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Tips and Tricks to Make Online Shopping Easier

by Brian Steeves 18 May 2017

We get it. Browsing isn't for everyone.

If you're like me, a successful shopping experience looks a lot like a Navy Seal extraction mission:  Get in, acquire the target, get out.  Most of the time, I know exactly what I need and I'd rather not get stuck browsing through a lot of unrelated stuff. 

Allow me to introduce you to the SEARCH BAR.

This small, but powerful tool works with amazing speed and precision, yet it's widely ignored!  We'll show you some powerful tips to help you save time and maximize results when shopping for things you need and/or really want.  You can use these tips with any website, even Google!

This assumes, of course, that you have at least a basic idea of what you're looking for.  Let's get started!

Do you have the part number?

If you know the part number of the product you're looking for, this is an easy one.  Most online retailers will make the manufacturer's part numbers a searchable part of their database even if that number doesn't always show up in the description.  Not all retailers list the factory numbers, but most will try to include them.  You may not always get great results using this method, because part number searches rely on "exact" matches.  If a dash or space is missing, you might not get any hits. 

Here are some examples of search expressions using part numbers only:


Can you describe it?

Using descriptive words to search for anything online is called a "keyword search".  Keywords are descriptive words that would appear in the description of the part you're looking for, or as hidden "tags" in the product's database entry.

What are some specific characteristics of this part?  Is it plastic?  Is it locking? Who is the manufacturer? Try using single word descriptions or combinations of words (commas are not always required). For best results, don't be too specific.  If you're still not getting the results you need, try being "less specific" and see what comes up.  Your results might show you keywords you can use to refine your search. 

Don't be too surprised if keyword searches show you results that seem odd.  For example, a search for "rubber" in our store will give you all the latches that are made of rubber but also some steel or stainless latches that compress a rubber gasket.

Here are some examples of keyword searches for items in our store:

stainless locking
stainless continuous hinge
rubber latch

By searching using keywords, you should be able to avoid the endless scrolling through pages and pages of information to find the one thing you're looking for!

And if all else fails...  ASK US.  We're here to help!  Use our handy contact forms to reach us and we'll gladly help you find just what you need.


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