How much can a spelling mistake cost you? For sellers on eBay, the answer is: a lot more than you would think. One of the biggest steals involving an eBay typo was a bottle of Allsopp’s Arctic Ale, a rare beer from the mid-19th century. The original seller misspelled the brand name “Allsop’s” in the listing, so only 2 people were able to find it and bid on it. The bottle sold for just over $300. Two months later, the bottle’s new owner re-listed it — with the correct spelling, this time — and got bids in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars!
Again, this is an extreme example, but there are thousands of other listings on eBay whose titles or descriptions contain incorrectly-spelled keywords. Even popular brands like Adidas, Samsung, and Kindle are frequently misspelled in listings. These misspelled eBay items tend not to attract a lot of attention or bids, and that’s something you can take advantage of as a buyer. If you’re willing to look for them, you might be able to get even top-brand items at eBay clearance prices through a low auction bid or Best Offer! This article will explain how to track them down.
What is covered in this article:
A seller’s carelessness could be your great gain, so let’s get started!
What are eBay spelling mistakes and how do they save you money?
Many listings on eBay.com have key words in their titles misspelled. This makes them hard to find using the basic search system, since it works by name and only returns exact spelling matches. This means that these listings don’t get as much attention as others, and in turn, get fewer bids or offers.
With not a lot of activity on them, sellers may get desperate enough for a sale that they drop their prices significantly, or accept a Best Offer favorable to the buyer. Or, an auction may be won by a low bid that goes relatively uncontested. It’s just one way to get an eBay discount!
The best way to win items on eBay while also paying the lowest possible price is by using Best Offers. Some tips for using Best Offers include: make a serious, reasonable offer the first time, add a message for the seller, and make use of your three counter-offers.
eBay misspelling search: how to find the items
Alright, so how do you actually find misspelled eBay items? Well, there are a couple of tricks and tools that you can use to hunt them down. Here are few quick steps for how to find misspelled items on eBay.
1. Log into your account on eBay.
Doing this now will save you from having to do it later if you end up wanting to buy one of the items that you find, but it’s not necessary if you’re just browsing items.
2. Search for a group of misspelled variations of your keyword(s).
Before you go any further, think of ways that your key search term(s) might be misspelled. For example, if we want to search for “Batman,” some common typos of it may be “batmam,” “barman,” battman,” “bamtan,” “batnan,” “batnam,” “batmman,” “batmann,” and so on. Write them down if it helps.
When you’re ready, click in the search box at the top of any page on eBay. Type a left parenthesis, and then type in your list of misspelled words on eBay you want to search for, making sure to separate each one with a comma. When you’re done your list, type a right parenthesis at the end and then click the Search button.
Using this syntax lets you search for listings that include any of your spelling mistakes, but not necessarily all of them at once.
3. Refine your search using eBay’s filtering tools.
You’ll now see a set of listings that each include at least one of the misspelled words in your search terms. From here, you can use some basic search tools to narrow down what you’re looking for.
For example, if you only want to see auction misspellings, click the Auction button at the top of the search page (or in the left-hand menu) to see only misspelled eBay auctions that contain your search term(s). Or, click one of the options under “Categories” if you know what you want to find is a specific type of merchandise — in this case, action figures.
See our lesson on how to do a basic eBay search for help with other ways you can filter and sort your search results.
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9 misspelled eBay bargain checkers you can use to find deals for you
If it sounds like too much work to check every possible misspelled variation of a word, then you’re in luck. There are a number of eBay misspellings search engines that have compiled databases of the most misspelled words on eBay. All you need to do is type in a properly-spelled keyword or two, and you’ll find a whole bunch of misspelled items and auctions on eBay that would have been difficult to find otherwise!
The following is a list of the most popular ones.
BargainChecker lets you search any of 13 different national versions of eBay for misspelled items. You can look for misspellings, correct spellings, or both at the same time, and you can even search within item descriptions as well as titles.
You can also filter by Fixed Price or Auction-Style formats (though not Best Offers), price, or non-accessory items. BargainChecker also features tools for finding bargains close to you, listings that are ending soon, typos on eBay Motors, and general daily deals. It even features commonly misspelled eBay items, as well as recommended listings based on what you search for!
