Best Match is eBay's default sort order for search results. The goal of Best Match is to increase sales and reduce bad buyer experiences, making sure that buyers are happier and more likely to return to eBay for future purchases.
Best Match considers a number of factors, which may vary based on the listing format and selected categories. These include:
Relevance to the buyer's search
Item popularity with buyers
Value to buyers
Listing completeness and quality
The listing's terms of service (such as return policy and handling time)
The seller's track record or risk profile on eBay.
Listings are given a score and then sorted. Auction-style and fixed price listings are sorted separately according to the most relevant criteria and then combined to show buyers a mix of both types of listings on each page of search results. We update Best Match regularly, but the keys to success for sellers remain the same:
follow best practices and optimise your listings for clicks and sales.
There are many factors used in Best Match. Some, like how relevant your item is to the buyer's search are outside of your control. For example, if you're selling an evening dress and the buyer is looking for a power drill, you aren't going to be a match.
However, other factors like having a complete listing with a fair price and offering great customer service are completely within your control. This is the area that should be your main focus. Having a complete and high-quality listing not helps you attract buyers, it ensures your items are evaluated and ranked properly.
Sellers who follow basic listing best practices and optimise their listings using the tips below are most successful in Best Match.
There is no single factor that will boost your listings to the top in Best Match. However, there are some key concepts to keep in mind when listing an item.
Make sure your listing is complete
The more we know about your listing, the better we can match it to buyer queries. Listings that are missing information (images, item specifics, descriptions), or that have blurry photos or titles or descriptions filled with irrelevant words, are at a disadvantage compared with other listings.
Having a complete listing can also help reduce claims from buyers that your item was not as described.
As you create your listing, we make listing recommendations based on research of similar listings. The recommendations are designed to help you have a complete listing, and to help you sell your items faster and at better prices.
Optimise your listings for clicks and sales
The popularity of your items with buyers compared to the competition is an important factor in ranking. Follow all best practices, and use the free Listing Analytics tool to fine-tune your fixed price listings.
Offer great customer service and qualify for eBay Premium Service
Consider offering free postage, returns within 30 days with a money back option, one-day or same-day handling time and an express postage option. Offer as many of these services as you can to make your items stand out.
Learn more about qualifying for eBay Premium Service.
Choose the right selling format
Use the auction-style format when:
You're unsure of the value of your item and want it to sell right away
You have unique and hard-to-find items that could attract demand and start a bidding war
You're currently using auction-style listings and your items sell the first time you list them
Tip: Use 7- or 10-day duration to get the maximum exposure for your listing.
Use the fixed price format when:
You have multiple items that you can group into one multi-quantity or multi-variation listing
You know the value of your item or know the exact price you need to get for it
You have a lot of inventory and want to minimise your insertion fees
You want your items to be available to buyers for more than 7 days
Tip: Use 30-day durations and try automatic renewals to benefit from increased exposure. If you're selling multiple items in a fixed price listing with a duration of Good 'Til Cancelled, you can use the out-of-stock option to keep your listing active when you temporarily run out of inventory.
Write a good title
Use up to 80 characters to describe your item
Make your title clear, concise and professional
State exactly what your item is, even if your title repeats the category name
Use sentence or title case
Use correct spelling
Use all capital letters
Use special characters like punctuation marks or asterisks
Include multiple synonyms (like purse, handbag and bag)
Use words that don't describe your item (wow or l@@k)
Use words that are false or misleading
Write a good description
Make your description clear, concise and professional
Use sentence case or title case
Use a single, simple font in a single colour
Organise your description in paragraphs or bullets with similar information grouped together:
First describe your item. Include the relevant details about your item, and be clear about what will be in the package the buyer receives.
In a separate paragraph or bullet you may want to include a story about the item, or information about why the item is unique or appealing.
Use all capital letters, multiple fonts or multiple font colours
Use negative or anti-buyer language
Make false or misleading claims about your item
List in the correct category
Selecting the right category is crucial to accurately describe your item. Select the category that is most relevant for your item.
Provide as many item specifics as possible
Complete as many of the recommended item specifics as possible to ensure your items are returned in search and ranked properly.
Use product details from our catalogue where possible
Product details can help you create complete listing descriptions that are more visible and appealing to buyers. Using product details helps make listing easier and your descriptions more complete.
Include high-quality pictures of your item
Upload at least one picture for every listing. You can add up to 12 pictures for free.
Take high quality photos that will showcase your items
Photograph your item at different angles
Include photos of any scratches, flaws or other parts of your item that a buyer would want to see
Don't add borders or text to your photos
Don't use the stock photo as your main picture when using the eBay catalogue if your item is not brand new
Price competitively, including postage. When it comes to pricing fixed price items, it's a good idea to watch your closest competitors on and off eBay to see what they're charging for similar items. Remember to consider postage costs as part of the equation as you price your items.
Focus on customer satisfaction
Offer the highest levels of service possible to your buyers
Reduce your low detailed seller ratings (DSRs) and the number of buyer claims against you
Achieve Top Rated status
Seller performance standards
Becoming a Top Rated Seller and qualifying for eBay Premium Service
Creating your return policy
Use Listing Analytics to optimise your listing
With Listing Analytics you can see how many times your fixed price listings are shown to buyers, what the click-through rate is and how well the item is selling.
What is the most important factor in Best Match?
There are many factors that go into Best Match, and no single one will boost your item to the top of the list. Make your listing complete, price competitively and offer great service to buyers to give your listing the best chance for visibility.
Why do you rank auction-style and fixed price listings differently?
Different factors come into play for each format. For example, end time may be a buyer consideration for auction-style listings, while the end time of a 30-day Good 'Til Cancelled fixed price listing is not as important.
If popularity with buyers matters, what about new items?
We compare new items to similar sold items to get a similar item popularity score. This score is used until we've collected enough observations about an item to rank it based on performance history.
Do my listings get a benefit in Best Match if I offer free postage or returns, or if I'm a Top Rated Seller?
The level of services each listing offers to buyers, and the past performance history of sellers, including seller standing and bad buyer experience rates are considered in ranking. However, no single factor will boost a listing to the top of search results. Make your listing complete, price competitively and offer great service to buyers to give your listing the best chance for visibility.
Listings from Top Rated Sellers that qualify for eBay Premium Service receive the most additional exposure in search results.
Why does Best Match change all the time?
eBay regularly gives Best Match a tune-up to make sure we're doing the best we can to meet our objective of highlighting relevant items that follow best practices and offer great value and service to buyers.
Get help from other eBay members. Visit the Answer Centre to post a question.
Tips for successful selling
Creating effective listings
Providing item specifics
About your seller dashboard