Smart Searching: Find The Hidden Left Handed Guitars on eBay

How to find left handed guitars on ebayStop! Did you know that you might be missing out on potentially hundreds of left handed guitars on eBay? You may be blissfully unaware that you aren’t searching correctly, and are in fact overlooking many hidden gems!  This guide should hopefully give you all the tools you will need to reliably uncover the best left handed guitars on eBay.

How to Find Left Handed Guitars on eBay

Consider for a minute that you want to buy a used Fender Stratocaster. You navigate to the guitar category on eBay and type ‘left handed Fender Stratocaster‘ into the trusty search box. Bingo! At the time of writing I was given a whopping 270 results (on eBay USA).

Initial eBay Search Results

Straightforward enough, right? Well…unfortunately not!

If you take a look through the results, you’ll notice that more than half of the guitars are actually right handed. Why? Because searching like this scans the auction titles as well as the descriptions on the actual product pages. So for reasons known only to eBay, this gives us many completely unrelated results. Plus, a ton of guitars are missing entirely because they haven’t been adequately described by the seller!

You may be thinking, ‘well why not just tick the left handed box to get rid of the right handed results?‘. The simple answer is that many sellers won’t have entered this information, so you’re still going to miss out on a lot of potentials.

To get around this problem we need to search by title only, to ensure that we can uncover every relevant guitar. This is where ‘smart searching’ comes into play, because as I’ve already mentioned above, many guitars aren’t adequately titled. The reason for this is both simple and frustrating – creating an eye-catching title description for a lefty guitar is instantly more challenging due to the fact that you have less typing space to play with.  Right handed players don’t need to waste space telling bidders that the guitar is right handed, but us southpaws do!  By the time you’ve thrown in every synonym and abbreviation for ‘left handed‘ you’ll be lucky to have enough room left to tell your potential bidders the brand of the guitar!

So what do people do? They sacrifice space to better describe the guitar, failing to adequately advertise the left handed orientation of the item.  Let’s take a look at a few examples of how sellers choose to describe their guitars…

eBay Search Results for Fender

As you can see, sellers use different terms and abbreviations to advertise the guitars as being left handed – and there are many more than just these four! You’ll also notice that the guitars are called both ‘Strat’ and ‘Stratocaster’. Obviously you would grow weary of searching for each of these different description terms, and you certainly don’t want to trawl the entire list of guitars on eBay, looking for suitable guitars listing by listing.

Smart Searching on eBay

So let’s get smart! Here is the search enquiry that I personally use to ensure that I find all of the best deals on eBay.  Surf over to the guitar section on your country’s eBay website and enter : (left,lefty,lh,l/h,southpaw)

What this is basically saying to eBay is ‘show me all of the listings which have ANY of these terms in their title description’. So in this case any auction which has any of ‘left‘, ‘lefty‘, ‘lh‘, ‘l/h‘ or ‘southpaw‘ in their title. Putting any terms within brackets and separated by commas will achieve the same function. So for example, (PRS,Paul Reed Smith) would search for listings with either ‘PRSorPaul Reed Smith‘ in the title.

If you’re looking for a specific brand or model just throw that in after the end bracket, for example (left,lefty,lh,l/h,southpaw) ibanez will throw up all of the guitars from Ibanez. You can also further hone your results by choosing to omit certain keywords. For example if you want a Fender in any color apart from red or black, you can try (left,lefty,lh,l/h,southpaw) Fender -(Red,Black). Experiment with it and tune it to your needs.

Does It Work?

Now that you’re armed with your laser-targeted search terms let’s go back to our original search example.

Our new search becomes (left,lefty,lh,l/h,southpaw) Fender (Strat,Stratocaster). I’ve included two options for Strat at the end to make sure we scoop up both terms.

You’ll remember that in our original basic search we threw up 270 results, most of which were right handed guitars. Our new, laser targeted search gives 442 results, 99% of which are left handed. A MASSIVE increase!

eBay Smart Search Results

The only guitars that we won’t have uncovered are the ones that have been really badly titled. For example if a lefty Yamaha acoustic has been listed as ‘Yamaha Acoustic Guitar‘. But I would argue that you probably don’t want to deal with these kinds of sellers anyway – dodge that bullet!

Refine it Even More!

Although we now have 442 results, many of these won’t be relevant to you. For example, we have super expensive vintage instruments included, as well as cheaper parts and accessories such as scratchplates and tuners. So the next job is to further refine the search using the filters on the left hand side of the site.

Since we’re looking for an electric guitar, it’ll probably be safe enough to click on the ‘electric guitars’ category to eliminate most (but not all!) of the accessories. As I’ve mentioned above, most sellers don’t list their items correctly, so I wouldn’t bother using any of the checkboxes for dexterity, body color, or model type etc..

If you have a specific budget in mind, enter your spending range into the price boxes. If your search is still throwing up unwanted accessories or guitars you can also use it to get rid of these. For example, if you’re after a Custom Shop Strat you aren’t likely to find anything under $1000, so fire that number into the maximum price box to get rid of more chaff.

You can also further add to your search terms to help refine results. For example, if people are adding ‘Fender‘ to the title of their Squiers, or Strat copies, you can try – (left,lefty,lh,l/h,southpaw) Fender (Strat,Stratocaster) -(Squier,Squire,Copy) to get rid of those.

Save Your Search

You probably don’t want to have to type in and filter your search terms every day, right? So once you’ve crafted the perfect search, make sure to bookmark the results in your browser so that they’re always only a single click away.

If you’re going to be having a quick look every day to see what’s new, a top tip is to use the dropdown menu to arrange the results by ‘Time: Newly Listed‘. This will ensure that all of the latest listings will appear at the top of the page.

Another option is to hit the ‘Follow this Search‘ button at the top of the search page. If you do this, eBay will send you a handy daily email featuring all of the latest listings which satisfy your search criteria.

Follow This Search on eBay

That concludes our guide to finding left handed guitars on eBay, I hope you will use this information to make your next southpaw guitar purchase a good one! Now that you know how to find the guitars, take a look at our guide on How to Get The Best Prices on eBay Guitars

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Neal Author Bio
Neal has been playing guitar (left-handed!) for over 20 years, and has also worked in various roles within the guitar retail industry since 2012. He started LeftyFretz in 2010. More Info

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