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How to shorten an Amazon or eBay URL without an external URL shorter
Both Amazon and eBay URLs can be incredibly long, leading to people using potentially dubious URL shortening services.  The main issue I have with these is that it's hard to tell whether a shortened URL is legit or potentially booby trapped.  For example, if I receive something with a URL, I usually end up testing it on VirusTotal first to see where it points to.

The reason URLs are so long is that these sites include all sorts of tracking in the URLs.  This lets them track users even when cookies are disabled or blocked, where the URL originated from if shared, which search terms were used to reach this product, if an affiliate is involved and so on.  

As surprising as it sounds, you can reach just about any product on Amazon and eBay with just a tiny portion of the URL.  No need for a URL shortener!  Wink

Shortening an Amazon URL:

All you need is the domain (before the first slash), '/dp/' and the code in-between this and the next slash as highlighted in the following example:


This becomes:

Shortening an eBay URL:

Very similar for ebay:  Just keep the domain followed by '/itm/' and the code before the question mark as highlighted in the following example:


This comes:

While the shortened URL does not give a clue about the item, at least the recipient knows that it's a proper eBay or Amazon link.  This also eliminates any tracking trail from the link including any affiliate ID picked up along the way.

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