The 7 factors that never alter when it comes to getting your products seen on eBay
You know, eBay can be a hugely frustrating platform to sell products on.
The powers that be make changes with hardly any warning, often causing extra work and additional problems, they move the goalposts regularly and they are not what one would call sympathetic when it comes to dealing with buyer problems.
For example, I was well aware that eBay are no longer allowing 3rd party shop designs to be used because they want all sellers to use eBay’s own templates to ensure all listings are streamlined (in other words they want them all to look the same).
However, the original announcement stated that those sellers with shop templates already uploaded could keep using them for the foreseeable future and they would let us phase them out gradually.
No new 3rd party templates could be uploaded – that’s a lot of eBay store designer businesses down the pan too – but as far as my own shop was concerned, it suited me for the time being as there would be no effect on my shop…. or so I thought.
Last week, eBay took it upon themselves to make a teensy-weensy change that basically prevented my custom designed store from working in the way that it should, forcing me to dump my beautiful shop because my categories no longer worked – they simply clicked through to a page that states the page no longer exists.
Perfect! Oh, and thanks for letting me know eBay!
Anyway, I then received an email from the Designastore team who originally created my store template with the steps I needed to take to switch over to eBay’s template in order to get my categories back – and I duly followed those.
This resulted in the most boring eBay shop ever – no logo, no banner – and what’s worse is that eBay don’t even offer any tools to help me make it look better.
What harm was there in being individual? What harm was there in creating a unique looking shop to get the best chance of traffic and sales? After all, eBay benefits massively from those sales as we know.
Fuming is an understatement.
It’s not the first time I’ve been frustrated with eBay. But the thing is, they are so huge it’s actually difficult not to simply suck it up and carry on, adapting as you go because even though they mess with our businesses, we need the platform as an income stream. And of course, eBay know this.
It’s a short and curlies situation isn’t it.
So, we adapt…
What’s interesting though is this. Even though eBay are constantly making stupid tweaks that may seem small to them but are huge to us sellers, one thing that never changes is the basic strategy to ensure your products reach the top search spots.
Understand how their search and ranking system works and then you can use it to your advantage and increase the visibility of your listings, which ultimately will lead to more sales.
So, there are 7 things that you need to take into consideration to ensure you have optimised your listings for eBay’s ‘Best Match’ algorithm.
- Title Keywords / Relevance
- Recent Sales
- Postage Price
- Detailed Seller Ratings (DSR’s)
- Item Specifics i.e. new, used, branded or non-branded (indirectly)
- Listing Duration
- Item Cost
Each of these factors will affect the ranking of your products in the search, so you need to be very careful with your listings and make sure you use these factors to your advantage.
Keywords are key: ‘Best Match’ search results will always send potential buyers to the listings with the most relevant keywords. If your keywords are not relevant, then eBay sees this negatively. The knock-on effect of this is that if your keywords are deemed irrelevant then your search placement will go down or your products won’t appear in the search results at all.
Recent sales are important: Every time an item sells on eBay, the ‘Best Match’ search sees this as a positive. So, if you have a ‘Multiple Item Buy It Now’ listing and you sell every item of your stock of 50, then you are giving your listing a massive boost in the search results. Run a ‘Good Till Cancelled’ (GTC) listing if you are selling a product that you can restock with no problem. Simply leave your listing running, let sale after sale build up which will raise your search standing and revise the quantity of stock available when required.
Postage price counts: eBay actually state that items with reasonable postage charges will feature higher in searches. Those items listed with free postage do get better results in the search, but as we all know, there is no such thing as free postage as it is usually incorporated with the price of the item itself.
Give a 5-star service: Detailed Seller Ratings, or DSR’s, will also affect your search placement. Make sure you give good customer service, reasonable or free postage, dispatch fast and answer any questions promptly to keep your ratings up so that your search position is not affected.
Item specifics shouldn’t be overlooked: Item specifics do not directly influence your search standing with ‘Best Match’ as the results are sorted after the actual search is carried out, but you should fill in as many details as possible anyway, because this will increase your chances of your listings showing higher up in the search.
Listing duration will help your search ranking: The longer your listing runs for, the better it will perform in the search. As long as you are making multiple sales from your eBay listings then your sales history will continue to increase, and your ranking will rise.
Don’t try and cheat: Don’t over-inflate your postage charges because a product that is listed at £9.99 with £1.50 postage will be classed as better value and therefore a better ‘Best Match’ than a product that is listed at £1.50 with £9.99 postage! If you price your products too high in comparison to other sellers, eBay may decide that your items are not good value and your search standing will automatically be lowered.
Combine these factors and you could see your search position rise pretty quickly – with or without a pretty shop!