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General search tips

Try different search words
There are many words to describe any item. Imagine which words a seller might use to describe the item you're looking for. Try several different options and combinations -- but use just 2 or 3 words at a time to be sure you get a variety of results.

Try words which have a similar meaning
For example, you'll get two different lists of items when you search for wedding dress and bridal gown.

Use specific words instead of general ones
For example, a search for Beatles poster will return fewer, more-targeted listings than a search for Beatles.

For a closer match, specify a date, colour, or brand

For example, to find a particular Barbie item, don't just type Barbie in the search box. If you want only red dresses, type: Barbie red dress. Remember: be specific and narrowly define your search.

Search titles and descriptions to get more matches
Search always looks for your keywords in the title of the items for sale. Click on search titles and descriptions under the search box to also search item descriptions. You'll get many more results.

Be careful when using and, or, and the
eBay's search engine searches for and, or, and the just like it would any other word. Use and, or, and the only if you're searching for items containing these words, such as Diana Ross and the Supremes or Truth or Dare.

Don't use extra punctuation
Only use punctuation in your search if you expect it to be in the item title or description for which you're searching. Examples include t-shirt, N-Sync and Dr. Watson.

Consider browsing
If you're not searching for something specific, try browsing through the category listing pages for surprising discoveries.