How to Search on Amazon Effectively

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We're all familiar with online shopping giant, and one of the most useful features other than worldwide shipping, ease of use, and huge variety is the ability to create relatively advanced search queries. 

How to Use Amazon Search

Amazon puts their basic search front and center on the main home page. Users can simply type in what they might be looking for, and Amazon does a fairly good job of retrieving relevant results. 

Amazon shoppers can then choose to continue to filter their searches by relevancy, new results, if the products are involved in the Amazon Prime program, etc. 

Searchers can also search within Amazon departments for even more flexibility and relevancy. There are a wide variety of Amazon categories, anything from Amazon Video to Health and Household. Drill down into these categories for further detail; for example, if you're looking for a good deal on washers and dryers, you can go directly to the Appliances sub-category. 

Find Your Favorite Book

This little-known search hack enables book lovers all over the world to actually see what any author will be publishing in the next year, two years, even three years away. Let's take a look at how you can look this information up for yourself. First, navigate to Choose Books, then Advanced Search.

Note: Do not choose Kindle Books; choose the category Books instead. The Advanced Search works on both digital and printed copies of books). 

You have quite a few options when you arrive at Advanced Book Search. If you have a specific author in mind, you can search for their titles by entering in the name of the author in the Author field, then choosing to look through their current body of works simply by leaving the Date field blank. 

If you want to see what your author might be up to next year, you can type that date into the Date field, and if they have titles that are scheduled for pre-release, you'll be able to see them here and put your pre-order in so you'll get the book as soon as it's actually published. 

Tweak Your Searches to Be More Successful

If you want to widen your search, use just a couple of keywords to find books that you're interested in. If you want to narrow your search, use more words that are specific — for example, "baseball" (very vague, will return way too many results) vs. "Seattle Mariners baseball" (more specific and will return much more targeted results). 

However, sometimes using too many keywords or getting very specific will unnecessarily limit your searches. Always start with a keyword "base" word that can help you narrow down your results organically — i.e. our baseball example in the previous paragraph.

Search By ISBN Number

If you have the ISBN number of a book, you can search for this within Amazon Advanced Search. The search fields are very restrictive if you do go this route, so be careful to only use the ISBN field and do not include any dashes; just the number itself. If you're looking for more than one book and you've got all the ISBN numbers, you can actually do this by including the pipe (|) symbol between each number. For example, 9780140285000 | 9780743273565 | 9780061120060. This comes especially in handy if you've got a list of books (textbooks especially) that you need to track down for whatever reason. 

What about audiobooks? You can use the Advanced Search feature to search for those too; simply use the Format drop-down menu to choose what kind of book you're looking for. 

How to Sort Your Search Results

Once you get your search results, you can sort them in whatever way makes the most sense to you: average customer reviews, Amazon Prime, high price, low price, etc. In addition, if you want to search the actual text of a book, Amazon makes this available on a select quantity of books in their store: This makes it possible for the reader to get a quick "sneak peek" of what they might be interested in purchasing, a very nice feature.