How to maximize your position in Best Match
The goal of Best Match, eBay's default sort order, is to help buyers find just what they're looking for from sellers they trust. For you as a seller, this means getting your listings in front of the buyers most interested in your products.
There's no "silver bullet" for getting a good position in search. Many factors are considered in Best Match and can vary with different circumstances. But the bottom-line best practices for optimizing your position in search are consistent with good business practices for maximizing sales. And, it's important to follow these best practices better than your competition:
Focus on business basics
- Offer good prices and reasonable shipping
- Provide good service
- List in the right format and the right categories
- Write accurate and relevant titles
- Write clear item descriptions
- Include great photos
- State your terms clearly
Understanding some principles of how Best Match works can help you optimize your listings for sort. But it's important to remember that Best Match considers a number of factors which may vary by category and continuously evolves and improves in response to buyer interests and behavior. The real key to getting and keeping a good position is to focus on sound business practices and delivering great value and service to your buyers.
Use the Listings Analytics application to help optimize your listings
How Best Match works
To show buyers the most relevant and popular items for their search, Best Match considers a number of criteria. Some are consistent for all categories and listing formats and some are unique.
Auction-style and Fixed Price listings are sorted separately according to the most relevant criteria and then intermingled to show buyers a good mix of both types of listings on each page of search results.
Key factors considered regardless of format or category include seller track record, competitive pricing (including shipping cost), and the relevance of the listing in relation to what the buyer is looking for.
Best Practices to make Best Match work for you in any listing format:
Choose the right format:
- Price competitively
The price of your item is key for Fixed Price listings. When it comes to price, it's rarely a good strategy to "set it and forget it." Keep a close eye on how price is impacting your status and make adjustments as needed to stay on top.
Quick tip: Watch your closest competitors on and off eBay and look at what they are charging for similar items. Buyers know how to find the best deal.
- Focus on customer satisfaction
- Become an eBay Top-rated seller. As a reward for consistently providing great service, eBay Top-rated sellers get an exclusive increase in exposure in Best Match for their Fixed Price listings that can make a significant difference. Plus, buyers see this badge next to your listing in search results and on your item page.
Note, Top-rated seller status does not guarantee your listing will appear above a more relevant or more competitively priced listing from a seller that's not Top-rated. But all things being equal, you'll have advantage.
- Stay at or above eBay's minimum standard for all sellers. If you fall below, both your Fixed Price and Auction-style listings will be lowered in search results. Use your Seller Dashboard to keep close tabs on your status and learn what you can do to improve.
- Free shipping can also give your Fixed Price listings a boost in search results in some categories. Note, Auction-style listings are not given an advantage in search for free shipping, but regardless of format, free shipping can also improve your Detailed Seller Ratings (DSRs) for shipping cost, an important factor in the requirements for Top-rated seller status. Excessive shipping, on the other hand, causes your Fixed Price and Auction-style listings to be lowered in search.
Write effective titles
Relevant keywords get your listings in front of interested buyers and that means more sales. As a general rule, include all the relevant information about your item and exclude irrelevant keywords:
- Use multiple, descriptive keywords that clearly convey what you are selling. Use up to 55 characters.
- Include your item's brand name, artist, or designer. However, don't include too many brands, or list all possible uses of an item. Put the brand names or uses in the subtitle.
- Include item-specific attributes. For example, if selling shoes—include size, color and condition.
- State exactly what your item is, even if your title repeats the category name.
- Use correct spelling.
- Omit punctuation marks and asterisks.
- Try not to include non-relevant words like "wow" or "look." Buyers don't search for these.
Include unique identifiers
Make sure your listings is found by search engines including eBay, Google and Yahoo—include unique identifiers like Universal Product Codes (UPCs), European Article Numbers (EANs), or International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) in your listings. It's also a good idea to include your item's brand name and Manufacturer's Part Number (MPN) in Item Specifics whenever they're available.
List in the correct category
List in the category that's most relevant to your listing.
