Writing descriptions, taking product pictures, creating listings… so far so good! All quite easy, technical tasks that you shouldn’t have any trouble completing.
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!
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Great blog. My question is regarding 30 day BIN that have ended and all quantities are sold. I now know that I should be listing as GTC when I am going multiple units of an item. So now on my 30 day BINs that get good views and I sell like all 5 quantities in like 5 days is it better to “Relist” these as GTC now or so “Sell Similar” and GTC? Does either way preserve my sold history from my 30 day BIN that had good views, several watchers, and was able to sell all my units? Does either way give me a boost related to my 30 day BIN that did well?
As far as I remember, if you pick ” RELIST as GTC” within 7 DAYS of listing end time, you’ll carry on the selling history for it. So yes, this would help you keep your search rankings.
Thanks for the info Andrew.
A followup question I had is why at times when I do select “Relist” (after a 30 day BIN has ended way earlier because all items sold quickly) the new 30 day BIN just gets stuck with no or little views when original BIN has like 100’s of views before it sold out? If the history is indeed being carried over if you relist within 7 days of BIN ending why then the new listing gets stuck with no views or like at 3 views right after I relist and stays that way for next 24-36 hours? Shouldn’t it this new relist just pick up from where the last BIN was and continue getting goods views? Any feedback?
It probably should but eBay is eBay – we never know for sure how the system works…
And this is exactly why you should use Good Til’ Cancelled listing format instead, so that you don’t have to end your listings and resist them.
What is your take on Ebay not showing your listings at times or dropping your listings from the top of best match for no apparent reasons? I had been doing well for a month, but then today all my listings have dropped to bottom or even like 3-4 pages back for keywords I was ranking in top 3 or even top spot. So frustrating why this happens when I am getting very positive feedback and no issues. Don’t know what caused this drop for all my BINs? I did have several listings end with like 100 views, but no sales. I wonder if those had anything to do with it? I can not figure out what else it could be. I know this issue is rampant since the Ebay forums has so many threads about this issue. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
It’s an algorithm Joe, it never works perfectly. We can’t expect it to be like that.
But if you were in top 3 positions for a month and now 3-4 pages back, it could be some kind of policy breach or simply best match glitch. You could try writing eBay and ask whatever you have breached any rules and ask why this has happened.
But most likely it’s just a random Best Match glitch.
Dear Andrew – great article. I have a quick question if possible. You mentioned in the article that once you get a good standing in the search results, don’t end your listing and don’t ever run out of stock. If new stock is delayed, increase the price so people won’t buy from you.
I started selling a product which I purchased at a very minimal quantity – and surprisingly I have nearly sold out in a few days and only in a matter of days, I have reached the first page on best match!! Not sure how, but its a miracle.
Upon noticing that I only have 3 of each item in my multi-quantity listing, I increased the price and in one day have found that I’ve gone from first page to 6th page. New stock won’t arrive for another 10 days or so.
Now my question is should I leave the increased price until I receive new stock? Or just let the item sell until all of my colours of the same item are sold out in which case the listing will read “out of stock” for each colour.
Look forward to your expert advice! Thanks in advance!
10 days is a lot…
I would probably simply let this listings end – sell all out at the original price you had.
When new stock comes in, create a new listing/re-list and try to keep stock levels up.
Thanks Andrew. I guess I’ll just sell out all my stock, and then make a new listing with my new stock. Hopefully, it’ll get on the first page as quickly as this listing…
Also – I just wanted to tell you that you’re one of the greatest guys I’ve seen on the internet. So much free information for people like us who know little. And such quick responses to normal people like me too 🙂
Thanks. You’re doing a great job.
I guess I won’t loose too much purchase history, even if I make a new listing – because I only really had under 50 items……
You’re welcome! 🙂
Yes, exactly, that’s my reasoning why I think ending this and start new listing is better. If you keep current listing out of stock for 10+ days, it will be more difficult to get it back in good shape.
So yeah, just start a new one when stock arrives!
[…] don’t fear, as once again I have a complete guide, which if you follow to the t, will have you on top of the search results on eBay! This is the […]
Andrew, I went to an event about making money on ebay and amazon. The gentleman’s name was Adam Ginsberg Apparently, he’s this guru to selling on ebay and amazon, what are your thought on buying his programs?
