As a long-term and successful eBay shopper, friends often ask me, "How on earth do you find such great stuff on eBay?"
To be honest, quite often I stumble across items by accident, but there also are a few tips some may find useful:
* Have a clear idea in mind of something you'd like to own - be creative - chances are, it's out there on eBay! For example, say you're looking to increase your shoe collection, think about predominant colours in your wardrobe and decide what shoes you're missing. I find it's often best to be a bit creative with colour names - e.g. don't search for "brown shoes" to match that outfit, search for "camel shoes"; you're more likely to match the colour you want more quickly.
* If you don't find anything you like from your search, add it to your Favourite Searches and have new items emailed to you - by doing this, I have pretty much always ended up with the item I've been after...good things come to those who wait! :-)
* If you find too many items come up and you don't know where to start, think about what's most important to you for the particular item. For example, do you need the shoes for a date next Friday? Sort by 'Items Ending Soonest'. Or are you a bit strapped for cash? Sort by 'Price: Lowest First'. Narrow down your search further using the handy eBay Search Options (down the left-hand side of the screen). If your search is to do with shoes or clothing, the menu a couple of windows above this section (above 'Matching Categories' and 'Related Guides') will also be handy for you - select your size, etc., so you are only looking at items you could use :-)
* Remember, sometimes items are worth a try - if they don't fit/suit when they arrive, you can always try selling them yourself - just make sure you're in line with eBay policy regarding plagiarism - NEVER use another Seller's images or text without permission!