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Sun Apr 13 2008 21:38:53

Fluctuating Best Match on

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay made Best Match the default sort order for search results last month. Since then, there have been sporadic reports that users are finding that it is not the default, including an AuctionBytes Blog post from March 30.

In a reverse case, last weekend eBay made some changes that required users to reset their preferences if they had changed them from Best Match to another sort order, something eBay announced and sellers discussed on the boards.

Today the chatter started up again that Best Match was no longer the default sort order, and the AuctionInsights blog speculated it might have been due to the discovery that some sellers were trying to game the system and have their listings appear higher in Best Match. However, it seems likely eBay would have anticipated sellers would try to game the system, and it has a keyword spamming policy in place.

Our podcast interview with PowerSeller Larry Phillips published on Friday was certainly timely and has gotten a lot of downloads. If it's this confusing for sellers, who spend much time investing in learning how eBay works, imagine how confusing this must be for buyers. Feel free to weigh in here with what you've been finding when doing searches on

Comments (17) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Randy Smythe

Sun Apr 13 22:40:56 2008

Ina, I've tried searches on several different computers and find that it is still called Best Match, if you look at the Sort field, but they are actually sorting by ending soonest.

It looks to me that they made the change shortly after Scot Wingo's blog post.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: tim s

Mon Apr 14 00:06:38 2008

They disabled best match except for demoted sellers. ''Bad'' sellers are being disadvantaged in the search. Cant know why except that it was having undesireable effects. They will certainly tweek it again and again however stressful for us the sellers.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Ruth

Mon Apr 14 01:09:52 2008

Am I the only one who's had enough? Too many ridiculous policies. Too many changes that make NO sense at all. Every week you have to swallow another policy change by eBay. And forget about best match. Too convoluted and a totally inappropriate way to set up listings. I just hope their numbers are down this quarter or they'll think they're ideas were brilliant! They're not, and neither are the powers that be at eBay.

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by: Ruth

Mon Apr 14 01:11:42 2008

Their ideas, sorry! Getting late!

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by: Andrew Titcombe

Mon Apr 14 02:38:27 2008

The Best Match for eBay is Amazon which is why I now sell mainly on Amazon.
I have learned the futility of wasting time trying to put my point of view to eBay.
Customer power lives

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: dimes

Mon Apr 14 03:59:47 2008

How much time and money has eBay sunk into this Best Match thing, and all you have to do to game it is repeat the word eBay tells you over and over again in the title?  

This is what's supposed to improve the buyer experience?  Good luck with that.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: BeBopDeluxe

Mon Apr 14 06:19:33 2008

Does anyone believe that eBay will ever improve?  I closed my eBay and PayPal accounts, as I finally realized that if they aren't listening now, with all the boycotting, protests, lawsuits, and their manipulations being outed, they are not going to change.  The eBay halcyon days are over!  Take a life raft and get off the Titanic.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Larry Vorpagel

Mon Apr 14 08:35:16 2008

If you want to know what Ebay is turning into just read the horror stories about Walmart vendors.  That is where Ebay is headed.  As far as Ebay is concerned if you primarily are a seller then you fall into the vendor category and you are less than dirt.  Best match is just one in a string of many changes to punish those vendors Ebay deems less than desirable.  As far as the searches go I have had many items come up in my searches that don't even have the key words I entered.  If a seller did something like that Ebay would call it spaming!!!

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Donna

Mon Apr 14 08:48:24 2008

I went looking AS A BUYER for a gold diamond engagement ring using best match.  Approximately half of the items that were listed on the first page were either not diamond, not solid gold or were not engagement style. It was very frustrating for me and I closed my search on eBay.  Forget it.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

This user has validated their user name. by: Bob

Mon Apr 14 09:49:55 2008

As a Seller with almost 3 years experience, I can say that it's my feeling that eBay has become like an airplane in a tail spin, spiriling down toward earth.  There are so many things going on that the "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing".  They don't stick with what works and come up with things and shove them on us, then see what happens.  This new leadership is clueless about how eBay should work.  Comments like "it's going to be like a Retail site" are really scairy.  Hello, that not what Buyers come to eBay for.
It's a BIG company it will come apart slowly, but I believe it is coming apart.  My sales have come to a halt, is it Spring?  I don't think so, I think it largely due to "Best" Match.
My DSR's are 4.8, 4.8, 4.8, 4.7
I should come back on the first page, but I don't.  Even when searching with keywords in my listings, I often can't even get results with my own listings in them !

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Patricia

Mon Apr 14 13:05:00 2008

I don't know what to make of it all.  I only know that since they instituted this "best match" stupidity views on my items have gone WAY DOWN.  If the aim was less hits and perhaps only single bids on an item then they are a complete success!  I have an almost pristine record - over 3,000 feedback at 100 percent and DSR 5.0, 5.0, 5.0 4.9 - yet I'm not getting higher up in the listings.  Others with dreadful records are ahead of someone tell ME what the heck is going on????  Seems we've all been living a nightmare since January 29, 2008!!

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Sam

Mon Apr 14 15:26:19 2008

The ONLY way you can tell if you are in ''Best Match'': YOU MUST GO to ''Customize Display'' AND LOOK!!!!!

EBay has changed ''browse sort by'' to Best Match 4/13/2008.

SORT BY is still ''ending earliest'' (or whatever you had it set to yesterday), very sneeky, millions of people will not know that they are in ''Best Match''.

They will be in ''Best Match'' ending earliest with no indication of ''Best Match'' it will just say ending earliest.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Karen

Mon Apr 14 19:01:33 2008

I checked out best match over the weekend.

I sell Ty Beanies so I checked Garcia Bears to see if any of my friends were affected.

One of the best Beanie sellers had an auction ending in 8 hours and she was sandwiched between other sellers where their auctions were ending in a couple of days.

I really felt for her.  
She had a very positive feedback record until a buyer left a negative last week, her first one, so after years of selling, her auction was placed in the back of the line where her auction ended before she even had a chance to come to the front.

So, this is correct?
Totally unfair. Not correct.  

The beast match doesn't work.
Oh, I mean best match.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: Cecil Rush

Tue Apr 15 03:18:27 2008

eBay's "Best Match" when applied to auction lots is nothing more than a veiled form of market manipulation.

Everyone pays the same insertion fee, yet some people get better service and others get inferior service.

Wake up eBay, your system is philosophically flawed and technologically impaired.

Next time the brain trust in the Ivory Tower wants to waste shareholder's money, rather than playing with the way auctions work, just go out an buy another loser like Skype. You will save everyone a whole bunch of headaches.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on


Tue Apr 15 05:10:22 2008

SCREW YOU EBAY!  You have lied and lied to your customers and your share holders!  I moved to an HONEST site!  One where you can get a hold of a real live person!  Check out EWAEY.COM!!

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: doulcefrance

Tue Apr 15 08:40:42 2008

Best Match is a real mess.
I have European buyers emailing asking how come my shipping fees come up as $12,000.00 in Best Match.
I checked and they are right. Some shipping fees are over 66 000.00 Euros which is over $104,000.00 - eBay say they are aware of the problem.
I can just imagine the number of potential buyers just skipping my listings because of this.

Fluctuating Best Match on   Fluctuating Best Match on

by: blueMoon

Tue Apr 15 10:22:47 2008

Just checked out EWAEY.COM...again.

Yep, still useless.

Wow, what impressive stats:

1360   registered users
6796 live auctions
5 live wanted ads
12 online users

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