I’m sorry but I haven’t heard about him, haven’t done any business with him so can’t really comment on this.
Hi Andrew, My question is regarding the “listing with variation”. I am selling some office files. I am having different pricing for different quantities (like a bundle of 10, 50, 100, etc.) But the product, size, color everything is same. I am not seeing any variation option for this category (Office supplies). But i see some of the sellers for the same items with variations. Am i missing something ? or is it some other listing feature other than “variation listing”. Please clarify. Thanks.
you should be able to create a listing with variations in Office Supplies category:
Thank you for your response.
So should we do the strategy on some light items or small items first? The lost amount would be small at the early stage.
You do this for ANY item you sell Stephen as effect is only as PER LISTING BASIS.
With more expansive items, you simply set starting price accordingly (you won’t list a £100 item @ £10 of course).
Thank you for your response.
Is it important that whether if the BIN listing is new or old for the boost ranking?
Is it appropriate if the item is not really hot in style or colour for the boost ranking?
I have always had better luck with new listings as with older listings, conversion rate may be low and that also affects the listing position in search results.
It should still help getting rarer items higher in search, yes.
It is stephen again.
Now I am planning to follow the instruction of this post.
May I ask you a few questions?
1. Is it a problem that if my items are in different styles or different colours comparing with other competers, such as mens bag? I just confirmed a new owned brand and have been importing leather products from some good manufacturers. They produce good leathers that are fairly rare in market – Red colour, Brick colour, and crazy horse leather for instance. I mean the looking is comparatively different but functionally similar to other mens leather products. And the colour is quite different.
2. The second question is about the instruction in “From an Auction to Buy It Now – with ONE Click!”. let’s say I am selling a leather belt of gbp9.99, and I set a BIN of GBP4.99 with an auction of GBP4.99 also. It seems that are not much reaction. The sales history of BIN grows very slow. (I have used the BIN button in the auction already). So is it a must to start an auction of GBP0.99? You said that listing a 500 quid item with a starting price of just £0.99 is too risky. I agree with that. But if I don’t start an auction of GBP0.99 for those items of around GBP10-30. The strategy won’t work I think. Because there are too many Chinese sellers putting auctions of very low starting price and just sell them of a low final price. They are burning money. So could I conclude that starting an auction price with 1/10 of BIN price? GBP0.99 auction for a GBP10 belt and GBP2.99 auction for a GBP30 bag?
I offer top-rated premium and get no negatives in recent 6 months.
I am very serious to get my business work at this moment.
Thank you very much
1. Being different is NOT A BAD THING! It’s actually good if you can offer different styles to what everyone else sells. As long as people like them and there’s demand, it’s really not a problem. And to test demand you simply want to start with small trial order and see how they sell.
2. The lower the starting price of an auction is, the more interest you’ll get – as simple as that. But there are no hard rules on how much exactly it should be. I usually stick with £0.99 for anything up to say 20-30 quid value as 0.99 starting price is too low to be missed so it attracts a lot of interest. And what’s the difference if you start it at £0.99 or £2.99? For an item that should sell for £30? Difference for you is just 2 quid, if it ends like that, with just one bid.
Sorry, may I ask the third question?
3. Is it important that whether if the BIN listing is new or old for the boost ranking?
And I wanna thank you for your another instruction – Feedback reminder.
You’re welcome Stephen! 🙂
[…] read your posts about how to rank high on eBay and how to become a TRS. I started a shop subscription last week so that I can use the GTC listing […]
Hi Andrew – following our previous discussion – i was unable to reply to your previous message as i think there is a limit to how many replys i can send? anyways, i followed your article/guide on how to get to the top page, for some reason this hasnt worked for me? i have lowered the price so i am making literally making 5p per item however i am not getting any sales. My prices on my item are very cheap, my competitors are selling for a lot higher than i am and are getting X amount of sales per day whereas im not getting any at all. Im offering 14 days return, same day dispatch, Free P&P, very low price, great customer service. Im not sure what im missing out on.
