In the past, when most active sales on eBay where public, eBay listed its search results by the end time of each sale, showing the expiring sales at the top and those that were listed recently, at the end. Ending time was a way for less experienced sellers to get exposure for their products on the search results.
In 2008, eBay decided to make changes to the way item are listed by default, and a new algorithm was introduced, called the best match, which is now used by default. Still, a user can choose to list the search results by price or ending time, but most of the users choose to go with the default settings. Therefor, it is very important for eBay sellers to match the searching criteria of the best match algorithm.
Best match aims to improve search results for the buyers, and by that to maximize sales. EBay understood that by showing more relevant items for the user, chances are that it will lead to improved sales. EBay never exposed the algorithm behind best match, but based on experienced gathered by many eBay sellers, it is possible to make some assumptions that will most likely improve your ranking on eBay. Generally speaking, it is advised to adhere the following rules to rank higher on eBay:
- Offer a good price for your products and shipping (free shipping is best).
- Provide quality service to your customers (communication and fast shipping).
- Pick the most relevant category for your products.
- Write a product title that is as accurate as possible.
- Make a clear sales policy (return policy, shipping time, payment options).
- Make your product details concise and accurate as possible.
- Add quality product images.
Choosing the sale type
Public auction, is when you are not sure about your item price or maybe even looking to sell fast to the high bider. Most of the time, public auction items are listed based on their ending time, although their conversion rate do have an affect.
Reserve auction, similar to a regular public auction, but here the seller can set a minimum price that he expect to get for the item. The buyer gets an indication if the reserve price is met or not. If there are no offers that meet the reserve price, the auction is canceled and you obviously keep the item.
Fixed price sales (buy it now). An important issue about the way fixed price items are listed on eBay search results, is the performance of this sold item. The score of the sale performance comes from the number of sold items for the opened sale, and the number of visits to the item, in relation to the number of times it was displayed in the search results. EBay has an analysis way, where a higher exposure\click through rate\sale ratio, will show the listing higher on search results regardless of its ending time. Use fixed price sales when you have a stock of items where you are not bound to a time table.
Focus on customer satisfaction
A good customer service and high reputation will rank your items higher on search results. Your goal should be to achieve a top rated seller title, which not only have an impact on the buyer, but also automatically rank your items higher. Also, your DSR data can make a difference on the way eBay rank your items. DSR is the rating a buyer gives for his overall experience at the end of each sale when he leaves his feedback for the item.
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