Search for misspelled items to find bargains
Finding misspelled items is a great sport on eBay. Remember that 65% of eBay buyers find items by searching. If someone spells an item name incorrectly it will not come up in a search. These items usually get very few bids and this is a great place to shop.
Here are a few misspelled words to try: jewelery, strawberi, Ken Griffy, Porsch, beaney, If you want to buy something specific on eBay, think of how the word could be commonly misspelled and type it into the search box. You will often be surprised how many items come up.
Use the .02 or .03 rule .51 .85
Most people bid in even numbers. If the bid increment is 50 cents, make your bid .52 or .53. This way you will just outbid someone by a few cents instead of a large increment. This is very important when sniping (see next item)
Learn to snipe
EBay's proxy bidding system allows you to set your highest bid and then forget about it. EBay will keep bidding the minimum increment up to your maximum. This is fine if you know exactly how much you want to pay for something. If you are not sure how much you want to bid or if you know an item will be hot, then learn how to snipe at the last minute. Here is how to snipe:
Open one window with the auction description. Open a second window and place the highest amount you will pay for the item and hit "Review Bid." Now enter your username and password –but don't hit "Place Bid" yet. Wait until 15 or 20 seconds before the auction ends. (Refresh your first window to see the time left). At the right moment, hit "Place Bid." With luck your bid will arrive at the perfect time to beat out your competition.
Be sure to synchronize your time with the official eBay time or you could just miss the end of an auction.
You can also purchase a sniping service. I use MyIBay which is very inexpensive and can snipe the auctions where I am not around.
Use Ending Today
When searching eBay listings and categories, it can become very tiresome because there is so much out there. If you're just browsing for stuff to buy, then select a category, and select Ending Today. Items ending in the next 24 hours will be highlighted in red. Here's a tip to find great bargains. Look for items ending after midnight. There aren't as many people up after midnight and those auctions tend to get fewer bids. If you don't want to stay up that late, use a sniper to bid for you.
Search Completed items
To find out what a product is worth, it doesn't do any good to find prices for on-going auctions as this could change minute by minute. Searching Completed Items (from the eBay search box) is the best way to determine an item's worth or value.
Check the seller's feedback rating --and the comments
Because you are spending your hard-earned money, it pays to check the feedback left by others about the person from whom you're thinking of buying. When in an item's auction page, select "view seller's feedback."
This will list all comments made by others that have dealt with this person in the past. It can be very revealing. If you see a bunch of negative comments, stay away from this seller. If you see positive, then proceed. Don't let one or two negatives dissuade you if most of the feedback is positive. Everyone makes mistakes, and things do get lost in the mail. Also there are some people out there who are very difficult to please. Be careful buying expensive items from sellers who are newly registered or have a low feedback score.
Be careful about leaving negative feedback
You should always try and work things out with the seller. If a seller is a total fraud, then go ahead and leave negative feedback.
eBay is a community and most people are basically good, although all of us mess up once in a while. Unfortunately there are a few "Crazies" out there. If you leave negative feedback on them, they seek revenge, start flaming email wars, send emails to your bidders and so on. Sometimes leaving negative feedback on these people can cause more trouble than it is worth.
Check your email at least twice daily
As a buyer, you want to ensure you win the most bids you can– within your price range, of course. Since eBay will email you whenever you're outbid on an item for which you have an outstanding bid, you want to be sure you know as soon as possible, so you can re-bid if you want to. If you don't check your email, and you receive an outbid notice, by the time you do check email, the auction may be over for that item. Checking your email regularly will keep you informed of the status of your bids.
Also you want to respond quickly to any emails from buyers or sellers relating to your bids or your auctions.
How to narrow your search?
Since using a single word for your search can return many, many ads, you may want to narrow the search even more to get down to a more specific need. For example, suppose you are looking specifically for Timex watches as opposed to just any watches. Then use the AND keyword function in your search. In the search field, you'd enter Timex watch. This would return a list of all ads with both the words Timex and watch in them and exclude all ads that do not contain both words.
How to narrow your search even more?
Let's say you are looking for ads that include certain phrases, or words that go together in a specific order. For instance, if you are searching for teddy bears, you can use quotation marks. The command you would use is "teddy bear". This will return a listing of all ads with the words teddy bear in them. The word bear must immediately follow the word teddy for the listing to show.
Finding auctions with multiple words
If you are searching for items that have one of multiple words, you can use the OR keyword in your search. For example, if you wanted to find all auctions that have in their title listing the words cat or dog, then you would enter (cat, dog) in the search field. This would return all ads that have either the word cat or the word dog in their listing.
Locating auctions with one word, but not another.
If you are looking for watches, but are not interested in Timex watches then you would use the AND NOT keywords. In the search field, you would enter: watch -timex. This would return all auctions whose listings included the word watch, but excluded the word Timex. (Note there is no space between the minus sign and the word timex).