Buy Now Search for eBay fixed price bargains

By Chris Dawson July 26, 2013 - 7:42 am

It’s not often on Tamebay we come across a completely new tool or service. Sure there are a ton of great products out there, but often when a new service comes along it’s an iteration of existing tools from other providers. It might have new features but it effectively does the same job.

Today however we’ve found Buy Now Search which discovers brand new recently listed fixed price items on eBay. We’ve not seen this before.

Buy Now Search hmMy first thought was why would I want to find new Buy It Now listings? The chances are that they’ll be on eBay for anything up to 30 days so I’ve plenty of time to discover them if I want to buy them. I have saved searches and even the new eBay Feed, so I already have options to find new products.

The thing is though sometimes an item is listed in fixed price format at a bargain price. At other times I may be searching for a rare item which may only be listed on eBay once a year. In these cases the first buyer to spot the item will probably have paid for it before I ever see the eBay listing.

That’s where Buy Now Search comes in, they’ll notify me within minutes of a new eBay listing that matches my saved search criteria.

There is a cost to use Buy Now Search, but it’s tiny! Each search will cost you one credit which is valued at £0.00001. If a matching product is found there’s a charge of ten credits (£0.0001). The cost of your searches depends upon the number of times your searches are run and the number of times your search matches an item.

By now you might be laughing at the cost, but if you have a broad search term in a top level eBay category then the millions of hits start adding up. You’ll also be getting a lot of emails arrive in your inbox. Buy Now Search has some advice on how to narrow your searches and of what type of searches will result in high charges.

Used judiciously Buy Now Search could find you some absolute bargains, either for yourself or potential products for resale at a profit. If you want to give the service a spin Buy Now Search offer a free trial which doesn’t expire so your search can stay live forever for free.

  • Mark
    4 years ago

    Hi Chris

    Isn’t this the same as the push notifications on the eBay iPhone app, where it alerts you when anything matching your criteria is listed?

    • 4 years ago

      That’s effectively eBay saved searches – it’ll notify you… maybe once a day or so, not within a minute or so of a new fixed price item that’s been well under-priced which the first to see will buy

    • 4 years ago

      I use the mobile device when I’m away from the PC bargain hunting. It’s almost more of a stream and while sometimes it can be minutes or hours off on newly listed items, eBay’s official mobile app (I use android) updates within a few minutes on the device.

      If the search is created on the browser within eBay account you have some time options to set as well where the same searches will pass down to your device. You just can’t create them on the mobile device.

  • Steve Harman
    4 years ago

    What about doing an eBay search for your desired item, sort by newly listed, filtered on BIN and then copying the RSS feed from the search results page on eBay into an RSS reader?

    Most readers can be set to refresh every few minutes if you really want to & are available for every mobile & desktop out there.

    As usual I’ve probably missed the point though! :-)


    • Hi Steve, Thanks for your interest.

      This application is specifically so you don’t have to watch a screen full of ebay items all day, but instead can simply wait for new email notifications (whilst getting on with something more interesting).


      Mark (of Buy Now Search)

    • Steve Harman
      4 years ago

      Understood Mark, but like most of them my RSS reader refreshes every ‘n’ minutes that I set it to, so I get all the newly listed eBay results I need.

      It also alerts with new ‘articles’ (in this example eBay items that match my search criteria) and there are dozens of native RSS reader apps for Android, iPhone, Mac, Windows, Linux etc that all do this sort of thing.

      So again; create a search on eBay, copy & paste the little orange RSS link eBay provides on all their results pages into your favorite RSS reader and there you have it.

      Anyway – seems like you have a neat service, just not unique in my humble.



    • Hi Steve,

      Having 100 or more RSS feeds, fetching every minute, on your smartphone can work out at over 1 gigabyte of download traffic per day. Buy Now Search can do the same thing for tens of kilobytes per day.


      Mark (of Buy Now Search)

  • davelovesbay
    4 years ago

    perfect tool to get that bargain. !

  • 4 years ago

    Chris, this isn’t new at all. For the past 3 – 4 years I’ve seen one of these pop up once every few months. Someone is always posting one they’ve made on /r/eBay on Reddit or in the developers forums. I was going to make one myself back in 2009 since the underlying technology is very similar to a repricer which I’d already built. There were two reasons I didn’t though:

    1) eBay doesn’t allow buying apps in their App center.

    2) It isn’t a sustainable business and it never can be.

