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Absolutely NOTHING!

 

A computer that understands nothing, programmed by a gamer that has never lived in the real world, using words they do not understand, and connecting those words to historic or even modern stuff that they know nothing about, results in a "one size fits all" term that fits nothing.

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27 minutes ago, wayne sheldon said:

Absolutely NOTHING!

 

A computer that understands nothing, programmed by a gamer that has never lived in the real world, using words they do not understand, and connecting those words to historic or even modern stuff that they know nothing about, results in a "one size fits all" term that fits nothing.

Right on!  Another guessing game they play is a periodic email thinking I might be interested in some dumb modern t-shirt with a hot-rod on it, partly obscured by a half-naked lady "we thought you might like this."  

Well...

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The search feature is semi useless on Ebay, if you are looking for a car part, then you'd better put in -fits or you'll get thousands of hits.  Problem is, if the guy who really has the part you want posted it with "fits" in the title, you're never going to find it.

 

Still boggles my mind people who put stuff on Ebay and put, in the title, such words as rare and one of a kind and mint and so forth.  Wasted effort.  How many times have you searched for a "Rare Mint One of a Kind bumper".  Use the title words to your advantage, not generic words that meet no search.

 

Some of my best finds lately have been friends who stumbled on stuff they knew I'd like, and they let me know (thanks Walter!), I'd have never found it with the search words I use...

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I agree with your frustrations, and it does take some work to get around those issues.  I’ve had a lot of success using special characters in long searches, and saving the search.  I’ll try to describe it for any computer skill level.

 

My saved searches usually are a series of sets of parentheses.  eBay only shows listings that fit the conditions in EVERY set of parentheses; if it doesn’t match just one, I’ll never see it (which is usually good!).  For example, I use this to look for Auto-Lite parts for my bus:


 

(autolite,auto lite,auto-lite,prestolite,presto-lite,presto lite) (vrh,*vrh,vrh*,gdj,*gdj,gdj*) -(denso)

 

 

The two comma-separated lists in parentheses tell eBay “show me any item containing at least one of these phrases”.  The first list is synonyms and common misspellings of the manufacturer.

 

The second list is the letters of part numbers, such as VRH-4104D1.  I put asterisks after some part IDs to return any part that starts with the letters before the *.  You can use an * anywhere in a word, like to search for an unknown prefix, suffix, both, or even the middle of a word.  With the list set up this way, I’ll find the item if the seller spells it as VRH 4104, VRH-4104, or VRH4104, or any number of letters or numbers after that.

 

The last parentheses set is arguably most important.  By putting a minus sign before the first parethesis, it tells eBay to not show you any item that contains any word in that parentheses set.  If you put in more than one word, separate them with commas, just like before.  In my case, I’m just excluding one word common to most of my irrelevant results, but remember to think of and exclude relevant synonyms, misspellings, etc.

 

 

And that’s how I found most of the very rare parts to restore my bus.  I hope this is helpful to somebody in the weird world of eBay.  Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask if any of what I wrote isn’t clear.

 

-Steven

 

 

 

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I quit E Bay years ago for that reason. Tired of entering parts for a 1930 Cadillac and get 10,000,000 hits from T shirts, shifter knobs with pinup girls, a blower for the engine, curb feelers, disc & calipers, cd players, amps, sub woofers, hydraulic lift kits, seat coves or spinner hubcaps. Never found any of those parts listed in my parts books. On a good day there might be 6 parts that were actually for my car out of the 10,000,000 listed. 

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2 hours ago, Joe in Canada said:

I quit E Bay years ago for that reason. Tired of entering parts for a 1930 Cadillac and get 10,000,000 hits from T shirts, shifter knobs with pinup girls, a blower for the engine, curb feelers, disc & calipers, cd players, amps, sub woofers, hydraulic lift kits, seat coves or spinner hubcaps. Never found any of those parts listed in my parts books. On a good day there might be 6 parts that were actually for my car out of the 10,000,000 listed. 

Sorry that was for antique car parts as I do buy my Stihl power equipment parts on ebay directly from China. That way I am bypassing Stihl that is now the middle man. The last Stihl saw I said I was not going to buy and I did is made in China. But I will never have to buy a part for it from Stihl. Example air filter here is $20 and from China $2.50. Shipping is cheaper than if I paid for shipping here. 

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Best match is a joke. Another worthless algorithm that most of us in the real world have no use for unless you're talking about analytics for business, then I can understand the need (to some degree). 

 

Don't know if this helps anyone but personally I need original parts for my panel so I have three basic approaches.

 

First I make sure I select newly listed and gallery view to get the latest auctions then hit search.. 

