My Little eBay Secret… the Saved Search

How many times have you seen an out-of-budget gorgeous-something at your favorite store? Or owned something that was so fantastic, you wore or used it to scraps? A saved search on eBay can be your ticket to finding the items you want (and need) with minimal effort.

For example, in 2000 I was shopping at Urban Outfitters on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I instantly scooped up the coolest pair of Puma running shoes on clearance for $15. I wore those Pumas until they were an extremely unattractive gray, and until the tread was nearly entirely worn away. I saved a search on eBay with the necessary key words and specifics: Puma, Cell, Flow, and 6. Said search resulted in my acquisition of FIVE pairs in the same style, and in a variety of colors, the following four years.

I swear by eBay to such great levels, as I’ve nabbed one-of-a-kind gifts (vintage Star Wars birthday cards, anybody?), bridesmaid apparel, deeply discounted shoes, magazine back issues, jewelry, and the list goes on.

I use eBay to find:

  • something that has been long-gone from stores
  • an item recently in stores, but for a fraction of the retail price
  • something I need right away that meets my criteria perfectly

Once logged onto eBay, follow the steps below to enable alerts when items meet your specifications. And no, I am not employed by eBay. Good luck!


Step 1: Initial Search

Visit and type general search terms describing what you’re in search of. I typed “vera wang wedding dress.” Click the “Search” button.


Step 2: Select the proper category

To narrow my search results, I clicked “Wedding Apparel and Accessories” on the left-hand side of the screen.


Step 3: Narrow search results

Narrow your results further by viewing the categories and clicking on each that applies. I selected “Strapless” and “Small (0-4).” Each time you click a specification your results will update accordingly.


Step 4: Proceed to save your search

Select “Save this search and alert me later.”


Step 5: Set saved search specifics

In the box that appears, type in a title for your search (this will not alter the specifics), and keep the box checked if you’d like e-mail notifications, sent daily, when an item that matches your needs is listed on eBay. Also, select the duration; if the search expires, you receive an e-mail 7 days beforehand with a chance to renew.


Step 6: Access saved searches

To access your saved searches, run your curser over “My eBay” at the top and select “Saved Searches” from the dropdown. Ta-da! You’re on your way to finding something you love.

4 responses to “My Little eBay Secret… the Saved Search

  1. I still haven’t ventured into ebay 😀

    and the shorts are by Lee, which is stocked by General Pants Co.
    I don’t think they have the exact ones online, but there are some similar styles here:


  2. i’m totally with you on this… most of my designer stuff is from ebay… a long with a great percentage of other things… some of the best deals ever!!!! and some extremely rare finds!!! lovelove love it!

  3. i never browse ebay because i’m afraid i would end up buying everything!

  4. Great article Erin and so informative. I have not used e-bay all that much and your article makes we want to explore this world a lot more.

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