How to Rank on eBay's First Page

What you need to know to take advantage of Best Match

by Janelle Elms
- Jun 16, 2010

I have heard a lot of people on the social-networking sites reporting a huge decline in sales on eBay, especially since store inventory moved to core search. Fortunately, there is a pretty easy solution to not only keep your sales up, but also take advantage of eBay's newest search, Best Match.

Best Match on eBay is a complicated search algorithm that is supposed to allow buyers to shop from the best sellers on eBay first. It has been eBay's default search for more than a year now.

The main criteria that affect your ranking for any type of listing in any category via Best Match are:

  • Seller track record
  • Competitive pricing and shipping costs
  • Relevance of the listing to what the buyer is looking for

eBay says there is no "silver bullet" that will get you ranked on page one, but I guarantee there are some definite areas that you need to look at and fix if you want a fighting chance at beating the competition. These variables are not consistent across all categories and eBay constantly updates them as it learns more about how the buyers search and what they are looking to purchase.

Auction-style listings are treated a bit differently than fixed-priced listings in Best Match search. The main ranking factor for auctions would be time ending soonest. This means that doing research using a tool like Terapeak on "best ending times" is still in effect for this type of listing.

For fixed-priced listings, the main factor is sales-to-impressions ratio, also called "Listing Performance Score." An impression is when a buyer sees a page that includes your listing. Newly listed fixed-priced items get a temporary bump in search to help level the playing field. Also, time recently listed is an important factor for fixed-price listings in the following categories: Art, Antiques, Coins & Paper Money, Collectibles, Dolls & Bears, Pottery & Glass, Toys & Hobbies, Stamps, Sports Memorabilia, Cards & Fan Shop and Entertainment Memorabilia. Hey, I didn't say this was going to be easy.

Grouping identical items into one listing not only helps you save on fees, but it may also increase your sales-to-impressions ratio

Best Match love

Here are some factors that will help your items get some Best Match love and a possible bump in search:

  • Price competitively: You can utilize the completed listings on eBay to find out what successful listings similar to yours are selling for on eBay. Searching within Google product search will also help determine competitive pricing.
  • Shipping cost: This doesn't always mean free shipping, although that helps in many categories. This also has to do with keeping your shipping costs within an acceptible range.
  • Impressions versus sales: Grouping identical items into multi-quantity/multi-variation fixed-priced listings not only helps you save money on fees, but it may also increase your sales-to-impressions ratio for your listing.
  • Relevancy: This refers to keywords in your title and attributes. My last article talked quite a bit about locating the right keywords to have in your title. You can pick up a refresher course here. Also make sure you fill out as many item attributes as possible using Item Specifics.
  • Your seller rating: Seller ratings include Top-rated, Above Standard and Standard. Being a Top-rated seller will give you an increase in search. Now, that doesn't mean that someone who isn't a Top-rated seller won't be ahead of you due to relevancy, pricing, or other factors, but it does give you a competitive advantage.

Even with all of this there is no guarantee, but these are the factors we know are included in how you rank in eBay's Best Match. Your best option right now is to utilize your built-in Store and eBay Reports and completed listings to consistently check on these factors and test them on your inventory. Of course there is another way…

How would you like to know the specifics of how eBay is currently ranking your items for auction-style and fixed-priced listings? I can't give away all of my success secrets, but there is a tool in My eBay that will tell you how a specific item is being ranked on the first page of search for:

  • Price range
  • Shipping cost range
  • Free shipping (or whether you need to offer this for a page-one bump)
  • Format (should you offer auction-style or fixed-priced?)
  • Seller rating (for this item, in this category, will being a Top-rated Seller provide you small advantage or a big advantage for showing up on the first page?)
  • Catalog product details (is this an item that utilizes features from eBay's catalog?)

Found the tool yet? Know how to use it to optimize your profits? Ah, well you might want to check out Best Match Secrets for additional information on utilizing this powerful free tool that eBay gives its sellers.

About the Author

Janelle Elms is a best-selling author, inspiring educator and Visionaire of the OSI Rock Stars. You can hear her on wsRadio every Wednesday on Ask Janelle Radio. Learn the success information you need to grow your business at For step-by-step training on how to set up an eBay Store for maximum exposure and profit, visit One Percent Coach.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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