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
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
"Dolls & Bears: Top 10 Brands"
"Most frequently searched Computers items on eBay.
2. Dell Latitudes
3. IBM Thinkpads
4. Sony Vaios
5. Color Inkjet Printers
6. DVD Drives
7. LCDs / Flat Panel Monitors
8. PC Games
"Computers & Office: Top 10"
There is at least one list that I tend to think is composed of real
"Most Frequently Searched Numismatic Terms on eBay
"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.
Searched on Google for combinations of the following words and
Clarification of Answer by
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" site:ebay.com .
In my answer, I neglected to refer to the next step in my search
strategy: I then searched on Google for: newsletter site:ebay.com .
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.