Goofbid is another popular eBay misspelled auction finder. It includes more advanced search options than BargainChecker.com does, such as the ability to check item condition, postage price, Best Offers, and listings of other specific statuses. It also has a boatload of other tools for searching and using eBay, its key one being an aide for placing last-minute bids in auctions. However, it doesn’t have a specific section for eBay Motors like BargainChecker does.
FatFingers is another website that can help you find misspelled eBay listings, and it works for 15 national versions of the website. It also offers some unique advanced search filters. For example, it can search for a typo in an item’s description instead of the title, or a correct spelling in the description that isn’t in the title. You can also search within certain categories or exclude others, or ignore listings containing certain words.
FatFingers also has a section for finding last-minute bargains, which includes a tool to help you identify and avoid scams. It even has a mobile app you can download on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows 8 for deal-hunting on the go!
TypoHound is a pretty basic eBay misspelled word finder. Simply select which national version of eBay you want to search on (from 12), type your search term into the box, and then click “Sniff.” TypoHound will then generate a link to a listings search with common misspellings of the word you entered. These include: a character missing or accidentally typed twice, two characters with swapped positions, or a character beside another one on the keyboard entered instead of (or in addition to) the correct one.
An eBay wrong spelling search is just one of the features you’ll find on BayCrazy. It also has specialized searches for items selling in your local area (in several categories), items with the “Buy It Now” option, auctions that are ending soon, auctions that end in the middle of the night, and even items on Amazon! However, it has few advanced search options, and it only works for 5 countries (UK, US, Australia, Germany, and Canada).
6. No Bids
No Bids contains an eBay spelling mistake finder that you can use to search for discounts in one of 10 national versions of the site. Like FatFingers, it has a few unique search filters, such as how soon a listing will end, whether or not the seller accepts PayPal, and how many (or few) bids an item has received. It also contains tools to search for auctions ending soon with no bids (hence the name), items that are on a lot of people’s Watch Lists, or auctions with the most total bids on them. And, like FatFingers, it also has a mobile app, though only for iOS and Android.
7. Typo Bay
On the surface, Typo Bay seems like a pretty simple eBay spell checker, like TypoHound. However, it has some fancy features that other websites of its kind don’t have. For example, it makes searching for multiple keywords easier by allowing you to specify certain words that you want to appear correctly spelled in your search. You can also change the degree to which the search terms it uses are misspelled compared to your original search term. Unfortunately, similar to BayCrazy, it only works for 5 different countries: US, Canada, UK, Australia, and France.
Missing-Auctions.com is another website for finding eBay mistakes, and it works for up to 13 national versions of the website. You can look for correct and/or incorrect spellings in titles, and even in descriptions if you wish. You can even narrow your search to listings with the “Buy It Now” option, completed auctions, or auctions with one or fewer bids!
Missing-Auctions.com also features recent searches, a browser add-on so you can use it anywhere, and other tools for using eBay. You can even get a free e-book from the website’s creator on finding misspelled items and selling them for profit!
WatchCount.com contains all sorts of different search tools for eBay, including an eBay wrong spelling finder that works for the US, the UK, and Canada. But it also has ways to find items that are getting the most attention or bids on eBay, or that have already sold. This can be useful information if you’re trying to gauge an item’s price point or Best Offer as a seller.
If you’re a buyer, WatchCount.com can also help you find auctions ending soon that have few bids on them, possibly letting you score a bargain! Finally, you can add WatchCount.com as a default search provider in your browser, letting you use it quickly from anywhere.
We’ll end by finishing the anecdote from our introduction: the winning bid for the second auction on that historic bottle of beer was over $500,000! But the winning bidder admitted that it was a joke, so the bottle stayed with the seller. However, if he wanted to, the seller could have forced the bidder to take the item and pay for it, since auction bids are considered legally binding on eBay. Keep that in mind: only bid on things you actually want, and be aware of how and when you can cancel a bid!
We’ll teach you about the best cheap shopping websites with better deals than eBay to help you find a bargain on the items you like to buy online.