27 September 2010

QUICKBLOG - Google Buzz to Twitter to Facebook?

Okay, so I really want to know because I'm sick of screwing around with this....... what the hell is so hard about getting Google Buzz to update my Twitter OR  Facebook if I keep things private?  I have an awesome client I've been using for a while as some of you may have seen on my Facebook updates, yakket, but that only works (and works perfectly, the best there is) for Twitter to Facebook.

I couldn't honestly care less for Twitter, but on my Andriod phone, the easiest way for me to update my Facebook status from the home screen AND have the option to use location-based links inserted if I want to is with a Twitter client I'm using called twicca (before that it was Seesmic which I liked more, but never updated well on the Android widget--not important in this topic).

Now, with that being said, the truly best way to update your status on an Android phone is using the native Google Buzz widget that auto finds your location and can insert it automatically.  Only problem is....  Buzz is locked only to Buzz for people like me who don't want their status updates going public and having all you weirdos reading this on mikegarcia25.com seeing my every move!  I know people will suggest things like Buzz Can Tweet (AWESOME idea, btw, just doesn't work for private Buzz updates) or Buzz2Twitter or Google Buzz Sync on Facebook or even feedburning through Google Reader / Google Profiles, but NONE of those will work for private Buzz updates!!!  Hell, some of those don't even work and haven't for months.... (see the last link and the comments posted on Facebook for proof)

Obviously, you can see I've spent some serious time researching this and trying to find the right program for the job and the right way to do this while keeping updates private, but I've reached the end....  for now!  If I have to keep Twitter just to get it to post to Facebook, I will, otherwise, Buzz to Facebook directly would be the best option.  Post up if you know a work-around

26 August 2010

Parallelism: Returning Shopping Carts and What's Wrong With This Country

I don't know if you've seen $#!7 like this before when you go to the grocery store, Walmart, Target, or anywhere else that has shopping carts available for you to use inside the store, but if your parking lot looks anything like this:

then your area is suffering from the same sort of problems I've seen around Central Florida.  People displaying a total lack of respect for others.  And most of these pictures were taken in areas that were what some may consider more "ghetto" than where they would like to be.  So maybe there is a correlation, maybe not, but let's first get into what I mean by this obvious lack of respect for others I've decided to go as far as to take pictures and write a blog about it.

Thinking psychologically, why would someone just decide not to return their carts to the front of the store or at least a place designated for cart return?  Too busy?  Maybe, I can see that - you are rushing to get groceries after leaving work to cook dinner for the family and just don't have the time to deposit your cart back where it belongs.  Hell, while we're at it, let's throw in some inclement weather, rain, hail, sleet, or snow, and that walk just seems way too far to go....  But I think it is more than that.  It has more to do with the fact that some people find themselves entitled to doing less and letting someone else take care of the problem they have caused for others.  I see you shaking your head, no seriously, I'm not joking here, this is what it boils down to.  Entitlement for whatever reason they see fit.  "I don't have to do that cart jockey job, let someone making minimum wage come out here and deal with it, I've got places to be and things to do."  Oh is that so?

And what happens when that poor kid making minimum wage at the grocery or big box store doesn't want to get off his @$$ to get your cart out of the hot sun or cold snow?  Cars get damaged, parking spots get consumed, and general havok is caused in parking lots.  I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a store to find an empty cart storage area since all the carts are scattered all over the parking lots.  Then there are the times where a cart has been left dangerously close to my parked car, just waiting for the perfect breeze to give it the strength to ram right down the side of my properly loved vehicle, like this guy's Mercedes:  

I know what you're thinking again - you're just pissed off because someone hit your car, it has to be about your car....  or at least this is a parking spot issue, someone jammed up a coveted parking spot one day and you were pissed off about it....  Couldn't be further from the truth.  In fact, I wouldn't ever park my nice car in a parking lot like this - the car I do take to parking lots that have a much greater chance of a door opening into it isn't something I would get upset about if it did get hit by a runaway cart.  It is all based on the principle of the matter.  The fact that more and more people these days could really care less about their fellow man is what I'm talking about.  The issue over the lengths people went to in past years, often times before I was born as I've seen from movies or learned from older relatives, to make sure they weren't offensive to or offending others is the true subject of this blog.  

