How to Refine Your eBay Search Results - dummies

By Marsha Collier

With the growth of eBay, search results have become more and more complex. But the results page gives you lots of extra clues for narrowing your quest and homing in on exactly what you want. These clues are especially handy when you’ve performed your search through the text search boxes on most eBay pages, rather than initiating your search from the “official” Advanced Search page hub.


On the left side of search results, scroll down and look for an area called Format. From here you can narrow your results in a way that may better suit your shopping plans. You can use the Format area to sort your results in these ways:

  • Auctions: Click this tab if you want to see only items up for auction.

  • Buy It Now: If you’ve placed a search for an item that you want to buy now, this is for you. Click this tab and you’ll see the items that match your query that can be bought immediately.

By clicking the See All link next to the Format selection, you see a dialog box where you can narrow your search further.


You can also sort your results by listings ending soonest, newly listed items, the lowest or highest price plus shipping, the nearest location, and PayPal items first, Best Match or Category. All these options are available on the main search page, but you can sort on the results page as well.

Matching categories

On the left side of the page, the top links are matching categories, which can be very helpful. Reviewing all results might be time-consuming. So rather than going through pages of results, look at the category list on the left and see if any categories look promising.


Refine a search with other options

On the search results page are a few more options that allow you to further refine your search. Here are some you might like to use:

  • Sold Listings and Completed Listings: At the top of the results, you’ll find the perfect way to refine your search when you’re doing research on how an item will sell for — or how much you should expect to pay.

  • Free Shipping: In the left column, you can select a box to isolate your search to only those sellers who offer free shipping.

  • Price: Narrow your search to a specific price range.

  • Item Location: When you’re signed in, your ZIP code is filled in by default, but you can type in any ZIP code. You also select the mileage from a drop-down list.

In the quest for even more minutiae, a link at the bottom of this box allows you to customize the search queries even further. You can definitely take a good thing too far, and this is getting pretty close.