I’ve added this section on useful eBay searches to my Magazine Collecting page. It’s about creating a basic search and building up the targeting. Just click on one of these links and it’ll take you to eBay and do the search for you in a new browser window:
- live listings: Magazines on eBay UK only (this includes overseas sellers who have put their listing on ebay.co.uk);
- completed listings for magazines on eBay UK so you can see what actually sold.
The trick is to narrow down the numbers – from 404,000 live listings in this case – to focus on what you want. If the magazine has a unique name, it’s easy:
- Just 54 results for Web User.
It’s tricky if your title is part of other titles. Take Today, a general interest weekly from the 1960s, for example:
- results for Today in Magazines on eBay UK.
There are 1,000+ results for this because of all the titles with ‘Today’ as part of their name: Yachting Today, Today’s Golfer, History Today, etc. So, remove those words using a minus sign:
- results for Today -yachting -golfer -history -railways -knit -heritage -sew in Magazines.
No doubt you can see ways to improve the search based on the results that you don’t want. Be careful though, because you will also remove results for your target magazine that use that word in the description.
There is a Categories menu on the left column in eBay that can narrow down a search. However, I find this unreliable. Today, the News & Current Affairs category had 5 results – and no copies of Today were there, but there was a book about bears!
Once you’re happy with it, save the search so you can repeat it later.
It’s worth bearing in mind that sellers listing magazines can get things wrong – or perhaps list an issue in, say ‘Collectables’ rather than as a magazine. Again, Empire might be found in ‘Films & TV’. So, step out of your focused search occasionally to see what might be coming up elsewhere. Also, watch out for alternative spellings and errors: Car Week or CarWeek, Today’s Golf or Today’s Golfer or Todays Golfer.