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Do you ever find yourself wanting a hard-to-find game, comic book or electronic part? Manually searching through Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist can waste a tremendous amount of your time – so why keep acting like a sucker? You can get notifications automatically delivered to you on virtually anything sold on Etsy, Craigslist, Amazon or eBay.

This article details how to get RSS feeds for Etsy, Craigslist, Amazon and eBay.

Amazon RSS Feeds

Amazon includes a variety of RSS links to all their major product categories. You can find a directory of sample feeds at Amazon, here. To get the RSS feeds of any category, navigate to the category’s webpage and scroll to the bottom. On the right-hand side of the screen you will see the orange, square-shaped icon emblazoned with a white sound-wave. That means it’s an RSS link.

To get started, simply copy-and-paste the link into your favorite reader. For example, in Feedly, you would “Add New Subscription” and paste into the text box that pops up, shown below. From there, on the right-side of the screen, press the “+” icon to add it to your subscriptions.

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Customized eBay Advanced Search Feeds

eBay offers one of the most sophisticated methods of creating RSS feeds: Any completed search using the advanced search feature can be converted into an RSS feed. Simply add “&_RSS=1” to the end of the URL of any search result and input into your favorite RSS reader. For example, if you were looking for an anime themed pillow showcasing your favorite anime character, in the price range of $10-10,000, you would take the following actions:

First, perform a custom search, making sure to input your keywords and search criteria, and then add “&_RSS=1” (without the quotation marks) to the end of that URL. For me, my body pillows must be brand-new. I don’t want some stranger’s old pillow – so I include that in the search requirements. Here’s what the URL looks like:

  • http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=anime+body+pillow&_in_kw=1&_ex_kw=&_sacat=0&_okw=&_oexkw=&_adv=1&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=10&_udhi=10000&LH_Auction=1&LH_ItemCondition=3&_ftrt=901&_ftrv=1&_sabdlo=&_sabdhi=&_samilow=&_samihi=&_sadis=200&_fpos=&_fsct=&LH_SALE_CURRENCY=0&_sop=12&_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_RSS=1

I then copy-and-paste the URL, including the “&_RSS=1” at the end, into my feed reader. From then on, I will receive notifications whenever my Saruhiko Fushimi, full-sized body pillow with a special water-proof liner shows up on eBay.

For those of you seeking more ways to get low, low prices on eBay, be sure to check out Joshua’s awesome article on sniping eBay auctions Can You Really Win Almost Any eBay Auction By "Sniping"? Can You Really Win Almost Any eBay Auction By "Sniping"? Contrary to what you may think, winning an eBay auction by sniping does not entail waiting outside other participants' windows, firing long-range paintball guns at them, and securing your bid via 4G while they clutch... Read More .

Locate Hard-to-find Things Using Craigslist

Craigslist’s RSS support extends to each one of its major product categories, as well as its searches. For example, you can navigate to the jobs posting page, or if you’re looking for stolen merchandise, the “for sale” section can convert into an RSS page.

Simply navigate to the page and append “/index.rss” to the end of its URL, then input it into your feed reader. For example, someone looking at all the published community gatherings in Sacramento would go to the Groups subsection:

  • http://sacramento.craigslist.org/grp/

And it would look like this after adding “index.rss”:

  • http://sacramento.craigslist.org/grp/index.rss

A search for bicycling partners would look like this:

  • http://sacramento.craigslist.org/search/grp?zoomToPosting=&query=bikers&srchType=A/index.rss

How-to Use Etsy’s RSS Feeds

To create an RSS feed from an Etsy shop, simply search the crafts website. Etsy produces four primary kinds of RSS feeds – those that track individual shops, publicly available favorites, member curated “Treasury” lists, and Etsy blog feeds. To track individual shops, simply type in the URL:

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop/SHOPNAME/rss

Insert the shop’s username in place of SHOPNAME in the URL. For publicly available favorites, use the following URL:

  • http://www.etsy.com/people/USERNAME/favorites/items.rss

Or:

  • http://www.etsy.com/people/USERNAME/favorites/shops.rss

Again, you must replace USERNAME with the target business’s username.

For Etsy’s super-awesome Treasury feed, check out:

  • http://www.etsy.com/treasury/rss

For Etsy blog feeds use the following directory of the various kinds of available feeds:

  • http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/feeds/

How to Check Each RSS Feed

After finding the desired RSS feed, simply plug the URL for the feed into your browser. For example, if you created an eBay advanced search RSS feed for slices of toast with Jesus Christ emblazoned into it, you would copy and paste the URL (with the appropriate RSS tagged onto it) into your favorite RSS reader. However not everyone uses RSS, or if they do, they may not check it daily – if you prefer, you can also have the amazing web service IFTTT deliver RSS notifications to your email inbox.

For example, you can:

And much, much more! I get into the details of IFTTT process in this article where I explain how to get the best deals on the web The Secret To Getting The Best Deals On All The Stuff You Want The Secret To Getting The Best Deals On All The Stuff You Want If you make frequent online purchases using big-name retailers, such as Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart, then you probably know about the deal finding sites SlickDeals and Fatwallet. A little known secret is that all the... Read More . For more on using IFTTT, check out Tim Brookes’s extremely helpful article where he explains how-to setup and use an IFTTT recipe How To Create Your Own IFTTT Recipes For Automating Your Favorite Sites & Feeds How To Create Your Own IFTTT Recipes For Automating Your Favorite Sites & Feeds There are a few web services that can be considered "priceless" and IFTTT is one of them. The service, which stands for "if this then that" has the power to automate common tasks and help... Read More .

Conclusion

Anyone searching for a really hard to find item should consider using RSS feeds. Using a feed will cut down on the amount of time you spend searching dramatically. You simply set it up and then forget about it. Eventually the products come to you!

Do you use RSS feeds for shopping? Does anyone else love giant, anime-themed pillows? Let us know about it in the comments.

Image Credits: RSS Icon via Hongkiat.com

  1. Vidal
    December 11, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    The Amazon RSS feeds are deprecated now, you might want to try Amazon Gold Box RSS PHP Script for this and added some extra
    features to Search by Keyword, Limit results and best of all you can change your Amazon Associate ID and make Money showing the latest Amazon Deals of the Day.

    http://www.scriptgeni.com/amazon-gold-box-deal-of-the-day/

  2. Henrik N
    December 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    And thanks for the eBay tip, but apparently it has to be "&_rss=1" in lower case.

  3. Henrik N
    December 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Etsy search RSS feeds: http://etsy.nyh.name

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