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General Search Tips

Try different search words
Imagine which words a seller might use to describe the item you're looking for. Try several different options and combinations - but use just two or three 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 2 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, you may be looking for a Barbie dress. If you want only red dresses, type 'Barbie red dress'. Remember to be specific and narrowly define your search for the best results.
Search titles and descriptions to get more matches
eBay's search engine 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.