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eBay: Best Match or Best Mess ?

Hi gang,

eBay announced this week that their new Best Match search functionality will become the default search method starting ….. right now!

Here is their announcement that they posted on their public information board:

“Hello everyone…This is Jamie Iannone, VP of Buyer Experience on eBay. As most buyers and sellers know, eBay’s Best Match sort option is an important Finding innovation that helps buyers find relevant items quickly and easily. Best Match has been a sort option on eBay.com for over a year, and it has been the default sort in other international markets, such as France and Germany.

Since its launch, our data show that Best Match has a better buyer conversion than any of our other sort methods. As our executives announced during the eCommerce Forum in January, starting this week Best Match will be the default sort method site-wide.

I’d like to give you more details about Best Match and the recent improvements we’ve made to it.

How Best Match works
Best Match sorts the listings you see based on a concept called “relevance.” A particular listing’s relevance is based, in part, on past successful buyer behavior for similar items. Essentially, buyers ‘vote’ on relevance every time they search and buy an item, because these activities provide valuable input into the relevance system.

In other words, if buyers running a particular search often end up viewing, bidding on, or buying a certain type of item more often, this will be factored into our relevance calculations. These types of items might then display higher on the page in subsequent searches.

Customizing your default sort order
Please note that if you prefer to use a different sort order (such as “Time: Ending Soonest”), you are welcome to change it by using the Sort By drop-down menu at the top of the search results, or by using the “Customize Display” to create a new permanent default.

If you have customized your sort order previously using the “Customize Display” link (found to the right of the Sort By drop-down), you will need to reset your preferences after this change goes into effect. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Adding Seller Performance factors to Best Match
In addition to sorting based on relevance, Best Match will also sort based on sellers who provide great buying experiences and the small percentage of sellers that don’t. Making greater use of Detailed Seller Ratings and sellers’ overall rate of buyer dissatisfaction enables us to reward great sellers on the site with increased listing exposure, and reduce negative buying experiences from sellers with high rates of buyer dissatisfaction.

This is part of the new seller rewards and standards that were announced in January.

Effective now: Reducing bad buying experiences with Best Match
When Best Match is made the new default this week, sellers with buyer dissatisfaction rates greater than 5% in the last 30 days will experience decreased exposure for their listings in search results. This affects only a small percentage of all sellers and listings, but will make a big difference for our buyers.

In addition, to reduce the negative impact of excessive Shipping & Handling on the buying experience, sellers with the lowest Detailed Seller Ratings for Shipping & Handling Charges will also see a decrease in the exposure that their listings receive in search results.

Coming soon: More Exposure for Great sellers
In several weeks, sellers with Detailed Seller Ratings of 4.6 and above within the last 30 days will get higher visibility on average in search results than sellers who have lower rates of customer satisfaction.

In summary
With Best Match as the new default for search and browse, buyers will find the items they are looking for more quickly and easily. Adding Seller Performance and Excessive Shipping factors to Best Match increases the probability that they will have a positive experience during the transaction – combined, these two benefits of Best Match greatly improve the overall buying experience.

Remember, too, that only a very small percentage of sellers will experience a decrease in the exposure of their listings. The end result will be a benefit to the whole Community, including both our good sellers and our buyers.

For more information on visibility in search, please see our Rewards & Standards and FAQ pages from the eCommerce Forum.”

Ok, so is best match good for you or bad for you as a seller?

Allow me to share a report that I pull of all my ebay page views:

 

About the Author: Kevin Harmon

Kevin Harmon is a freelance e-commerce business consultant and blogger. He is the former CEO of Inflatable Madness, LLC, one of the largest DVD and CD sellers on eBay and Amazon, and Red Shorts Media, LLC, which operated multiple e-commerce media buyback websites.