Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed June 24 2020 10:18:54

eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay now makes assumptions about individual buyer's inclinations around price to determine which listings it shows them when they search its marketplace for products.

"Previously, when users searched for a product on eBay, the Best Match algorithm would show the exact same results, irrespective of the individual needs," Shreya Raval wrote on a blog post on Tuesday. "We introduced the price propensity feature in search ranking to customize the search results based on a user's price preference."

Raval spent nearly 6 years at Microsoft working on its Bing search product and joined eBay in 2014. She's now Lead Product Manager for Search at eBay.

She began her June 23, 2020 post by writing:

"When buyers search on eBay, the default order of results is called Best Match. It's designed to show the most relevant listings and incorporates a variety of quality, demand and market-driven factors, such as item popularity, pricing, shipping, regions, seller details, etc. eBay has significantly invested in efforts to enhance the machine learning algorithms to improve the quality of search results for buyers. The most recent update to Best Match personalizes the search results for each buyer."

She explained that price propensity takes into consideration a user's past purchases at eBay, as well as the inventory they were interested in. "Based on this information, a machine learned model tries to predict user's price propensity for future purchases and uses this to surface search results that are personalized to the user's price preferences."

Read the full post on the eBay website and let us know what you think of the latest change to eBay Best Match search algorithm.



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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm   eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm

by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 10:51:02 2020

This doesn't give me confidence. There is a reason I do not use Bing as a search tool. It does not give me what I am looking for but Google does.

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by: lessthanthreerecords This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 11:20:50 2020

I'm going to guess this was started on June 21st.  I say that because I was making consistent sales through the 20th and haven't sold a single thing since!

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 11:28:03 2020

Ok Ive ONLY been doing this since 1984 (when there were catalogs and 800#s) ... but dont buyers ALWAYS look for 3 things ...

1) price
2) condition
3) time to get to the buyer

This is always how it goes - and the issues (have been) eBays using Cassini to muddy the waters and insert OTHER data into a buyers choice(s).

Is this admitting that doing so was WRONG (like we have all been saying for so many years) ?

If so then what does it do to eBays Promoted listings? (ie if the promoted listing is more expensive so it ends up on the bottom (or it would organically))

The more eBay meddles, the more/worse sales get. The computer code gets so broken that as the above poster said ... sales dont happen.

Another day, another crazy eBay idea (but at least she took time out from her 3 martini lunch to actually think of how to "fix" eBay)

Perminate Link for eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm   eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 12:45:57 2020

Maybe now they can find the book on ''How to run a corporation successfully.''
in their own site.

I couldn't find it on BING.  : (

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 13:01:50 2020

Has the "sort by price" button quit working?
...or does this genius not realize it's even there?

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 13:50:49 2020

Of course the price function only comes into play AFTER all of the punishment or reward features of the Search Engine have already been used. So Promoted Listings is probably still the first sorting criteria and then those that have to pay an additional 5% punishment FVF and then whatever broken searches are still involved from previous changes and last but least pricing will then come into play.  Ebay has had its own interests above all Seller AND Buyer interests so long that many working there have no idea where to even look in the coding to change things.  Until Ebay starts from scratch and rewrites the code for its search all that buyers can ever be sure of is that Ebay is going to show only what Ebay wants you to see, which will be those items where Ebay maximizes their take on the sale.  

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by: Disgruntled_Seller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 13:59:29 2020

@pace306

Since 1981 here on mail order, retail back into the early 70s. I thought we were the same vintage and mindset so to speak. Yes to your thoughts!

Frankly my website works far better than eBay and our customers actually can find stuff. But then we understand ''customers'' vs simply ''buyers'' and eBay doesn't. While eBay still accounts for a big percentage of the revenue they are moving more and more each day to simply a advertising platform for US to siphon quality customers from.  

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by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 14:00:53 2020

They did a good job prioritizing branded sellers and keyword spam. Test searches were totally irrelevant to me.