Is this an income issue?  Possibly, as I don't find this as common at higher-end, ritzy grocery stores as I do in low-income, dirty, discount stores.  I don't think the focus of this is as much where it happens as it is that it happens.  I don't care if a "busy" businessman does it any more or less than if some unemployed Welfare case does it in as much as the thought process was entertained enough for someone to just not give a damn about that cart.  The fact that it does occur in both places leads me to believe that it happens, and that's the important part - regarding it happening more in "the ghetto" than it does in "the rich part of town," it simply means more people feel they are entitled to making their negligence become someone else's problem.  

I find such parallelism in this that I felt compelled to write this blog.  Call me crazy, and a lot of people do, but psychoanalyzing it like this is important to me - I don't want to go through life and say "damn, people left a bunch of carts in a parking lot, that sucks."  I want to break it down and determine WHY they did that, and what that means for them as people who have inconvenienced other people.  This is the same type of parallelism that comes from believing men who drive Corvettes have small.... appendages.  I can't comment on that much, I know some girls who used to date my Corvette-loving roommate in college who had 3 of them at different times that can, but I can analyze this situation based on real world knowledge.  Your opinion may be different than mine on this subject, and I'd like to see what you have to say about it, but if you just think I've gone too far with my analysis, then please, stick to your reality TV shows and leaving comments on YouTube videos because you quite honestly don't have the mental capacity to subjectively report on humanity's effects on humanity.  

Oh yeah, and if you are from South Carolina reading this and can't follow the topic at all, just substitute "shopping cart" and "cart" with your crazy term "buggy."  It isn't a buggy, it is a shopping cart, just like it isn't "pop," it is "soda."  But everyone is different, and I guess that's why I am who I am.....

29 March 2010

How bad is your water?

I am not a scientist, but I love to conduct experiments.  Bored one Monday, I decided to break out my ZeroWater TDS Tester and test some water.  According to TDSMeter.com, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) "refer to any minerals, salts, metals, cations or anions dissolved in water. This includes anything present in water other than the pure water (H20) molecule and suspended solids."  Wikipedia defines (TDS) as "the combined content of all inorganic and organic substances contained in a liquid that are present in a molecular, ionized or microgranular suspended form."  Basically anything that isn't water. Stuff that you taste when drinking water - water should taste like nothing at all, right? Well, not always as you're about to find out. 

The TDS Tester I used is HMDigital's ZT-2 Handheld Basic Tester.  The reason I did this instead of going with a high-end tester is two part: 1) It came with my ZeroWater pitcher and 2) I'm not a scientist, this was good enough to use for me.  While some argue that TDS isn't the proper way of testing what's in water, it is the easiest way for me to test it, and certainly provides accurate results.  In the high TDS content waters tested, you CAN taste something in the water!  Waters that had little to no TDS content taste pure and clean, the water you want to be drinking!

So let's get on with the show....  Here's the basis of my test, the control variable for my ZeroWater, and a good place to start.  Tap water from Windermere, Florida:

The TDS Tester reads:  128 for Tap Water (Click here for 800 x 600 image)

While not TERRIBLE, that is considered in the average range for American water.  

The TDS Tester reads:  204 for Filtered Water at 91% (Click here for 800 x 600 image)

The filter on my Kenmore Elite refrigerator was replaced 2 weeks ago and was at 91% efficiency at the time of testing.  It wasn't done at 99% as that would make the test erroneous because the filter hasn't properly settled yet.  I have seen lower numbers come out of this filter before, and will amend this picture with another if I can get a lower number, but seriously, this means that the filter is ADDING dissolved solids into the "filtered" water instead of taking them out!  You can definitely taste something in this water, though it doesn't taste nearly as bad as Zephyrhills....

