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Getting the Best Results in the Squidoo Ebay Module

Updated on March 19, 2013
kerbev profile image

I love everything weird and colorful in this world and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.

Advanced Search Commands for Better eBay Module Results

With so much information online, it is often surprising how many people do not utilize advanced search commands to help pick through the results, bringing all the good ones to the top, and keep the rest off the list. With eBay, and especially with affiliate links, it is crucial that the results you give your visitors are accurate and what you intended.

You can maximize the results of an eBay search by using advanced search commands on and in your Squidoo eBay module. Better search results will help you find what you want quickly, and most importantly, help you recommend the items your lens visitors want the most.

The Best Tip

One of the best tips I can give you, is to always complete your search in eBay first in order to be able to glance down the list. Seeing a long list of items that return from a search help you to spot unrelated items that may inch in on your lens without you noticing. From these unrelated items, you can often pick out some way to exclude them from the results you want, like excluding words or limiting your category. It is ALWAYS worth checking.

A Basic Keyword Search

The most basic of searches is simply entering one or more words to search for: dish

This is a keyword search. eBay looks at your search and finds items it thinks you may be interested in. The results will include items with the word in the title (or description if you chose) and items with that keyword.

Ebay will search for this word, but will also take the liberty of searching variants of this word that it assumes you would also be interested in like dishes, so you need not add that to your search. However, eBay may not catch odd plurals like octopus/octopi. If you wish for eBay to avoid expanding your search, and to take your search quite literally, you must put the word in quotation marks:


But, if you are limiting yourself to these simple searches, you are doing yourself a distinct disservice.



UPDATE: Ebay no longer supports Wildcards!!!! I really liked wildcards because they had a lot of power, however, ebay has decided to no longer accept wildcards in searches. If you have used wildcards in your ebay modules, it's important to change them or no results will be displayed.

Wildcard is a term that describes a placeholder. A wildcard is an asterisk (*) in your search that would represent any number of characters in that position.

eBay Search Links

Learn some advanced search commands from the ebay help pages:


The Exact Phrase Search

The Exact Phrase Search is one that many people do commonly use. If you are searching for a exact phrase, a few words in that particular order, then you should put them in quotation marks for more accurate results.

Say you are searching for items related to the music group Jackson 5.

Searching simply

jackson 5

may also bring you results like these:

5 Michael Jackson buttons

Chad Jackson - Patriots - lot of 5 cards

Nike Dunk 4.5 Bo Jackson Air Trainers

Reggie Jackson Lot Of 5 single cards

2 Joe Jackson tickets 5/11/08

5 Vintage Jackson China Coffee Cups

However, a search of "jackson 5" is much more likely to bring you the results you want.

jackson 5

Searching jackson 5 may lead to relevant results, however too often unrelated items sneak in.

"jackson 5"

Searching "jackson 5" will have better results. They may not always be relevant, but your odds are much better.

Use the Categories

Often you can get specific focused results by requesting all search results come from one category. For instance, entering geode as a search in only the jewelry category will get drastically different results than if you searched all of eBay.

Think about whether all of the potentially good results for the search you have in mind would come from one category, as it is often a way of filtering out junk from other categories.

The OR Search

In order to do one search that finds the results of either of two words

(or phrases), you can use the OR search.

To enter an OR search, within parenthesis, enter the words you want included separated by a comma.

Sometimes you want to add to that OR search. Say you are looking for quilt racks, but as you search ebay, you notice that some people use the term stand while many others use rack. In order to get the best results, we will want to search for quilt and either rack or stand. We would use:

quilt (rack,stand)

You can incorporate phrases, wildcards, as well as AND searches within the OR search. For example:

("miley cyrus","hannah montana")

(coach bag, prada)

(africa, african, egypt, egyptian) coin

eBay Search Tip

If you are doing a search on something with a number like Jackson 5, you may also wish to search for the number spelled out:

("jackson 5","jackson five")

Don't Forget...Misspellings

Don't make the mistake of forgetting that people aren't perfect. Often sellers misspell things in their auctions. Adding a misspelling into your search may bring amazing bargains to your visitors that they may not have otherwise seen.