It’s really hard to say without doing an in-depth review on your listings, account etc. There could be several things wrong like title, gallery images, listing itself etc.
Hi Andrew – Thank you very much for your advice and help. I will reduce the price of the items even more and hope it makes a difference and hopefully this should attract sales and bring my listings higher. I will let you know how i get on – thanks once again. Much appreciated
No worries, you’re welcome Paul! 🙂
Hi Andrew – i became a top rated seller on the 20th of April – prior to this one of my listings had reached first page and was doing really well, however once i became a top rated seller my sales decreased for that specific item. I also bought a lot more stock thinking that being a top rated seller ebay will bring my listings forward. I have listed quite a number of new items however they are on the back pages again, its like opening a fresh ebay account. Even though i have quality professional pictures i am not getting any traffic, it is like 2-3 views/day and sometimes none. I thought one of the perks of being a top rated seller is that eBay brings forward your listings, this has not been the case for me. My sales have decreased dramatically. My competitors are still selling a large amount of the same item per day. What would you suggest i do? i am already one of the cheapest for that item
It def. can’t be because of TRS status as it can only help/increase your listing rankings. It must be something else or simply co-incidence that this happened right after you became TRS.
Sometimes there are glitches going on on eBay so first thing I would recommend you do is contact eBay and explain your situation – maybe something is wrong with your account/listings and that’s why they don’t show up in search.
Thanks Andrew, its strange because i was expecting my sales to increase and double in my first month and so on, unfortunately not. I was getting approx 15 sales/day prior to becoming a top rated seller, now i am selling approx 3-4 items per day, even though my stock has has increased and also having a variety of other items. My listings are showing in the search result however they are coming in at around Page 11-15. Im having a pretty bad experience truth be told. Maybe its because my listings have 0 purchases at the moment? im not too sure. I have informed eBay of this but they have informed me that the listing is showing up in the search result. What would you suggest my next step of action should be?
Why they have 0 purchases?
I thought you have loads of established listings with good sales history?
The new items which i have listed have 0 Sales, these are the items which are currently at the back of the search result. These same listings have been active for approx 2-3 weeks. A buyer will not scroll through many pages in order to buy unless he/she is sat on the computer all day. I was hoping that if i was a top rated seller i wouldnt be facing this problem. I only have a feedback rating of approx 250 at 100%., i started selling earlier this year. Confused as to what i should do.
Did you followed advice from this article/guide? Starting with real low price?
Great post Andrew, I am new in E-commerce I think your post will be really helpful towards selling on Ebay. I also bookmarked your other posts will read accordingly. I hope my business works fine on internet. I will contact if need any assistance. Keep up the good work. It is helpful information that I couldn’t get from Ebay customer support.
You’re welcome Noor & Good Luck! 🙂
[…] You really have to put more work into the whole process, starting with proper eBay market research, buying in true bulk to get the best prices, shipping via the correct methods, creating high quality listings and using a proper strategy to get your listings at the top of eBay’s search results. […]
I love your blog and all you do for the eBay selling community! I wanted to share something that I recently found: the ‘Out Of Stock’ feature. Basically it fixes the dreaded running out of stock and losing the sales history issue that you mention in this blog post. Apparently all you have to do is go to Account>Site Preferences, expand the ‘Sell Your Item form and listings’ part, and select ‘Yes’ in the ‘use the out-of-stock option’. It keeps the listing live along with the sales history but it removes it from the search results when the quantity drops to zero (which is fine). It re-appears when you increase the quantity back above zero. You are still responsible for the monthly re-listing fees and can only be out of stock for 3 months…
By the way I am in the USA and don’t know if this is available at co.uk, but hey, I figured I would let you know anyway!
Yes, I’m aware of this feature and it is available on eBay.co.uk too since end of last year.
