- Personal Finance
How to Find Great Deals on eBay
Doing Research on eBay
Knowing how to use eBay to do research on items that you wish to sell or purchase can give you a great advantage over other shoppers or sellers.
If your looking for an item to buy, doing the proper research will help you get the best deal possible.
If your wanting to sell an item, doing the proper research will help you not only understand what the item is likely to sell for but also give you an advantage when it comes to using the proper keywords in your title and how to best present your item.
Fortunately eBay gives us just the tools we need to do that research.
Using the Tools eBay Gives You
If you have an eBay account and are logged into eBay you have the opportunity to use one of the most powerful tools available on eBay, the search for "Sold listings".
To use this tool first log into your eBay account and then do a regular search for example do a regular search for "vintage rings".
After you are taken to the results page for vintage rings being offered on eBay, scroll down on the left hand side menu until you get to the heading "Show Only" and check the box "Sold listings". You will find the "Sold listings" link just above the "Sponsored Links".
This will give you the results for "End Date: recent first". Note that the listings have prices shown in red and other prices shown in green.
By researching the listings you quickly get an understanding of the value of items sold for that particular search.
Searching for Most Expensive
If you have the opportunity to buy products locally and you want to learn to recognize valuable jewelry quickly and easily, researching eBay buy searching the history of items sold on eBay is a great way to learn what people are willing to pay for an item.
Flea markets, thrift stores, swap meets and garage sales all have treasures waiting to be found by the knowledgeable investor.
Refining your Search
Just like doing a regular search on eBay searching when searching completed listing you are given several options from the drop down sort menu:
End Date: recent first
Date Listed: oldest first
Price + Shipping: lowest first
Price + Shipping: highest first
Price: highest first
Distance: nearest first
Each of the various sorts can give you a quick understanding of what is most popular for any particular search.
In our example for "vintage ring" doing a search using "Price + Shipping: highest first" resulted in a search that resulted in several pages of red (unsold) items.
This is quite common because the average shopper on eBay is usually looking for a low priced bargain and isn't in the market for something in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even in the millions.
Continuing the search we finally found a vintage art deco platinum ring that was sold for less than asking price using "best offer".
You will find those items that were sold under best offer with a green price and a line through the price with the note "best offer accepted" under the price.
Searching by Lowest Price
Doing some research on those items found by searching the completed listing using the "Price + Shipping: lowest first" drop down will reveal some great buys that you may have missed out on.
Use caution however, be sure to watch where the item is being shipped from. Many of the lowest priced items come out of China and often take more than a month to get to you if you ever receive them at all.
Items that come from other countries may also be delayed in customs and may also incur additional fees or taxes from customs as well.
Learn from the Masters
Learning from the successes and sometimes the defeats of those who came before you can be of great use when it comes to selling on eBay.
Looking closely at those items that sold for the highest amount may reveal clues that will help you to be a more successful buyer (or seller).
Watch for special keywords that are used in the title as well as the other text in the listing. Also look closely at the way the products are presented both from the images and the text.
When Buying Take Advantage of Spelling Mistakes
Many items listed on eBay get little or no traffic simply because a keyword for the specific item was misspelled. Savvy shoppers can take advantage of opportunities by searching specifically for misspellings.
Here of some examples found while writing this article:
VBD penny instead of VDB penny
It's easy to get letters mixed up while typing. VDB pennies are quite popular among coin collectors and VDB S in mint condition can sell for several thousand dollars.
At the time this article was written, a search on eBay resulted in 2,375 results for vdb penny and 15 results for vbd penny. This may present an ideal opportunity for a smart collector!
jewlry instead of Jewelry
Jewelry is actually on of the most common words to be misspelled. Don't forget to take advantage of the opportunity to find some great deals on eBay do to this common mistake.
At the time this article was written, eBay returned 10,970,368 results for jewelry and 693 results for jewlry. There's a good chance of finding a bargain here!
While you're at it, don't forget to search the British spelling, "jewellery". A search at the same time as the previous search resulted in 10,896,861 results for jewellery and12,036 results for jewelery!