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Q: most common Ebay search terms ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: most common Ebay search terms
Category: Business and Money > eCommerce
Asked by: schrysco-ga
List Price: $65.00
Posted: 06 Nov 2002 09:15 PST
Expires: 06 Dec 2002 09:15 PST
Question ID: 100413
I am looking for a list of the most frequently searched words or
phrases on eBay. (i.e. words people are entering into eBay's "search"
box in order to find certain items for sale)
I would like at least the top 100 words or phrases, but would prefer
closer to 200-500 words/phrases.  The more the merrier!
I realize that any such list would have to come from a specific time
period, and my condition is this: while more recently searched terms
would be preferred, search terms from any period within the last 2
years would also be acceptable.
Here are a few different answers that I would accept: 
1) 100 or more of the top words/phrases searched on eBay's site during
any period of time within the last 2 years.
2) smaller lists from different recent periods that would give me at
least one hundred unique words/phrases if I put them all together
3) a link to a website that provides this exact information, provided
that it is free or relatively cheap (less than $20) to acquire the
information I am looking for, and that you have verified they can give
me this information.
That's it!  If anyone can find this I would be immensely greatful. 
And of course, I need to know where you came across the information,
so I can verify that it is accurate.  Made-up lists will not do.
- schrysco

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 06 Nov 2002 12:55 PST
I have found current and/or recent lists of the most frequently
searched words and phrases by category, for many (though not all)
categories on eBay.

I would be happy to post this as an answer, if that would be
acceptable to you.

However, I would also be happy to wait several days to see if anyone
can come up with what sounds like your ideal answer: a single list (or
multiple lists put together) of the 100+ most frequently searched
words or phrases on eBay overall.

In the meantime, here is an article from a year ago with a sidebar
containing a top 10 list of search terms on eBay:

"That Perfect Present Is Probably on EBay", by Leslie Walker (November
14, 2001)
The Washington Post

Clarification of Question by schrysco-ga on 06 Nov 2002 14:30 PST
I would accept different lists of search words from different
categories (as you said you found) provided they:

a) are definitely the top words from that/those categories during the
specified period of time (in other words, hopefully it's a ranked
list, instead of just an arbitrary list of "popular" words)

b) can be put together to form a larger list of at least 200 UNIQUE
words/phrases.  (I just would like to avoid a bunch of lists if
they're going to be filled with duplicates.)

The idea is for me to be able to compile a list of words or phrases
that are among the most popular searches on eBay. They don't
necessarily have to be a ranked list of 1-100 or 1-200 for a certain
period of time, I just want a few hundred unique words that are among
the most popular words or phrases searched on eBay.  As I said, the
more the merrier-- I would be happy with only 100 if I knew they were
the real 1-100 most popular, but will happily settle for a bunch of
different lists if they give me several hundred unique words/phrases.
In fact the latter scenario would almost be more favorable.

I hope this helps clarify? You can email me directly at if you have further questions.
Subject: Re: most common Ebay search terms
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 06 Nov 2002 18:57 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
As suggested by my request for clarification, I have not been able to
find a list of the most frequently searched words or phrases on eBay
overall.  But I have found lists of frequently searched words or
phrases by category.

These lists are contained in the Seller Newsletters, the directory for
which is on this page:

"Seller Newsletter Directory"

(Rather than write "eBay" in all of my other citations, I will note
here that all pages in this answer come from eBay.)

You can obtain several hundred (about one thousand by my count, minus
any duplications) of the "most popular buyer searches" in the current
issues of the newsletters.  Only three of the sixteen current
newsletters (Clothing, Shoes & Accessories, Land, and Toys, Hobbies,
Dolls & Crafts) do not have these lists; perhaps the next issues will.
 There are also four newsletters (Antiques, Art, Coins, and
Collectibles) with back issues that contain these lists (click on
"Archives" on the Directory page to find them); this suggests that the
feature will be updated in future issues of most or all of the

Here are links to all of the most popular buyer searches lists in the
current seller newsletters.  (All pages are entitled "Top 10 Searches
by Category", unless otherwise noted.)

