7 Tips to make you more efficient on eBay as a Buyer

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 9, 2021

The auction site and marketplace ebay is a popular destination when it comes to buying things online. I use it predominantly to find items that are not available in shops anymore, e.g. old console games, Lego stuff, or even the odd TV remote that you cannot get anywhere else from anymore.

While ebay is relatively easy to use, it is often the case that you can get better deals and be more efficient on the site if you understand how it works better. In this guide, I'm listing seven tips that could make you a better, more efficient, buyer on eBay.

Tip 1: Efficient ebay Homepage searching

ebay search efficient

While you can type a search term to find things of interest, it happens quite often that unrelated items are returned on eBay. Search on eBay provides you with a handful of options to narrow down results.

  • Use the minus-character to exclude items from search, e.g. ITEM -ITEMB, to only return results that don't match ITEMB.
  • Limit the results by category. Ebay runs searches across all categories by default.
  • If you get only a few results, check the "include description" option.

Tip 2: Advanced search options on ebay

ebay advanced search

Ebay's advanced search page provides you with options to define additional parameters for the search:

  • Include and exclude keywords.
  • Search by category.
  • Search titles and descriptions.
  • Set a price range.
  • Set a buying format.
  • Set item conditions.
  • Set shipping options.
  • Define location boundaries.
  • Search specific sellers.
  • Show results with certain characteristics, e.g. best offer or sale items.

While you can make these changes on the results page as well, it may be faster to set them right away.

Tip 3: Sort options are your friend

ebay sort results

Ebay displays results by relevancy and may display sponsored results on top as well. The sort options that are provided by eBay let you change the default sort order. You could change them to sort by lowest price (including shipping), highest price, ending soonest, or by nearest.

Tip 4: Filters are even better

ebay filters

Filters are probably the most useful option to narrow down results on ebay. You find them on the advanced search page but also on search results pages.

You may use filters to list items by category, platform, type, model, condition, location, price, seller or buying format.

Tip 5: Save Searches

ebay save search

Ebay has a handy option to save searches to open results at a later point in time using the available items at the time as the base. It speeds up things tremendously when you buy items of a kind regularly, or if you could not find an item of interest but want to continue searching for it.

You can check out our guide on using ebay searches for additional details.

Tip 6: Research prices before you buy

ebay sold items

Did you know that you can look up for how much items sold on ebay? It is an excellent option to find out how much an item is worth before you make a buying decision; it is also great for sellers who don't know for how much they should sell an item on ebay.

Basically, what you do is open the advanced search page, type the name of the item that you are interested in, and check the "sold listings" option before you hit the search button.

Check out our research item prices on ebay guide for additional details.

Tip 7: Best Offer means you can get the item for less

ebay offer

Many items that are offered on ebay have a best offer option enabled. It is called "make offer", and you can even enable the "has offers" filter to only display these on ebay.

Best offer means that you can suggest a price for the item. It is up to the seller to accept the offer, make a counteroffer, or decline it right away.

Sellers may enable auto-accepts as well. Select "make offer" on eBay and suggest a price for the item. Some sellers set lower thresholds for the price so that offers lower than the threshold are rejected automatically.

Often, it is possible to get 5% or 10% off the item, or even more. It depends on a number of factors, but it is always better to use the make offer option if it is available as you will save money when using it.

See our how to buy items for less on ebay guide for additional tips.

Now You: do you use ebay? Have other tips?

7 Tips to make you more efficient on eBay as a Buyer
Article Name
7 Tips to make you more efficient on eBay as a Buyer
Find out how to become a more efficient buyer on the ebay marketplace: save money, speed up searches and purchases.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [https://www.ghacks.net/2012/08/04/add-search-the-internet-to-the-windows-start-menu/] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL: https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for https://www.ghacks.net/2023/09/28/reddit-enforces-user-activity-tracking-on-site-to-push-advertising-revenue/

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

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