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eBay Hacks, 2nd Edition by David A. Karp

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Hack #12. Jump In and Out of Categories While Searching

Narrow your searches by confining them to certain categories, and filter categories while you browse.

eBay uses an extensive hierarchy of categories to group similar items together. This not only enables sellers to improve the exposure of their auctions, but it helps bidders find what they're looking for and even discover new items.

When you perform a standard search, no thought is given to the categories in which the items are sorted; toaster ovens are listed right alongside antique doll clothes and rechargeable batteries. By the same token, when you browse a category, you're simply looking at a list of every item placed in that category by sellers, whether it's relevant or not.

Category listings and search results are essentially the same thing: subsets of the massive auction database that is eBay. This means that when you perform a search or browse a category, you're really just changing your filtering criteria. Fortunately, you can combine the two quite easily. Think of it as either narrowing a search by confining it to a single category, or filtering a category listing with search keywords.

Search Within a Category

Click Buy at the top of any eBay page to view a directory of the top-level categories. Choose a category here, and then a subcategory from the assortment displayed on the next page. At three levels deep and beyond, you'll see standard category views, including auction listings and a basic search field, as shown in ...

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