Check out these auctions where the seller spelled MUPPET wrong:.

What is your most used search operator?

Which do you find yourself using most often?

See results

The Exclusion Search (the NOT search)

The exclusion search, or the NOT search, is extremely handy to exclude unrelated, or unwanted items from your search results. Using the dash immediately before a term excludes all items with that word in it. It's like subtraction.

Sometimes you know that you want to exclude a word for the purposes of getting the items you want. For example, I know that I want to search for ghau pendant, however, I do not want Tibetan silver, which I have read may have lead in it. I know I want to try to exclude silver from Tibet. A search term cannot guarantee that the silver isn't Tibetan, but it can guarantee that it doesn't have Tibet in the title.

So I would search

ghau pendant -tibetan

But, I find that some sellers just enter Tibet Silver, so I change it to:

ghau pendant -tibet -tibetan

Which is exactly the same as:

ghau pendant -(tibet,tibetan)

Note that if you are searching title and description, excluding a word that may be in description may keep good results out or your search. So if the seller put something like "this is 100% Sterling Silver, not Tibetan silver" into their description, it will not show in your results.

ghau pendant

eBay search results for ghau pendant

ghau pendant -tibet*

eBay search results for ghau pendant -(tibet,tibetan)

How to Get Mutually Exclusive eBay Modules

If you have a lens that you want to have more then one eBay module in, but you want different results, then you clearly need to use different search terms.

One trick to get mutually exclusive searches is to insist a word be in one searches results, but specifically exclude it from the other.

For example, say you have a lens on cuff links, you may notice that sometimes people post them as 'cufflinks' while others post 'cuff links'. You can use this to your advantage to separate the searches:

"cuff links" -cufflinks

cufflinks -"cuff links"

These searches will both find similar items, all cufflinks, but they will not return the exact same items. A sample of these search results are shown below.

Such luck may not always be the case. Sometimes you must be more creative. These searches will also always return different results:

cuff links silver

cuff links -silver

Another option for mutually exclusive searches may be to search a term in different categories, although this may sometimes return items listed in both categories (as sellers have the option of posting an auction to multiple categories, for an additional price of course).

cufflinks -"cuff links"

Since these results are different then the ones in the module above, you can use two eBay modules on one page giving different content.

If using the RSS module with the eBay Feed from SquidUtils then you have even more search options in your bag of tricks.

This tool no longer accepts your own PID. Because of recent changes to eBay's rules, any eBay links on Squidoo must have squidoo's PID. If you have links with your own PID, your lens could get locked. If you were using this tool before the change, your links have been automatically changed for you.

Play around with your search to make it great. Remember the better your results are, and the closer they relate to your lens, the more sales you will generate.

Searching Is Important!

Do you have any eBay search tips that you think would be helpful for other lensmasters? Do you have any questions on how to get the results you are looking for?

eBay Search Tips

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    • mySuccess8 profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the very useful tips!

    • profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your well-deserved purple star!

    • profile image

      sierradawn lm 

      7 years ago

      What an excellent tutorial! I have learned so much important information here!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 

      7 years ago from Washington State

      congrats on purple star!

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 

      7 years ago from Washington State

      Wow, thanks for this wonderful search information. I am going to go try the ( an or ) "", okay all of it, such good news.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow this is really great information thanks for sharing your ebay tips, I can really use it.

    • kerbev profile imageAUTHOR

      Kerri Bee 

      8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      @KarenHC: That's a perfect example!

    • KarenHC profile image


      8 years ago from U.S.

      This was invaluable for me today! I was trying an eBay search on a bird-related topic, and came up with a few "Angry Bird" items too. I'm not interested in "Angry Birds" for my lens :-) Your exclusion search worked perfectly for me!

