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eBay - the Power of the Misspell

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This entry was posted on 5/19/2006 3:53 PM and is filed under Computers,Interesting,Internet.

Anybody looking for a 1976 Nolan Ryan basball card? How about a pair of stirling silver demitasse spoons in your grandmother’s pattern?

The last time I checked, you can find them on eBay, along with a number of basball caps and other misspelled items. Believe it or not, some people still don’t know how to spell check. But, bless their little misspelled harts, because you can use their errors to profit on eBay.

Every day items go up for auction with typos and misspells in the titles. The problem is that a large number of people search for items to buy using the search box, not browsing through the category listings. Therefore, the misspelled items are the ones that usually don’t fetch the bids they deserve because they’re not getting traffic. Sometimes you can pick these items up for a song. And, once you’re done singing what can you do? Resell the item on eBay, properly spelled of course, for quite a nice profit.

Some sellers have even begun to capitalize on eBay misspells by selling programs designed to find misspelled auctions. However, just typing in some of the most common typos and misspells into the search box will often times yield great results. (If the correct spelling automatically pops up, that means there were no items with that particular misspell.)

How do you know what a common typo or misspell is? One way to find them is to go to misspell sites such as, where you will find typo and misspell suggestions for any word you type in. Some common typos are often caused by leaving out a letter, such as in basball. You could also type in baseall and see several other items for sale. Transposing letters is another common typo, such as baesball, where, once again, you may find some items for sale.

Another way to utilize misspells on eBay is to include the most popular misspell in your title along with the correct spelling. The reason being that some people mistype or misspell the item they’re searching into the search box. For example, a Jack Lalanne Juicer is often typed in as Jack Lalane Juicer. That is a very common misspell, and numerous people type that into the search box when searching for a Jack Lalanne Juicer. If you type in Lalanne and Lalane into the title you are able to grab both sets of people, those who are spelling it correctly, and those who are not. You’ve just increased traffic to your auction.

Savvy eBay sellers (and buyers) are utilizing typos and misspells to their advantage. Give it a try. You might find yourself stumbling onto quite a few treasures.

Writer’s note: The items listed in the first paragraph, the Nolan Ryan baseball card and the spoons were auctions present on eBay at the time of this writing. However, there were numerous other items with the misspell of basball and stirling silver from which to choose.

Shari Hearn is a writer and owner of

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