Last August in Are we headed for an eBay Dance?, I talked about a new way that eBay search results will be displayed. To summarize that so you don’t have to go back and read it (unless of course you want to), it means a change in the way default search results in eBay will be displayed.
Since eBay’s beginnings, the default search results have been displayed by “ending soonest”. That meant users typed a search term and at the top of the results list showed listings that were ending the soonest (containing that search term) in descending order, without any regard to seller performance, relevance, or other factors.
Best Match will be rolled out in March to replace “ending soonest” as the default. eBay describes “Best Match” as follows:
Search visibility will be tied to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is reflected in a combination of DSRs, Feedback, and fewer complaints filed of an item being “significantly not as described” (SNAD) or “item not received” (INR). In March 2008, Best Match will become the default sort in search to give more buyers the results they want and will: (A) Increase exposure for sellers with DSRs 4.6 and above and at least 95% customer satisfaction in the last 30 days. (B) Decrease exposure for sellers with low customer satisfaction or Shipping & Handling DSRs.A lot of sellers aren’t happy with this, but what this does is make the search results more ‘customer focused’. Sellers who are already working hard to take good care of their customers should be rewarded by this. And in turn the buyers (customers) will be rewarded with easier access to those sellers by way of this search visibility change.
The downside of this change is that the search results aren’t the great equalizer they once were. But perhaps this ‘equalizer’ was responsible for giving scam sellers on eBay more leverage than they deserved. Now ethical sellers should get back that leverage.
This year eBay has really announced some broad, sweeping changes. Together with the Feedback Changes and the Fee Structure Changes, this change will mean it definitely won’t be “Business as Usual” at eBay from now on. If your home-based business is based on eBay, this will be a time to take a good look at how all these changes together will impact your eBay business.
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