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Find a Bargain Courtesy of Dumb People

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 18, 2005

eBay’s Adam Trachtenberg alerts us to, a new search site for eBay auctions listed by the spelling-challenged (or at least the careless). So, try a search on “leappad,” the educational toy, and you get listings misspelled “leapad.” In case you’re not an eBay aficionado, this matters because such misspelled listings understandably get far fewer bids than those spelled correctly—so you can often get good deals thanks to less competition. Three cheers for our great edgikayshinul system.

UPDATE: In Comments, Adam notes that folks at eBay call this “literacy arbitrage.”

Reader Comments

Donny H.

October 18, 2005 8:31 PM

Rob, how long was this function in place?

This idea is simply brilliant. If enough people become hip to the possibilities of winning auctions on eBay for a whole lot less by bidding on misspelled auctions - imagine this becoming a worldwide trend - I could imagine eBay cleaning up the spelling on all auction ads.

Adam Trachtenberg

October 19, 2005 8:31 PM

I didn't mention this in my post, but we call this "literacy arbitrage".

jay bo

October 30, 2005 6:23 PM

Here is another site to search for misspellings for auctions. It works fast and simple. To find the deals misspellings are the way to go .

Mary Carns

November 30, 2005 6:01 AM

Here is a HUGE list of misspelled search sites:

Jim Henderson

December 13, 2005 4:10 PM has been around for over 3 years and has always had a misspell search engine. It's worth checking them out a good majority of the other sites have copied them.

Stuart Dukeman

December 17, 2005 10:45 PM

Another site for search misspelled auctions is now on the web @ This one is different because it has already pick over 150 Brand Names & Product types for you to choose from. I could never think up that many different things to type in those search engines.

Phil Lee

September 20, 2006 12:10 PM

Of course if you like your searches to work silently for you via RSS, is worth a look as it allows you to create that'll notify you as soon as a new mis-spelled items matching your search appears.

It's also got a tag cloud which shows you what people have been looking for - useful if you're looking to determine the popularity of a product to sell.


October 27, 2006 4:12 PM

There's also one at that picks up ebay misspellings...

I also dig the Gumshoo site for its advanced search features, but it didn't bring back as many results for me.

Bargain Hunter

September 12, 2007 5:36 PM

If you are really serious about finding misspelled eBay bargains, check out You can include and exclude words to narrow down your search quickly. It also filters out misspellings that are actually common words. This helps reduce the unwanted listings greatly.


September 14, 2007 3:02 AM

Another site for search misspelled auctions is now on the because it has already pick over 150 Brand Names


October 8, 2007 12:53 PM

This is not new idea, you can simply write easy script to generate common misspellings .

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