What is AuctionMapper?AuctionMapper is an extremely cool search engine that focuses only on eBay auctions. Sure, eBay has it's own site search; but AuctionMapper takes that site search and goes a few steps further.
Search eBay Auctions with AuctionMapperUsing AuctionMapper is easy. You can choose to enter in your zip code from the very beginning of your search in order to track down items that might be near you; this is especially helpful if you're looking for say, an air compressor (can you imagine the shipping cost on that?). Then, enter in the eBay search terms you are looking for. Let's go through the AuctionMapper search process with the term "lego millenium falcon" (because it's a Flash-enabled tool, I couldn't link directly to my search results).
Okay, first off, I was totally geeking out with the cool sounds that AuctionMapper makes when you do things; it's kind of a Star Trekky feel. My search results looked different than regular search engine results - instead of text links with annotations, I had a category tree to the left and a map of the United States to the right.
At the very top of the page, I saw a introductory explanation on how to actually use AuctionMapper, a nice touch, and I was given the choice to limit my search only to the US, search title and description, and a host of other search parameters. I'll try to touch on as many of these as possible in this article.
First of all, let's look at the category tree. Anything that was related to my search phrase was in the tree - action figures, Star Wars, models, etc. Think of the category tree as further (and sometimes better) search suggestions to refine or broaden your original search query.
Every item in the category tree has a number next to it - that's how many live eBay auctions are currently filling that branch of the tree. Click once on any branch and you'll see a list of items with pictures, similar to what you would see on eBay. Click twice, and you'll see that item show up on the map.
One thing that I totally loved about AuctionMapper was the ability to drag around different working screens. For example, I clicked once on the Star Wars branch, and brought up a list of live auctions with pictures. I moved that screen over, and there was the map - bringing me to yet another feature I liked: the ability to drag and drop categories and map out where they are.
The map then gives you various ways to narrow down your search using interactive sliders. For example, you can set your price, shipping cost, how many bids the item currently has, how many days left to bid, and the distance from your zip code (remember, you can set your home zip when you first enter AuctionMapper). You can also check off if you want ONLY Paypal items (don't have to worry about being surprised by the fact that you now have to get a money order anymore), or if you only want PayPal Buyer Protection items.
This profile of AuctionMapper is continued on page two.