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Using eBay To Research Your Antiques

Whatever type of antique or collectible you are researching, unless it is unusually rare, you are bound to find some information about it from searching eBay. Here, I will show you some of my favorite tips.

First, I'm sure you know how to do a basic search on eBay, you go to the eBay homepage and type in your search terms. What you may not have noticed is that eBay has their own version of Advanced Search, like Google and other search engines. Right there on eBay's homepage is the link to the right of the search button. That will take you here:
I don't think eBay wants you to have access to their advanced search tools though, as they make you click one more time to see the real advanced searching options, click on the "Advanced Search" tool at the bottom of that page. 

eBay Research Tips

  • Try the general search first, if that doesn't bring up any solid information, then try the advanced search.
  • Like with Google, narrow your searches. When searching for the value of a movie poster, don't just type in the name of the movie or "movie posters", type "return from the black lagoon movie poster".
  • Make sure to check off the "Search title and description" box so you get the most results, then later you can uncheck this if you get too many results.
  • Use the advanced search to exclude words from your search. If you are searching for an artist named "Barbara Smith" and there is also an artist named "Bob Smith" who has alot of work on eBay, then enter "Bob" in the "Exclude these words" field to remove his listings from your search.
  • Try searching "All Categories" first, then narrow it down to the one category that best fits your item if you get too many results. Many sellers don't know the proper categories for their items or there may be multiple categories that the item fits in.
  • KEY: Make sure you search current listings first, but don't forget to search the complete listings as well! It's just a matter of checking a box and then you'll get all the closed auctions results for the last 15 days. This allows you to see what items have already sold for or if they have sold at all, a very valuable piece of information.
  • As with researching on Google, vary your search terms, include singular and plurals, common misspellings, variations and synonyms of words.
  • Don't forget that there are international versions of eBay, including the UK, Japan, Australia and many others. Searching eBay UK may be helpful for pricing your Staffordshire china set, for example.
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