7 Top tips to game Best Match with Recent Sales

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Being at the top of eBay’s Best Match is a little akin to winning the blue Buy Box on Amazon, the listings at the top of eBay’s Best Match are starting to attract the lions share of the sales.

Some experimentation over the last week has revealed some great strategies to ensure your listing is at, or near, the top of search results. Best of all many of the tactics won’t cost you a penny to implement.

Recent sales are the surest way to gain exposure for your listing. The big question is how do you kick start sales to get to the top, especially if other seller’s listings have had sales already? Here are my 7 top tips to gain Recent Sales including two ways auctions can be used to boost a BIN listing’s visibility in search results:

1) Featured First

Featured First is the only sure fire way to the top of search results but it’s going to cost you (£44.95 for up to ten days, £134.95 for up to 30 days). Featured First is a great way to buy exposure but, as it’s success starts to be seen, more and more sellers are starting to use the listing enhancement.

If you’re one of just two sellers to use Featured First in a category then you’ll always be at the top, but as more sellers start to use the feature you listing will appear in a rotation and the exposure starts to fall.

This is a feature that should only ever be used once on a listing with good run rate, and then recent sales should be keeping you at the top of search. However, for slower sell through rate, high value items, Featured First is definitely worth considering on an ongoing basis.

2) Auctions to drive sales

Yes auctions are old hat, as a seller you probably prefer to know you’ll get the price you want and many buyers want to buy instantly rather than bid. Well that might be the case but auctions are still sorted using Ending Soonest and are still a great route to getting your listings to the top of search results.

Auctions at an attractive start prices will get buyers looking, strong links from auctions are a great way to kick start some sales on your main BIN listings. Look at the auction as a loss leader to gain attention and drive traffic from the auction to your BIN. Also consider trying an auction with a BIN price for an instant sale because….

3) Auction to Recent Sales Advantaged BIN

… It’s possible to gain a Recent Sales advantage in Best Match from an auction and this is the main reason sellers should be experimenting with the listing format. If your auction sells at a final value price that you’d be willing to sell at (or below), relist it but convert it to a BIN.

In testing it appears that Recent Sales advantage is transferred from a sold auction to a new BIN listing and can propel the BIN towards the top of Best Match at best, and above an identical BIN listing with no sales at worst. Auctions can be used to actively gain a head start for a multi-quantity BIN.

4) Best Offer

On your first listing of a new product always add Best Offer. It only takes a few sales to make a huge difference in search results standings. Some experimentation with this tactic has thrown up some interesting trends, the most significant of which is that early sales will tend to be Best Offers, but once an item reaches the top of search results buyers start to buy at the full price rather than making further Best Offers.

It’s well worth accepting the first one or two offers at less than you’d normally consider, in order to boost your listing in search results. Offers are worth accepting even if you make a slight loss on a couple of sales – it’s still probably still cheaper than paying for Featured First, to get to the top of the page.

5) Email Marketing

Get smart about your email marketing, use it to drive traffic to the listings you want to sell. Use emails to highlight new listings that you need to gain Recent Sales to increase Best Match placement.

Combine email marketing with your other initiatives such as Best Offers. Tactics such as “We’ll accept best offers of just £x.xx from email subscribers” for a particular item work really well – giving an exclusive deal (even if it’s not) is a great way to get some quick sales and boost your search standing.

6) MarkDown Manager

Have a sale! What better way to boost your search rank than to give a discount. However this is getting harder to implement in the UK as only GTC BINs will ever qualify. If you’re almost anywhere bar the UK you’ll find it much easier to hold a MarkDown Manager sale (listings in the UK have to be 28 days or older before they can be included in a MarkDown sale).

This is a tactic that can also be used on older listings which have fallen from the top of Best Match as a way to regain recent sales.

7) Listing Enhancements

So you’re seeing some success but you can’t get right to the top of search results. All is not lost as, once you’ve got to the first page, you can add some enhancements to make your listing stand out.

Featured Plus will get you to the top of the page (£14.95 for up to 10 days, £44.95 for up to 30 days), but there are other low cost enhancements such as Bold, Highlight and Subtitle which are also good value. They might not get you to the top of the page but they’ll catch the eye of any buyer who scrolls down looking for a good deal.

