How URL Hacking Can Turbo Charge Your OAXRAY Sourcing

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One of the first things people usually learn to do when using OAXRAY on individual search or category pages of sites they are sourcing is to maximize the number of products per page.  This is because it will allow you to cover more ground quicker than loading up multiple source pages with a smaller number of products on them. That’s nice, but what if you really wanna turbo charge things?  With a little URL (URL is the web address) hacking, we can push this even further.

This trick doesn’t work on all sites, or even most sites.  But as you run across ones it does work on, that’s a time saver you’ve got on that site forever (or at least until they do a major website makeover).

One site that it works nice on is a favorite for many sellers – Toys R Us.  Here’s a typical URL on TRU:

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3123177

If you go to this page, you’ll see that it displays the standard 24 products per page.  But you’ve got the option to expand this to 96 products per page with the dropdown box.

When you select 96 results per page, the page will reload with 96 results per page.  But take a look at the new URL in your browser’s address bar:

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3123177&ppg=96

The only difference between the two URL’s is: &ppg=96

This, as you might guess, is some instructions telling TRU to display 96 products instead of the default 24.  The same pattern will hold if you choose one of the other options in the dropdown box.

But what if I want more?

That’s where URL hacking comes in.  In this case, we’ve got 264 results (see image above).  Ideally, we’d like to scan all those with one click.  And with a simple URL hack, we can – easy peasy.   As you can probably guess, the URL will look like this:

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3123177&ppg=264

You can edit the URL directly in your browser’s address bar – just erase the 96 and type in 264 and hit enter to reload.

That’s a neat trick, you might be thinking, but can we turn up the turbo any more?

Sure, we can.  With OAXRAY, these “hacked” URL’s can be loaded into the Links tab and processed online or offline.  Just cut and paste them in the box and run.

But – that sounds like a lot of work to go to each category every time I want to scan TRU just to see how many products are in each category to adjust the URLs.  Yes, that would be a lot of work.  Fortunately, we don’t have to do that.  Why?  Because we can actually put a number much higher than is present in the category in the URL and TRU will only show you what is available.  In other words, these two URL’s are effectively the same:

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3123177&ppg=264

http://www.toysrus.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3123177&ppg=500

And you can even get the base URL for most or all of TRU from our TRU LinkBank.  You’ll see we haven’t done the URL hacking on the LinkBank.

As I said, this doesn’t work on every site, by any means, but TRU is far from the only site it works on.  As you source, observe how the URL changes in your browser when you adjust results per page – if you think you see the quantity in the URL, see if you can adjust it to something more useful for yourself.

That’s nice.  But if I can’t use this trick on most sites, is it really “turbo charging” my sourcing?

Fair point.  But there’s another URL hack to look for that works on far more sites. We can do a similar thing with pages, even if we can’t change the number of results. For instance, here is the first and second page URL’s of a search on Walmart.com:

https://www.walmart.com/search/?query=cake%20mix

https://www.walmart.com/search//?query=cake%20mix&page=2&cat_id=0

Looks like there are 16 pages of results. The &cat_id=0 doesn’t seem to matter if we cut it off.  Then it is easy enough to predict what the remaining URL’s will be for this search:

https://www.walmart.com/search//?query=cake%20mix&page=3

https://www.walmart.com/search//?query=cake%20mix&page=4

and so on, ending with:

https://www.walmart.com/search//?query=cake%20mix&page=16

Then, just load these up in the Links Tab and process them in one big batch – offline would be best in this case.  Now you’re turbo charged.  Happy Sourcing.

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  • Gary fischerCUSTOMCABS@AOL.COM

    These are great comments an shortcuts to more efficiency. I was once shown how to manipulare the “pages” but have forgotten the exactness. Like if you want to view pages 3 through 12 you could do something like 2>12 and all of those pages would come up at the same time. probably one of your programmers can figure it out.

    Reply

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