The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Ebay

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wavemotion
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The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Ebay

Postby wavemotion » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:00 pm

I always wanted to call something a 'Definitive Guide' since every guide that I've read with that title tends to be superseded by an Even More Definitive Guide.

In any event, this isn't really even a guide so much as some ebay search wizardry which I've used with great success when hunting down my mahjong set. Ebay has some common but often overlooked search string qualifiers that can be used to hunt down and showcase just relevant items.

The first is the use of parens ( ,,, ). Anything between the parens and separated by a comma means THIS or THAT or THE OTHER THING. So, searching for (mahjong, mahjongg, pung chow) will return all items that contains one or more of those three words in the subject.

The second is the use of the dash/minus -Xxxxx. Any word that has a minus in front will be excluded from the search. So searching for "Jong -erica -kim) will get you various items containing the word Jong but not steamy novels nor biographies of Il.

Combining these two basic forms is the key to all useful searches on ebay. Here is the search string I used when looking for Mahjong books and sets:

Code: Select all

(riichi,pung chow,jong,jongg,mahjong,mahjongg) (game,set,tiles,book,books) -erica -kim -nds -ds -gba -gameboy -cd -psx -sega -ss -ps2 -ps3 -video -pc -arcade -psp -windows -xp -shanghai -famicom -xbox

This finds a wide array of Mahjong related material but not video games nor tile matching games nor biographies. It is not perfect, but it is 95% relevant. I then run this search on 'new items' with a buy-it-now so I can see newly listed sets (often someone will put up a really lovely set and just want to move it to a good home so it's well undervalued). I also run this search on 'ending soonest' auctions to see if there is any material that is going very cheaply.

Well, it's a short guide. That may be its only saving grace :)

I hope these simple techniques will help you hunt down some great Mahjong equipment in the future!

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Re: The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Eba

Postby Barticle » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:52 pm

I have dozens of "minuses" on some of my custom searches! Some things are very difficult - I'm glad I finally got the self-titled single by the band named "If"!

After running a search on eBay you can hit the little "save search" option under the search bar to add it to your saved searches list so you can re-run it easily any time. Even better, you have the option of receiving automatic daily email alerts for all new listings that fit your search. This is a hugely useful feature.

You're allowed to save up to a hundred unique searches and I usually have at least 95 at any given time, mostly hunting for rare music. If you have a lot of active searches you'll probably want to set your email account to filter them into a sub-folder (eBay inbox).

Using categories can help narrow your results (and give you less hits to trawl through) but then you might miss that one item that gets listed poorly and attracts no rival bidders! Searching in (I'm making this up) Books \ Non-Fiction \ Games will restrict the number of hits but you might miss something listed in Books \ Non-Fiction \ Hobbies.

Vintage mahjong sets might get listed as general antiques rather than games. Sometimes the seller won't even know the name of the game so it would take a very broad search to catch those! Sometimes they guess - one time a "mahjong" set turned out to be shōgi... :lol:

Also remember to set the Location option on your search to 'worldwide' to pick up interesting stuff from other countries - if you're willing to pay the extra shipping.

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Re: The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Eba

Postby Barticle » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:46 pm

An eBay trader selling a complete vintage mahjong set should get automatically insta-banned for including this text (or similar) in the listing. :(

These gorgeous tiles would also be great for making jewelry or for use in other crafting projects!

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Re: The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Eba

Postby wavemotion » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:15 pm

Barticle wrote:An eBay trader selling a complete vintage mahjong set should get automatically insta-banned for including this text (or similar) in the listing. :(
These gorgeous tiles would also be great for making jewelry or for use in other crafting projects!

I see this sort of thing fairly frequently in my daily Mahjong scour of ebay. Sigh.

My current hunt is for a few cheap tiles that I can use for crafting projects. Mostly I want to mount honor tiles on some kind of stand or plaque or similar to make a 'Mahjong Trophy' for a mini-tourney I'm going to run in April at a gaming convention I attend.

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Re: The Definitive Guide to Finding Mahjong Equipment on Eba

Postby Barticle » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:31 pm

I've seen a few listings for small lots of maybe five or six tiles - I'm happy for you and others to use these for projects! Of course statistically these are more likely to be random suit tiles, and the winds and honours are gonna be more desirable for rival bidders.

I don't search specifically for sets so luckily I don't see this so often. In this particular case the seller had also managed to switch the 1-bams and white drags in the trays which looked bizarre - but at least they recognised it as a mahjong set! (see above)

Those micro travel sets with the tiny plastic tiles should be good for craft work. You could build a yakuman hand in miniature - ideal for a bracelet or keychain, or maybe some sort of trophy.


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