[…] days for re-orders to arrive. With limited cash flow this may actually ruin your business (leaving high ranking GTC listings with no stock for too long time a […]
Hi Andrew, i am in a bit of a dilemma and was hoping you could maybe help out. I am currently selling items on ebay to get my transaction rate above 100 and become and top rated seller. I have some items as buy it now and some items are in auctions. My transactions are going up slowly. Now the problem that im having is basically i do not have the same item in quantities. I have multiple variations but not quantities. I am therefore building up my seller transactions via auctions. I can however purchase quantities of the same item however my prices will be matching the Top Rated Sellers and because i am not a top rated seller and i have not sold many items my item will be ranked towards the bottom. Now I have been told that in order to come at the top of the search results i will need:
1.A Relevant Title
2.Item Specifics and Catalog Adoption
3.Recent Sales and Conversion Rate (fixed price items only)
4.Ending Time (auction items only)
5.Variation Style Listings
6.Seller Rating and Performance
7.Item Price plus Shipping Costs
Being a Top Rated Seller is an advantage but there are also other factors which are above that which affect the sales. I wanted to ask you, say if i got quantities of the same item and a few different variations. I then put them all under one listing, having all the sizes that a buyer would search for and under BIN. I was thinking of maybe breaking even on maybe 20-30 items to increase my sales, along with this offer free P&P etc. This would bring my listing forward ontop the top pages, and like you said i can then start to increase my price. OR would you suggest i carry on doing what i am doing and once i become a TRS i then buy multiple variations and quantities. I personally think i am wasting my time doing this as i will have to start from the bottom again anyway when i purchase quantities of the same item. Obviously you have a lot more experience/knowledge hence why i am asking you. Could you please give me your opinion. Thanks!
It depends on the competition for that item – how many other listings are competing with you? if competition is not that big, you can even do ok with BIN listings not being a TRS BUT if competition is severe, you’ll find it very hard to make any sales to your listings unless maybe you sell at ridiculously low prices. That’s why auctions work best for achieving TRS status as they get featured higher in search, even when you’re not a TRS.
So no definite answer here but in most cases, auctions with low starting prices is the way to go to get sales in FAST while you work on TRS status!
Thanks Andrew. I have a lot of competition as there are a lot of sellers out there selling clothing. Now i have been informed by ebay that i should become a Top Rated Seller on 20th April. I was hoping to get to the first page in search results for a couple of brands. I am selling clothing regular, i sell a few here and there through BIN however the auction is helping me increase my transactions. Even though i am working on a small loss, i rather take that loss to become a Top Rated Seller, i can then increase my prices at a later stage. I was thinking if I sell a few different variations of clothing (Same Brand) and start of with a quantity of 30 of each variation. That listing could then stay with me for a few years, i could update my stock regularly on the same listing and even if i brought in a new design of the same brand i could add it to the same listing. By doing this i would have firstly already had sales which would have driven me closer to the top pages and slowly as my sales increase a lot more my listing could be at the top. This is the strategy i was hoping to do Andrew.
This was my plan once i became a Top Rated Seller, would you advise i start now? I have watched a clip that was sent to me by eBay, the clip shows that the more sales you have the closer eBay brings you to the top pages. This is simply because eBay is also a business, by selling items, eBay is making money by taking the Final Value Fee which then makes sense.
Let me know your thoughts on this.
yes, of course! if you know you’ll become a TRS soon, you can already start these GTC listings and build up initial sales.
Great! Cheers Andrew, Thanks for your help!
no worries, you’re welcome!
Hi all this is great but most of my stock is one off items in the pottery and ceramics category , apart from lowest price and TRS I cant see anything here that would help me .
Is there a secret for us one off sellers?
With one off items your best bet really is to maximise use of auctions as they get featured higher in search compared to standard BIN listings. Test various strategies like listing with a low starting price and listing with a starting price that is close or same as your ideal BIN price. And see how it goes.
Hi Andrew, I hope you are well. I am selling branded jeans on eBay, I do not have quantities of the same style/brand. I am selling all my items as single listings however I was hoping to put all the jeans which are the same brand under one listing by going on ‘multiple variations’. The reason is so that when ever a buyer purchases a pair, my listing is brought forward on the top pages as eBay will say I am selling regularly. I am hoping to add approx 40/50 multiple variations per listing. I have tried selling as single listings for all my items but I didn’t get any traffic. I have just qualified as a TRS today. Hopefully this will also bring my items forward. I would like your opinion Andrew. Would you suggest i list 40/50 items of the same brand but different styles under one listing or would you say I list them individually? I look forward to your response. Thanks 🙂
I don’t think it’s a good idea Paul – customers shop for clothing mainly based on gallery images in search results. Now, if you list 40/50 under one listing, they will only see one image, one listing in the search results, greatly minimising your chances of getting views and sales in.