The TDS Tester reads:  001 for Aquafina (Click here for 800 x 600 image)

In my opinion, this is the best bottled water you can buy.  And strange that it states clearly on the bottle that it didn't come from any fancy spring water source, "Aquafina originates from public water sources and is then purified through a rigorous, seven-step process..."  Wow, all that and it came from "the tap," in essence.  

The TDS Tester reads:  163 for Zephyrhills (Click here for 800 x 600 image)

God this stuff is nasty.  I don't know how Floridians haven't burned this town to the ground yet!  Being "local" to a natural spring water bottling company sounds like a good thing, but there aren't enough words to describe the "chewy," stale tasting Zephyrhills water.  With 163 on the gauge, the TDS is high enough to stay clear and leave it on the shelves at the grocery.  

The TDS Tester reads:  000 for ZeroWater (Click here for 800 x 600 image)

The king of filtered water.  I tried it on a whim because I wasn't that happy anymore with my Britta - filters didn't last that long and the taste wasn't all that great anymore.  Maybe my pitcher got old and the plastic was adding something to the flavor, but something was at play (washed it a bunch and that didn't help either).  Had seen commercials for ZeroWater claiming the purest filtered water on the market, and it came with a meter to prove it - now you're speaking my language (nerd?).  It delivers, no questions asked.  

Saw a lot of reviews of it on Amazon by Britta employees apparently, claiming the filter lasted only a month and then it started tasting like complete crap, then made them sick to their stomachs.  Well, I've been using this on worse water at my girlfriend's house since 12.16.09, using roughly one pitcher a week on average since then, and have yet to replace the filter.  As you can see, it still reads 000 and the company recommends changing it at 006, still a long way out it would seem!

So there you have it.  My very simple "review" of five different qualities of water based on their total dissolved solids and personal tastes.  With this being said, don't think that there aren't some substantial Disadvantages of Drinking Pure Water, and therefore you should also consider your diet when searching for "the perfect water," which can be different if you eat a lot of junk food or if you eat plenty of fruits and veggies like I do - or at least get the vitamins from expensive GNC multi-vitamins everyday....  

It should be noted that I don't work for or publicly endorse any of the companies listed above, I was just doing this to educate a few people and see what your reactions are to it.  If you'd like me to do any future comparison testing, you can always donate something to me and I'll be glad to continue my research!

22 March 2010

Health Care.... Reform?

I like to think in terms of facts.  Numbers never lie, so I usually associate numbers with facts, and thus I like to think in terms of numbers as well.  You'll remember that in my post-election blog, I broke down the numbers to show that it wasn't as sweeping of a victory as leftists would like you to believe it was.  Now, when it comes to this Health Care "Reform," here are the numbers first, and then I'll discuss them afterwards:

  • This bill will cost taxpayers approximately $1.072 TRILLION over the next 10 years.  The official $940 billion price tag doesn't include other reform initiatives in the legislation that push the cost above $1 trillion.
  • One in Six American adults are without health insurance.  That is roughly 16% of the country.  Roughly 60% of Americans get their health insurance from their employer, and therefore about 24% pay out of pocket for their insurance.  The unemployment rate right now is at 9.7%.  
  • The Associated Press reports that 68% of America oppose "ObamaCare" without any Republican support.  That means that more than four in five Americans say it’s important that any health care plan have support from both parties.
  • The HCR bill passed the House yesterday with 219 votes for it and 212 votes against it (50.812064965197215777262180974478% voted for it).  ALL Republicans on the House voted against it, and so did 34 Democrats.  Let that statistic sink in a bit after you read that over again!
Way back in 2007, you know, when no one knew who Obama was and didn't think he was going to be the savior of our country that they thought he would be the very next year, he made the claim that Democrats should not pass health care reform with a 50-plus-1 strategy, meaning just over 50% of the vote.  The reason for that, he went on to say, is that you can't govern law that way - if 51% of the House votes on a bill, that normally means only ONE party voted for it, and therefore, the other party (and theoretically, the other half of the nation) won't stand for it.  He stated clearly "My understanding of the Senate is you need 60 votes to get something significant to happen. The question is: Do we have the will to move an American agenda forward, not a Democrat or Republican agenda forward?"  Obviously, in this case, the answer is NO, this is a Democrat-only agenda, and it is sickening to think that one party being the majority power, Republican or Democrat, should have the right to make a bill become law when so many are opposed to it.  Just another example of the ability Democrats have to be able to speak out of both sides of their mouths - they say something when it sounds eloquent and noble, then go completely against it later when the time comes for action....