Antiques Newsletter, Issue 4

Art Newsletter, Issue 4

Books Newsletter, Issue 1

"Top 25 Business and Industrial Buyer Searches"
Business & Industrial Newsletter, Issue 1

Coins Newsletter, Issue 4

Collectibles Newsletter, Issue 5

Computers & Networking Newsletter, Issue 1

Consumer Electronics Newsletter, Issue 1

Music Newsletter, Issue 1

Musical Instrumements Newsletter, Issue 1

Photo Newsletter, Issue 1

"Top 10 Travel Popular Searches"
Travel Newsletter, Issue 1

Video Games Newsletter, Issue 1

If you want to try to figure out, roughly, the most popular searches
overall, you could weight the categories by the number of items that
are currently on offer in each category:


I should also note a set of lists that I have not included in my
answer.  You may have noticed, if you click on the Categories listed
on the eBay home page rather than proceed directly to a search, many
of the Category pages contain top 10 lists.

Some of these lists are unclear as to what they are the top 10 for; it
could be search terms, types of offered items, types of sold items, or
something else.

Certain other lists seem more promising at first; they talk in terms
of the "most frequently searched" items.  However, in most cases, the
words or phrases do not sound like search terms, but more like a
cleaned-up description of a general group of search terms.

Here are two examples of top ten lists on the Category pages, to
illustrate what I mean:

"Top 10 Brands  

Lee Middleton
Marie Osmond

"Dolls & Bears: Top 10 Brands"

"Most frequently searched Computers items on eBay.
1.   Laptops
2.   Dell Latitudes
3.   IBM Thinkpads
4.   Sony Vaios
5.   Color Inkjet Printers
6.   DVD Drives
7.   LCDs / Flat Panel Monitors
8.   PC Games
9.   Networking
10.  Routers"

"Computers & Office: Top 10"

There is at least one list that I tend to think is composed of real
search terms:

"Most Frequently Searched Numismatic Terms on eBay 
1.   Gold
2.   Morgan
3.   PCGS
4.   Silver
5.   platinum 
6.   Poland
7.   Greece
8.   Portugal
9.   Olympic
10.  NGC"

"Coins & Paper Money: Top 10"

Still, I can't see how one would get 200 real search terms by using
the lists on the Category pages.  Thus, I think it is best to leave
them out of this answer.  You can always browse them in order to make
guesses as to which words people are currently using in addition to
the ones indicated in the newsletters.

I hope that this information is helpful.

- justaskscott-ga

Search strategy:

Browsed eBay.

Searched on Google for combinations of the following words and

"most popular"
"top 10"
"most searched"
"frequently searched"

Clarification of Answer by justaskscott-ga on 07 Nov 2002 08:03 PST
In my opinion, the eBay site is difficult to navigate.  The only
information I found for my answer by browsing the site itself was on
the Category pages, which wasn't good enough.

However, by searching on Google for terms that appeared on eBay, I
came up with a few issues of the newsletters.  The successful search
was: "most popular" .

In my answer, I neglected to refer to the next step in my search
strategy: I then searched on Google for: newsletter . 
One of the results was the seller newsletter directory.

Personally, I think that eBay needs a search engine for the features
on the site, in addition to a search engine for the items for sale. 
But perhaps that would be too confusing to some users.  So perhaps it
just needs a site-wide FAQ or a redesigned site map.
schrysco-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Great answer, it's basically just what I was looking for!!
One questions-- HOW did you find that newsletter?? I've been selling
on eBay for 3 years now and have never seen it on their site.  I just
poked around trying to find a link for it (aside from the one you
supplied) and couldn't.
How did you come across it?

Subject: Re: most common Ebay search terms
From: elipc-ga on 06 Nov 2002 09:27 PST
Try this for a start:
I will keep looking for longer lists.
Subject: Re: most common Ebay search terms
From: schrysco-ga on 07 Nov 2002 10:47 PST
I absolutely agree with you about the organization of eBay's site--
it's amazing how difficult it is to find certain information within
their help pages or other seller/buyer related info.

Odd how you have to use google just to find information within eBay
They really do need to improve their in-site "find" capabilities.

But again, thank you-- the answer was well worth the price.

I love this service!

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