I love eBay and I manage to snaffle many bargains from the auction site on a regular basis. Just plonking search terms into the search box is one way of going about it but eBay searching is a bit of a game. To bag well priced finds you need to know how to play it search listings well. How to search eBay wellTime it well – Keep your eye out for badly timed auctions. Auctions ending in the darkest depths of the night, during XFactor finals and other huge television shows, major holidays and during commuting/school run hours attract fewer bidders. You’ll have less immediate competition to out bid you, meaning better prices. Get bidding during major London events or even the Diamond Jubilee this year.
Look for 1 and 3 day auctions. Sellers often use these because they go straight into the ‘ending soonest’ category however in my (tiny) mind these auctions haven’t had time to attract lots of attention or bidders. And even if they have many people won’t have noted the end date when they read the description, so think they have plenty of time to decide if they want to bid etc.
Lots of my amazing eBay bargains have come from 1 day listings.Benefit from seller mistakes- Use misspellings in your search terms. Ah the amount of time I’ve found a bargain because it has been listed as ‘vitage’ or ‘vinatge’ rather than ‘vintage’ or ‘Jessy Tate’ instead of ‘Jessie Tait.’ You can even use websites like Goofbay to input the actual word you’re looking for and have it return common eBay misspellings for that particular word.
– If you’re looking for a size, or anything featuring numbers search for both the numerical version and written spelling. Numerical versions are more common in listings so most bidders only search for ‘dress size 12’ and not ‘dress size twelve.’ Many people don’t know this trick so listings described this way attact far fewer biddersIf you know your stuff when it comes to a certain brand, style or designer you’ll also know the common misunderstandings people have about those pieces. Use these misunderstandings (like mistakes in colour names, location names, dates etc.) in your search term, much like the misspellings, to hunt down items that are languishing unseen in the depths of eBay Occasionally just type in the word ‘old’ or ‘vintage’ into the search box, you’ll stumble across all manner of gems. So many people search for specifics like ‘vintage Biba 1960s dress’ but rarely ‘vintage dress’ or just ‘old dress.’ Lots of sellers aren’t savvy eBayers or may just be one time users clearing out a family attic and don’t think to input more descriptive titles. Whilst it isn’t great for them as a seller it’s your chance to take advantage of mistakes. Cor, does that sound callous?
Utilise the site- Use the drop down next to the search box to pick ‘lowest first’, rather than their ‘Best Match’ (most often bringing up sellers eBay would prefer you to buy from)default setting. This will bring up the lowest price items within your search terms.Same as above but hunt out auctions ending soon by selecting ‘ending soonest’.f you’re buying something that requires collection (like furniture) input your postcode and the distance you’re willing to travel in the sidebar to narrow the search results to within your chosen area.
– When eBay returns your search results it will also give you a list of categories on the left hand side. Play around, ticking suitable boxes to narrow your search field to your specifics.
– Befriend the ‘Advanced’ link next to the search button. You can really narrow your search field when you play around with the various settings.
– Narrow your search and rule out unwanted items but adding the minus sign ‘-‘ to your search queries. For instance if you want black vintage boots but don’t want lace ups you could use the search term ‘black vintage boots -laces.’
– Search ‘free to a good home’ because inbetween utter junk and Russian Happy Time Ladies (*cough* if you will) there are lots of lovely things to rehome if you’re willing to pay postage or pick up locally. We’ve had a lot of furniture via this search method.
– Save your search if is a common search term you’d like to use.
What are your eBay search tips (only search tips please, we’ll talk about other aspects of eBaying again soon, promise)?
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