I'm seeing something rather strange. I input a search with about 10 keywords inside and get no results. I also get the equivalent search URL, when I visit it, I do see results. Anyone seen this before? Any tips?
eBay Dev staff has mentioned here a few times that results will differ between eBay on-site results and API call responses. This is due to various factors, such as potential end-user personalization, search engine back-end differences, and who knows what else. Yeah, you'll get different results. If you want more detailed feedback, post some sample code so we all can see for ourselves the degree of divergence you're referring to.
The API is designed for precision. The website fallback thing can return completely unrelated items depending on what you search. The API has a limited fallback option for 2 of 3 words or 3 of 4 words. But it doesn't extend beyond that.
https://developer.ebay.com/devzone/finding/Concepts/FindingAPIGuide.html#usekeywords "5pcs" would be your most limiting keyword. Removing Xpcs would probably be a good idea. If you are using item titles to find similar items, try reordering the keywords by length and removing the smallest words. This tends to focus on more meaningful words. You can tweak this logic with any important exceptions. Also remove common eBay acronyms like NIB, NR or words like "free shipping", "no reserve", etc that just skew the search. You can do this on fallback, or just do it on the initial search and cap the number of keywords allowed. So your search would reduce to "Gold Collagen Crystal Neck Mask Lift" or just "Collagen Crystal" and return relevant results. You can do this in descending stages until you get results. Restricting by category is useful too. If you are preparing searches manually, you could provide two forms, search the first, then fallback to the second.
This is my full keyword: - acquire and monetize todd brown ...and this is the itemSearchURL:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=acquire+and+monetize+todd+brown&_ddo=1&_ipg=50&_os=S%7CD&_pgn=1&_sop=12 ...and as you can see (at the time of me writing this), there's one item with this title: Todd Brown – Acquire and Monetize BRILLIANT and full of Knowledge course DIGITAL Every word I tried to search is in there. However, the API returns 0 results. If I try with fewer keywords: - todd brown or - acquire and monetize I still don't get that single item which I do when I preform manual search.
Why would depend on the API request you are using, which you didn't include in your post. Probably something to do with it being an international item. That item is on the EBAY-GB site. Use the AvailableTo itemFilter to get worldwide listings that can ship to the US, or use EBAY-GB to select just UK listings.