Tag Archives: Search

Specifications and Features Now Showing in Used-Line Listings

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You’ve seen our T&M Specifications page, haven’t you? Well, it just got smarter. We added behind-the-scenes instruments that don’t necessarily fit into the T&M Specifications categories, but that do show up under ads in Used-Line listing categories.

Ok, we can hear you saying now: What are they talking about?

So, let’s explain.

Here’s how it usually works.

If you visit our Specs page, you’ll find 31 Test & Measurement Categories in which you can perform two tasks:

  • Check and compare product specs.
  • Find a particular model’s listings on Used-Line.

Let’s choose Signal Generators, for example. You view a table of (currently) 426 models and their specs, such as frequency ranges and output power.

Signal Generator Specifications

Signal Generators Specs on Used-Line T&M Specs page.

So, let’s pick one. We’ll select the Spanawave (formerly Giga-tronics) 2550B. When we click through we land on a page showing the specifications and a description of the 2550B. (Scroll up to view the 2550B product listings.)

That is the usual case.

Now, what happens if you want to view the specs of an item that we have not showcased on our T&M Specifications page?

What about a resistor, for example?

A pile of old resistors

Resistor, anyone?

A resistor?! You’re right. We do not have a special category for resistors in our T&M Specifications, but we do have the following categories in Used-Line’s listings of resistors ads:

Now, let’s go to Used-Line and search for a Guildline Instruments 9330, a standard resistor whose design meets the need to reduce the typical sources of errors found in older designs – that is:

  • Temperature coefficients
  • Thermal and electrical time constraints
  • Thermal EMF’s
  • Voltage and power coefficients

Scroll to the bottom of the 9330 listing results and what do you see?! A paragraph discussing the  specifications and features of the 9330 based on the manufacturer’s description!

Now you’re not going to find descriptions of every single product that is advertised for sale on Used-Line.

Yet!

But we’re working on it!

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Two More Used-Line Usability Gems + One Tip

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Do you remember my recent post (December, 2013), Used-Line Usability Gems? Where I ‘fessed up that I work for Used-Line.com? And I did say that we have more gems, right? Well, here are three more that our smart web people have developed..

    • Search suggestions include Manufacturers’ names. Let’s say you’re searching for a Leeds and Northrup 4210, 1 ohm resistance standard. You enter the model number, 4210, in the Find Category or Model# box on the top right side of any page on the Used-Line website. The results show that there is a significant number of model 4210’s on Used-LIne. You probably don’t need the Fluke DC 4210 power supply. The Boonton 4210 watt-meter may be useful, but that’s not really what you’re looking for. But wait, there it is! 4210 – Leeds & Northrup is one of the search suggestions that came up.
      MFR shown in search results

      MFR shown in Used-Line search results

      With the inclusion of the manufacturer’s name in your search results, you can quickly find exactly what you were searching for.

    • Ordering directly from the dealer: Some of our dealers have taken advantage of our new Directly From Dealer button. When a buyer opens an ad listed by a dealer using this functionality, he is given the option to purchase directly from the dealer without filling out any forms on Used-Line – thus reducing the number of steps required to complete his transaction. The buyer simply clicks on a thumbnail image that takes him to the specific listing on the dealer’s website. (Click the image below to view this actual ad on Used-LIne.)
Order directly from dealer.

Ordering a product directly from a dealer.

    • Moving up the ranks in Used-Line search results: And here is our tip for the week. It is a tip for promoting your ads on Used-Line. I’m sure you’ve noticed the featured ads with photos, in a row of four mini-banners at the top of a category’s listings page. Featured Items is a special upgrade that you can purchase from Used-Line. (See the page on becoming a member.) What you may not realize about Featured Items is that the mini-banner at the top of the page is not the only benefit you get from this upgrade. You also get to send your ad uprank (I made that word up) in the list of search results (possibly to the top!) when users search for the item you wish to sell. For details on how this works, view the Used-Line video on Featured Items.

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How to Increase Your Rank in Used-Line Searches

Look out for more usability gems in future blog posts!

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Used-Line Usability Gems

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I work for Used-Line.com. You didn’t know that, right?

So, despite the fact that I am a Used-Line employee, until recently, I had not kept up 100% with ALL the exciting developments going on – particularly on the Used-Line website. I’m not talking about massive, life-changing changes, but rather, the small little niceties that I’ve come across lately, or which have been pointed out to me by co-workers.

And here they are.

  • A new search box. In an earlier blog, we discussed searching for equipment on Used-LIne, and how you can easily drill down to the specific model or category you need. Now our developers have added an additional search box to the home page, conveniently located beneath the BUY link. A small addition, but high up on the scale of good usability, in my opinion.
  • A social media bar.  Take a look at what is new on Used-Line’s LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and blog pages with direct links on the social media bar at the bottom of any page on the Used-Line website. Or share an ad on one of your own social media pages, using the share button on the bar. How about sharing your company’s ads? Then when you’re done, simply click the down arrow on the right side of the bar to close the bar.
  • A recently enhanced Dealer Directory.The upgrades to the Dealer Directory let you configure your search for a dealer in such a way that you can fulfill all your specific requirements. For example, if you require a dealer in a particular location, whose offerings include timers and counters from a specific manufacturer, and you would like to lease the equipment, you can restrict your dealer search to those specific boundaries; thus drilling down quickly to your best chance at finding the equipment you need.There’s much much more to write about the Dealer Directory but not in this space. Mmm… maybe the Dealer Directory warrants its own blog post !
  • Search box
  • Dealer Directory filter
  • Dealer Directory Brands filter
  • Dealer Directory Rentals filter

We’ve got lots more gems. More next time!