This first link are results from not selecting any condition type so this is when you'll get the most  garbage. If you notice the new, other, used, and unspecified boxes in the condition field on the left are all unchecked

 

Example 1.) : "1930 Dodge" 

7900 hits

1930 dodge | eBay

 

Example 2.) Then next I simply ad the letters NOS to my search and reload

"1930 Dodge NOS"

Only 351 hits

1930 dodge NOS | eBay

 

Example 3.) This next link is used items only. 

NOTE: I then remove the NOS from the search window when selecting the used box.

It cuts down the garbage considerably just by selecting "Used" condition. There are still garbage items and some unrelated to 1930 Dodge but it cuts it down considerably. Doesn't cure all but helps quite a bit.

1475 hits

1930 dodge | eBay

 

Hopefully this helps someone. Good luck in your search

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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I'm still an E-bayer for buying stuff only, rarely ever sell (interpreted "give away") stuff there due to the stifling high fees first of E-Bay then Pay-Pal.  I search on queries like 1931 Buick and have found some useful parts there.    I also go to E-Bay Motors/collector cars/1939 and earlier to see if there are any interesting car  listings.  That is where I found the 1931 Buick 8-66S Special Coupe I'm currently working on.  The only remaining value for E-Bay is for buyers, you can find obscure old parts there because it is the largest marketing platform on the planet and someone has the part you are looking for, E-Bay reaches out to the largest broadest seller base.  Short of going to Hershey it's hard to find original NOS B&S lock cylinders for Oakes ignition switch/column locks or Delco 660E distributors or Trico KCX-9 vacuum wiper motors.  When I first started working on the car I have now I realized it had the wrong shifter and hand brake parts, they were 1932 parts designed to compliment the revised 1932 instrument panel.  The hand brake was too tall and was trapped behind the 1931 instrument panel so it couldn't even be set.  I went right back on E-Bay and found a complete 1931 60 series transmission with the correct shifter and hand brake parts  and my wife and I drove there a few days later and picked the trans and parts up. 

 

Then if there is a problem with a seller or product or the mails or whatever the E-bay Resolution Center gives great protection to buyers, sellers- not so much.   My biggest complaint as a buyer, usually in search of authentic old car parts, is that E-Bay does a poor job of preventing unrelated or inappropriate parts from just flooding a search.  Example, this morning a query of 1931 Buick with the filter set at "Vintage car and truck parts" which is 4 levels of filter down from "All" shows there are 2900 1931 Buick listings and that my friends is bull-pucky.  You will find 20 pages of modern aftermarket tilt steering columns under that 1931 Buick search that get binned under the search by clever inclusion in the search title of the words "Fits 1931 Buick".  there will be another 20 pages of seat belts with the same "Fits 1931 Buick" qualifier.  As an experienced E-Bayer I will input my query, like 1931 Buick, search it on the Best Match default to see it if pops up something interesting, then change the search to Newly Listed if I'm going in every day.  Each listing carries the Newly Listed tag for about 1 day, after that it falls off.   When you stop seeing Newly Listed next to the listing title you are then starting to look at the listings you probably looked at yesterday, one of which will stick in your mind from the previous day so you pretty much know when you have gotten thru the new listings.  If I'm looking for literature related to 1931 Buick I might set the filter to All but Vintage Car and Truck Parts does filter out some of the garbage if I'm looking for parts.  About once a month I will query on 1931 Buick, filter on All, sort by Ending soonest and grimble thru 100+ pages of listings that come up with the search to make sure I haven't missed something valuable.   I buy a lot of non-automotive household goods and supplies, tools, appliance parts etc. on E-Bay as well but I also shop the internet on prices to make sure I don't get skinned on E-Bay just because it's convenient.

 

Dave

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To be honest I often buy electronic service and parts manuals on eBay but only when "fast and free" is available. Occasionally I'll find a specific part (usually by part number) but not often.

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7 minutes ago, padgett said:

To be honest I often buy electronic service and parts manuals on eBay but only when "fast and free" is available. Occasionally I'll find a specific part (usually by part number) but not often.

 

And buy it now.

I buy a lot of stuff from the eBay stores as well as Amazon.

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22 hours ago, Brill_C-37M_Bus said:

I agree with your frustrations, and it does take some work to get around those issues.  I’ve had a lot of success using special characters in long searches, and saving the search.  I’ll try to describe it for any computer skill level.

