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How To Do a Completed Item Search on eBay

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Using eBay's search feature to peruse completed listings (listings for auctions that have already ended) you can get recent pricing information, check out photos of pieces similar to your own, and read what others have found out about a piece in doing their own research (although not everything you glean from item listings will be accurate).

Completed item listings serve as a good point of departure when valuing antiques in general, and can be consulted before procuring a piece for your collection or prior to selling an item you own to get a rough idea of its worth in the eBay marketplace.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes or less

Here's How:

  1. Log in to eBay with your user ID and password at www.ebay.com. Only registered users are allowed to use the completed search feature, so you'll have to create an account if you don't already have one.
  2. Click the Advanced Search link in the shaded yellow area at the top of the eBay home page (next to the main Search button).
  3. Type your search keyword(s) in the space indicated.
  4. Check the Completed listings box located below.
  5. Click on the blue Search button to the right of the keyword text box.
  6. Enter your user ID and password, if prompted to do so (you'll be asked to do this if you haven't already logged in as indicated in step #1).
  7. Review the list of items that comes up on the screen.
  8. If needed, revise your keywords in the box next to the word "Find" and search again.

Tips:

  1. Keywords describe your item and should be specific to the piece. Using general words like "Depression glass" will yield too many results. Try words like "pink Mayfair" or "Mayfair plate" to acquire more specific completed listings.
  2. You may notice that the prices for similar items can vary widely in completed searches. Condition, unusual attributes, current demand, and bidding wars can all have an impact on how much an item will sell for on eBay. Clicking through to read the descriptions and looking at the bidding history for each item will help you determine why one piece sold for more than another.
  3. Keep in mind that eBay's completed item searches only show auction results for the two weeks prior to the date you conduct your search.
  4. As mentioned in the introduction above, not everything you read in eBay auction descriptions is accurate. Sometimes the sellers have been misled themselves and are perpetuating a myth, or they've simply made a mistake. If something conveyed in an item description doesn't add up, do a little more research before adding that information to your knowledge base.
  5. Completed searches default to show the item that ended the most recently first. If you would like to see the items that sold for the highest or lowest price, use the "Sort by" pull-down menu to select the appropriate sort description.

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