Misspelled eBay Listings: Dirt Cheap Hits

We probably shouldn’t encourage bad spelling. However, we will make an exception when it comes to misspelled eBay listings.

At any given moment, eBay can be a treasure trove of bargains. But as large as the hobby has grown, you need to be tactical to find a genuinely good deal.

In this post, we’re tackling one of the best strategies to finding a steal: locating misspelled listings. If you’re lucky enough to find a misspelled listing before anybody else, it might lead to a major payday.

Why Misspelled eBay Listings Matter

The programmers designed eBay’s search algorithm to make finding your items as simple as possible.

That said, because of how it functions, even if you misspell the name of the player you’re looking for, you are still likely to end up in the right place. For example, if you search for “Gannis Rookie,” you’ll still end up with a search full of 2013 Giannis cards, courtesy of eBay search suggestions.

But what if you wanted to end up in the wrong place? That’s the point of seeking misspelled listings. If you’re seeking those listing, you might stumble on a bargain.

As eBay’s searching gets smarter, finding mislisted cards becomes significantly harder to accomplish, but it’s still possible if you know what you’re doing.

How much will this spectacularly misspelled Giannis go for?

What To Look For In A Listing

First and foremost, you’re looking for listings with the player’s name misspelled.

The athletes’ names are the most accessible component of the listing to goof on, and it happens at a surprisingly high frequency. Odds are, you’ve had your name spelled wrong over the years—this is the same thing.

You can also find listings with the wrong year or a misspelled set name or insert type, and those impact final sales price as well, but not nearly as much as a misspelled name.

How To Find Misspelled eBay Listings

Finding a misspelled listing is done in a similar way to finding any listing—you just need a few choice hacks at your fingertips:

  • For one, eBay treats anything listed in quotation marks as an exact search, so eBay will only pull results that match exactly what you typed.

For example, search for “Luca Doncic” —including the quotation marks—and you’ll get lots of “Luca” cards.

  • The other strategy is using the minus sign. Use it before a word or phrase, and eBay will exclude any results with that word included.

For example, if you search “Doncic -Luka,” your search will return results that include any listing under the title Doncic, which does no include Luka. So your results could be Luca Doncic, Luke Doncic, Lukka Doncic, or anything else in between.

The second approach is more of a shotgun approach. You’ll get more results, but some of them will include accurate (though incomplete) listings. For example, the “Doncic -Luka” search would pull up a listing for a card lot listing that only includes Luka’s last name.

So which strategy should you use?

It depends on what you’re hoping to find. Sometimes, the sellers seem to have tried to “sound it out” and failed. Other times, or sometimes the seller put in something completely off the mark.

The second approach covers both types of mistakes, but if you have a specific misspelling you’re after, use the first method!

Method 1 involves putting a specific misspelling in quotation marks.
Method 2 involves adding a minus sign, so eBay excludes unwanted results.

How Much Can You Save On Misspelled eBay Listings

After all the trouble of telling you how to find misspelled cards, you might be wondering if the final sales price is even worth the effort.

Don’t worry. We’ve researched it for you.

Here are five misspelled cards compared to their correctly-spelled counterpart.

After doing some light numbers-crunching:

  • Buying these four cards with misspelled listings would have cost $285.
  • Buying them correctly listed would have cost $460.

On average, that’s almost 40% off!

So, is it worth the effort?


Mark our words. This LeBorn fellow will go far.

Resources For Finding Misspelled eBay Listings

eBay buyers have long taken advantage of deals through misspelling. There are even websites dedicated to the art of locating misspelling. The best known is FatFingers, which is quite useful. Here you can enter the name of the athlete and see what comes up.

Missing-Auctions is another useful site. Unlike FatFingers, it allows you to narrow the search by category.

Commonly misspelled athletes

In addition to the five athletes used in the example, consider:

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Shohei Ohtani
  • Kevin Durant
  • Stephen Curry
  • Kylian Mbappe
  • RJ Barrett
  • Tua Tagovailoa
  • Brett Farve
  • Dwyane Wade
  • And more

In truth, almost any athlete you can think of probably has at least a couple of misspelled listing on eBay at any given time. Choosing the athletes on this list might be even more apparent, so don’t be afraid to stray away from these suggestions.

Get out there, find your own badly misspelled eBay treasure.

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist and content marketer who has played sports and collected trading cards almost his entire life. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more.  You can learn more about him at www.contentninjamarketing.com.