Protip - Give higher placement to sellers who are getting sales. I realize that doesn't seem fancy but the buyers vote for the best sellers and the best value with their choice to hit the buy it now button. There is no need for ebay to pick winners and losers, let the buyers do that.  

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by: ShortSeller This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 14:29:10 2020

This is about as dumb as it gets. Hire someone who worked on Chrome, not Bing, lol.

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by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 14:31:42 2020

Does this mean if I find a complete set of items in perfect condition and buy at a high price - because it is so nice; I will always just be shown the high priced items? If this is true I am sure I will miss other complete sets in perfect condition at  lower prices. I have four saved searches that keep showing me the same items every 30 days. So many times I have gone to sold listing to find items that sold at only opening bid that never appeared in my saved searches that I would have paid many times opening bid for. Why can’t I just have a list of items that I put a five word search for? I get so many unrelated items that only contain one or two words of my searches. I know what I am looking for Ebay should just give me what I am looking for. Lately I have found Google search finding the items I ‘m looking for on Ebay that Ebay search did not present to me in my Ebay search.

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by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 16:32:20 2020

I've searched for my own items, but if I leave out the wrong word...shame.
Search should be for ANY of these values, not ONLY these values.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Jun 24 17:16:07 2020

I thought Bing went the way of the Windows phone. Unless the headline reads "Cassini being replaced" it's just more window dressing on the same flawed pig.

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by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 18:26:15 2020

Another dumb ass change........

What is a buyer's propensity to price even mean? I buy $5,000 watches or $10 envelopes.....how stupid.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Wed Jun 24 18:59:56 2020

There is a reason eBay's Best Match fails buyers on a day in day out basis.... I call it Algorithm Overload.

eBay's Best Match search is so loaded with algorithms such as those mentioned as well as those proprietary algorithms eBay uses behind the curtain.

Those behind the curtain algorithms are imposed by eBay so they can favor certain preferred sellers over those sellers eBay decides to block in order to further their internal agendas.

When the wuhan corona virus is behind us, eBay will once again return to single digit, flat or even negative sales growth because their default search method is so packed with faults that it does not function efficiently enough to satisfy consumers.  

Perminate Link for eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm   eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 20:13:06 2020

@HappyOne

I have found that if I use any search engine other than Ebay to search for items I want I usually at least double what I am shown by Ebay and usually at much better prices.  As I stated above, Ebay is still only showing what benefits Ebay the most no matter how much business they lose because of it.

Perminate Link for eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm   eBay Now Uses Price in Best Match Search Algorithm

by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 24 21:23:32 2020

Algorithm is dreamed up by a bunch of inhuman A.I. worshipers.  As a buyer, I NEVER EVER use "Best Match" on eVilBay or any other shopping website.  Experience has shown me that it is HIGHLY INACCURATE!  You stupid bots will never truly know what's in a human mind.

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 25 02:09:42 2020

eBay's search engine is designed to show items that are most likely to result in a sale.  That's what we all want--buyers, sellers, and eBay.  Too bad they can't get it right.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 25 03:37:01 2020

This is analogous to profiling a customer who walks in and immediately assuming that you not only know what they want to see, but now, what’s in their wallet too. The cardinal sin of salesmanship - of which of course these clueless ‘innovators’ remain ignorant. Then refusing that customer entrance to the walled off sections of the store reserved for more well heeled clientele.

Or more accurately, having your landlord do it, for BOTH ‘your own benefit’.

And you can kiss goodbye any kind of accuracy in ‘market research’ - because they think they know better than you what you seek, and won’t show what you need to see.

Same as it ever was. New shade of lipstick.

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by: thriftyattireandstuff This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 25 04:52:19 2020

I used to sell a LOT of jeans.. my levis would always be up in the high spots.. with negative fb and no promoted.  but now i deal outside..i don't care to ex[plain. quit whining.. run a business, and your listings will thrive..

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by: wrslss1222 This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jun 25 06:39:04 2020

eBay using best match is like comparing apples and oranges.  No matter how eBay tries, they cannot compare actual condition, completeness, and the seller's ability to describe defects.

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