Find Hidden Deals With eBay Advanced Search

Ebay homepage showing search bar and advanced search features

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The eBay advanced search tool allows users to customize their site search by not only product and keyword but also with timeframes and the number of bids received. By clicking "Advanced" to the right of the "Search" button on the eBay home page, shoppers can target just the bargains they are looking to find. Visit Advanced Search, enter your product or keyword in the top box, and then scroll down to access some of the special tools that Advanced Search makes available to you.

eBay Listings Ending Within One Hour

Most of the time, auction format listings on eBay get bid up to reasonable market value levels, particularly for common products that are in reasonable demand. However, every now and then a listing is posted that just doesn't get many bids, even though it should.

Maybe the photos aren't quite what they could be. Maybe the listing duration was too short. Maybe the title is slightly misspelled or the product has been misidentified. Whatever the reason, if there's a listing for a product you'd like to buy that's about to end with few or no bids on it, you'd probably like to know about it. Maybe even snipe it. Snipe bidding is the practice of entering a single offer at the very last moment of a timed auction.

Scroll down to the "Show results" area of Advanced Search and check the line that enables you to search for listings ending within a certain time frame. Opt to find listings that end within one hour. The one hour window gives you listings that are close to the final value they'll achieve if you don't bid on them.

Look for listings with few or no bids, or listings that are significantly undervalued and place your bid. You could just win the item for pennies on the dollar.

Search by Number of Bids

Advanced search options will allow the user to search for listings that have a particular number of bids. As an example, you can search for listings that have from zero to one bid. This will find listings that few other shoppers have found, for whatever reason.

For a double deal-finding whammy, combine the number of bids search with the ending within an hour search. When you combine such elements you find listings that have received little attention and that are about to end.

Advance Search for Sale Items

eBay offers sellers the ability to temporarily mark fixed-price goods down to "sale" prices for promotions. While some sellers use sales constantly without actually discounting their prices by much. Essentially, some sellers will show they are "discounting" items just for the appearance when the price is actually their market price. However, other sellers do reduce prices to stimulate buying or to move overstock or seasonal goods.

Check the "Sale items" box to search only for items matching your keyword(s) that have also been temporarily discounted by their sellers. Sometimes these discounts can result in very good prices.

Best Offer

Making offers to sellers has become a time-tested way for getting better-than-expected deals on eBay items—but it can be difficult to find items for which sellers accept offers when relying on eBay's general search tool.

Happily, you can search only for items with offers accepted by checking the "Best offer" box in the Advanced Search tool. Search for your items this way and scour the results for sellers with great feedback and already relatively low prices—then make them an offer that is 5% to 10% less than their asking price, and you'll usually seal the deal.