Profit from misspelling

I’d always heard that the “true” power buyers on eBay knew some secrets on how to find the great deals – and one of the tricks of the trade was to look for items that had misspelled titles, as it was unlikely that many other people would actually find them. I’d never tried the technique, however.

I recently got a reminder about this when I came across Mashable’s “eBay Toolbox” post on 50+ tools for eBay buyers and sellers. It turns out a huge number of tools have been built for just this purpose – you give them the correctly-spelled keywords, and they’ll build searches to help you find the misspelled items!

It just so happens I was looking to trade in my Polar heart rate monitor and get a Garmin GPS-enabled unit, so I figured, “what the heck, I’ll give it a try.” Sure enough – there was one Garmin Forerunner unit on eBay, misspelled as Forrunner! At the time I found it, no bids had even been placed – and there were only 12 hours left! I watched the clock tick down and entered my bid… and sure enough, managed to walk away with the unit for $70 less than the average sales price on eBay! (I wasn’t the only bidder – there were others who had found this listing as well…)

After the auction closed, one of my coworkers commented “Way to stick it to that poor seller, Nate.” While the thrill of getting a great deal was pretty exciting, I did feel a bit conflicted as to my obligation to help out the seller (particularly since I’m on the selling team at eBay!)  But we do have a spellchecker (granted, it wouldn’t have caught Forrunner vs Forerunner as they’re brand names) and plenty of help that cites proper spelling as important…  plus it was really a great deal!

In any case, for those of you looking to score a sweet deal on eBay, I highly encourage you to check out the list of tools on Mashable, and put them to good use!


~ by Nathan on August 19, 2007.

One Response to “Profit from misspelling”

  1. Nice!

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