 

My saved searches usually are a series of sets of parentheses.  eBay only shows listings that fit the conditions in EVERY set of parentheses; if it doesn’t match just one, I’ll never see it (which is usually good!).  For example, I use this to look for Auto-Lite parts for my bus:


 

(autolite,auto lite,auto-lite,prestolite,presto-lite,presto lite) (vrh,*vrh,vrh*,gdj,*gdj,gdj*) -(denso)

 

 

The two comma-separated lists in parentheses tell eBay “show me any item containing at least one of these phrases”.  The first list is synonyms and common misspellings of the manufacturer.

 

The second list is the letters of part numbers, such as VRH-4104D1.  I put asterisks after some part IDs to return any part that starts with the letters before the *.  You can use an * anywhere in a word, like to search for an unknown prefix, suffix, both, or even the middle of a word.  With the list set up this way, I’ll find the item if the seller spells it as VRH 4104, VRH-4104, or VRH4104, or any number of letters or numbers after that.

 

The last parentheses set is arguably most important.  By putting a minus sign before the first parethesis, it tells eBay to not show you any item that contains any word in that parentheses set.  If you put in more than one word, separate them with commas, just like before.  In my case, I’m just excluding one word common to most of my irrelevant results, but remember to think of and exclude relevant synonyms, misspellings, etc.

 

 

And that’s how I found most of the very rare parts to restore my bus.  I hope this is helpful to somebody in the weird world of eBay.  Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask if any of what I wrote isn’t clear.

 

-Steven

 

 

 

Steven, 

Thank you for sharing interesting information on eBay searches! 

 

Question #1: I used to get better-refined search results using quote marks on both ends of items that I definitely wanted to be included in my searches (directly-adjacent to the words, with no spaces between the quote marks and the words). But lately that hasn't worked quite so well. I keep getting all kinds of stuff which is not within my quote marks. So, do I understand that use of parentheses has now replaced the use of quote marks for exclusive searches on eBay? 

 

Question #2: I have long used the asterisk as you recommended above, but I always thought it needed to be touching ONLY the letters of the search word I wanted (IE: vrh* ), but should not be touching any other adjacent characters (IE: vrh*) -----Note the spacing of the parenthetical bracket at the end of each of my two examples. Same thing with your first bracketed example, where you show autolite,auto lite,auto-lite all without any spaces. Note that I am certainly not trying to correct you, or point out errors. Rather I am very interested in learning any search tricks for eBay, since I both sell and search there quite often, and sometimes buy stuff there as well. 

 

Question #3: This is similar to above, but about the minus mark. I have used that trick forever, but it no longer works as effectively as it used to. Now when I type in search terms like "Hupmobile" -brochure -literature -flyer -ad -paper, -manual, -manuals, etc, I STILL end up seeing countless paper ads, manuals, and other stuff I don't really want to see.

 

Finally, as someone mentioned above, the new "sales-boosting" feature which eBay Motors added a few years ago, namely "FITS", has nearly ruined eBay for me. Now when I type in the search terms I featured above, I'll find thousands of listings featuring mag wheels, racing helmets, Jaguar parts, exotic fuel systems, stereos, and even scuba equipment. YECCH! 😣 So, when searching for Autolite ignition for your vintage bus, do you use the minus sign with the word "fits," as suggested above? And if so, doesn't that eliminate folks who are selling Autolite parts and mentioning the lists of vehicles their part "fits?" 

 

Again, thanks for your insights. I have an awful lot of stuff I need to sell this coming year, and I really, really want to get better at using eBay. 

 

Cheers! 

 

 

 

 

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Hey Lump, I’m glad that info was useful.  Here’s the answers you asked for:

 

Question 1: I haven’t used quotes except to search for an exact phrase with one or more spaces in it.  It doesn’t help emphasize words within a search.

 

Question 2: In a comma-separated list, there is no need for a space after each comma.  Some of my searches have so many things to include or exclude, they end up so long that I’m hitting the limit for how long a saved search can be!  So leaving the spaces off saves on length.  And yeah, eBay will recognize the comma or parethesis as a separation point and not part of the word you’re searching for, even if there’s an * right next to it.

 

Question 3: This should be an easy fix!  Just do a comma separated parentheses list, with a minus sign just in front of the open paren.  So, in your case, it’d be -(brochure,literature,flyer,ad,paper,manual,manuals,etc)

 

And yeah, those cheap sales-boosting tricks are obnoxious.  I guess I’m lucky that ACF-Brill Motors parts and related items are too obscure for those shysters to show up in most of my searches.

