1. Is Item Alert Free?

    Yes! Item Alert is free now and for the foreseeable future, although you will need to register for a free account.
  2. How Do I Use Item Alert?

    Once you've registered and logged in, visit the quick search page to set up and start your search. Once your search starts running, new eBay listings will appear automatically in reverse chronological order (newest on top). You also have the option to save your search. Saved searches can be managed on your account page. Saved searches appear on the saved search page, where you can select multiple searches to run simultaneously in the same tab or window.
  3. What Kind Of Searches Can Item Alert Do?

    There are 5 main types of searches:
    • Auction (No BIN): Returns only auctions and only those auctions without a Buy It Now component.
    • Auction (With BIN): Returns only auctions and only those auctions with a Buy It Now component.
    • Auction (With or Without BIN): Returns all auctions whether or not they have a Buy It Now component.
    • Fixed Price (No Auction): Returns only fixed price listings. No listings with an auction component are returned for this search type.
    • Fixed Price + BIN: Returns fixed price listings and auctions with a Buy It Now component.
    There is also an "All" search mode that returns all listing types together, bar none.
  4. What Are The Usage Limits?

    There are a few different limits you should be aware of:
    • Refresh Rate: 20 seconds
    • Max Number Of Saved Searches: 500
    • Max Number Of Searches Within A Saved Search Query: 25
    • Max Number Of Concurrent Searches: 25
    Additionally, by using Item Alert you agree to these Terms of Service:
    • Each person is allowed 1 Item Alert account. Do not sign up for multiple accounts across different IPs.
    • Your account can only be logged in to 1 location at any time.
    These terms are enforceable and violators may have accounts deleted. We actively look for violations of these sorts.
  5. But I Want More!

    We know, but we're limited on the number of API calls we get from eBay. But eBay allows Boolean operators in search terms which might help: In theory you might be able to collapse some separate searches into just 1 search (assuming things like price range and condition, etc, are the same) and free up some space for new searches. For example, instead of using up 3 searches for "Apple iPod", "Apple iPhone", and "Apple MacBook", try doing "Apple + (iPod, MacBook, iPhone)".
  6. I Just Started A Search That eBay Has 74 Results For, But I'm Only Seeing 16. Why?

    Although Item Alert checks for new listings every 20 seconds, it only displays listings that are new since the last time it checked. So you might be wondering, what happens when a search is started -- that very first time that Item Alert checks eBay? In this special case, only the 8 newest listings are returned, and they are the starting point from which Item Alert looks for new listings during each subsequent check.
  7. How Often Does Item Alert Display New Results?

    When your search is running, Item Alert checks for new listings every 20 seconds. New eBay listings are automatically loaded and displayed on the search results page in reverse chronological order. No refreshing required!
  8. If Item Alert Checks Every 20 Seconds, Why Do Most Listings Say They Were Listed Earlier?

    This is a very good question and you are quite keen to notice this. This is due to when eBay marks a listing as "new". When someone submits a new listing to eBay, the clock starts counting. However, that listing will not be visible to searches on the eBay website or the API until after a short period of time. So by the time the listing is visible to Item Alert, more than 30 seconds may have passed.
  9. What Information Does A New Result Have?

  10. What Notification Options Are There For New Results?

    Currently, Item Alert supports 3 types of notifications when new eBay listings are found. An audio cue can be played, an email can be sent, or the results can automatically open in new tabs, taking you directly to the eBay listing page. Use the toggles on the search results page to turn these on or off.
  11. Can I Change The Email Alert Subject Line?

    Yes, but it's a backend change so you'll need to contact us with your username and desired subject line.
  12. Do I Need To Leave The Search Running?

    Yes, results are only being retrieved when a search is active and running in your browser. If you close the search results page you will no longer get notifications for that search. This is different than some other services that run your searches remotely, and email you periodically. Item Alert was designed for buyers who need down-to-the-second notifications for new eBay listings. Most of our users therefore use a dedicated browser tab 24/7 just for running Item Alert.
  13. OK I Left The Search Running And After A While It Stopped. Why?

