Check Your eBay Module Search Settings

While updating my Hess Trucks lens yesterday, I noticed something strange. Most of the eBay modules showed no search results. No listings means nothing for a visitor to click and potentially buy on eBay. That’s not good if you like earning commissions.

I copied the search criteria from one of these modules directly into eBay’s search tool and got a “Your search returned 0 items” message. That was followed by another message, “Search using the wildcard symbol (*) is no longer supported.” What!?

That’s right, eBay got rid of wildcard searches. To clarify, eBay took away a useful and powerful tool for shoppers to find the specific items they’re interested in buying. Brilliant! If I had stock in eBay, I’d consider selling it.

How can lensmasters (and eBay shoppers) replace wildcards in our searches?

You’ll need to build a new search query to find listings you want displayed in your eBay modules. Read eBay’s advanced search engine options page for info on constructing search queries. Test your new query on eBay. When you’re satisfied with the results, update your module and republish the lens.

In my case, I had used the wildcard to find items from a specific decade (e.g. 198* for trucks from the 1980s). So I replaced 198* with a Boolean OR search. Using eBay’s syntax that search is now (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989). It’s ugly but it works.

If your new query is long (my query above went from 4 to 51 characters), you might have to break up your listings into multiple modules due to eBay’s 100 character limit on search queries. The important thing is to check your eBay modules now and replace any wildcards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *