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Chapter 7. Searching for Items to Buy

Chapter 7. Searching for Items to Buy

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BrowsingorSearchingWhichOneIsforYou?

Therearetwomainwaystolocateitemstobidonandbuyon

eBay.YoucanleisurelybrowsethrougheBay'sthousandsof

categoriesandsubcategories,oryoucanperformatargeted

searchforspecificitems.

Table7.1showsyouwhat'sgoodandwhat'sbadaboutboth

browsingandsearching.

Table7.1.BrowsingVersusSearchingStrengthsand

Weaknesses

Question



Browsing



Searching



Howeasyisittodo?



Easyjustclickthrough

thecategoriesand

subcategories



Notaseasyyouhave

toenterspecific

keywordsinaquery



Howquicklycanyou

findaspecificitem?



Slowallthatclicking

takestime



Fastyouget

immediateresultsfor

yourquery



Howmanyitemswill

youfind?



Alotwhichmaybetoo Notquiteas

many

manywhichmaybe

justenough



Willyoufindthe

specificitemyou're

lookingfor?



Notalwayssometimes

itemsaren't

categorizedproperly



Yesassumingthe

sellerputstheright

keywordsinthe

listingtitle



Canyouisolateitems

geographically?



Yesyoucannarrow

yourresultsbyregion



Yesyoucannarrow

yourresultsbyregion



Canyoufindother

biddersandsellers?



Nothere'snowayto

browsethroughthe

millionsofothereBay

users



YeseBayletsyou

searchbyusername



Thebottomline:Ifyou'renotsurewhatyou'relookingfor,orif

you'relookingforalltypesofitemswithinageneralcategory,

youshouldbrowse.Ifyou'relookingforaspecificitemortype

ofitem,youshouldsearch.



"MikeSez"

ManyeBaycategoriesaresolargethey'repractically

unbrowsable.(Doyoureallywanttoclickthrougha

hundredpagesoflistingstofindtheitemyouwant?)

Idefinitelyrecommendsearchingoverbrowsingyou'll

findwhatyou'relookingforalotfaster!







Browsing:TheEasy(?)WaytoFindThings

eBayhasanever-increasingnumberofcategories,listingall

sortsofitemsantiques,books,coins,collectibles,comics,

computers,dolls,electronics,figures,gemstones,glass,

jewelry,magazines,music,photography,pottery,sports

memorabilia,stamps,toys,andmany,manymore.Toviewall

theitemswithinaspecificcategoryorsubcategory,youneedto

browsethrougheBay'scategorylistings.

eBay'smaincategoriesarelistedonitshomepage.Youcan

alsoaccessacompletelistofeBay'scategoriesand

subcategoriesbyclickingtheBuylinkontheeBayNavigation

Bar;thistakesyoutoeBay'sBuyhub,showninFigure7.1.The

BuyhublistsallofeBay'smajorproductcategories,alongwith

themajorsubcategoriesforeachcategory.



Figure7.1.eBay'sBuyhub.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Yousee,tomakebrowsingeasier,eBay'smajorcategoriesare

dividedintoahierarchyofsubcategories.Forexample,ifyou

clicktheAntiqueslinkontheBuyhubpage,you'llseea

formidablelistofsubcategorieswithintheAntiquesmajor

categoryAntiquities,Architectural&Garden,AsianAntiques,

andadozenmore.Infact,manyofeBay'ssubcategorieshave

theirownsubcategorieswhichmakesthemsub-subcategories,I

guess!

Sowhenyouaccessamaincategorypage,liketheonein

Figure7.2,youseealistofallavailablesubcategories.Clicka

subcategorylink,andyou'llseeeitheralistofadditional

subcategoriesoralistofavailableitems.



Figure7.2.AtypicaleBaycategorypage.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Whenyoufinallygettothelistofitemswithinacategoryor

subcategory,thepagelookssimilartotheoneinFigure7.3.At

thetopofthepagearethreetabs;thesetabsdisplayAllItems

forsale,Auctionsonly,orBuyItNowitemsonly.Thefirst

listingsonthepagearetheFeatureditems(sellerspayextra

forthisplacement);belowthat(oronthenextpage,

sometimes)isthecompletelistofitemsforsale,withitems

endingsoonestlistedfirst.



Figure7.3.eBayitemlistings.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Somelistingshavepicturesoriconseitherbeforeorafterthe

title.Ifit'sapicture,great;thatmeansthelistinghasan

accompanyingphotograph.Samethingifyouseeagreen

Pictureicon.AGifticonindicatesthattheselleroffersvarious

giftservices,suchasgiftwrap.TheNewiconindicatesthatthe

itemhasbeenlistedwithinthepast24hours.TheBuyItNow

icon(inthemiddleBidscolumn)indicatesthatthesellerhas

chosentheBuyItNowoptionforthisitem.AndthePayPalicon

isdisplayedwhentheselleracceptspaymentviaPayPal.