Now that you’re a TRS, you should get better results with BIN listings but I also recommend you doing auctions too, as auctions get featured higher in search results. And make sure your gallery images look great.
[…] results in competitive niches, you simply MUST use the GTC listing format and follow my guide on how to get your eBay listings ranked in the top search positions. Without GTC listings you simply won’t be able to compete with sellers who use them and build […]
I have employed the Auction to BIN strategy because it makes sense but I simply can’t get it to work. The issue I’m having is that as my auctions go up with 30 minute intervals spaced between 10am and 10pm when I then go to search ‘Dog Cage’ which is the key search phrase for my product, none of my auctions are visible in the Best Matched Search and as a result I have no visibility and it’s not working. I have spoken to EBay 3 times and they can’t offer any explanation why this is happening. I have a Top Rated Seller account, the auctions are clear and use similar key words in their descriptions but they just dont show up?
Have you heard of this before?
This system has changed a bit as now you can have just ONE auction with no bids live on eBay at any given time. So even when you list 20 auctions (for same product), eBay will only show one listings, until it gets first bid (then next one is listed and so on).
Hope this explains it.
Hi Andrew, Yes I understand that but each auction was for a different item from the Multi-Variation listing so in theory I should have flooded the particular area I want to sell in. The problem was that none of the Auction format listings showed up in the Best Match search and as a result they had no visibility.
I’ll answer to you personally via help desk Colin.
Thank you Andrew. Much appreciated!
You’re welcome Paul!
Great Advice! Im having trouble with selling on ebay, im selling denim jeans and i have over 100 items in my online store. I have only started selling on ebay a couple of months ago and have built up a seller feedback of 20. I have been informed by eBay that my seller level is above average. My total feedback is slightly below 100. The problem i am having is basically getting traffic on my items, some of my items appear in the top 5 pages when you search for mens jeans and some appear on maybe the 30th or 40th page!! I have the same jeans as the TRS and my price is cheaper and i have also provided free postage and packaging. I have also changed the pictures hoping they would be more appealing. In my item description i have also put in the H1, H2 and H3 Codes hoping that they would be picked up by SEO, however for 85% of my items i am having no luck. I am getting 1 view per day or maybe 0. All my items are on GTC and BIN. My titles include everything that the TRS are using in theirs. I have also used Terapeak to check what type titles would be best however i am still not having any luck. If i had more traffic to my site i am guaranteed to make sales. I was thinking of putting all my items in Auction and building up my feedback as the more sales i make eBay will put me on maybe the top second or third page? However all my items are different to one another so i do not have the same item in different variations. My items are different brands so im not sure how eBay will work like that. Could you please help me out. I could really do with your opinion and advice!
Thanks for your comment.
Sorry, I did not understand – are you a TRS or not?
Sorry for not being clear, I am not a TRS. The items that I sell are exactly the same as the TRS has on eBay. My price is in fact cheaper and like I mentioned in my previous post, I have also provided free postage and packaging which takes upto 3-5 days to reach the buyer once purchased. My dispatch time is ‘within 1 day’. I don’t understand even after everything combined I’m still not getting any traffic on eBay. Do I need to change the pictures again? Do I put my items in auction to build my sales? I’m really confused. Please give your opinion. Thanks!
If you’re not a TRS yet, you should def. use auctions as they get featured higher in search results once they are listed and right before they end. With fixed listings it will be very difficult for you to compete with TRS sellers who have eBay premium service badge.
Your next goal/task should be to work towards getting TRS status, which will instantly increase your listing search positions.
[…] other listings using multiple auctions (I talk about this in more detail in my article here: How to Reach #1 Spot on eBay’s Search Results, and though eBay have introduced some restrictions to duplicate listings, this is still a viable […]
Thank you very much
You’re welcome Jesse! 🙂
Hey, great advice! I just want to know one thing? How do I raise myself to a top rated seller when I have a percentage of 2.83 which I have been trying to get down to 2.00 but due to my offering free postage and sending via Royal Mail I lose a percentage of my items in the mail and therefor I have not been able to become a top rated seller in the past 7 months hat I have been following your last guide.