    • Pixelhound profile image


      8 years ago from west vancouver BC Canada

      Great info thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I've found myself not using ebay at all, due to what I felt was the uncertainty of what would land on my lens. Thanks for these tips, they're greatly appreciated. Maybe one of these days, with this help, I'll find myself earning a bit more. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 

      8 years ago

      Great tips! I don't use Ebay much so these tips have helped me out a lot.

    • TaraWojt profile image

      Tara Wojtaszek 

      8 years ago

      These tips have made such a difference for me, especially learning about the 'not' and 'or' search. Thank you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wonderful tips

    • Mami Design profile image

      Mami Design 

      8 years ago

      Tnx for this informative lens! I enjoyed reading it.

    • dcosmato lm profile image

      dcosmato lm 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for such helpful hints! I've been intimidated by this module but now I feel more comfortable about tackling it.

    • Celticep profile image


      8 years ago from North Wales, UK

      Thank you for these tips! I use some of these tricks in google searches but never thought of using them in eBay too. Off to check on my ebay lenses right now .....

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips! I learned so much about doing an eBay search properly. It really made me see why I was not happy with the ebay results I was getting.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      8 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Thanks for the tips! I did not know all of these search options. I'm saving so that I can use this more in the future! :)

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      8 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Learned so much reading this - thank you for the great tips! :>)

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      8 years ago from Albany New York

      Wonderful tips. I have been avoiding this module becuase I didn't know how to use it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great tips on using the eBay Mod. Now to start using this module more and hopefully increase sales. Thumbs up for this lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      9 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you so much! I was frustrated by some of the unrelated items showing up in my eBay module on a Squidoo lens. This will help a lot.

    • Timewarp profile image


      9 years ago from Montreal

      Very helpful, I sometimes wanted to use some of these features but didn't think they were even available! blessed.

    • DreamsBloom profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for this extremely useful information on using the Squidoo eBay module. I'll definitely be putting it to good use.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      9 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      thank you very much for some useful tips.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks so much. I learned a lot and have bookmarked this lens for future reference.

    • Dawoud-Williams profile image

      D Williams 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for these tips and this lens. I have been trying to figure out who to improve on my eBay modules. Just in time!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      fantastic tips...

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      thanks for the tips, I will bear these in mind when adding ebay modules onto my lens

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I haven't start using the eBay modules on my lenses. This will be very useful when I'll decide to give a try with eBay modules.

    • emmaklarkins profile image


      10 years ago

      I've just started making some eBay sales, so I found this very useful!

    • GonnaFly profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Oooh. So helpful. I've just started adding some ebay modules so I need this info.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      10 years ago from Massachusetts

      I just linked to this page on my 48 ways to use the ebay module lens. This is a great resource, thanks!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I needed an eBay search rules review - and this lens (which I already had favorited) was absolutely perfect. Happy to be able to leave a sprinkling of SquidAngel dust behind on this trip!

    • michelle8989 profile image


      10 years ago from AZ

      Cool, I learned a lot from your lens! Must go try the wildcard!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      10 years ago

      I just recently started using the eBay module. Thanks for all the great tips!!!

    • triathlontraini1 profile image


      10 years ago

      Well, you've inspired some ideas. Thanks Kab!

    • MerylV profile image

      Meryl van der Merwe 

      10 years ago from USA

      Thanks VERY much. I was struggling to work out how to do 'or'; did a search on Squidoo and found your lens. Now I am going back to fix up my eBay modules.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Very helpful lens Kab. I've had trouble with the eBay modules.

      Thank you so much for this tutorial.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      great info about ebay module thanx

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      EXCELLENT article. I am a "pro" at searching eBay, but your wonderful information did teach me a couple of new things. For example, I did not know about the quilt (rack,stand) thing. This is a great tip! 5*

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      11 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, I never realized that there was more than one way to search eBay. Thanks for all this great information about getting the best eBay Searches.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 

      11 years ago from New Zealand

      This is so helpful! I had no idea there were so many ways to search eBay. I love the wildcard feature and the NOT. This lens should be really popular.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Excellent info! Thanks so much 5*!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image


      11 years ago

      Very interesting -- I didn't know there mere so many search options.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very nicely written and organized. Useful information - thanks!

