AutomatedSearches.com eBay Compatible Application

eBay Wildcard Search article from eBay

This is an article from eBay about the wildcard depreciation.

As we’ve previously announced, eBay is deprecating wildcard queries from search, including web and mobile search, saved searches, and API calls to search. We’ve been working with our Product Team to create documentation around best practices and how you can best move your business forward.

Wildcard queries include an asterisk (*)  with their keyword search: The asterisk is intended to match all words starting with the letters in the wildcarded word. For example, the keyword search  dress*  would include in the search results listings with any of the following in their titles:  dress, dresses, dresser, dressers, dressing, dressel,  dressage, dressup,  etc. in their title in the search results.

Only ~0.35% of eBay queries contain wildcards, but they take  a disproportionally high amount of capacity to support.   The impact of wildcard queries can have a significant impact on the responsiveness of the site to all user searches, especially at peak times.  This impact is why the industry practice, in both web and commerce search industries, is not to support wildcards of this type.  Instead, they follow the same approach as eBay in providing automatic query rewriting, which captures the intent of the user query and matches it to items.  In addition, advanced search operators such as exclusion and phrasing are provided for users who want finer-grained control over their queries.

Writing effective search queries without wildcards

There are two approaches to searching without wildcards.

The first is to search using a simple keyword search query.  eBay is continually improving query processing to make it simpler for users to find what they want.  After being processed, a query can include many variants of the original words as well as being expanded through categories or other item-related data.  For example, if the user typed  gucci handbags  as the query, processing could alter that query to search for  (gucci or Brand:Gucci) and (handbag or handbags or purse or purses or Category:Handbags).   In many cases, searches that used wildcards a year ago can now be run more effectively as keyword queries.

Consider the query  anne klein scar*.  The intent of this query was to retrieve Anne Klein scarves regardless of whether the seller used  scarf scarves, or  scarfs  in the item title.  However, the simple keyword query  anne klein scarf  retrieves all of these items plus items listed in the scarf categories, which may not have the word  scarf  or  scarves  in the title.  Plus it has the advantage of not including items with  Anne Klein  and  scarlet  in the title (e.g., scarlet handbags and jackets): these items would have been returned by the wildcard query.   As another example, the query  ruffl* curtain*  can be replaced by the simple keyword query  ruffled curtains  and will return all items with  ruffle,  ruffled, or  ruffles  in the title that also have the word  curtain  or  curtains  in the title or that are in the curtains category.

The second approach to searching without wildcards applies to complex advanced queries. In these cases, the most straightforward way to replace a wildcard is by listing the words separated by commas and enclosed in parentheses.  For example, if your query was  lego minifig* -lot*  you can rewrite it as  lego (minifigure, minifigures) -(lot, lots)  or as  lego (minifigure, minifigures) -lot -lots.  This query will match items with the words  lego  and either  minifigure  or  minifigures  but without  lot  or  lots.  The parentheses () list alternatives.   The minus sign – excludes words.

In general, the advanced search operators (https://pages.ebay.com/help/search/advanced-search.html#using) such as exclusion, option lists, and phrasing can all be used to fine-tune queries.  For example, to further constrain the results, a query can contain double quotes ” ” to force the words in the quotes to appear next to each other and in that order.  If the user is looking for a filter for a coffee maker, using the phrased query  “coffee maker filter”  will return only items with those three words in that order in the title; this query will exclude items that are coffee makers with filters.

Note that advanced queries do not undergo any of the automatic expansions that simple keyword queries do.  So, the query for coffee maker filters would need to be written as  (“coffee maker filter”, “coffee maker filters”)  in order to get the rewrite from  filter  to  filters— which would have been included automatically for a simple query. Likewise, the previous advanced search example requires both minifigure and minifigures, as well as -lot and -lots.

Our recommendation to our users is this: First try simple keyword queries, easily combined with category and other constraints such as price.  Only if that is not fine-grained enough, move to advanced operator queries.

To update your searches, go to:
 
If you have any questions, please comment below.
Thank You,
Dave Moniz
AutomatedSearches.com

 

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eBay Wildcard Searches No Longer Supported

ebay announced that as of November 5, 2012 the wildcard functionality will no longer be supported.
 
This functionality allowed users to include an asterisk with their keyword search that would include all spelling variations for an item. 
 
For example, a keyword search of “ip*” might include listings with “ipod, ipods, ipad, ipads, ipadd,” etc. in title in search results. 
 
eBay is no longer supporting wildcard searches because recent changes to how search works already takes into account many spelling variations, and it enables to more efficiently deliver search results faster. 
 
Since AutomatedSearches.com uses the eBay system, we will have the same limitation.
 
This will be an inconvenience for us users that have been relying on using wildcard searches for years.
 
You can still use the other format of expanding searches using parenthesis and commas…
 
(ipod, ipods, ipad, ipads, ipadd)
 
This translates to   ipod OR ipods OR ipad OR ipads OR ipadd
 
You must use the parenthesis for this to work correctly. Commas alone in a search don’t do anything.
 
To update your searches, go to:

 

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I’ll help you find what you want on eBay

Are you having trouble finding what you want on eBay?
eBay search creation is a science AND an art
and I know it can be frustrating to create a search
that gives you the exact items you want without
getting useless items.
So…
Until Thursday, July 5th, I can create custom
AutomatedSearches.com 
eBay searches for you free of charge.
Just reply to this email with all the information needed for the search.
Please include the exact item, model, color, size, condition(used,new,all)
Example:
Apple iPod nano
2nd Generation
Silver
4 GB
Brand New
$50 or less
I will create the search in your
AutomatedSearches.com account and activate it.
All information received will remain confidential.
Thank You,
Dave Moniz
AutomatedSearches.com
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Search eBay locally like Craigslist

I just added a useful feature to the AutomatedSearches.com search system so we can search eBay like Craigslist to find items locally.

Max Distance Filter
With the Max Distance Filter, you will only receive results for items within the specified distance from your postal code.
This will come in handy for buying items like cars and motorcycles where you don’t want to travel far to get the vehicle.
I am currently looking to buy a new motorcycle so I set the distance to 150 miles and Listing Type to All Item Types so it will also search eBay classifieds.
To use this feature, just specify the max distance from the pulldown menu and be sure your postal code is specified.
 
Max Distance Filter also works In the completed listings mode.
Try this new feature and see how it can help you be more successful on eBay.
Thank You,
Dave Moniz
AutomatedSearches.com
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New search & research functions – find eBay items right away

I was finding myself going to the eBay website instead of
AutomatedSearches.com when I just wanted to buy one item
right away without setting up an automated search for it.
I knew something was missing so
I redesigned AutomatedSearches.com!
The new search page is optimized for real-time searching!
The search page has been redesigned to allow a more powerful
way to search eBay in real-time. 
You can find the items that you want to buy on eBay right away and 
you can also save the search so you can be notified of new items listed later.
Some new features
– Redesigned page layout so you can start viewing results without scrolling.
– New sort choices: price+shipping lowest, ending soonest, Best Match and more…
– View up to 100 listings at a time with multiple eBay result pages.
– Completed listings research function.
 
In the completed listings mode, you can see the prices that an item has
sold for in the past so you can have a realistic idea of what price to expect
to pay for that item.
Try the new search page and see how it can help you be more successful on eBay.
Thank You,
Dave Moniz
AutomatedSearches.com
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