But when you list your items you suddenly realise that they get lost in hundreds of pages of search results. This will obviously depend on the competition in your niche as sometimes you can be on the first page without doing any extra work BUT in most cases, you’ll be competing against hundreds and sometimes even thousands of listings, all selling similar products.
Being on top of the search results – it’s something many eBay sellers dream of. But following this guide, that dream can now become reality and you can finally achieve page 1 search rankings for ANY product.
In the good old days it was super easy to get your listing at the top of search results. There was no Best Match, no Cassini search engine, no Top-rated sellers! All you had to do was offer the cheapest price and you would land at the top of page 1. Not anymore…
Nowadays on eBay it takes more than just the lowest price to get noticed in search results. Price is still a very important factor of course but as the default search method on eBay is set to Best Match (and not lowest price first), you have to follow Best Match’s guidelines to even stand a chance of getting your listings ranked highly.
So what are the factors that Best Match takes into account when ranking listings for search results?
That depends on the listing type:
- For BIN listings Best Match takes into account seller performance standards, recent search impressions & sell-through rate, recent sales, listing title, price and whether free shipping is offered. Additionally, TRS status is also important as well as whether you offer Premium Service for your listing.
- For Auction style listings – mostly the same factors as above WITHOUT the sales history (as there will be just one sale) plus the listing end time is important too. Listings ending sooner will be featured higher in search results.
This is what eBay tells us on their FAQ page here.
You don’t have to be too smart to figure this out though. Just do a quick search on eBay for any item and you’ll see that on the first page there are listings with some common qualities like:
- Most first page listings will be from Top Rated Sellers (TRS);
- Most first page listings will offer FREE shipping and Premium Service;
- Most first page listings will have an extensive sales history;
- Most first page listings will have the BEST price for that particular item;
You’ll also notice that there are a few auction style listings randomly featured, which we’ll cover later on in this post.
So – knowing all this information, what do you do? Do you keep dreaming about landing your listings on the first page OR do you take action and simply follow eBay’s guidelines so that your listings tick all of the boxes to be featured at the top of search results?
Don’t know about you but I’d rather choose the second option and really WORK towards ranking my listings as high as possible.
First things first:
If you’re not a TRS yet, become one! As simple as that. You can easily become a TRS within 1-2 months by following this guide. There are NO excuses not to do this, especially as now the limits are so low (just 1k in sales needed).
It’s a one time job you simply have to do if you want to achieve decent results on eBay. We use the exact same procedure in my 60DBP every time we start a new business and it works flawlessly. All you have to do is follow my guide to the letter.
Now, once you have achieved TRS status, you can start working on your serious, money making listings – get them ranked.
I won’t talk about how to create a great looking listing and write a good title in this post – you can check out my Turbo Lister tutorials here and follow my guidelines to make your listings look great.
The most important thing apart from TRS status in Best Match is selling history. The more sales you have, the higher you’ll rank in search results. And a side effect of having a large sales history is increased conversion rates as people will buy MORE if they see that hundreds of other people have already bought that item (crowd/mass psychology).
But how do you achieve these “hundreds of sales” in the first place?
It will take time, patience and occasionally, some investment. But the formula is very simple – most of the largest sellers on eBay use this very same formula:
Step 1 – Create a Good ’Til Cancelled listing (you’ll need a shop subscription to be able to list products under GTC) and set a very low price in the beginning. The price should be below the market’s average.
Step 2 – Once you start getting sales, gradually increase the price until you reach your desired/target price point (or you reach the maximum price people are prepared to pay).
That’s it really! This is what most sellers do and it works.
Let’s use a real life example to help you better understand how it all works:
1) You list a PC keyboard in a GTC listing for £2.95 (average selling price is £7)
2) After the first 5 sales are in, you increase the price to £3.95
3) After another 5 sales you increase the price to £4.95
…and so on until you reach £7, £8 or whatever your target price is.
Depending on the product you sell and the competition, you may also be required to offer free shipping and premium service. The easiest way to check this is by simply doing a search on eBay for the item you plan to sell. Check the first page of results – do most sellers offer free shipping? If so, then you’ll have to do the same to compete with them.
Obviously this strategy will only work if you have a decent level of stock, or can top-up inventory when needed. Depending on the product and competition, it can take anywhere from 10 to 1000+ sales to reach the no.1 position in search results.
Sometimes this also means that you have to lose money in the beginning – this is your cost to reach higher search results which will then result in increased profits.
Don’t forget that it’s not a simple matter of 1st place or nothing. In most cases it’s already an achievement to get your listing to the first page, while being in the top 10 search results is very good. Again, this will all depend on the competition and your offer.
Another way you can boost your sales history is to use my Auctions to BIN strategy. This concept works because auctions are featured higher in search results right before they expire. Remember, you can have up to 14 auctions running simultaneously for the same product – use this to your advantage and get massive exposure to your GTC listing which will help you build up your sales history much faster.
RINSE & REPEAT!
Really, it’s that simple. There are no magic ingredients – if you follow this system you’ll rank on the first page and higher in most cases as long as your offer is competitive.
Be realistic though – there are niches on eBay with HUGE competition (like phone cases) where it’s almost impossible to get on the first page of results without spending tons on loss leaders and even then you have to sell for very small profits. Just don’t deal with items like these, I have always said that.
IMPORTANT! When you follow this strategy, and have reached a good position in the search results, DON’T ever run out of stock! Don’t ever cancel your listings as then all your effort and hard work for that listing is gone and you have to start all over again.
If you see that you’re going to run out of stock soon but new stock is delayed, INCREASE the price for your item to a level that means no one will buy it from you. Once you get new stock in, lower the price back to normal and continue selling.
This high price period can’t last for too long though as for each day that goes by, your selling history, views and sell-through rate will all decrease, which will lower your rankings.
When you see listings on eBay that have thousands of sales – you know they’ve been up and running for many months, sometimes even years. That’s the key to success here – be patient as it only gets better as each month goes by. And once you have ranked highly with a good sales history, it’s a pretty stable position to be in. Results can fluctuate a bit of course but in most cases, once you’re on the first page, you stay on the first page – as long as people continue buying from you.
To sum it up, here’s what you have to do to achieve a 1st page search ranking on eBay:
1) Become a Top Rated Seller
2) Offer a great product, at a great price via a great looking listing;
3) Use the GTC listing format;
4) Start with a low price (below the market’s average);
5) Increase the price gradually once you start getting sales in;
6) Use the Auction to BIN strategy to get extra views and sales to your GTC listings;
7) Ensure you don’t run out of stock;
8) Be patient – this is a long term game!
Your seller performance indicators, opened cases, feedback and DSRs are also all important of course, but that’s really a default requirement to doing business on eBay in the first place.
That’s all there is to it. No magic, no secret trick – just hard work and patience.
Don’t try to reach that no.1 search ranking at any cost though, not if it means that you have to sell your items too cheaply. Quite often we see that the top 1-3 listings in search results are for items selling for a very low price. In many cases, too low a price to make any reasonable profit.
If it doesn’t make financial sense for you to go that low on price, don’t do it. Profit is what we’re after at the end of the day! Even 5th or 7th place is a good achievement and with a great TITLE and GALLERY IMAGE you can still attract a lot of views and make tons of sales!