According to CNN, the "political culture in Washington may have changed for good" because of this (click here to see the video, and watch the next three videos as well: Health care passes 1:53 and Inside the health care debate 2:44).  In another video on CNN, Obama gloated that "this is what change looks like" during his typical teleprompter-read speech after the victory in the House.  No, Mr. President, this is what Socialism looks like.  This is what a Dictatorship looks like.  Since 68% of America believe that we should come TOGETHER to decide what the future of health care should look like instead of have it decided by one party or another, let's just throw that completely out the window and pass our OWN health care reform act based on what the House of [Poorly Represented] Representatives wants!  It isn't just "playing unfairly" or "not by the rules," it's borderline illegal and not what the Founding Fathers would have ever allowed to happen to the lawmaking process of this country.

Wouldn't you know...... Less than 24 hours after the House of Representatives gave final approval to a sweeping overhaul of healthcare, attorneys general from several states on Monday said they will sue to block the plan on constitutional grounds (click here for the full article).  No kidding?  "If a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person by definition is not engaging in commerce," Cuccinelli said in recorded comments. "If you are not engaging in commerce, how can the federal government regulate you?"  Yep, point made, taken, and I concur!

And if you really hate Nancy Pelosi as much as I do, make sure to donate in the next 25 hours to FIRE PELOSI!  

26 February 2010

Screw Big Box Stores, Buy Simple Items Online!

In part of my series about helping people save money and buy products online, here's some tips I've gathered from years and years of doing it! Most of this relates to electronics, but these tips are good for just about anything you can buy in a store that would normally charge you a ridiculous amount more for it than you can find online.

Think of every product you want to buy as you would a used car. Crazy as that sounds, you'll save a ton of money just by negotiating with the salesman when you are out buying a used car. No one (at least no one I know) goes to a dealership and sees a car with a price on it and says "I'll take it!" How come we can't do that in stores for lesser priced items? At the local gun store, the price tags have higher than normal prices, but I've learned that if you talk to them for a few minutes, they'll drop the price at least $100. And believe me, I've spent quite some time in there - hell, a few of the guys know me by name and what guns I've shown them from my collection! Who wouldn't want to save a hundred bucks on a $700 purchase? So what's the difference between that an a $700 laptop? A $400 digital camera? A $20 USB cable? The point is, don't overspend because you need something right away. I learned that lesson when two of my desktop computer's exhaust fans died within a day of each other and I needed to get new ones to keep it cool.... Spent $15 EACH on fans that would have cost only $7 each at a discount computer parts store or $4 each shipped online.

Know where to shop, then how to shop. Best Buy (also known as WORST Buy) sells the same thing you can buy online or in another store for 100-400% more. Seriously, if you want to spend $2,000 on a new HDTV when you can buy it at CompUSA for $1,300, I'll create a donate to my PayPal account button in a heartbeat for you to get rid of the $700 extra you don't care about. What does Best Buy offer you that you can't get at CompUSA? The same service, the same TV, the same warranty - what is the hold up here? Once you know the places to look for great deals, keep watching them until they have something that fits you! I was at CompUSA this past weekend and saw a 42" 1080p Full-HD monitor for $999. That's not a BAD deal, but they can do better.... I'm typing this on a 47" 1080p I got from them for $649. Yeah, you read that right - 5" bigger TV, same features, for $350 less. What about cables? CompUSA charges $20 for simple USB cables. I bought (2) 4-Port USB Hubs, a 6ft HDMI cable, (3) 2ft USB A to Mini USB cables, a 5-in-1 OEM HTC adapter for my phone, and (2) Mini USB to Micro USB adapters yesterday on eBay for a grand total of $18.31 SHIPPED (from China, though, so it isn't going to arrive for 7-14 days). The HDMI cable would have cost me $39 at the least in any big box store, some of them are $80 and up! That means CompUSA isn't the place to shop for cables, but they are for HDTV's, and you have to recognize those sort of things!