Provide as many item specifics as possible
- List your item's features, attributes, and condition by using the item specifics provided by eBay or customizing them. For example: if your item is new but you don't specify it, buyers who narrow their search to find only new items won't see your listing.
- Because product condition is one of the top purchasing criteria for eBay buyers, be sure to provide the product's condition using item specifics.
Use product details from our catalog
Product details can help you create complete listing descriptions that are more visible and appealing to buyers. When you use product details in your listing, they:
- Make listing easier and descriptions more complete
- Also show up on our product details pages—making it easier for buyers to find your listing
Group multiple identical items into a single multi-quantity fixed price or multi-variation listing
You can list multiple identical items in one fixed price listing. When you create a fixed price listing, you specify a Buy It Now price for each item. Buyers can purchase your items immediately without bidding and waiting for an auction to end.
When selling multiple items at a fixed price, it pays to choose a longer duration, such as 10-day, 30-day, or Good 'Til Cancelled.
You can create a listing with variations if you want to offer choices in your listing, such as a T-shirt in a variety of sizes or colors. Listings with variations are always fixed-price listings.
Some advantages of creating listings with variations:
Currently, you can create a listing with variations in Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories, Home & Garden, and many others. See if multi-variation listings are available in your category.
- You don't need to create a separate listing for individual items, which saves time and money.
- Buyers have the convenience of selecting one or more variations of the item without scrolling through a large number of search results.
- You can track inventory for individual items to make sure you don't run out.
Fixed Price Format:
- One of the factors used to sort Auction-style listings is time ending soonest. Use the Auction-style format when:
- You're unsure of the value of your item and want it to sell right away, allowing the eBay Marketplace to determine its value.
- You have unique and hard-to-find items that could attract demand and spur a bidding war, maximizing profits from your listing.
- You are currently using Auction-style listings and you have a high sell-through rate (your items typically sell the first time you list them).
Other best practices to help you close the lead:
- One of the factors used to sort Fixed Price listings in most categories is the listing performance score (sales as related to impressions the listing received).
- Listing performance score: sales in relation to impressions.
Best Match assigns a score to Fixed Price listings based on the listing's sales in relation to the number of impressions it received. An impression is counted whenever a buyer sees a page that includes the listing. A high listing performance score = a high sales to impressions ratio.
- Fixed price listings in Art, Antiques, Coins & Paper Money, Collectibles, Dolls & Bears, Pottery & Glass, Toys & Hobbies, Stamps, Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop, and Entertainment Memorabilia may use time recently listed as a factor in Best Match sort.
- Choose Fixed Price when:
- You have multiple items that you can group into one listing.
- You know the value of your item or know the exact price you need to get for it.
- You have a lot of inventory and want to minimize your upfront Insertion Fees. Use 30-day durations and try automatic renewals (Good 'Til Cancelled) to boost efficiency.
- You want your items to be available to buyers for more than 7 days.
There are other best practices that can help you close the sale once your listing is on front of an interested buyer.
Write a great description
Here are some questions you may want to consider when writing your item description:
State your terms clearly
- What is the item?
- What material is it made of?
- When was it made?
- What company/artist/designer/author made it?
- What condition is it in?
- Is the item new, used, or still under warranty? Be sure to mention any flaws or repairs.
- What are its dimensions?
- What country/location is it from?
- Does it have any notable features or markings?
- Does it have a special background or history?
- When you are finished, spell check your description for accuracy.
Include high-quality effective photos
- Including clear terms and conditions in your listing can help set buyer expectations and improve your transactions.
- Make your terms of sale easy to find and understand, so buyers know what to expect before making a purchase.
- Make sure you include this information in your listing:
- Be sure the information in your listing form is consistent with what's listed in the item description. A common mistake is specifying shipping costs on the form, but then listing a different amount in the item description.
Adding pictures to your listing helps you increase sales, gives your buyers a more accurate picture of what to expect, and distinguishes your listing from others of its kind. We recommend that all images clear and in focus, and be at least 1000 pixels on the longest side. If they're in JPEG format (most common), they should have a quality of 90 or greater on the standard 0-99 JPEG quality scale.