Looking for an eBay Deal? Try Misspelling It

Bad spelling can lead to online bargains

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North Texas eBay store has found a surprising way to find a bargain -- misspell the item you want to buy on the Internet auction Web site.

If buyers misspell an item, eBay's Web site will suggest the correctly spelled word. But it does not correct incorrectly spelled words for sellers, said David Goldstein, vice president of marketing and business development for Easysale.

"I was amazed to see how many misspellings there are, even with fairly easy-to-spell words," Goldstein said.

The idea is simple. If a word is not spelled correctly, fewer people find the item online. The fewer people who bid, the lower the price.

Take gaming consoles. By finding misspellings of PlayStation 3s -- such as Platstation -- Goldstein found buyers can save up to 80 percent.

After nearly a week online, "Platstation" had only two bids. The highest was $159.

"For there to be only two bids for a PlayStation after a week, (it’s) very unusual," Goldstein said.

By comparison, a few dozen people bid on the correct spelling of PlayStation -- and the price was $290.

"So it really works," Goldstein said. "It really works."

Goldstein has added a "typo treasures" search page on the company's Web site.

Another example: PlayStation spelled correctly is one word. But make it two words, and you can save 40 percent, he said.

"Even the presence of a space can make a huge difference, and I really was surprised," he said.

Of course, what's good for the buyer isn't so good for the seller.

"If you're a seller, it's terrible, because you want to sell for the highest price you can," Goldstein said.

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