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Best Match - FAQs
What is Best Match?
Since 2008 Best Match is the default method with which we show listings on search result pages. Best Match allows eBay to arrange auction-style listings in a different way to Buy it now listings, as different factors are important for both formats. For example: time is very important for auctions, but less important for fixed price listings. The objective of Best Match is to show the most relevant, best value items from sellers that will create a fantastic experience for the buyer.
Why Best Match?
Initially, listings on eBay were dominated by the auction-style format. Buyers were early internet adopters looking for unique items to complete their collections. Sellers most often were buyers at the same time and few businesses were selling on eBay.
Today the inventory is dominated by Buy it now listings with many more businesses selling their products on the site. With the shift to fixed price listings; sorting by 'Time: ending soonest' became obsolete. We needed a way to sort Buy it now listings differently to auction-style listings.
What's the difference between the way Buy it now and auction-style items are sorted in search results?
For both formats the goal is to show the most relevant, best value items from sellers that will make the buyer experience great. Buy it now (or fixed price) items are sorted based on seller performance standards, recent search impressions (how often the listing was shown in search results) and recent sales (how many items have sold from a multi-quantity listing). Additionally we look at title, value and free P&P. Sellers reaching the Top-rated seller standards get an additional boost in Best Match sort order.Auction-style listings are mainly sorted based on seller performance standards and 'Time: ending soonest'.
What can I do to get my listings to appear at the top of search results?
We calculate Best Match based on a number of factors. However, here are some tips on how to optimise visibility. The following is relevant for Buy it now listings:
How do my recent sales affect my listing's position in the search results?
If you list items using the multi-quantity format, and there are sales from your listing in recent days, you'll build up a popularity score that will help boost your listing’s position in the search results. The reverse is also true: if your listing has had poor sales performance compared to similar listings, it'll appear lower in the search results.
If I make changes when I relist, will I keep my popularity/recent sales score?
Your popularity/recent sales score will only revert to zero when you relist if you change the condition (e.g. from 'New with tags' to 'New without tags' or 'Used').
What happens if I make changes to an active multi-quantity listing after there's been a sale on it?
Your popularity/recent sales score will only revert to zero when you revise an active listing if you change the condition (e.g. from 'New with tags' to 'New without tags' or 'Used').
How do I use SMP automation rules while ensuring that I retain my popularity/recent sales score?
The optimal way to use SMP automation rules is to mirror the functionality of a multi-quantity Good 'Til Cancelled (GTC) listing as follows:
This will retain your recent sales score and keep the listing alive until the quantity is sold out.
Will it still be possible to sort a mixture of auctions and BINs by 'Time: ending soonest'?
By default, search results on eBay are sorted by 'Best Match'. To change the sort order, hover your mouse over the text 'Best Match' that appears immediately above the search results, and then choose an alternative order from the list that appears
You can also customise search results so they'll always appear as you want them to.
Do item specifics matter in Best Match?
Best Match sorts the results after they've been returned for a search query - it doesn't determine which listings are returned. Your item is more likely to be returned in a query if
Filling out the item specifics form can make it more likely that your listing will be returned in the search results. But it won't be a factor we'll consider directly when we sort the search results that are returned.
Even so, bear in mind that describing your item fully and accurately will have a secondary positive effect on your listing's placing in the search results: you'll score well in the DSR for item description, which can help prevent your listing being demoted in Best Match.
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