What exactly is VLOOKUP? Basically, VLOOKUP lets you search for specific information in your spreadsheet. For example, if you have a list of products with prices, you could search for the price of a specific item. | How it works: Let's take a look at how this formula works. It first searches vertically down the first column (VLOOKUP is short for vertical lookup). When it finds "Photo frame", it moves to the second column to find the price.