BookieMonster

Trade Me Tips : Searching – How to find what you want

I am very happy to receive advance review copies of books to review on BookieMonster.

What do I read?

I thought I’d share a few TradeMe tips with readers from time to time (if you have any TradeMe questions you’d like answered please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer to the best of my ability!), so today here’s some tips on searching items for sale on TradeMe.

With well over 1 million items for sale at any one time it can be a bit of a mission finding what YOU want to buy on TradeMe. But there are ways to make it easier for yourself:

    How do I find my favourite seller?

    Well, there are two easy ways.

    If you know your seller’s username then put it into the Trade Me search bar, click the drop down menu to the left and choose Members (right at the bottom). There is only one drawback to this search and that is it needs to be exact. For example if you search “bookiemonster” you will bring up us! But if you search “bookie monster” (with a space), or any other variation on a username, you won’t find us (or the seller you are looking for). And that will make you sad. So another suggestion is…

    If your seller is clever they will include their username somewhere in all their listings. What this means is that you can search for their username in all listings and it will also bring up their products for sale! It also can be very handy for narrowing down the number of results you get.

    For example I know you have probably been wondering to yourself, Hmmm, I wonder what books BookieMonster has that are about Cats? So into the Search bar you type ‘bookiemonster’ and ‘cats’ – et voila! BookieMonster listings that have ‘cats’ in the listing. Alternatively you can navigate your way through the Books categories to Non-Fiction – Pets – Cats and then put ‘bookiemonster’ in the search bar – the search automatically works in the category you are in and brings up listings in that category with ‘bookiemonster’ in them – ats category on Trade Me" target="_blank">and these should be ours! (But feel free to have a giggle if they aren’t.)

    Can I save my favourite sellers somewhere?

    Yep! If you have a favourite seller you can save them as a Favourite Seller and have their listings emailed to you. Anytime you’re browsing a seller’s listings, at the top of the page, just under the categories for their listings you’ll see a grey Save This Search button. The seller will be saved to your My Favourites list and you can set the interval for being emailed their listings.

    Save a Search

    Now sometimes you might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of listings a seller has (for example we regularly have over 1000+ books listed for sale), so rather than having all their listings emailed to you perhaps you’d like just some of their listings, or a particular search phrase or just listings in a particular category.

    Fortunately you can do all these things. Anytime you search or navigate to a category that has no sub-categories you will see a Save This Search button, or Save This Category button. As above clicking this button will save these to your My Favourites list, and email you new listings automatically.

    Searching closed auctions

  • Did you know you can also search auctions that have closed in the last 45 days? To the right of the Search button on the Search bar there is a link that says More Options. If you click this link it will bring up the option to search Expired Listings. This is useful if you want to see who’s been selling a particular item, or if one has been recently up for sale.

Unfortunately Trade Me’s search engine is not the most sophisticated, so here’s a few more quick tips to help you find what you’re looking for.

  • Don’t use apostrophes. These cause problems for TradeMe’s search, which will hopefully be fixed soon. E.g. “Patrick O’Brian” will bring up no listings, but you will find several actually listed if you search for “Jack Aubrey” (a character in O’Brian’s books). So you have to be a bit creative with your keywords when searching for anything that has an apostrophe in it.
  • You can do an exact search by using quotation marks around a phrase, i.e. “alexander mccall smith” – just keep in mind the apostrophe problem from above.
  • You can narrow your search results by region also – New Zealand, or your home region, or click the Change Region dropdown menu. A wee trick for Australian users of Trade Me however – there is no distinction made for sellers based in Australia. They show under the New Zealand search. Crazy? Yes! Dumb? Um, yes, a little bit.
  • Your My Favourites list is found under your My Trade Me page.
  • Your Favourites emails expire after 35 days, so visit your My Favourites list to turn them on again if you still want to be emailed those results.

Hopefully these prove helpful to you, and if you have any Trade Me questions please leave a comment and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge!