Tips for Improving eBay Search Results
When you click the Search button on an eBay page to look for items to buy, the keywords you use can have a huge effect on what results you get. Here are some ways to make your searches more effective:
Ignore capitalization of proper names: eBay doesn’t care whether you capitalize. In other words, the search engine doesn’t distinguish between caps and noncaps.
Don’t use noise words: and, a, an, or, or the are called noise words. In searches, these words are interpreted as part of your search unless you enclose them in quotes. Recently, a buyer wanted to find items from the 1939 classic film, Gone with the Wind. The search returned 1,401 hits from Gone with the Wind and 1,486 hits with a search for gone wind. Many sellers drop the noise words from their titles, so use as few keywords as you can to expand your search.
Don’t search just within specific categories: Although a category-specific search narrows your results, you also might miss many items.
Think of possible synonyms: For example, while searching for a ladies’ watch, you could use the following synonyms and abbreviations for ladies: lady’s, ladys, lds, and femmes.
Use the asterisk symbol to locate misspellings: You can often find some great deals by finding items incorrectly posted by the sellers. Here are a few examples:
Rodri*. A buyer recently searched for items by the famous Cajun artist George Rodrigue. His Blue Dog paintings are world renowned and valuable. By using this search, the buyer purchased a signed Blue Dog lithograph for under $200, and resold it on eBay later that year for $900!
Alumi* tree. Remember the old aluminum Christmas trees from the ’60s? They’ve had quite a resurgence in popularity. You can buy these “antiques” in stores for hundreds of dollars, or you can buy one on eBay for half the price. You can find them even cheaper if the seller can’t spell aluminum.
Cemet* plot. If you’re looking for that final place to retire, eBay has some great deals. Unfortunately, sellers haven’t narrowed down whether they want to spell it cemetery or cemetary. This search will find both.