Learning to use keywords – An essential skill
Yes – You can Search/Browse categories without using keywords.. But finding a bargain becomes pot luck. To find bargains you have to understand keywords and how to manipulate your searches.
The keyword box takes any valid eBay argument and using these with the post search options can really make your life easier.
The eBay Keyword Rules
If you search for 'Antique Bronze Statue' – eBay returns any searches that have these 3 words in their title. The words can appear in any order within the title.
Adding a '-' directly before a word removes the results with that word – SO 'Antique Bronze -Statue' would return items with Antique & Bronze in their titles but do not have Statue
Enclosing terms in brackets '()' and separating each word with a comma creates an OR statement. So '(Antique,Bronze,Statue)' returns results with Antique OR Bronze OR Statue OR any combination of these.
Enclosing a term in inverted commas “” searches for that term in that order with that spelling! So “Antique Statue Bronze” returns only items with that sequence of exact words and spelling.
All of these can be combined – So for example a search term of “Antique Bronze” -statue (“art deco”,victorian) Will search for items with “Antique Bronze” in their title. It will disregard any with statue, and include those with either “art deco” or victorian in their title.
Some important points on the eBay search
There’s a few things to bear in mind when using the eBay standard search. First the default search is “Best Match”. This is great for finding exact matches or very similar items, but not so great when your bargain hunting.
eBay will return matches for a category or colour specified too! Ok sounds confusing – but our Antique Bronze Statue will return results in Antique category and Bronze category OR if the colour option has been specified as Bronze. So the results may look incorrect – but dig deeper and all the terms are there.
Bargain Hunter Extreme keyword
Now the fun bit! As mentioned earlier – The keyword order IS important to B.H.X.. If you are using Fat Fingers, Poor Spelling or IDNIT (In Description Not In Title), the first word (at present) is the word that has all the magic applied to it. So using our earlier example – “Antique Bronze Statue” with Fat Fingers will search for any items with the terms Bronze Statue AND a Fat Finger variety of Antique. Now if we put Bronze Antique Statue – we'd get different results – because we are now searching for Antique Statue with a Fat Finger variety of Bronze. After the first word we can use any of the eBay keyword rules. So we can do a Fat Finger search of 'Statue Bronze Antique “Art Deco” -victorian' will produce results containing a Fat Finger variety of Statue AND the words Bronze AND Antique in any order AND the word 'Art Deco' but NOT victorian.
Refining Your Searches with Keywords
When you search, ideally you want only 200 items or less returned in your search results. If you are getting 300+ you probably need to refine your keywords. Look at the results you’re getting and then take keywords from these and refine your search to take them out.. So if we were getting some random “Mobile Phone Cases” in our search (It does happen!) then adding a -mobile to our search term will remove most of these. You could of course take out the Mobile Phone Category – But doing so you may miss a bargain listed in the wrong category.