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Used-Line Tip: Searching for a Specific Model

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Do you ever find that because some equipment model numbers are so ubiquitous, when you search for them on your favorite search-engine or on Used-Line, they will return way too many results, most of them will not be connected to what you had in mind, and the model you were trying to find will only show up on page 7 of the results?

Of course, if you search for model Z3RA29-56L3 (not a real model number as far as I know), you are very likely to find what you are searching for on page 1 of 1. However if you search for model 123  (this is a real model number) on Used-Line, 300+ results could be returned, with a very low relevancy in terms of your personal search. The reason: Many manufacturers name their equipment models using numbers that include 123 in this exact sequence. Examples: 123, 12338, 1232A, 1230T, 123R, SPS-1230, 102-123, and so on.

As you must realize, searching for a model number made up of numbers exclusively – no letters – makes matters worse. The descriptions and synopses that accompany your results may contain your model number in a price tag or even in a specification. Take a look at this Used-Line listing for a Tektronix 492 spectrum analyzer, which showed up in the results of my search for a 123 Fluke ScopeMeter.

Search result based on specs in listing description.

Search result based on specs in listing description.

Do you see why my search pulled in this listing? The amplitude range is –123 dBm to +40 dBm.

So, what to do about this?

Well, you can code some new search algorithms and send them along with your resume to the recruiting department of your favorite search-engine.

Or, you can fiddle with various settings in your search engine to train it to guess what you are looking for. And, of course, in some search engines, you can use an advanced search function to search for an exact term. But this all takes a few steps.

So, take a look at what our developers at Used-Line have done to make searching a cinch.

Used-Line has reduced the number of steps typically required to narrow down a search –  to a single click. Here is how it works. We will use model 123 as an example.

Used-Line drop-down list for model #123 search

Drop-down list for model #123 search

  1. In the menu bar near the top of any page on Used-Line, start typing 123 in the text box that is prefilled with the words, Find Category or Model#.
  2. Wait for a second or less to view a drop-down list of all the models on Used-Line that contain the number 123, such as SEM123D, 1123A, 212359, and 011-0123-00.
  3. Select model number 123 from the list.

What we have actually done here is to select a specific model. When we previously searched for a 123 and simply waited for the results to come in, the system returned the 300+ models on Used-Line that contain the number, 123. Now, after picking the specific model number, 123, from a selection of suggested model numbers, the system returned 20 models – all exactly what we were searching for. Not only has our search been narrowed down – it has zoomed right into what we were looking for.

No more clicking back and forth between pages and pages of irrelevant search results.

Now you give it a try!

 

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Wearing the Internet, or, Do I Need an Eye Exam for Google Glass?

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Yes, I know everyone has already written about it. Google Glass is old news (not really, it’s new news -but it’s old in that everyone knows about it already). It’s passé (writing about it, that is). But I just can not pass up on anything that looks so Borglike. So, resistance is futile. You’ll have to read this umpteenth blog on Google Glass.

When the term, “wearing” Google Glass, was first coined, I must admit I expected some sort of shirt made out of opaque glass with your choice of colors. Well, at least, I did get one thing right – the color choices. Right now, you can get Glass in Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, and Sky. It wouldn’t surprise me if you can find matching colors at the Gap.

Right, so it’s not a shirt. It actually looks like goggles. Strictly speaking, one-eyed goggles. Even more strictly speaking – right-eyed goggles. I don’t believe there is a lefty version yet. I guess they couldn’t call it Google Goggles, because Google Goggles already exists as a mobile application that sends images to do your searching for you. Which I’m guessing (I’m not that sure) Google Glass can do for you, or if not now, will do so in the near future.

I’m not here to review Google Glass. I couldn’t possibly do that without trying it out. Just google Google Glass and you’ll find all the reviews you want. I’m hear to express my fascination with the concept of actually wearing something that you can chat to, ask directions of, send commands to, sent text messages with, photograph with, share stuff through, check stuff with, get information from, search with. Look, Ma, no-hands Internet! I’m sure Ma is thrilled.

l just have one kvetch. Why is everyone calling it Glass? As in, with Glass you can can send videos in real-time. Glass lets you send text messages. Get your flight arrival information from Glass. Why is Glass personified? Glass isn’t my next-door neighbor. Glass isn’t even a Borg. It’s just a piece of equipment.To me, glass is that ubiquitous substance that you make out of sand and it’s only capitalized when it’s the first word in a sentence. Google Glass is not (yet) ubiquitous and I’m sure it will take a while before I can pour my soda into it.

But I look forward to the day when Google Glass will get sold on Used-Line!

And, no, I doubt you need an eye exam to wear Glass. But what do you do with your prescription glasses while wearing Google Glass? Seems it could be a little awkward wearing Glass together with your eyeglasses. Do you need to wear contact lenses? Have laser eye surgery? Well, I shall have to go and google Glass and find out!


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