How to Maneuver through eBay Categories - dummies

How to Maneuver through eBay Categories

By Marsha Collier

So how does eBay keep track of the millions of items that are up for sale at any given moment? eBay groups items into a nice, neat little storage system called categories. The home page lists most of the main (top-level) categories, but currently eBay must list tens of thousands of subcategories — ranging from Antiques to Writing Instruments. And don’t ask how many sub-subcategories (categories within categories) eBay has.

Here’s how to navigate around the categories:

1Click the category that interests you, such as Collectibles & Art.

You’re transported to the category’s page. You see categories and subcategories listed next to each heading. Happy hunting. (You can also mouse over the category link to see a drop-down menu showing just the top categories).

If you really and truly want to see a list of all the categories and subcategories once you’ve clicked through to the top category, click the arrow to the right of the subcategories to view sub-subcategories in the flyout menu.

To see all the eBay categories, click the link to All Categories just above the category title on the page.

When you mouse over the major categories, a flyout menu appears, showing top categories that may interest you.

2Click a subcategory, and keep digging through the sub-subcategories until you find what you want.

For example, if you’re looking for items honoring your favorite television show, click the Collectibles and Art category on the home page, and on the resulting page, select Entertainment Memorabilia, and additional categories will appear. When you click it, you will arrive at a page similar to the one shown. On the left of the page, there are even more subcategories of the category.

If you mouse over the Television Memorabilia subcategory heading, the menu will show up with links to various sub-subcategories that include Ads, Flyers, Clippings, Photos, Posters, Press Kits, Props, Scripts, Wardrobe, and Other. Farther down the page, below the menus, you also find links to the most popular searches in the category.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and you see a complete listing of all the subcategories. Click any link here to see the listings in the categories. From the listings page (among other things), you can click the boxes at the top to narrow your search to Auctions or Buy It Now items.

3When you find an item that interests you, click the item, and the full listings page pops up on your screen.

Congratulations — you’ve just navigated through several million items to find that one TV-collectible item that caught your attention. You can instantly return to the home page by clicking its link at the top of the page (or return to the listings page by repeatedly clicking the Back button at the top of your browser).

4If you are not a fan of the graphic representations on the category pages, click the category name in the upper-right corner next to the words Prefer Search Results.

You will see a full listing, just as if you had arrived there from a search.

Near the bottom of every search style page, you can see a line of numbers. The numbers are page numbers, and you can use them to fast-forward through all the items in that subcategory (next to the numbers you can also select how many items you want to see on the pages).

So, if you feel like browsing around page 8 without going through eight pages individually, just click number 8: You’re presented with the items on that page (their listings, actually). Happy browsing.

If you’re a bargain hunter by habit, you may find some pretty weird stuff while browsing the categories and subcategories of items on eBay — some of it super-cheap and some of it (maybe) just cheap. There’s even a Weird Stuff category that breaks down into subcategories of Slightly Unusual, TotallyBizarre, and Really Weird!