It should be remembered that Recent Sales is just a part of Best Match. You should also be using best listing practices including optimising your listing titles, using item specifics, listing in appropriate categories and consider pricing strategies for both the item and postage costs.

If you’ve found some other ways to get to or near the top of Best Match with Recent Sales, tell us in comments below.

21 Responses

  1. Another key point is relevancy. Have a title that is optimized to coincide with the common search terms for your product & it would seem also recent eBay customer buying/browsing behavior can bump you up the search.

  2. What better way to boost your search rank than to give a discount.
    What do we know about pricing vs. Best Match? eBay have said that total price isn’t relevent, but “good value” is. Though lower pricing might well drive sales and so benefit BM that way, I’m not sure just *being the cheapest* is going to do it.

  3. Also re. Featured First: it’s worth bearing in mind that you can buy a 7 day FF on a 30 day listing, so if you have a lot of something, that can really kick-start the sales at a much more bearable per-item cost.

  4. #5 Featured First is so good I can barely believe my luck, although some recorded sales would be nice, still can’t have everything. (BTW this doesn’t apply to my Bath Id’s, it doesn’t work on baths, don’t throw your money away)

  5. #4 Totally agree – if you look at any best match sort there are almost always cheaper offers lower down the page. It’s all about getting some sales on the listing

  6. I like the suggestions! While others are trying to find ways to “game” the system, practical advice like this will get your sales way up. These are NOT tricks, these are solid tactics that we can implement to increase exposure and ultimately increase the bottom line.

    Thanks for sharing!

    John (ColderICE)

  7. Good tips there Chris, thanks.

    I will give the auction to recent sales advantaged BIN idea a go.

    It is proving to be quite a challenge getting my head around the way the new search works and very time consuming doing so much research. Hopefully it is going to pay off.


  8. Found this message when ending an item today (having agonised over whether to upgrade from basic to featured shop over the weekend):-

    “With a Featured Shop subscription, you get all the benefits of the Basic Shop, plus a higher level of exposure.
    Priority placement in the Shop eBay Shops section that appears on search results pages on eBay.
    Featured placement on the eBay Shops home page
    Prime positioning in the eBay Shops Directory for categories where you have items listed ”

    Personally, featured shop is going to cost me an extra £6 per month – looks like it might be worth it for the extra exposure ??

  9. And then Ebay go and change the Search to pre Sept 25, no visibility for 30 day gtc, only shops showing are US ones, whats going on ?

  10. I dunno what the hell’s going on but 30 day BINs are now appearing as SIF items. Anyone that’s taken advice and has been listing 30 day or GTC is getting zero visibility in core at the moment 😯

  11. Yes I noticed 30 days BINs are now SIF – and below everything else. So what’s the difference between the old SIF and the new 30 day BIN – oh yes, it’s 3 times the price. So much for all these “improvements” that ebay have been shouting about.

  12. Featured first also seems to have to compete with featured plus listings as well, tried a featured plus and only got around 50% visibility when refreshing the search, only one other featured first listing in the category, but a few fetured pluses which seemed to effect the fetured first listing position.

  13. I have also noticed that having several listings that meet the basic keyword search affects visibility. I don’t mean identical listings, just similar products maybe different size/colour or whatever. I had 5 types of an item. listed 2 more different types and the 2 new ones (that have no recennt sales history) went straight to page one & slightly above the existing ones.

    This also put my shop at top of the list of relevant shops.

    Only in new search mode I hasten to add!

  14. It appears that only SOME 30 day BINs are showing in SIF.

    It’s about time eBay came clean and let us know EXACTLY what is going on so that we can plan accordingly. I suppose that would be too much to ask though.

  15. #18 I would say sell through rate for keywords in you title definitely affects viability in best match and not just your own past sales history. eg If someone searches for “ball point pen” and if people in the past who have searched for “ball point pen” have ended up buying a “Parker ball point pen” then “Parker Ball Point pens” will get a boost in best match search for “ball point pens” (hope that makes sense).

  16. Hi there, can someone tell me the difference between Featured First & Featured Plus…. & if i put a 7 day listing on FP then, do i get charged the 14.99 each time someone buys an item from the listing. If i have a quantity of 15 and they all sell on the FP would i be charged 15 x 14.99…or just 1 x 14.99

    thanks for your help


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