Gift Finder Manual

Gift Card Finder Guide

Highlights:

Gift Card Finder is your best friend for shopping on eBay. It helps you search for, and zero in, the best bargain on “Buy It Now” items. It also provides “Price History Analysis” to help you place the most informed bids on “Auction” items. It’s optimized for shopping Gift Cards, but it’s also very helpful for shopping anything else.

Features:

  • Graphic presentations of “Price Trend” and “Price Distribution”. Worth a thousand words!
  • Table of Price Analysis, including minimum, maximum, average, standard deviation and more…
  • Collapsible output sections, making it easy to navigate and compare.
  • Search results can be re-sorted in one click according to your need.
  • Savings and %Savings are calculated for you, combining eBay Bucks and credit card rewards
  • Compare different products either side-by-side or mixed together.

Quick Start:

(for gift card shopping)

  1. Type in the gift card’s brand and the face value (e.g., “amazon 50″), or different brands to compare (e.g., “amazon|target|walmart”).
  2. Choose “Gift Cards” for Category. Enter your zip code.
  3. Browse through the Advanced Features and Display options, and make adjustments of any options if needed. If any option is not clear to you, lookup or search the details below.
  4. Hit any “Search” button to generate the search results and analysis output.
  5. You could collapse/expand all of the output sections by clicking on their upper-left triangles. You could also narrow down your search by clicking on the sub-categories on the right panel.
  6. You could re-sort the Search Results Table by clicking on each of the headers.
  7. Clicking on any Picture or Title of an item in the Search Result table will lead you to the item on eBay’s website.
  8. (optional) Press ctrl+ or ctrl- to adjust the font size to your liking.

(for shopping anything else)

  1. Type in the gift card’s brand and the face value (e.g., “amazon 50″), or different brands to compare (e.g., “amazon|target|walmart”).
  2. Choose “All Categories” for Category. Enter your zip code.
  3. Follow the same procedures above from step # 3.

Basic Search:

Note: The manual below assumes that the reader has gone through the “Quick Start” above.

Keywords(Brand):

  • To compare different gift cards side-by-side, use “|” to separate different brands (e.g., amazon 50|target 50|walmart 50).
  • To compare different gift cards all mixed in one table, use comma to separate different brands and enclose them all in parentheses (e.g., (amazon, target, walmart) 50).
  • To specify exact words and order, use double-quotes (e.g., “best buy”).
  • To specify wildcard, use *.
  • To exclude a keyword, use minus sign (e.g. amazon -collect* -”no value”).

* Note: When “Gift Cards” category is selected, a filter string (gift card -collect* -”no value”) will be autmatically added to the search string.

Category:

  • When “Gift Cards” category is selected, in addition to the adding of the filter string mentioned above, gift card-specific category IDs will also be used to search the eBay site.
  • All Categories” can be used for searching anything else. Gift cards will also be included unless specifically excluded (e.g., add -”gift card” in keywords ).

*Note:“Gift Cards” category only works with US and Canada eBay sites. For other countries, choose “All Categories” and include the filter string (gift card -collect* -”no value”) in the keywords.

Advanced Features:

Listing Type:

  • Buy It Now: Only fixed-priced items will show. Auction items with option for “Buy It Now” will also be included. Optinal Buy It Now price is color-coded in blue.
  • Auction only: Only auction items will show. If “Buy It Now” option is available, its cost will also be displayed below the Title for your reference.
  • All items:

Selling Status:

  • Active: (default) Current listing of items that you can still bid on.
  • Sold: Items ended with a sale.
  • Ended: Same as eBay’s “completed” items that no longer accept any bidding. Item sold is color-coded green, and unsold is coded red.

Price: Minimum to maximum or vise versa: Leave both blanks if not used. If only one is entered, the other will be treated as zero.

Sort Pages: Search results will first be sorted by the “Sort Pages” option selected. Then pagenation will be made according to the “Items Per Page” option selected below. Only the first page will be displayed initially. To see the next page(s), use the “Next>” and “<Previous” links above the Results Table to navigate. Alternatively, you could increase the “Items per page” to include more items in one page. Please note that the Price Analysis is performed only on the current page, and only on the items shown in the Search Result Table.

  • Price + Shipping: highest first
  • Price +Shipping: lowest first
  • Time: ending soonest first
  • Time: newly listed
  • Distance: nearest (to your zip code) first
  • Bid Count: most first
  • Bid Count: fewest first
  • Ended: recently
  • Ended: oldest first

Site to Search: Different eBay sites available for searching.

  • Australia (AUD)
  • Canada (CAD)
  • Germany (EUR)
  • United Kingdom (GBP)
  • United States (USD) (default)

*Note:“Gift Cards” category only works with US and Canada eBay sites. For other countries, choose “All Categories” and add “gift card” and the optional filter string, -collect* -”no value”, to the keywords.