Search for your item number and once you've found the best price, keep searching.Check out my other blog posts on How to search and How to shop, and employ those techniques with everything you want to buy. If you HAVE to see how the item works, use Best Buy or wherever else for that, then search it online. There's an awesome store in the ritzy mall near me that sells the highest end electronics known to man at the highest prices known to man. I get the model number from there after playing with the item and learning if it is right for me, then search online to find it for a fraction of the price. Don't believe me?

I took this picture on Friday, November 23, 2007, 4:27:20 PM with my unlocked HTC TyTN II phone that I paid $750 for online. Later on that year, I bought a replacement one since the keyboard got damaged and couldn't be fixed by my warranty company (more details on that later) for $500. I first paid less than 70% of what they wanted in this store, and later, 45%. Did I REALLY want this item? Yes, I needed an awesome cell phone that worked for business, and at the time, this was it. I paid less than $700 on my latest phone, an unlocked HTC Touch Pro2, and have two of these TyTN II's still for sale at $280 for both (ugh).

Searching is hard, why can't someone do it for me? Yes, Sir Laziness, someone has. BeatMyPrice will ask you what you're looking for and OPTIONALLY, where you found it and for how much - you can just put in what you're looking for to see if anyone has posted it cheaper online already. And once you know where to buy something from, always use RetailMeNot to possibly get even deeper discounts from them! Just enter the website you found and see if they have any legit coupons posted. They'll even tell you what percentage of people who tried the coupon got it to work - just be sure you do the same for other people in the future. Both BeatMyPrice and RetailMeNot are from the same company - try BugMeNot as well, that's a cool one to use if you hate registering for something just to see the post they don't want you to see without providing your ever-sacred email address.... Also try TheFind, my mom recommended that to me!

Even if you don't know WHAT you want to buy, have the companies tell you WHEN something is on sale easily. Just sign up for their newsletter! Ohh, you don't want to flood your inbox with tons of mail? Then filter your messages so they don't appear in your inbox and go to a folder or label (if you use Gmail) you choose - mine is called Promotional Mail. Currently I have 630 unread messages in there, and I delete them every 2 months or so, if I remember to.... but that's okay, because when I want to check on something or see what specials are available, I look in there and click around a bit to see who's got what on sale! Just sign up for the newsletter and when you get your first one, filter it out by getting their email address and making sure it doesn't go to your inbox after being marked Promotional Mail. I can't help you do everything now, so don't ask how to do it if you don't know how, just read the Help section of your email account provider or program like Outlook or Thunderbird and they'll guide you right along.

Now that you know how to search and buy and also where to buy, how do you protect your purchases? SquareTrade. Those who have been on eBay long enough will remember that name when SquareTrade was the name they gave their dispute resolution company, but since the purchase of PayPal, ST was moved over to handle warranties on purchases on AND OFF eBay. Get suckered into buying something at a big box store, hopefully you'll be smart enough NOT to get the warranty from them as well and buy one from ST. Their prices are insanely reasonable, and if you search RetailMeNot like I said above, you can find coupons to use to drop the prices down EVEN MORE! I have said 50% off their already low-priced warranties with coupons found in my email box or on RetailMeNot. Some items have the option to extend warranties out to 3 years for still 30% less than you would have paid for the ONE year warranty at the big box store!

How else can you protect your purchases? American Express offers Purchase Protection (also see FAQ) and Extended Warranty (also see FAQ) for certain cards. My AMEX Blue is one of them and I love it - if something happens to my item in the first 90 days.... ANYTHING.... I call them up and the purchase is protected. Even if it is lost or stolen. Broken or defective. If (as their example online states) a thread comes lose out of my brand new sweater and leaves me with a giant hole. They take care of it and I don't have to worry a bit. They'll even extend my warranty equal to the duration of the manufacturer's warranty, for up to an additional year. Since you should be using a CREDIT card instead of a DEBIT card as I suggested on my other blog post, why NOT use AMEX for these two reasons alone?

As always, if you have any questions or anything to add, let me know and I'll help you out!

How to search successfully online

The dreaded search bar!!!!! To some, this bar looks like a good place to just start writing whole sentences like the computer knows what you're looking for and can translate it all into "BAM! Here you go, we understood what you were saying! Great conversation, let's do this again soon!"

Yeah, it doesn't work like that, people.... Here's some tips I've learned over the years and can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend scrolling and clicking Next Page through the 9,584,164,787,415 results you just dug up.

BE CONCISE! Google has been dumbed down to be able to get you exactly what you want early without having do to much scrolling, but that doesn't mean to write a whole sentence! Try typing it all that nonsense into a product search field like eBay or other online stores and you'll end up without a single result.

The most important thing you can learn about searching on the internet is that what you put in the search bar, the engine will try and find, so if you put lots of erroneous words, your results will display ALL of them first, and then try and get to the other results without all those words, which is probably what you were looking for in the first place.

* NOTE -
all links and results taken from them are current as of today's post. They may be different in the future, but you get the idea..... Also, some Google search results may have sourceid=chrome in the links since I exclusively use Google Chrome as my internet browser, so if the links don't work for you, Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL, or Firefox people, then follow along the steps and copy the term I used in order to search along with me in a new window.

Example: you want to find a replacement processor for your laptop, but don't know what family it is in, and want to get one that will work in it. Don't type in something silly like "what kind of processor is in my computer" (link provided to show you how silly it is) because that isn't going to tell you anything about YOUR computer, it just provides a bunch of useless results about people asking online help systems like answers.yahoo.com the same question you are trying to find out about YOUR computer.

Let's try something a little more useful - like getting the model number off your computer to start. My old laptop that I sold off last year was a Gateway MX6453, so click that link and see what you get. Lots of product info including reviews and places to purchase it online, but not yet what we're looking for. I'm certain I could click on tons of links and maybe one reviewer or retailer would go into such detail as to provide me the processor model number, and you can cross reference them from there, but let's search SMARTER!

Let's add CPU to the end of our current search result and see what we get. Notice how I didn't go in to lots of detail about what I'm trying to accomplish in the search bar, just added ONE WORD. The first result shows a guy who is attempting to do the same thing, trying to upgrade his CPU in his MX6453 laptop! Well, we just found out the processor that came with it is an AMD TL-52, and without knowing anything else about it, let's search that and find out that it is a Turion™ 64 X2 Dual-Core processor. Great! We've got some details about it, now what are my upgrade options for the TL-52? On the same results list, we find a few links to people who have asked questions as to which CPU's they can upgrade to, namely the TL-68. From this list (2nd link down from the top of the last search), we find the TL-68 is the "king," the highest powered processor available for this series, but the question still remains, will this work in this laptop?

Start by checking out the Wiki page (currently under the shopping results list) and see what category it is in. Well, it looks like The TL-50 and TL-52 are in the same group, and the TL-68 is a different group, but they still might work, don't give up just because of Wiki! The question Replace CPU AMD TL-52 with TL-68? was asked about 7th on the list of search results for the AMD TL-52, and some people reported that the difference in size (90nm vs 65nm) might affect it. The TL-64 is 90nm, and we can double check that from the Wiki.

I provided this example for a few reasons - first, I've done this search process before, and second, because the TL-series processors are phased out and there aren't any more of them being made after TL-68. This gave me the chance to speak thoroughly about the processors and not have someone respond with "what about the TL-70" (that is fictitious, but you get the idea).

