We have been helping people find lovies for over 20 years, so we can offer some tips for successful searching for lovies. There are lots of different ways to search, but the key to doing an effective search, as far as I am concerned is to learn how to tell eBay and Google what NOT to search for. There may be other sales sites where this trick will work, too.
What NOT to Find
Anything you put in parentheses will have the effect of saying OR. And anything you put a minus sign in front of tells eBay and Google NOT to search for that term. I wish all searches allowed those tricks, but sadly they do not. Can’t hurt to try it on Mercari, Etsy, and others, though. So now comes the REALLY hard part – deciding what to search FOR.
Think Like the Seller
You have to think about how a seller, who knows nothing about your lovie, would list it. If the tush tag has a name for the animal, that’s a good term to use, as well as the brand. If there is a saying embroidered on the doll, or if it plays music, those words make good search terms. Put any phrase you want to look for in quotation marks. For example: “first doll”. Some sellers say plush, others say stuffed. Some say rabbit, while others say bunny. Use parenthesis to use both terms as either/or. For example, (plush,stuffed). If you notice in searching that an important word is spelled differently fairly often, use both of them in your terms. For example: (dan dee,dandee) or maybe (carter’s,carters,carter). Notice there are no spaces between the terms. So you’ve searched for brand, and the name on the tag, with no success. Try the color and type of animal, such as brown bear. Obviously that will pull up way too many to look through easily, so try to find some other feature that the seller may mention in the title or description. Sitting, standing, “lying down”, sleeping, praying … these are the types of words a seller might use. Look for words to describe a toy style, such as crib pull, or just pull, press, or maybe (windup,wind up) or rattle.
Use a Picture or Drawing
If you have a decent photo or even a fairly accurate drawing of your long lost lovie, search for that plush animal with reverse image search. Sometimes the only thing to do is just look through lots and lots of photos to find the one you need. If that’s the case, try to leave the search terms as general as to make a manageable number of listings. Down at the bottom of the page is a set of choices about how many result items you wish to see on a page. If you are on a high speed connection, set Items per Page to the maximum available.
eBay is Not the Only Place to Search
Most of these same suggestions for searching for lovies can be used with slight variations with the popular Search Engines. Sometimes you get better results on Google if you put a plus sign in front of the most important term. Example: +”Kids Preferred” blue (teddy,bear) +(plush,stuffed) security. Security may make a better search term than blankie, as there are many words people use to talk about those small animal head baby comfort lovies.
Search Here on Plushmemories!
We have saved almost 8,000 images and descriptions of all kinds of stuffed animals and soft dolls here on this website. So by all means search through our archives from our now closed store and archives of all our original blog posts helping people who were searching for lovies.
It takes time to learn how to hunt effectively on the Internet, but it’s a worthwhile skill to master. I hope these suggestions have been helpful to you. There are lots of posts on this site that may help you, so take a look at our other Helpful Tips as well.
Use our Free Lost Toy Search Service!
If you’ve tried your best to find that special lovie yourself and been unsuccessful, ask to join our FREE Plush Memories Lost Toy Search Service group on Facebook. Just be sure to tell us WHY you want to join when you do apply!