Keyword Search Category Expansions

In some cases, eBay will automatically expand your search to include items based on the intent of your search rather than matching the exact keywords. This is why for certain searches; additional items appear in the search results, even though all the keywords you entered are not in the title of the items. (Available for US, Canada, UK and Germany.)

For example, when you type in the keyword audiobook, eBay automatically includes the items from the audiobooks category even those items without the keyword audiobook in the title.

Note: Using ANY advanced search operator will turn off automatic search expansions. To learn more about using advanced search operators, see Using Search Commands

How automatic search expansion works

There are three types of automatic search expansions that we use to give you the best results for your search queries.

Expansion Service What it Does Example

Keyword to keyword

Modifies your query to search for items that have your keywords or a synonymous keyword from our dictionary.

Searches for red shoes will return items that have the words red and either shoe or shoes in the title.

Keyword to category

Modifies your query to search for items that have specific keywords in the title or also are in a specific related category.

Searches for Harry Potter DVD will return items that have Harry Potter in the title and have either DVD in the title or are in the DVDs & Movies category.

Keyword to item specifics

Modifies your query to search for items that have the keywords in the title or have particular item specifics.

A search for Nike Golf will return items that have golf in the title and either have Nike in the title, or have Brand=Nike specified in the item specifics section of the listing.

The following tables list the key words and their corresponding category expansions for

Note: This is not a complete list of expansion categories.

Keyword to Category Expansion List for

Keyword Category Expansion Category ID

acoustic guitar

Musical Instruments->Guitar->Acoustic





desktop computer

Computers & Networking->Desktop PCs


game systems

Video Games->Systems


radio controlled

Toys & Hobbies->Radio Control


records vinyl




Consumer Electronics->Televisions


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