A Searching Lesson - Take advantage of eBays searching

By: gbm000
76 million times each day, members use eBay's search box when they're looking for items that are of interest to them.

It occurred to me that very few of these members would know how eBay's search worked. Put another way, knowing how eBay's search system operates might help you in finding bargains.

For a start, words keyed into the standard search box are only matched against auction titles, and not against the contents of auction descriptions.

eBay's searching defaults to an "all present" style of search. This means if you key in two words such as 'finding nemo', the search will return auctions where the title contains both words in any order. It won't bring back auctions if the auction title contains only one of the words.

If you want to do a search of an "either or" style, you place parentheses around the words and separate them with a comma and no spaces. So, if you key in (finding,nemo) your search will return auctions with either finding or nemo in the auction title.

Of course, with the finding nemo example, what you really want to do is find auctions where finding nemo occurs as a phrase. To do this, you place quotation marks before and after. So, if you key in "finding nemo" your search will return auctions where the titles contain the exact phrase finding nemo.

If you're not sure of the spelling of a particular word, or if the word you want to search on is a preface with several endings, you can use an asterisk as a "wild card". For example if you're interested in a Vuitton handbag, some sellers misspell vuitton or type it in incorrectly. You could search on vui*, and this will bring back auctions with vuitton or vuiton in the title, or indeed vui followed by any other combination of letters.

These are probably the main search weapons you need to save you time, and to help you home in on the items you want to find. If you wish to explore eBay searching in even more depth, you will find a very useful description of the process here:

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/buy/search_commands.html
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