Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Understanding eBay's Best Match

Search results on eBay are returned in the order according to eBay's Best Match. 80% of buyers don't change the order, and/or don't even know they can re-sort the results by price, ending time, or other factors. So, knowing that buyers are going to view the listing in the Best Match order, you as a seller must learn how to get to the top of the results. Most buyers won't read through pages and pages of results. You need to be near the top to be seen.

Understanding Best Match is critical because your auction listings can be rewarded or punished in the search result listings based on the following factors set forth by eBay.

If your listings are punished by the Best Match system, you may never appear on the first page of search results. This means that potential buyers won't see your items. Buyers can't buy what they can't see or find.

If your listings are rewarded because you understand how Best Match works, you can rise to the top of the search results. Here is how to improve your rankings in Best Match.


The relevancy score is determined by historical buyer behavior for a particular search query - what a particular buyer has searched for in the past. For listing titles that are similar to yours, eBay determines how many times in the past those auctions were clicked on, added to watch lists, bid upon, and ultimately resulted in a sale.


Listing where supply is low and demand is high will score well for desirability. The fewer sellers offering a product, the better your chance of appearing higher in the search results.


Keywords are the words that the eBay seller includes in the 55 characters of the listing title. Load your title with relevant, desirable keywords. Your title is the key to buyers finding you. Use the bayestimate tool for optimizing your item's title.

These words are used to determine the relevancy and desirability scores of the auction listing. Selecting the right keywords represent the most efficient way to influence your search result ranking in Best Match. Visit the “BayEstimator” on the eBay Labs website to test how your keywords score for a particular search query.

Item Specifics

Best Match ranks listings the same way that search engines rank webpages. The more information on your listing, the higher you will rank. Always fill out as many of the item specifics as possible when creating your listing.

Seller Performance

If your feedback score is less than 95% positive over the last 30 days, you will not receive much exposure. If your DSRs are less than 3.9 for the past 30 days, you'll be lower in the rankings. If your shipping DSRs are above 4.7 and your overall DSRs are 4.8 or above, you'll be rewarded with a higher ranking.

Click here to download the free 95-page eBook, Best Match Made Simple. (Kind of seems like a contradiction in terms - a 95 page book about something simple?)

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