How To Search for Coins on eBay- Advanced Search Tips
At the time of writing this post, there were over 127,000 items listed in the US Coins category on eBay. With such a large number of items, the chances are good that the coin you are looking for may be for sale. However, sometimes it is difficult to narrow your search results to find the specific selection of items which meet your interest.
In this post, I will outline some of the search features that I use to help me narrow down search results and find coins more effectively.
One of the best ways to quickly narrow down your search results is to navigate to the most obvious category and then perform your search. This can allow you to make shorter queries and have your results pre-filtered by category.
Example: You want to find Susan B. Anthony Dollars graded PCGS MS65.
Navigate to the Susan B. Anthony category
Use the following search string: PCGS MS65
This will return all items from the Susan B. Anthony category that contain "PCGS" and "MS65"
Hint: Here is a list of eBay coin categories
This type of search is used when you want to locate items that contain either one word or another. To use this function, place the keywords in parentheses, separated by commas with no spaces after the commas. You can use as many different words as you want within the parentheses.
Example: You want to find a 2007 Lincoln Cent certified by PCGS or NGC.
Use the following search string: 2007 Lincoln (pcgs,ngc)
This will return all items which contain "2007" and "Lincoln" and contain either "PCGS" or "NGC"
Negative Key Words
This type of search is used when you want to eliminate search results that contain a certain word or words. To use this function, use a minus sign directly before the negative key word. You can use as many different negative key words as you want.
Example: You are looking for a 1955 Double Die Lincoln Cent, but you don't want to see replicas or Poor Man's Double Dies in your results.
Use the following search string: 1955 Double Die -poor -replica
This will return all items which contain "1955" "double" and "die" and eliminate any results which contain "poor" or "replica"
Wild Card Search
This type of search is used when you want to find search results that contain a word that starts with a certain sequence of letters. To use this function, end a string of letters with an asterisk.
Example: You are looking for a 1971-S Eisenhower Dollar certified by PCGS, but you only want the Uncirculated (MS) version.
Use the following search string: 1971 S Eisenhower NGC MS*
This will return all items which contain "1971" "S" "Eisenhower" "NGC" and begin with "MS"
This type of search is used when you want to find an exact term. An easy example is "Lincoln Cent". This would only return items that have the exact phrase "Lincoln Cent" in the title in that exact order. This function is actually more useful to eliminate the fuzzy search that eBay automatically uses which returns both singular and plural terms. For example, when you include a word like "roll" in your search query, eBay automatically searches for the singular "roll" and plural "rolls". To bypass their fuzzy search, you can use exact search. To use this function, include the exact match word or phrase within quotes.
Example: You are looking for rolls of Lincoln Cents, but you are only interested in lots containing multiple rolls.
Use the following search string: Lincoln "rolls"
This will return items that contain "Lincoln" and the exact term "rolls" (eliminating the automatic fuzzy search for "roll")
Putting it all together
All of these search functions can be used in conjunction to quickly and easily narrow your search results.
Example: You are looking for the 2006 W Silver Eagle certified by PCGS or NGC, but you are only interested in the Uncirculated (MS) version and you do not want a coin from the 20th Anniversary Set.
Use the following search string: 2006 w silver eagle (pcgs,ngc) ms* -20th
This will return items which contain "2006" "W" "silver" "eagle" and either "PCGS" or "NGC" that start with "MS" and does not contain "20th"