Tap into eBay’s massive database right from your own address bar.
eBay is essentially a massive database. Every time you view an auction page, you’re just looking at a single database record. Every time you search, you’re performing a query. But even if you’re not familiar with DB lingo, you can play with eBay’s URLs to tweak what you see.
Many pages on eBay use a standard CGI (Common Gateway Interface) format, which is nothing more than a program name followed by a command and one or more parameters:
cgi.ebay.com is the name of the server,
eBayISAPI.dll is the filename of the program,
ViewItem is the command to execute, and
item=3128013703 is a parameter. Any additional
parameters are separated by ampersands (
In this case,
3128013703 is the
auction number. Simply replace this with
another valid auction number, press Enter, and
you’ll see the corresponding auction page. This is
typically quicker and more convenient than using the Search page to
open an auction by its number.
Some sellers reference other auctions by simply including the auction number in their descriptions, usually because they don’t know how to make links (see [Hack #40]). To view the auction by its number, simply copy and paste the number into the URL, replacing the one that’s there.
A typical search page URL looks something like this: