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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.
If you haven’t heard of Feedly, it’s one of the best looking replacements for the dying Google Reader.
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:
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.
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:
And it would look like this after adding “index.rss”:
A search for bicycling partners would look like this:
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:
Insert the shop’s username in place of SHOPNAME in the URL. For publicly available favorites, use the following URL:
Again, you must replace USERNAME with the target business’s username.
For Etsy’s super-awesome Treasury feed, check out:
For Etsy blog feeds use the following directory of the various kinds of available 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:
- Setup IFTTT to notify you via email whenever a key term shows up in an RSS feed.
- Receive notifications whenever free MP3s are announced on Amazon.
- Text yourself whenever an item you’re looking for on eBay shows up.
- Receive email whenever a new product shows up in Etsy.
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. For more on using IFTTT, check out Tim Brookes’s extremely helpful article where he explains how-to setup and use an IFTTT recipe.
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