We can offer lots of different tips for the best ways for searching for lovies. And the key to doing an effective search on eBay, as far as I am concerned is to learn how to tell eBay and Google what NOT to search for.
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 search engines allowed those kinds of searches, but sadly they do not.
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.
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.
Google Image Search is becoming a very good way to find a lovie, if you have a photo of it to help with the search. And don’t forget about trying the Shopping and the Image choices for Google Search as well.
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.
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!