Contextual search for online arbitrage is one of my favorite techniques to use. It is so simple but so powerful that many people overlook it
What Is Contextual Search?
Generally contextual search is just highlighting and either copying and pasting into a search engine like Google or highlighting and using a Chrome extension to do the copy/paste.
Here is a more detailed explanation : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contextual_searching
Here is a quick video on how it works
How Online Sourcing Extensions Work
If you do a lot of online sourcing, you most likely are using Chrome and have several extensions installed to help you find sources for products.
I don’t claim to know how the extensions actually work but in general they are grabbing info off the pages you look at and do a sort of contextual search hoping to find a match and get you click on it and set their affiliate link ( yeah that is the only reason they build the extensions, they are trying to make a commission on your purchases )
Most of the times that works pretty good but they aren’t human and can’t make decisions to on stuff that doesn’t match up perfectly.
That is where search engines come in.
Google, Bing, Yahoo and a host of other smaller search engines have bots ( spiders) that crawl web pages and try to figure out what is on the page and classify it ( think SEO, search terms , meta data, etc)
When a user types in something to the search bar, it tries to match up the most relevant pages to the search. Each search engine does it different and returns different results. That is why going with the same search engine all the time might not help you find deals others are finding.
Sometimes it takes a human eye to see that a page may actually be a possible source. You may have to go several pages down in search results to find the sources that other aren’t finding ( that is where the gold is)
Context Menu Search
Context Menu Search is the normal Chrome extension that people are using. It can be customized to the search engines you choose.
I have used this on for a long time and it is free. Works pretty good but you do need to take time to set it up for your own preferences .
I have recently changed over to a new paid extension called OAhighlight.
It does basically the same thing but is somewhat more convenient ( as you will see in some of the following videos)
It is also customizable but it does come with a lot of search engines already installed.
Here are a few videos that show how I use contextual search for online sourcing
Here is something to look at if you are a book seller. I use these 2 on Firefox and haven’t taken the time to figure out the search to add to the OAhighlight extension yet
Bargain Book Mole
I don’t know if you can find the right search links or not ( and I can’t even find the Book Burro webpage) but someone more tech savy than me may be able to. ( If not, at least you know that you can use them in Foxfire and that is another sourcing trick)
Everyone nowadays thinks that they need software like OAXray to source online. The truth is that everyone is doing that and the deals are getting harder and harder to find ( some people are still doing really good at it) but contextual search is an old technique that you should look to use to find hidden gems. It isn’t a fast technique, that is why I recommend using the new extension that does save a little time but you can still do it for free if you take the time to set up the free extension.