    Many modern web browsers are introducing this idea of "sleeping tabs" or otherwise suspending/pausing the running of code in a browser tab if it hasn't been interacted with in a while. In early 2021, Microsoft added this feature to Edge and it would stop a tab from executing after 2 hours of inactivity. If this feature is enabled in your web browser it could be the reason why Item Alert seems to go unresponsive after a while. Try looking at your browser's settings and making sure that idle/background/minimized tabs or windows are not prevented from running!
  14. OK I Left The Search Running But Refreshes Seems Slower Than Expected. Why?

    Chromium-based (Chrome, Brave, Microsoft Edge) browsers have introduced features that limit background refreshes to every 60 seconds if a tab/window is not in focus and silent for more than 5 minutes. See this blog post for more info. Consider using Firefox, which does not do this, for Item Alert.
  15. Why Aren't Result Images Showing Up?

    Because the internet is an wasteland of ads and tracking these days, many browsers have protections built in. But sometimes it's a bit too strict, and these filters can result in the images for results being blocked. We recommend you turn off any such technology (e.g., uBlock Origin, ABP) for the best experience. Firefox's Enhanced Tracking Protection is a known offender of blocking these eBay images and should be turned off (see here) for Item Alert. Rest assured Item Alert does not serve any ads or trackers. See the privacy policy for more information.
  16. How Can I Prevent Some Items In The Results List?

    Sometimes you are searching for a specific product, but that product might have a lot of possible accessories. For example, let's say you're interested in a new iPhone. If you search for just "iPhone" you will likely get results for iPhone cases and other accessories. Like a basic internet search, you can "subtract" keywords from your search as well. For example, if you want iPhones but not iPhone cases, try formatting your search as "iPhone -cases -case". See this eBay page for more info.
  17. Are Some Email Providers Better Than Others For Item Alert?

    It appears so. After sending over 1 million emails in the past 7 years we can report that (when it comes to delivery speed and reliability) Gmail is the best for Item Alert, and Hotmail/Outlook are the worst. Gmail tends not to rate limit as much, whereas Hotmail/Outlook will slow down delivery of your alert emails if it thinks it is receiving too many too quickly.
  18. Why Am I Getting So Many Emails?

    As mentioned above, Item Alert looks for new eBay listings every 20 seconds. For some eBay searches, this is an eternity. If your search is generic enough (e.g., "Apple", "Samsung", "Baseball") you will almost certainly get a new result every 20 seconds. Now, combine that with the email notification option, and you're looking at many emails every minute! Our advice is to first gauge how often new results come in, and only use email alerts for searches that rarely return new results.
  19. I'm Seeing An Error About "Invalid seller name". What Gives?

    Item Alert allows you to limit searches such that they exclude sellers, or only show results from one exclusive seller. If you have set up a search like this and a seller changes their eBay name or closes their account then you will get this error. It won't affect other searches running alongside the affected one, but no results will be included for that search. You should check your search parameters to ensure that the sellers you excluded/made exclusive still exist on eBay!
  20. What Do BIN/OFFER/AUCTION ONLY Mean In The Email Subject?

    In order to help you decide if an email should be looked at right away, there are 3 different flags that will appear in the subject line:
    • BIN: There is stuff in this email that you can buy right now, immediately! (i.e. Fixed Price or Auctions with BIN).
    • OFFER: You can't buy anything in this email right now, but you can make offers on stuff and maybe get it faster that way.
    • AUCTION ONLY: You can't buy or make offers on anything in this email -- gotta make bids and wait with everyone else.
    Note that this is set up in a precedence order -- A subject with BIN does not mean all alerts are BIN, only that at least 1 is. It also does not mean that there are no OFFER listings -- "BIN/Fixed Price" + "Best Offer" may exist (and the subject line for that would be BIN since it takes precedence over OFFER). Similarly, while OFFER means there are no BINs, there may also be auctions in the email...
  21. What's The Deal With The eBay MOTOR Search?

    Searching the eBay MOTOR site is spotty right now, with conflicting information on which countries it supports and whether it's truly a separate site, or just a category filter of the eBay US site. If you are not getting the results you want when filtering on "MOTORS US", try just using the normal country filter, and then also filtering on an automotive category instead.
  22. Ok So Item Alert Is Free, But Can I Send You A Donation?

    We appreciate the offer, but Item Alert does not accept donations. Please consider donating to the EFF (https://www.eff.org/) instead.
  23. Where's That Privacy Policy At?