful features, one of the most valuable is the ability to select where in the world the item is located. Since eBay prioritizes search results based on the country where you live, you can miss out on listings in other countries.
How to Search Using Images
Last year eBay unveiled a brand new feature within their mobile app called Image Search. It allows users to search eBay using pictures instead of typing in keywords. Users simply snap a photo of the thing they’re looking for, and the eBay app will fetch listings as close to the original item as possible.
Not only will this save time, but Image Search could solve the problem of not knowing what something is called. For instance, let’s say you were interested in a particular style of sunglasses. You hop on eBay hoping to nab a bargain, but you’re not sure what that style is called. You could type in a generic search term like “sunglasses,” but you’ll be inundated with a wide variety of styles that you’re not remotely interested in.
Image Search eliminates this problem. All you need to do is fire up the eBay app and find the little camera icon in the main search bar. Tapping on the camera icon will make a pop-up box appear. Here, you want to select “Image Search.” This will launch an image capture interface. Snap a photo of the item you want, in this case the sunglasses, and crop the image if necessary. Finally, hit “Search” in the top-right corner. Doing so will present you with all the listings on eBay that match the item you snapped a photo of.
Do you use eBay to track down bargains? Are you aware of any eBay shopping tips or tricks that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments!