SAGE Search Tips from a Former Research Assistant


Take it from a former SAGE Research Assistance Specialist: struggling to search for the perfect product is the worst. As user-friendly and easy to navigate as the SAGE search is, sometimes it seems like no matter what you try, the product you’re looking for eludes you.

If you’ve ever wondered, “how do they do it?” when a SAGE Research Assistance Specialist responds to your inquiry with the product you were looking for but couldn’t find, I’m here to give you the answers. Here are some of my top tips for mastering your SAGE product searches:

1. Start Broad

Don’t get too specific too soon! If you start with a hyper-specific search, you’re unlikely to find what you’re looking for and might get discouraged. Instead, start broad. Say, for instance, that you were looking for a specific green hat. While performing a search with the category “Hats” and the color “green” will return hundreds of results, it also allows you to see at a glance what sort of items would fall under that category and give you an idea of what you need to do to narrow down your search.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Dig

Your searches might not always turn up the exact product you’re looking for at the very top of results on the first try, and that’s okay. If you hit the search button and face hundreds or even thousands of products, don’t be afraid to dig through them! There are a few ways you can make your search easier.

First, put your search view in “large tile.” The large tile view will let you see dozens of products at a time, focusing on the product images. When you’re searching based on a picture sent to you by a client, this is a great feature to flip through lots of products quickly.

Large Tile view in SAGE Online

Second, utilize the drill-down search feature! Using the filters, you can easily try different ways to narrow your search without ever having to go back to your original search screen to enter new terms or keywords.

Drill-down filter (left) in SAGE Online

Lastly, right-click and remove suppliers or products that you know you don’t want to use. This is an easy way to remove more significant portions of the items returned in your search without having to go back and edit your search terms. Simply right-click a product and choose to remove all of that supplier’s products, all the products in that category, or just that specific item.

RIght-click and remove in SAGE Online

3. Consider Alternatives

What is one person’s beanie is another’s toque, skullcap, or knit hat. Don’t be afraid to try different names for the same product! When you’re having a hard time locating a specific product, it can be helpful to consider alternative terms for what you’re looking for.

4. Reverse Image Search

Google Image Search

When a customer sends you a picture of a product they love and you’re not sure where to start, a reverse Google image search can help point you in the right direction. Reverse image search works best for images that appear to be catalog or website photos and doesn’t work as great with pictures taken on a phone camera. To perform an image search in Google, go to, click the camera icon, and upload your photo. If the image exists on the world wide web, Google will find it for you! Then you can take your findings from Google and pop them into SAGE to find that elusive product.

5. Ask for Help!

When all else fails, SAGE is here to help. Our team of research experts is standing by to offer assistance in locating those hard-to-find products. When the exact product requested can’t be found, they’ll send suggestions for similar products or other resources that might be helpful. You can reach the research assistance team by emailing or by sending a SAGE Chat to the research team.

And there you have it! With these tips in your back pocket, you’re well on your way to becoming a SAGE searching wizard. To learn more about all the cool things you can do with SAGE Total Access, visit us at or call 800.925.SAGE today to chat with an Account Executive.

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(Marketing Coordinator)

Caitlin is a Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. When she's not writing, she enjoys baking and spending time with her beagle puppy, Piper.

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