Display Options:

Price Analysis:

  • Chart Only (default): Only graphic Price Trend and Price Distributin will show.
  • Table Only: Only Price Analysis table will show
  • Both
  • None

Show Savings:

  • Positive Only: Only items with positive savings will show.
  • Display All:

eBay Bucks:

  • Regular: 2%
  • Double: 4%
  • Triple: 6%
  • Other: If you receive any special eBay Bucks promotion other than listed above, select this, and enter the percentage in the box below.
  • Do not show: Treat eBay Bucks as zero%.

Credit Card Rewards:

  • PayPal Extra: 1.67%
  • eBay Master: 1.67%
  • Do not show: Treat credit card rewards as zero%.
  • Other (enter %)

Other Card: __ %

Items per page:

  • 25
  • 50
  • 100
  • 200
  • 400
  • 800

Output:

§ Price Analysis: The Price Analysis is performed on the items shown in the Search Result Table. If any data is not displayed in the table for any reason, it is not included in the analysis. Price Analysis results include two parts: 1) the “Price Trend” and “Price Distribution” graphs, 2) the Statistics Table.

“Price Trend” Graph: The x-axis is “time” and the y-axis is “price”. Here “price” actually refers to price plus shipping and handling. Some dots maybe overlapping. The “Avg” value is the average of all price data, i.e., sum divided by count.

 

“Price Distribution” Graph: The x-axis is price ranges and the y-axis is the count of data that fall within each price range. Again, here “price” actually refers to price plus shipping and handling.

 

 

Price Analysis Table: To simplify the output, this table is not included by default. Only the average of the “Price + Shipping” is shown on the “Price Trend” chart. If you are interested in seeing any other statistical numbers below, you can switch this table on by selecting “Both” or “Table Only” for the “Price Analysis” options.

(rows)

  • Face Value: Face Value is extracted from the listing by the software. It may has a slight chance (~1%) to be incorrect. When this happen, usually it will be pretty obvious with an exaggerated savings. Please report any error so we can correct it.
  • Price + SH: Price plus shipping and handling. When “Face Value” is available, it is used to calculate the “Savings Plus” and “Percentage Savings Plus” according to the formulas below. “Plus” is referring to the extra savings from the eBay Bucks and credit card rewards.
  • Savings+ = Face Value – (Current Price + Shipping & Handling) + eBay Bucks + Credit Card Rewards
  • % Savings+ = ( Savings+ / Face Value ) *100

(Columns)

  • Minimum: The smallest data.
  • Maximum: The largest data.
  • Average: The sum of all data divided by the data count.
  • SD: Standard Deviation. For those who are not familiar with it, standard deviation shows how much “dispersion” exists from the average. For example, in a normal distribution (bell-shaped) model, 68.2% of the data will be contained within Average ± SD (see the illustration graph below, where ? = SD, µ = Average).

  • Mode: The most frequent data. In other words, the most often sold price.
  • Median: The middle one of the sorted data. If the middle falls between two data, the average of the two data will be reported.
  • Midrange: The middle of the range from minimum to maximum. In other words, it equals to(maximum + minimum) / 2.
  • Count: The number of data. Since the Price Analysis is performed only on the current page, and only on the items shown in the Search Result table, the data count in the Price Analysis table may not always equal to the “Items per Page”selected. Possible reasons are:
    1. Not enough items were found by the search keywords and conditions.
    2. Items with negative savings will not show when “Positive Only” was selected for the “Show Savings” options.
    3. Items ended without a sale will not show when “Sold” was selected for the “Selling Status”options.
    4. If an item’s face value cannot be identified by the software, the item will not be counted except in the “Price + Shipping” row.

§ Search Result Table: Search results are summarized in a table. Some notable features and parts are described below.

  • Total Items Found: This is the total number of items found, matching your search criteria, on the eBay site. All items found are sorted according to the “Sort by” option selected, and then parted into pages. Only one page is shown each time.
  • Showing: All items on the showing page are further screened by two filters: Selling Status (“Active”, “Sold” or “Ended”) and Show Savings (“Positive Only”or “Display All”). The types of the filters used are noted here.
  • Pagination & Navigation: Page number is shown here (e.g., Page 1 of 10). To see the next or previous pages, use the navigation links “Next>” or “<Previous” located above the Results Table.
  • Re-sortable Headers: All items in the Search Result Table can be re-sorted by any column. To assist you in finding the best bargain, the table is re-sorted by the “%Savings+” column by default. You could single-click on any column header to re-sort according to your need. Tip: You could sort by multiple columns simultaneously by holding down the shift key and clicking a second, third or even fourth column header!
  • Clickable Titles & Pictures: Click on any title or picture will lead you to the listing on eBay site.
  • Color-Coded Prices and Savings: Prices of items ended with a sale (sold) is color-coded green, without a sale is red. Optional “Buy It Now” price of an auction is coded blue. The background color of a positive %Savings+ is color-coded yellow.
  • Savings Plus Calculation: Savings Plus are calculated according to the formula below. Here “Plus” is referring to the extra savings from the eBay Bucks and credit card rewards.
    • Savings+ = Face Value – (Current Price + Shipping & Handling) + eBay Bucks + Credit Card Rewards
    • % Savings+ = ( Savings+ / Face Value ) *100

     

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