    • MerylV profile image

      Meryl van der Merwe 

      11 years ago from USA

      Thank you - I have been wondering how to include more than item in a search - and I thought it wasn't possible. Now I know how to do it. Just wish I had found this lens 3 months ago!

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 

      11 years ago

      I added this to my favorites. Is a handy reference :-)

    • quickcutterss profile image


      11 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for this lens. Im saving it to refer back to. Awesome.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      11 years ago

      I refer to this lens A LOT. Thanks for explaining things so clearly. Squid Angel Blessings.

    • Lou165 profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      This is great, I really don't use the ebay module as much as I should.

    • Cal-gal profile image

      Meredith Davies 

      11 years ago

      Still starting out, will keep referring back to this. Lots of useful infor, thanks.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      thanks for all the great reminders.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Very good information.


    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      11 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Very nice lens, very clear explanations. I will be recommending this lens to others. Thank you!

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      11 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This is tech that has been around but it's new to me! Thanks for offering it in this handy lens for looking up later.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 

      11 years ago from California

      Thank you for the great advice. I needed it! Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Fantastic advice! Thanks kab! Now to go back and edit some of those ebay modules.. :)

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I'm just beginning to learn my way around the eBay module... this is great info for helping me to find the products I want to include in my crafting tutorials. Thanks for your hard work!


      : )

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 

      12 years ago

      terrific advice

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great tips. I haven't done much with ebay modules yet, but I can see I should be doing them better, heh.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Gee 

      12 years ago

      Yes, a really good lens. Thank you for your very hard work.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Super freakin' awesome lens. 5 stars. Just what I needed to know to do a OR operator o my Ebay results on my ebay module. I used knitting (loom,needles, yarn, basket, winder)

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Great info. Thank you for taking the time to put it together.

    • profile image

      samej lm 

      12 years ago

      Very helpful. Thank you. 5*

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      12 years ago

      Great info! I'm featuring this on my eBay shopping 'how-to' lens.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      12 years ago from Canada

      Hi, thanks for the information about RSS feeds and the eBay module. I have just started using the RSS feeds this week.


    • TheBookGarden1 profile image


      12 years ago

      Hey! Thanks for the write up and mention of my Ebay RSS Feeds tutorial. I'd just like to add, you can now use this with your squidoo campaign and custom ID too, so you don't even have to sign up to be an ebay affiliate!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Very helpful! thank you!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      A great source of search options. Thank you much.


    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Good job on this lens! Silver Lotus

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      12 years ago from Massachusetts

      Ah, the elusive eBay search...I actually never knew about the * wildcard search, but that will come in handy! Great lens!

    • TheBookGarden1 profile image


      12 years ago

      Some great tips for getting the best search results, I've lensrolled this to my ebay rss tutorial lens! :)

    • rwoman profile image


      12 years ago

      Super advice. I've bookmarked this to come back and study later when I time to implement it!

    • religions7 profile image


      12 years ago

      I'll be returning to this lens, thanks.

    • JackieLee LM profile image

      JackieLee LM 

      12 years ago

      Great lens. I have started using my ebay affiliate RSS in the rss module lately. I did not know how to get exactly the results I wanted. I learned a lot here. Thanks.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      12 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great reference! I appreciate your work on this 5* lens.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I've been helping buyers with eBay searches for years, and this is a great summation of what usually takes me many emails to convey -- EXCELLENT!! Now check out my lenses on profitable eBay selling -- if I can make PowerSeller, anyone can! :)

    • TheBookGarden1 profile image


      13 years ago


      Nice intro to ebay searching! Thanks also for including a link to my page about using RSS feeds for ebay! :)


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