Myths About Recent Sales and Best Match

Monday, 6 July 2009 at 8:00 am Pacific USA Time.

Even though eBay's communication about how to get Recent Sales momentum in Best Match search results has been clear and consistent, it sounds like some waters have been muddied. People are confused, especially those who received an email from a software service, telling them that if you move to another listing service, you will lose your "Best Match priority placement." Let's dispel this now.

Firstly, why is this important? Part of how eBay calculates where to place you in Best Match has to do with your Recent Sales. Quite simply, if an item that is a Fixed Price 30-day or GTC has a multiple quantity offered, and makes a sale, eBay would bump it higher in search results. The idea is hey, this is the one people are choosing, this must be a good one from a good seller, let's give it more exposure. The better it gets, the better it gets. :)

So you want to do whatever you need to do to KEEP the momentum you can get by making sales from these items. The word from eBay has ALWAYS been that you can keep your Recent Sales by doing these four things when re-listing the item (as of when I'm typing this on 6 July 09):

  • Don't change the category.
  • Don't change the condition.
  • Don't change the title.
  • Don't raise the price.

You can lower the price, and you can even change the description. Most importantly, you CAN change listing services. Nowhere in there does it say that you lose Recent Sales ranking if your relist shows up from a different listing tool than before. So thing 1, myth busted!

But something IS going on. Some people who are changing services found that their items sunk in search results, and it appeared that they HAD lost their Recent Sales ranking. What happened?

It seemed that many services had set "relisting" to actually be putting an item freshly on eBay. Huh? Well, think back to auctions. If you ran an item, and it didn't sell, you relisted. If it then sold, you got those insertions fees back. If it didn't sell that 2nd time, you had to list it freshly, and NOT relist so that if it didn't sell again, that 4th listing might qualify for the "free relist." So with most tools having been built back in the day, the system saw a "relist" of a fixed price item as a totally fresh, new list… which was resetting the Recent Sales on that item.


So check your listing system to see how they're doing it. I work with InkFrog, and to fix this, you can now choose 1 of 2 ways to relist. One is a regular relist (say you use auctions and are hoping for the old "free relist"). The other choice says something like "relist for best match." This will send your item to eBay as a relist, and if you meet the criteria for NOT breaking your Recent Sales momentum, then you will keep that momentum.

That's why it LOOKED like changing listing companies was hurting Recent Sales, but it turns out that it's more about how the software is submitting that relisted item to eBay. When eBay was seeing these as brand new items, it was resetting Recent Sales. When eBay saw it as a relist, and it met the criteria, you should be able to keep Recent Sales!

We saw clients moving in ALL directions losing Recent Sales… I had a client move from Kyozou to Infopia, and it looked like he lost his Recent Sales. I know of people who left Auctiva for inkFrog and others. So it's not just one service… it looks like this was how many software systems were set up, and hopefully third party providers are making changes!

Whew, I hope that clears that up!

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Categories: Just An Observation

Comments Closed

4 Responses to “Myths About Recent Sales and Best Match”

  1. ebuyerfb says:

    Any idea on when they started allowing changes to descriptions? That always stopped me from adding 3rd party credits with my program. Would have been kind of bad to market myself as good for “recent sales” and then ruin them.

  2. According to everything I have from eBay since October 2008, changing description WAS allowed. They know people change templates and listing services, and they claim that should NOT have affected it.

  3. ebuyerfb says:

    ok, I must have been given bad information then. When I tried asking eBay and other developers months ago I never got a definite response. All I ever heard was that everyone else revised listings so it must be OK. I’m usually hesitant to accept that as an answer.

  4. Yes it was hard for me to get a straight answer too. But that is the info my contacts keep telling me.