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Refining your search

With so many items available on eBay, learning how to find what you want can save you valuable time.

Finding what you want

Whether you know exactly what you’re looking for or just want to go window shopping, our search options can help you find the right items.

  1. Tell us what you’re looking for

    In the search box at the top of most eBay pages, enter two to three words that describe what you’re looking for and click the Search button. For example, to search for a DVD player, type DVD player and click Search.

  2. Review your results and decide how to refine your search.

Problem What to do

You’re getting too many results

Select options in the Refine search column on the left side of the results page to narrow down what you’re looking for.

For more information, review our tips on narrowing your search.

You’re not getting enough results or you can’t find what you’re looking for

Try your search again using different words or select the Include title and description check box below the search box to include seller’s descriptions in your search.

For more information, review our tips on expanding your search.

You want to change your search and start over

Use the search box at the top of the page, not the one located above your search results. That way, we’ll search through all the items on eBay instead of searching within your current search results.

Narrowing your search results

Is your search yielding too many results? Try these tips for narrowing your search.

  • Use the options on the left side of your results page to limit your search results based on criteria you choose.

    The Refine search column on the left side of the results page helps you quickly narrow your results. While you can usually refine your search based on price range or category, other options are displayed based on your search words. For example, a search for sandals lets you choose your shoe size and your preferred style and colour.

  • Check out our suggestions for “Related searches.”

    On the lower-left side of the results page, we’ll often suggest related searches to try. For example, if you searched for DVD player, we might suggest more specific searches such as “DVD recorder,” “portable DVD player,” or “car DVD player.”

  • Try your search again using more specific words.

    If you know the brand you want or other details about the item, add it to your search words. For example, a search for Beatles poster will return fewer, more precise results than a search for Beatles.

Expanding your search results

If you’re not getting enough results, try these tips for expanding your search.

  • Include sellers’ descriptions in your search to get more results.

    We automatically search the titles of items and other item specifics, but sellers include more details in their descriptions. To get more results, select the Include title and description check box below the search box and click Search again.

  • Try your search again using different words.

    There are many ways to describe an item. Imagine the words a seller might use. Try several different combinations, but use just two or three words at a time to be sure you get a variety of results.

Here’s some more ideas to try:

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

  • Be careful when using and, or, and the in your search words. Include these words only if you expect them to be in the item’s title or description. Examples include Beauty and the Beast, The Fray, and Trick or Treat.

  • Only use punctuation in your search if you expect it to be in the item’s title or description. Examples include t-shirt and Plink.

Searching for items that match your criteria

If you’re looking for a specific type of item, such as items that end soon or items sold by a particular seller, click the Advanced Search link located next to the Search button above your search results. Advanced search offers all the options available in the Refine search column, and more.

Here are just a few of the things you can find using advanced search:

  • Items that include or exclude certain words

  • Items that end within a certain time period

  • Items that include free postage

  • Items located within a certain distance of your address

  • Items sold by a specific seller

  • Buy It Now listings

  • Completed listings

Learn more about advanced search.

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