I have to admit, I’m an eBay addict. I love the fact that I can pretty much find anything that I want—no matter how random, rare or out-of-date the item is! In fact, I’ve managed to score impossible-to-find items on eBay like Walt Disney movies that are currently in the vault, William Shatner’s album from 1968, and the no-longer-produced Snotrod car from the Cars movie. However, just because I like to shop for hard-to-find items on eBay, it doesn’t mean that I’m willing to pay a lot for them! Throughout my years of buying and selling, I’ve managed to learn a few tricks that have allowed me to find the best deals on eBay.

1. Search for misspelled words

Although you may find it hard to believe that someone would actually list an item on eBay and not double check their spelling, it happens way more often than you would think! Sometimes people make typos and don’t realize it, while other times people believe they’re spelling a word correctly when actually they’re way off. Either way, a misspelling can translate into big savings for you! Although you can try your own variations of misspellings, there’s actually a website that will do it for you. Fatfingers.com will allow you to search for an item on eBay, but will also search the most common spelling errors as well. For example, I searched "Mens Shoes" on Fatfingers and, in addition to searching those listings, it also searched “mems shoes,” “mens shows,” “men shoes” and several others. And, what do you know, I found a boatload of items with misspellings, including 31 (yes, 31!) listings for mems shoes! The best part? The majority of these items had no bids since most people are unable to find them.

2. Search for abbreviations in the title

Another little-known trick for finding hidden deals is to search for abbreviations in the title. Since eBay only allows 80 characters per title, many folks opt to use abbreviations when possible. Some common examples include “KT” for karat, “NBW” for never been worn, “SCR” for scratch, “ELEC” for electric, and “SS” for stainless steel. Most people don’t think to add abbreviations to their search phrases, so you’ll often find listings that many people never see. Next time you’re searching for an item, try a few abbreviations that you think could be used in the description.

3. Save your favorite searches

If you’re hoping to score a deal on a specific item, you may find yourself getting tired of constantly searching for the same thing—especially if you’re trying all sorts of abbreviations and misspellings. Instead, let eBay do the work for you by saving your favorite searches. After you search for an item, simply hit "save search" and eBay will notify you when new items are listed! You’ll be able to view the newly listed items from your eBay account, or you can choose to receive emails when these items pop up. Once you purchase that item you’ve been watching, simply go into your account and delete the saved search. Many people don’t realize that eBay offers this tool, which ensures you never miss a new listing and is an excellent resource for finding deals!

4. Be a night owl

I know what you’re thinking—you’ve been working all day, taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, and you’re exhausted! However, staying up a few hours past your bedtime may pay off in the long run. One of the best ways to find deals is to look for auctions that end when the least amount of people are online. As you’re searching the auction listings, scan the end times and look for those ending between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM—when most people are sleeping! Other times to look for items is early in the work week. Since most people get paid on Fridays, they have the majority of their spending money allocated for Friday – Sunday, making Monday – Wednesday the perfect time to beat out the other bidders! If you can find the items that you want ending on a Monday or Tuesday during sleeping hours, you’ll likely score yourself a pretty fantastic deal.


This is a guest post by Lindsey.

4 Tricks to Finding the Best Deals on eBay