28 Jun How to Search For a Lost Lovie on the Internet and on eBay
Are you trying to find a lost lovie your child is grieving about? Or maybe you just need a backup in case something happens. Or maybe the lovie you are looking for is in Stuffed Animal Hospice Care, and you need to replace it with one your child can continue to love in his own rough way.
The key to doing an effective search on eBay, as far as I am concerned, is to use the Advanced Search Option (Seen just to the right of the Search Button). After trial and error I have developed a set of EXCLUSION terms that filter out the unwanted types of results, leaving only the plush animals and dolls I wish to find.
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As soon as I type the "c" my browser offers to fill in the complete list, so it's easy to exclude these terms.
Then I check the Search Including boxes for Title and Description AND for All Items including Store Inventory
So now comes the really hard part – deciding what to search for.
You have to think about how a seller, who knows nothing about your lovie, would list it. If the tush tag has a name for the animal, that's a good term to use, as well as the brand. If there is a saying embroidered on the doll, or if it plays music, those words make good search terms. Put any phrase you want to look for in quotation marks.
Some sellers say plush, others say stuffed. Some say rabbit, while others say bunny. Use parenthesis to use both terms as either or. For example – (plush, stuffed)
Sometimes you're not sure if the seller will call it a blankie, or a blanket. Use the asterisk to look for any term that starts with blank. Example blank *
So you've searched for brand, and the name on the tag, with no success. Try the color and type of animal, such as brown bear. Obviously that will pull up way too many to look through easily, so try to find some other feature that the seller may mention in the title or description. Sitting, standing, "lying down", sleeping, praying … these are the types of words a seller might use.
Look for words to describe a toy, such as crib pull, or just pull – press – (windup, wind up) – rattle, teeth *
Sometimes the only thing to do is just look through lots and lots of photos to find the one you need. If that's the case, try to leave the search terms as general as to make a manageable number of listings, then choose View as Gallery or Snapshot just above the eBay listings. The default is List, but if you are looking at just the photos, make it easier on yourself. That's how some of our Fabulous Finders find lovies in large groups of toys for sale in one listing.
Down at the bottom of the page is a set of choices about how many result items you wish to see on a page and how big the photos should be. If you are on a high speed connection, set Items per Page to 200, and use the largest size Gallery photos possible.
Do not want to fool with those horribly long addresses that eBay returns for your search, but you want to send the link to someone else? Now that you are an expert hunter, there is an item number at the right hand top of every eBay listing that looks like Item number: 250308735884. You can send that number, instead of trying to copy / paste the full address of the listing. Blogger does not handle long URL's at all, so this is particularly helpful in sending eBay search results on a blog.
All these same suggestions can be used with slight variations with all of the popular Search Engines. For instance, you get better results on Google if you put a + sign in front of each term. Example – + "Kids Preferred" + blue + bear + (plush, stuffed) + blank *
If you end up with some long internet URL to share, copy the URL, then go to tinyurl.com. Paste your long address in, and it will give you a short version you can use, instead.
It takes time to learn how to hunt effectively on the Internet, but it's a worthy skill to master. I hope these suggestions have been helpful to you.
By Rosemary Bouchet