Every day tens of thousands of items are sold on the eBay marketplace; a treasure trove for anyone who wants to know how much an item is worth.
It makes sense to research the price of an item you want to sell before doing so. This is especially true if you sell it locally or in markets that require you to enter a set price for the item.
And if you’re in the market for a used item, you might also want to know how much comparable items have cost in the recent past so you don’t overpay.
One of the best ways to research the price of items is to use eBay for it.
While there is no guarantee that you will find the exact item on the site, there is a good chance you will find it especially for items that are relatively popular as millions of items are sold each month on the market.
Research item prices on eBay
When you search for items on eBay Using the default search option on the site, eBay returns a list of current auctions or Buy It Now offers, but not auctions that have been completed in the past.
Since you are allowed to request any price regardless of the item, it is often the case that active auctions and Buy It Now offers do not accurately reflect the value of an item.
You need to click the Advanced link next to the large search button on the eBay website to open the advanced search form which provides you with additional search parameters. Or just click this link to open the page directly. You can bookmark the link so you can quickly access it when you need it. Note that you may need to change the eBay URL if you want to search a regional market, e.g. Eg eBay UK or Germany.
Look for the “search included” group on the page and check “Sold Listings” there. This includes only items that have sold on eBay in the results, exactly what is needed.
Now enter your keyword and make any other changes if you like, such as searching the title and description fields, returning only new or used items, or only offers from a specific seller or location.
Once you click search on page, you will be taken to the results page. It is similar to the usual auction pages on eBay, but with the difference that you will only find sold items on the list.
Here you will find sold items listed with the most recent items first. You can change the sort order from “end date: newest first” to one of the other options, for example, sort by price, oldest first, or location instead.
Depending on what you searched for, you may want to further narrow down the results list by selecting a category on the left or making other improvements to the search to filter out results that don’t interest you.
If you’re looking for a smartphone, for example, you may want to limit your search results to the smartphone category, and not accessories, screen protectors, or cases. This improves how quickly you can scroll through the list and how quickly you find results that match the items you want to know the price of and are currently worth.
Other filters you might consider are “new” to only return items listed as new (rather than used), seller type (commercial or private), or items from a certain location/region.
It can take a while to navigate through the list of results, and the Buy It Now prices listed here can be a bit confusing at first. Just remember that all the items listed here have been sold, so the BIN is the price it was sold for.
Note: The price range can sometimes be quite large. This boils down to several things:
- Item Condition: new is recovered more than used, and in perfect condition more than used.
- what is includedNote: One smartphone auction may include an extra battery, memory card, or other accessories, while another may not.
- seller reputation: Items sold by a trusted seller may sell for more than items sold by a new account or by an account with negative ratings. It is also true for items sold by sellers from another country.
- time of day and day: The day and time of day an item was sold can also affect the price. Items sold late at night may cost less than items sold during the morning or evening.
- auction date: Items are typically worth more when they sell closer to release or availability, and are worth less the farther away from the date. This is not true for all items and some items may retain their value. Generally speaking, you generally get less for an item the longer it has been available.
There are other factors such as “luck” that play a role, but the most important thing from the perspective of “figuring out how much an item is worth” is the condition and what is included in the auction.
now read: how to find items for less on eBay