Best Match – Podcast with IMA Member Larry

In my opinion, Best Match is one of the most significant changes that eBay has introduced in the last few years. It is designed to change the Buyer experience in a big way. And every time the buyer experiences changes, it presents a challenge for sellers.

There are three types of people in the world of ebay; those that watch a change, those that complain about a change, and those who find a way to make that change work to their benefit. For those of you in the third category, I strongly suggest you listen to a podcast that I had the pleasure to record with Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes. Here’s a link to the article, which will allow you to connect to the podcast:

http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m04/i11/s01

The runtime is almost a half-hour, which, if you look at Ina’s podcasts, you will note is one of the longest ones she’s ever done. There’s a reason for that. Ina understands how important Best Match is to eBay sellers, and wanted to make sure that we provided as much information as possible to her listeners.

But for those of you who absolutely refuse to invest a half-hour of time in your business, let me give you a couple of key thoughts. First, Best Match is an algorithm, and it’s new. So it’s going to change on a pretty regular basis. What’s NOT going to change is eBay’s commitment to Best Match being the tool that will optimize buyer search. So you need to find the best way to exploit Best Match now, and then you need to regularly go back and re-test, to make sure that those findings are still operative. Second, you must, you MUST, you MUST think like a buyer. That’s a fundamental part of any marketing campaign. But it’s absolutely crucial with Best Match. Remember, eBay is trying to optimize the buyer experience. So they’re going to watch buyers, and they’re going to tweak the algorithm based on buyer reaction. If you can get into your buyer’s head, you can get into their pocket. Third, don’t trust the tools that are out there. While they may give you some general guidance and good ideas, the algorithm is constantly changing, and some tools will not keep up with the pace. So do your own testing. Do comparisons with your competition. Run two of the exact same ad at the exact same time, with only one variable, and analyze the results.

There is one other thing you should consider doing. And that’s joining the IMA (you didn’t think you were going to get away without a quick sales pitch, did you?). We have a very active discussion forum with lots of experienced (and well connected) sellers, complimented with giants in the service provider industry like Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, Brian Lawe, President of MyStoreRewards.com, and others. As changes are made, the Forum is always buzzing with the latest information. The information and ideas you will receive about Best Match alone can make you enough money to pay for your dues ten times over.

So listen to the podcast, understand Best Match, and DON’T JUST SIT THERE!! MAKE IT WORK TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!

Larry

Comments

  1. Mike says

    I agree that BM is a huge change. The issue is for businesses that stock inventory and need to plan out purchases for the year, BM creates a real problem because there is no way to tell how much exposure your products will get in the future since the listings returns no longer are standardized.

    It is this exact type of algorithm that makes a general Google search not a reliable way to drive customers to an online store. What is reliable is Google Adwords, because you can monitor clicl-thrus and conversions and therefore have cost analysis and budgeting.

    With BM, basically eBay is saying pay for the ads (listings) and you may or may not get conversions or views, and even if you do now, you may not later. With the DSR influence in the mix (somehow) it actually has been rewarding new sellers with little FB. The end result is a search that gives a seller no confidence in what results will be day to day.

    For businesses not relying on drop ships and in it for the long haul, this makes it a real issue seems to reward the fly-by-night businesses that eBay had been trying to control. Get a bad FB, get a new ID, start over.

    It seems to me they have bit off more than they can handle with BM and the long term erosion may be hard to monitor and lay blame, but I think it will be huge. It has dramatically changed the way that we view eBay’s reliability as a consistent marketplace for us in the future.

    People have already hacked the searches and it will happen over and over again. Think of the effort Google takes to stay ahead of the game re the algorithms.

    We have seen our listings buried 5 pages back (including Featured Fixed Price listings — now definitely a thing of the past for us) while sellers with 20 FB are occupying the first few spots. Even if it changes for us in the future in our favor, we can never rely on consistent results again with BM as the default. The trickle down affect on our planning has already begun.

    Thanks for your great posting and interview with Auctionbytes.

  2. Mike says

    I guess I should have added a few vitals to my earlier post so you could see what type of volume and ratings we have on eBay (at least until 5/1 when I do believe the world will not end, it will just get a little nuttier) –

    12000+ Pos FB
    5 Neg FB
    100% FB Score
    DSRs 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.6

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