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Confessions of an eBay virgin

With millions of users registered with eBay you are looking at the world's largest marketplace.

Tens of thousands of items are listed every day and, whilst the vast majority of these do not contain spelling mistakes a significant number do! Either in the item title or in the description.

You're thinking "so what - why does this matter?" Put simply, these mis-spelled items cannot be found using eBay's search function alone.

To find them you have to browse category listings by hand, both exceptionally tedious and a waste of time. Mis-spelled auction items get less bids (if any) and therefore go for smaller amounts.

English Gillette Aristocrat razor

If you're using eBay's built-in search system to find them you'll need to manually generate a list of all of the possible mis-spellings for your particular search term.

Although this method works it's "hit or miss" not to mention tedious, because there are four main categories of mis-spelling.

First there are the obvious ways: missing out letters, typing the same letter twice and getting 2 letters round the wrong way. But then there's the less obvious mistakes like hitting a key next to the one that you wanted.

This sounds pretty simple. For example, searching for 'safety razors'. Using the above ways of mis-spelling the words result in a list of more than 300 mis-spelled combinations.

asfety razors,sfaety razors,saefty razors,saftey razors,safeyt razors,safet yrazors,safetyr azors,safety arzors,safety rzaors,safety raozrs,safety razros,safety razosr,afety razors,sfety razors,saety razors,safty razors,safey razors,safet razors,safety azors,safety rzors,safety raors,safety razrs,safety razos,safety razor,ssafety razors,saafety razors,saffety razors,safeety razors,safetty razors,safetyy razors,safety rrazors,safety raazors,safety razzors,safety razoors,safety razorrs,safety razorss,eafety razors,dafety razors,xafety razors,zafety razors,aafety razors,wafety razors,sqfety razors,swfety razors,ssfety razors,szfety razors,satety razors,sagety razors,savety razors,sacety razors,sadety razors,sarety razors

Schick Injector razor

If you're thinking there's no way that someone could mis-spell such a simple word combination as 'safety razor' here's a fact. Searching on using the above list of words results in many items which had no bids at all due to the fact that they're hidden to 'normal searchers'.

Whilst it's possible to generate the complete list of mis-spellings by hand it is very tedious, especially as the list grows longer as the length of your search increases.

There's a much better, and easier, way of picking up those bargains that have attracted no bids.

Websites exist that will generate a list of mis-spelled words, all you need do is supply the original search phrase and usually choose an eBay site to search.

Most of these websites however, will search the whole of the eBay site and you'll get lots of matches from unrelated categories, which can be a problem. Using Philip Lee's allows you to restrict your search to a particular eBay category.

Gillette safety razor

If you're looking to pick up a bargain this is great news and if you want an easy way to make money then buy these mis-spelled items and sell them on - spelt correctly - at a profit.

So whether you're trying to pick up a bargain or looking for cheap items to sell on again at a profit, searching for mis-spelled auction items on eBay is certainly the first thing that you should do. You'll bound to save money if you start searching using before anything else!

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