What about searching for products? Well, now that we know what processor to buy, how do we search for it and find the cheapest price? I go into a lot more detail about pricing on my OTHER blog post, but this one is about searching and we'll focus on that aspect for now. Remember how you searched for the AMD TL-52 and it gave you shopping results? Let's search for AMD TL-64 and click the shopping tab at the top of Google. Looks like I'm getting some laptop results and processor results mixed in. Re-sort the list by searching items from lowest price to highest price, which will most likely put the laptops in the end of the list. Well? Currently I see a used TL-64 for $68 with free shipping on eBay, and a brand spankin' new one for $115 on eBay! I'd personally go with the new one, but hey, you're the one searching and looking this all up! Click the one you want and head to eBay since they're going to sell these a whole lot cheaper than anyone else online.... from there, don't give in to the Google search results, search around yourself and see what you come up with - just search AMD TL-64 in eBay and see what comes up! Make sure you sort from lowest price to highest price, and choose the correct category on the right side - in this example, you want ONLY CPU's, so you narrow it down by going through all the categories in order: Home > Buy > Computers & Networking > Computer Components > CPUs > Search results for "AMD TL-64"

  • Now let's get into the REAL technical side of searching. USING SEARCH OPERATORS! These are my favorite and I can't learn enough of them. These are shortcuts into searching that limit search results to ONLY the items you want displayed. eBay has a list of them here, and Google has their list here. I'll show you some basics that I employ on a daily basis to get rid of unwanted results fast (sounds like a hemroid cream). eBay does it best and has the most simple display:

    For this type of search

    Enter this


    Results that contain all the words you enter

    Enter the keywords with a space between them.

    new DVD player

    returns items whose titles contain all 3 words in any order.

    Results that contain the exact words you typed in a particular order

    Place quotation marks around the group of words.

    "New York"

    returns items whose titles contain New York in that order only, but not those that contain just New or just York or the words York New.

    Results that don't contain a certain word

    Place a minus sign immediately before the word to be excluded, with no space after the minus sign.

    shirt blue –wool

    returns items whose titles contain the words shirt andblue but not the word wool.

    Results that don’t contain several words

    Put a minus sign before each word, or group the words inside parentheses and separate with commas but no spaces.

    bowl -(black,green,purple)or bowl –black –green –purple

    returns items whose titles contain the word bowl but not the words black, green, andpurple.

    Results that contain either of the words

    Enter keywords in parentheses separated by commas but no spaces.


    returns items whose titles contain either the word purseor handbag.

    Results that contain words starting with a particular sequence of letters

    Enter the letter sequence followed by an asterisk.


    returns items whose titles contain words starting withbook, such as books, bookshelf, and bookmark

    Results that contain only a specific spelling of a word

    Enter the keywords or phrases in quotes.


    returns items whose titles contain the exact word bookbut not the word bookshelf.

    So look at that! We can narrow down results with just a few quotation marks, an asterisk, parentheses around multiple terms, and minus signs in front of words we don't want to show up in search results! Here's a saved
    search of mine I use to look up parts for my 2003 MINI Cooper S on eBay:

    MINI Cooper S -(pad, austin, classic, morris, chrome) in Category eBay Motors > Parts & Accessories

    Notice how I searched for terms I wanted and could be in ANY order (i.e., Cooper S MINI or MINI Cooper and Cooper S) and "negated" terms that I didn't want, because really, who wants to ADD chrome to their MINI? I'm looking for NEW MINI parts, so I negated Austin, Morris, and other classic Mini parts because I don't have a Mini, I have a MINI. It's a MINI thing, you wouldn't understand.... here's another search I had that combines search operators:

    transformers movie -poster*

    With this, I search for
    movie items from the Transformers films, but I don't want any poster or posters - by putting the asterisk at the end of the word that is negated, BOTH poster and posters will not show up in my search results!

    That's all for now, and it's probably a lot to process for now (sorry for the processor pun), so let me know if you have any questions or things I should add to this, and I'll help out as best as I can! Have fun searching!