The key to doing an effective search on eBay as far as I am concerned is to use the Advanced Search Option (Seen just to the right of the Search Button).
Using the Exclusion box gives you a chance to get rid of lots of items that show up in search that you are not interested in, such as CD’s or DVD’s. Just exclude the words you see that are in the titles of these unneeded search results.
Then check the Search Including boxes for Title and Description AND also, farther down the page, for Include Store Inventory.
So now comes the really hard part – deciding what to search for.
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.
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)
Sometimes you’re not sure if the seller will call it a blankie, or a blanket. Use the asterisk to look for any term that starts with blank. Example blank*
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, such as crib pull, or just pull – press – (windup,wind up)- rattle, teeth*
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, then choose View As Gallery or Snapshot just above the eBay listings. The default is List, but if you are looking at just the photos, make it easier on yourself. That’s how some of our Fabulous Finders find lovies in large groups of toys for sale in one listing.
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.
So, now that you are an expert hunter, there is an item number on the right side of every eBay listing under Other Item Info that looks like Item number: 250308735884. Write your comment on the post of the seeker, using that number instead of trying to copy/paste the address of the listing. Blogs don’t handle long URL’s well at all, and this makes an easy way for someone to find the listing you found.
All these same suggestions can be used with slight variations with all of the popular Search Engines. You get better results on Google if you put a + sign in front of each term. Example – +”Kids Preferred” +blue +bear +(plush,stuffed) +blank*
If you end up with some long URL to share on the comments, copy the URL, then go to http://tinyurl.com. Paste your long address in, and it will give you a short version you can post.
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.
Now, Fabulous Finders, share your tips for Searching!!!!