eBay’s Best Match

Monday, 24 November 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

eBay's Best Match is designed to show eBay shoppers the best items from the best people. It hasn't changed my shopping habits on eBay. It seems to mostly make things really hard for good sellers who are trying to do the right thing. I'm hearing reports that growth on eBay is slower than that of other shopping sites. So is Best Match working? eBay will say of course it is, but to what are they comparing it? :)

Best Match uses a secret algorithm that seems to change from time to time. Your item is placed in search results based on things like (in no particular order):

  • Your DSRs.
  • Whether you've been suspended lately.
  • How many disputes you have.
  • If you're using a 30-day fixed price format with multiple quantity.
  • If you're using free shipping.
  • Number of watchers.
  • If your multiple quantity listing has sold any quantity recently. How recent? Can't say as it's a moving window of an unknown number of days.
  • Pricing of the item.
  • Geographic location (ie: searches on eBay Canada are supposed to feature Canadian sellers since Canadians buying from Canadians can often be faster and easier)
  • Number of pictures (really?)

And those are just the ones we KNOW about. And those are just the ones that are true as I'm writing this. Who can say what'll be true in weeks or months.

But one thing we've noticed based on calls with clients is that you could have all but one of those PERFECT, and the one you DON'T have perfect will dump you on page 3 of search results. Buh-bye. You could have great DSRs, no disputes, not have been suspended, listing FP30 with free shipping, have watchers, and have a good price. You could be the BEST seller eBay has of this type of item. And you could be buried in search results because you didn't list a multiple quantity in your FP30 listing.

The result of Best Match will be to limit what shoppers can get to. If good sellers are being hidden in search, and seeing sales drop because of lack of visibility, it's hard to get out of that downward spiral. That seller may have to stop selling on eBay, and go where the sales can be made. This will leave eBay with fewer sellers and fewer items. Newer sellers will have no CLUE what's going on, and won't be able to even get out of the eBay gate without working with a company like us. Good for us! But scary for those who want to be eBay sellers.

I have an idea on how to send that message to eBay. Read tomorrow. :)

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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