 

The best trick, though, is to make a search and observe what words are common to most of the annoying irrelevant results.  Then add those words to a minus list as shown in Question 3.  You can’t really put common words like “fits” in there, but pick a common but irrelevant kind of car, and exclude that.  For example, I almost always have to exclude VWs from my bus searches to keep hippie hauler stuff out of the results.  Keep refining your search, and once it returns mostly good items, SAVE IT.  A good saved search takes some refinement, but I keep about 40 different searches for bus, trolley, railroad, and model train things, and I almost never miss a rare item I want.  I highly recommend that approach to buying on eBay.  Good luck!

 

-Steven

 

 

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3 hours ago, Brill_C-37M_Bus said:

Hey Lump, I’m glad that info was useful.  Here’s the answers you asked for:

 

Question 1: I haven’t used quotes except to search for an exact phrase with one or more spaces in it.  It doesn’t help emphasize words within a search.

 

Question 2: In a comma-separated list, there is no need for a space after each comma.  Some of my searches have so many things to include or exclude, they end up so long that I’m hitting the limit for how long a saved search can be!  So leaving the spaces off saves on length.  And yeah, eBay will recognize the comma or parethesis as a separation point and not part of the word you’re searching for, even if there’s an * right next to it.

 

Question 3: This should be an easy fix!  Just do a comma separated parentheses list, with a minus sign just in front of the open paren.  So, in your case, it’d be -(brochure,literature,flyer,ad,paper,manual,manuals,etc)

 

And yeah, those cheap sales-boosting tricks are obnoxious.  I guess I’m lucky that ACF-Brill Motors parts and related items are too obscure for those shysters to show up in most of my searches.

 

The best trick, though, is to make a search and observe what words are common to most of the annoying irrelevant results.  Then add those words to a minus list as shown in Question 3.  You can’t really put common words like “fits” in there, but pick a common but irrelevant kind of car, and exclude that.  For example, I almost always have to exclude VWs from my bus searches to keep hippie hauler stuff out of the results.  Keep refining your search, and once it returns mostly good items, SAVE IT.  A good saved search takes some refinement, but I keep about 40 different searches for bus, trolley, railroad, and model train things, and I almost never miss a rare item I want.  I highly recommend that approach to buying on eBay.  Good luck!

 

-Steven

 

 

Terrific info. Thanks SO MUCH, Steven!! 

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  • 2 months later...

Hey Lump & Steven,

 

Regarding question 2, unfortunately wildcard searches with the * are no longer supported by eBay. Their algorithms have gotten progressively more crazy.

 

What I can highly recommend is this: http://www.auctionsieve.com/

 

You're going to love it! Essentially it gives you an unlimited minus list and you can build it up on the fly - after you retrieve all the search results, you highlight a word you never want to see again, hit a button and all the items containing that word are instantly hidden. And it also hides all that "related" search junk. And if you run the search the next day, it also hides all the stuff you saw yesterday.

 

Disclaimer: It's my app but it's totally free. Mostly built it for myself back in 2003 and have just kept adding to it. Let me know if you have any questions.

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On the mobile app, there’s been no change to search criteria.  I can still search as I always have.  I don’t see why that would be different from the desktop version.
 

DF52CA6D-8237-4F5A-B10F-06A345B75C4D.thumb.png.3a4d14f4d0e734db255682ecdbe6962e.png

 

Above I did a quick search for a kind of Stewart-Warner sender, and got the results I would expect from using an * wildcard.  I may have accidentally found the right sender to fix my current gauge mismatch problem, too. So thanks!

 

-Steven

 

 

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You can return the same results without the * after the 362.

For example you'll get items like "NOS STEWART-WARNER TEMPERATURE GAUGE SENDER D-362-DJ" regardless of whether you search for "stewart warner 362" or "stewart warner 362*"

ie adding the * won't specifically look for words that only start with 362

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On 1/9/2021 at 5:27 AM, 30DodgePanel said:

Example 3.) This next link is used items only. 

NOTE: I then remove the NOS from the search window when selecting the used box.

It cuts down the garbage considerably just by selecting "Used" condition. There are still garbage items and some unrelated to 1930 Dodge but it cuts it down considerably. Doesn't cure all but helps quite a bit.

1475 hits

1930 dodge | eBay

 

You can trim it from 1475 to about only 500 by excluding terms:

 

1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

516 results for 1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

so you're getting more Dodge specific parts

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8 hours ago, mike6024 said:

 

You can trim it from 1475 to about only 500 by excluding terms:

 

1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

516 results for 1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

1930 dodge -rat -rod -chevy -ford

 

so you're getting more Dodge specific parts

 

Yes with the advanced option (upper right corner just below shopping cart for those that don't know). 

 

image.png.a98d2050844faf05c514342776cb8464.png

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