Table7.2showsthevariousiconsyoumightencounter.

Table7.2.ListingIcons

Feature

Picture



Gallery



Icon



Gift



NewListing



BuyItNow



PayPal







Searching:ThePowerfulWaytoFindThings

Youcouldbrowsethroughthemerchandisecategorieslistedon

eBay'shomepage,asIjustdescribed,butgiventhehuge

numberofcategories,thismighttakeforeverandadayand,

besides,you'reneverquitesurewhetherallsellershavepicked

therightcategoriesfortheirmerchandise.(DoesaBatman

statuebelongintheCollectibles:Comics:Figurinescategoryor

theToys&Hobbies:ActionFigures:Batmancategory?)Inmost

cases,abettersolutionistouseeBay'sbuilt-insearchengine.



UsingeBay'sBasicSearchFunction

eBay'shomepagehasasimplesearchbox,showninFigure

7.4,whichworksfineforsimplesearches.Justenteroneor

morekeywordsthatdescribewhatyou'relookingfor,clickthe

Searchbutton,andviewyourresults.It'sprettyeasy.



Figure7.4.SimplesearchingfromeBay'shome

page.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



UsingtheFindItNowPage



Moresophisticatedsearchescanbehadwhenyouclickthe

AdvancedSearchlinkbelowthehomepageSearchbox.This

takesyoutotheFindItemspage,showninFigure7.5.From

hereyoucan:

Searchbykeyword,sameasyoucanfromthesimple

Searchbox

Restrictyoursearchtoaspecificcategory

Searchbybothtitleanddescription

Searchcompletedlistingsonly

Sortyourresultsbytime,price,distance,orpayment

method

Personalizehowyouwantyoursearchresultsdisplayed



Figure7.5.Moresophisticatedsearchingfromthe

FindItemspage.



[Viewfullsizeimage]



Youcanalsoclickthelinksattheleftsideofthepageto

performdifferenttypesofsearches.Youcansearchbyseller,by

buyer,orbyitemnumber.YoucanalsosearchforitemsineBay

Stores,orsearchforspecificStores.Inaddition,youcansearch

forothereBaymembers,orsearchforaTradingAssistantin

yourarea.Justclickthelinktoperformaspecificsearch.



UsingtheExpandedFindItNowPage

TheFindItemspageisn'tthelastwordineBaysearches.When

youclicktheAdvancedSearchlinkontheFindItemspage(not

tobeconfusedwiththesimilarlinkoneBay'shomepage),the

FindItemspageexpandstoincludemoreoptions,asshownin

Figure7.6.Inadditiontotheoptionspresentonthenormal

FindItNowpage,thispageoffersthefollowingadvanced

searchfunctions:

Choosetosearchforallthewordsinaquery,anyofthe

wordsinaquery,anexactphrase,oranexactmatchfor

thequery



Tip

Iparticularlylikesearchingcompletedauctions

onlyagreatwaytogetahandleonfinalselling

pricesforvarioustypesofitems.Notethatyoucan

alsoopttodisplaycompleteditemsafteryou've

initiatedasearch;whentheItemsMatchingpage

appears,gototheDisplaysectionattheleftsideof

thepage,andthenclicktheCompletedItemslink.

Whenyou'redonelookingatthecompleteditems,

clicktheViewActiveItemslinktoreturntothe

currentauctions.



Excludespecificwordsfromtheresultsofasearch

Narrowyoursearchtoitemswithinaspecificpricerange

Includeorexcludeitemsfromspecificsellers,orfromyour

FavoriteSellers

Narrowyoursearchtoitemslocatedinoravailableto

specificcountriesoutsidetheU.S.

Limityourresultstoitemslocatedaspecifieddistancefrom

whereyoulive

Limityourresultstoitemslistedinaspecificcurrency

Searchforitemsofferedinmultiplequantitiesorlots

NarrowyoursearchtoitemsofferedwiththeBuyItNow

option

LimityourresultstoitemsthatcanbepaidforviaPayPal

ShowonlythoseitemsthathaveaGetItFastoption(that

is,sellersthatofferexpeditedshipping)

ShowonlythoseitemsthatdisplayaGifticon

Displayonlythoseitemsfromsellerswhodonatepartof

theirproceedstocharity,viaeBay'sGivingWorksprogram



Note



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Chapter 7. Searching for Items to Buy

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