How to Make Your eBay Listings Appear Higher in Best Match Search Results

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There may be hundreds or thousands of the same item competing for buyers' attention on eBay,
There may be hundreds or thousands of the same item competing for buyers' attention on eBay, (Image: Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Best Match is eBay's sorting technology that displays search results based on various factors such as keywords, your listing end time, detailed seller ratings, shipping price, etc. The Best Match system is based on customers' historical behavior for similar searches.

Take proactive steps to ensure that your listing is near the top of the eBay search results by first understanding how eBay sorts those results. When a buyer performs a search on eBay, the results are returned in an order that eBay determines based on buyers' historical behavior for similar searches. The buyer can change the sort order among several options, including ascending or descending value by price and auction ending time, among others. In 80 percent of cases, though, buyers do not change the sort order presented by eBay.

Be very specific with your keywords in your title. eBay allows only 55 characters for the title. Use these characters wisely and don't waste space with silly characters like @, WOW, L@@K, !!!!, etc. These characters are not considered in the search. You want to maximize your chances of the search finding your items and placing them at the top of the search results. Only use characters that buyers search with.

List your item in all relevant categories. For example, let's say you are selling a men's tie with a fish theme. You can list the item in the clothing/mens/accessories category, and the collectibles/animals/fish category. Listing in two categories costs more, but your item will be exposed to more buyers. A collector may not even be looking for a tie, but a fish fanatic might see it in the collectibles category and buy it on impluse.

Fill out all the item specifics and include relevant details. For example, include size, color, brand, condition, etc. If there is a space under Item Specifics, include the information. If the listing has no item specifics, you can't add them later and you can't use bulk editing to revise a listing without item specifics. You will have to end the listing and relist it, making for more work later.

Include shipping costs. Some buyers will sort by "Price + Shipping (lowest)" to determine their total cost for an item. Include your shipping fee so that your item will receive a higher priority than those without shipping information, and so that it will be returned in search results when a buyer searches by "Price + Shipping."

Offer free shipping if possible. Now, you aren't really shipping the item for free. You will build the shipping cost into the price of your item. But for the sake of eBay Best Match and sort order, you want your item to be coded for "Free Shipping." Items with free shipping get a boost in Best Match search results.

Tips & Warnings

  • Best Match is constantly changing to allow eBay to accomodate its sellers and buyeres more precisely. You can keep abreast of these changes and adjust your category and headline strategies accordingly.

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