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Is there a way to use the NOT operator on Amazon?

I'm trying to find books, and am finding it very frustrating to be unable to filter out books I don't want based on author or subject.

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  • 9
    Just sent an email to Amazon, had a phone call with one of their reps, and left feedback regarding this issue of getting way too many irrelevant search result. Especially when you then try to sort by low price. I have found that by selecting a category that hopefully is close to what I need it is slightly better, but of course then it's not exactly as my search. I have left feedback that when the search results become irrelevant that I quit, and don't buy. If we all would follow this principle perhaps Amazon would change, because it seem they have ignored all complaints regarding this issue fo
    – kdsdata
    Apr 7, 2017 at 20:46
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    @kdsdata looks like they still haven't heard us four years later...
    – Doktor J
    Sep 19, 2021 at 1:36
  • conversely putting something in brackets makes it a MUST have keyword: ie: usb-c 4 port hub (3.2) This gives me only USB 3.2 hubs! Finally! Amazon search has always been terrible and I've bought the wrong items many times by not paying attention.. one time it was as stupid as AA batteries when I wanted AAA.. So annoyed when the box of non-returnable AA's showed up! Aug 25, 2023 at 15:43
  • @MichaelFever you say brackets [ ] but you are using parenthesis ( ). Which do you mean?
    – StingyJack
    Sep 9, 2023 at 19:53
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    @StingyJack in British English (and maybe others) "brackets" means the curvy ones which American English calls "parenthesis" Sep 9, 2023 at 20:10

4 Answers 4

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UPDATE: This feature does NOT work as of June 2019.

You can use the minus sign (-) in front of the terms you want to exclude from the search results.

For example: stephen king -dark

I found that adding the item to be excluded wrapped in () makes the NOT operator work

i.e. gem (-rocks) will return a search where rocks was excluded above would be: stephen king (-dark)

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    and yet ECC -"NON-ECC" -"NON ECC" -"non-ECC" -"Non-ECC" STILL returns boat loads of product titles containing "NON-ECC" making it feel almost impossible to find ecc ram. Dec 13, 2016 at 7:22
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    @MehperC.Palavuzlar This - sign trick does not work anymore : "Quick Charge" -Type -"USB C"
    – SebMa
    May 11, 2019 at 23:40
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    Dead answer. It used to work, but as a few have said here, this method is broken, and there seems to be no current way to exclude keywords in Amazon search.
    – Sean O
    Jul 25, 2019 at 16:46
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    This definitely does NOT work as of June 2019
    – Madbreaks
    Jun 23, 2020 at 18:08
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    Still not working 2 years later. Does anyone have a solution? Jun 1, 2021 at 10:58
59

Unfortunately, Amazon does not regard the NOT operator anymore (negative keyword search).

Workaround: use Google Search with for example:

site:amazon.com lightbulbs -led

This will give you all lightbulbs that are not LED.

Of course, you don't have the sorting-order of Amazon's search engine anymore. But it serves the purpose.

However, with Google Search you can get latest products by using the after:yyyy-mm-dd search parameter.

Example:

site:amazon.com lightbulbs -led after:2021-01-01

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    Hilarious that Amazon's pushed us to use an internet search engine to exclude results, which shows shopping alternatives. Maybe it's better to just exclude site:amazon from the internet search. Brilliant answer with the after: param though, thanks. :thumbs-up:
    – SteveExdia
    Feb 19, 2023 at 4:04
  • Hilarious that I am searching for magnifier and want to exclude the term of LED Jul 12, 2023 at 3:56
19

As of July 2015, at least there is no reliable way to use a NOT operator.

At least on Amazon.de searching for hard drive -usb will reduce the number of USB drives, but already the last result on the first page contained "USB" in the title.

Searching for tischventilator -usb (German for table fan) on the other hand pushes usb devices even more to the top of the result list than just searching for tischventilator.

On Amazon.com again, adding -usb to table fan has the intended effect.

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    I'm unable to reproduce your results using your search terms on either amazon.com or amazon.co.uk but indeed amazon.de IS doing the wrong thing. What I also notice is that it's not searching for the german term I copy pasted but instead for the translated term "Table fan -USB" which may be the reason you're seeing incorrect results.
    – Maverik
    Jul 30, 2015 at 16:45
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    have the same problem here
    – Erdinc Ay
    Apr 13, 2016 at 2:18
  • Still true. minus does not weed out the results you do not want, though it used to.
    – Wes Modes
    Oct 19, 2020 at 22:52
16

Thanks to this answer, I've discovered that amazon respects + before a keyword too!

For example: Radeon +7990 will give you exactly 7990's results and not variations on models like 6990 or 7970 like it normally does.

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    This seems to improve the accuracy of search results, but only partially. It looks to me as though prepending + to a search term just assigns extra weight to that term, rather than acting as a Boolean operator that excludes all non-matching results. So, non-matching results do still show up, and still frustratingly often; just not as often as if + weren't used. (I guess Amazon is using some kind of fuzzy logic for its search engine. Whatever the underlying reasoner is doing, though, it is doing it badly. Amazon's search engine is awful.)
    – user6757
    Mar 14, 2018 at 2:49
  • It's hard to keep track of what amazon is doing since I can't find any documentation on their search but the answer worked at the time, it just seems to have changed and not performing exactly same anymore. For that matter I can't get - to properly work either!.
    – Maverik
    Mar 14, 2018 at 16:16
  • Maverik, yep, not your fault. Amazon should (a) have a search engine that works (i.e. that returns only relevant results), and (b) should document it properly.
    – user6757
    Mar 15, 2018 at 13:05
  • Sorry I wasn't implying that you're implying it's my fault. Just shared my own frustration :D but yes wish there was proper docuementation. Re: (a) pretty sure it's intentional -> upselling stuff
    – Maverik
    Mar 15, 2018 at 18:55

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