eBay Search Tips

First, go to the eBay® website and read the information they post about searching. After you open an eBay® account, go the the My eBay page and click on Advanced Search at the top of the page. From that page you can go to “general search tips” and “advanced search commands”. Only after you’ve read that should you follow any of the examples below.

Example #1

The following search criteria will work nicely in the following categories:

  • Stamps> United States> Back of Book> Revenues
  • Collectibles> Paper> Ephemera
  • Collectibles> Paper> Documents
  • Coins & Paper Money> Paper Money: US

  • Search Criteria: (check*,cheq*,draft*,certificate*,receipt*)

    Note: Placing an “*” after the search words accomplishes two things. First, as a wildcard character, the “*” will include any other letters that are on the end of the word, such as plurals that end with “s”. Second, it will prevent eBay® from trying to out-think you and give you results with different spelling variations. For example, if you search on cheque, eBay® will also return check (I did it and got 10,522 items), but if you search on cheque* (with an * at the end), eBay® will NOT return check (I did it and got 214 items).

    But, this search criteria will not work well in a search for All Categories, as you will get all the listings for fabric with “check” patterns, all the gift certificates, and every listing that contains “check this out”.

    Example #2

    The following search criteria will work nicely for All Categories:

    Search Criteria: (check*,cheq*,draft*,certificate*,receipt*) -(gift) (nevada,nv)

    It will retrieve the document types specified for Nevada and it will not retrieve all the Nevada casino gift certificates.

    Example #3

    You may also exclude words like “out”, “this”, “them”, “list” and “checkbook”.

    Search Criteria: (check*,cheq*,draft*,certificate*,receipt*) -(gift,out,this,them,list)

    Note: One cannot go beyond searching titles, since there would be millions of people who list “check” as one form of acceptable payment.


    You’ll need to refine your own search criteria based upon the keywords that will yield the types of documents you collect. There are several ways to go about it, depending on your time and patience.