Customize your Searches for better results

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How to refine your searches to omit all the unwanted stuff and some other search hints.
Have you ever done a search for something simple and got 2000 plus results most of then NOT what you wanted ?

eBay a has great search refining system, but it is possible to tailor your search to get even more meaningful results and save them for future use.
Here is an example of what you can achieve,
 I am always searching for small magazines of a certain type that are produced once a month, The trouble is I now have many full years of them with some gaps in some of the early years, so my saved search for these books looks like this :-

"Railway Observer"  -(Book*,Britain,Lima,1947,1949,1950,1951,1952,1953,1955,1957,1958,1959,1961,1962,1963,1965,1966,1967,1968,1969,197*,198*,199*,200*)
To explain what this is doing...   Railway Observer  with double quotes stops the listings containing Railway and Observer as seperate entities, the inverted commas do that., then the   -(   starts the list of the headings and descriptions I do NOT want to show,  I do not want to see anything later then 1965  so 1965,1966,1967,1968,1969,  takes care of the sixties, then 197*,198*,199*,200*) removes the rest.
197* takes care of all the 1970s by using the * as a wild card.

If the search involves say 2000 results, starting with a basic search for Diecast ie:- EFE produced last  time 2058 results
I only want  London connected models so  EFE London  reduces the list down to 252  better and more managable but now I can refine it further.  looking at the remianing list I find that there are many types but I am  looking for Leyand in this case, so adding  -(aec) brings the list down to 196.
 I then refine it further by including other types I dont want listed so my saved search ends up looking like this:-.
"EFE London"-(Atlan*,Badges,Benz,brick,Brom*,carr*,Dart,DMS,Fleetl*,gift,GS,Lynx,Mamm*,Merc*,Metro*,Mus*,Nat*,North*,olymp*,Open*,Oxfo*,Plax*,Trav*,RF*,RM*,Rout*,set,Solo,Stev*,Swift*,Tank*,Van,volvo,VR*)
which gives me 122 results.

Looking for a Mobile phone  Nokia produces -   " 220492 items found for nokia"
However  Nokia 6230 will find you 21503 Phew !    Many of the results contain things like Data cable,Cover,Charger,Car kit,USB   so adding these keywords  to produce Nokia 6230 -(Data cable,Cover, charger, Car kit,USB) , whittles it down to about 9750  records less than 5% of the full number of items available

So REMEMBER start with  -(  then your list of words you don't want to show, each seperated by a comma  and end with a  )
 Use the Wild card  * sparingly as I have found too many of them stop the search working with eBay reporting too many results.  For instance on occasions I have changed  something like Wagon,Wagons , to Wagon*, and I get the "too many results" error.

If like me you want to use your search on a regular basis save it as a custom search and you can even get eBay to email you when something matching your search gets listed

Roy Vandersteen


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