    Why can’t it ever really work? eBay limits each app to 1.5M searches per day. Now imagine you want alerts in real time. I’ve seen apps that claim to do this and they literally poll eBay once every second and charge a flat fee to do it. The problem is there are 86400 seconds in a day which means the app can only monitor 18 products at any given time. Drop the speed down and you can have more products monitored but you reduce the effectiveness obviously but this is something that absolutely needs to be performing quick and frequent searches.

    Good luck to the developer but as I’ve told every one that has presented this idea to me it is going to be next to impossible to turn into a real profitable business.

    • 4 years ago

      Buying apps are “prohibited” but really all these apps are searching apps, not buying apps.

      1.5 Million call limit is suggestive. I’m confident that if you provide a tool of true value to eBay buyers eBay could care less about 20 million low server load API calls.

    • 4 years ago

      It isn’t that buying apps are prohibited it is that only “selling” apps are permitted. This isn’t something that helps sellers. You could argue that you could buy the item and stick it back on eBay but that is a tenuous argument at best.

      No, you’ll never get more than 1.5M searches. I’ve spoken to eBay previously on my own apps which do provide real tangible value to the eBay site and was run through the ringer and initially declined despite handling the accounts of a few diamond powersellers and being one of the biggest customers of the Finding API. I was required to show real incremental GMV numbers before they would even consider raising my limits. They don’t care if your users see a value, eBay has to see a value in increased products being added to the site. The app isn’t helping eBay at all because these items would be purchased anyway. The whole point of the app is for you to be the first one to buy it over someone else not to find some hidden deal that nobody is aware of like Goofbid does. Now if it increased the total number of purchases on the site or increased their prices and the app developer could show that (and in good numbers) then they would be willing to increase their limits.

    • 4 years ago

      You obviously are stuck on the fact that 1.5M calls is the most you can get. PLENTY of other buying apps out there that get more than this.

      I buy thousands of items on eBay a month and discussion with VP level in eBay would suggest that our dispute ratio, speed to pay and communication with sellers is 4X better than the average eBay community.

      Why do you think eBay promotes the cell phone exchange program? Allowing users who landed on a website to pay 1/2 eBay ASP to that a 3rd party can turn around and make all the profits?

      At end of day, the ASP is really about the same from the collection company reselling to an average end user. But also at the end of the day, one company who does volume and does all the right things beats thousands of individual sellers on all DSR metrics.

      I can promise you, it has happened, is happening and will continue to happen. Just need to prove value :)

      And in this case, this application after I spent 2 hours reviewing it today I would consider a piece of junk. It offer nothing that the official eBay application has, trial is limited and they want to charge for something that adds no value to others.

  • davelovebay
    4 years ago

    Could be done via a scraper and not api

    • 4 years ago

      The business could have been developed that way but this one wasn’t. eBay prohibits that and has been known to sue companies that scrape their site looking for items. If you check out the site it clearly says that they are an “eBay Compatible Application”. Only applications that are using the API are allowed to put that on their site.

      Given that there are some limitations he places on his app that are completely unnecessary if he is using the API.

  • 4 years ago

    You got me really excited when I saw your post about a Buy It Now bargain hunter. The fact that the picture suggest that it has mobile ability or a mobile app had me running to review it.

    I just finished extensively reviewing this application and I can say I’m very confused at to who the target audience is and what type of user would be willing to pay for the features that Buy Now Search offers.

    As a sniping pro, I’m more incline to wonder why anyone would pay to use this application that offers no competitive advantage over more robust and free applications on the marketplace.

    In the end, I was actually a bit bummed that I spent the time to review something that offered no additional value to bargain hunters that’s not already out there. Anyways, I already spent the time to review, so if you would like to see why I think this app is not ready for use, you can check it out here.

    Thanks for the article, it really has me motivated to maybe develop something soon.

  • Steve Harman
    4 years ago

    If people are looking for “eBay bargain hunting” software, have a look at Bay Prospector. Sadly it’s Windows only but it runs perfectly well in VMWare / Parallels on Mac.

    Great for precisely tailoring your searches based on all kinds of criteria, automatically re-running searches every ‘n’ minutes, filtering in or out stuff you’re not looking for (including the use of regular expression pattern matching for advanced stuff). It’s cheap and there’s a free ‘Lite’ version. Even includes a server-side sniping tool* for listings you want to bid on. Nothing to do with me, I just use it.


    *I’ve written a little external script that allows Bay Prospector to use Gixen for sniping if anyone wants it. Gixen has a few more options than the Bay Prospector sniping server, but both are free.

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