There’s no magic tricks to get defect rate down.
You need to just continue selling, maintaining perfect customer service and hope your rate will improve. Not much else I can say about it really…
Thank you very much, I recently got my DSR report and my item as described 1 and 2 star rating is 0.77 so I need to get that down anyway if I want to get right up there.
I do have another question if you don’t mind.
The only reason this is such a big concern now is because a new person has popped on the scene, they are selling the same item for more than I am, they do not offer get it fast or free postage like I do…in fact they don’t tick any of the boxes that eBay and yourself suggest except the returns policy but they have taken all my sales. I have gone from around 11 a day to 6 in the past week and I’m just really confused as to why this person is now showing up first in the search engine and I’m on page 9.
Thanks for the help, your doing a really great thing here.
Are they TRS?
Often eBay gives boost to new listings, for no reason at all, they just do. It also could be just a glitch, temporary glitch. It’s really hard to say as no one knows for sure how eBay’s search system works, down to every detail.
Your low position can be directly inked to Defects rate I think as recently I have seen many cases where defect rate, negative feedbacks pretty quickly makes an impact on listing search positions.
They are not TRS! they have more feedback than me but used to focus on selling another product, then they decided to jump into my pool.
Over Christmas my defect and items not received rate went down and I feel this may have been a factor.
I have two eBay accounts and my other is a TSR account on the verge of “above standard” my plan is as follows
Split my main stock between my two accounts
TSR account – list as GTC and upkeep good customer service
Non TSR account – list 7 day listings and buy Stock from the £ store and other places to get my ratings up.
Would this be advisable?
I have enough sales, I make enough money…it is purely the items not received and the items not as described field where I am failing. The latter coming from a mistake I made in my listing and because of this the item was indeed not as described.
You can do that, yes, but just so you know – it is against eBay rules. To sell same item from two accounts you have. This is called search manipulations and can get your accounts banned. YES, I know that many people are doing this, at least for some time, but you have to decide whatever you’re willing to take the risk.
You can of course list different products on each account, that’s fine. just don’t list same item on GTC on one account and same item on other account.
I need your help big time, Your Ebay guide helped me a lot on selling on ebay, Even though am new on ebay i have been making lots of sales on my shop for the past two months. But then something happened.
I woke up one morning to find out all my listings have just disappeared, all my listings have all been pushed to the bottom 1000’s, all 15 listings on the last bottom, first they will follow from the first 10,16,19,25 etc,
I could’nt believe my eyes.
and the sad part is i have just bought stock off all this products, would really need your comments on. I only have 6 negative feedback with 151 positive. Unbelievable buyers with item came broke, item not received. etc.
I look forward to your reply. Thank you soo much.
What’s your seller performance level? I guess it’s not good..
6 negative feedbacks is a lot actually and eBay has punished you for this. Your defect rate is also high, which even further affects your account standing.
If you ask me, this account can’t be used anymore so either you open new account and start from scratch or try selling that stock on Amazon.
Thank you so much for your quick reply, guess i have lent my lesson this time. Now have to start again from scratch and hope other buyers will keep this in mind as well.
But do you have a guide on selling on amazon. Wow, the first time i tried to list an item on amazon took me like 5 hours and even gave up cuz i have to find similar item which is available before requiring me to sell here. As compared to eBay which is seconds.
No, sorry, I don’t cover selling on Amazon on this blog.
I was using blackthorne to list my items but when it get discontinued I ended all my listings
I exported my sold items and thought i would relist them on ebay so I can keep my sales history but someone told me that if you dont relist the item in 7 days than the sales history will be removed
Is that true?
Yes, that’s true.
[…] higher up in eBay’s search results (you can read my complete overview of this tactic here: How to Reach The #1 Spot on eBay’s Search Results) but there will often be such deals on eBay so it would make sense to buy enough to last you a […]
Article is absolutely fine. You did a good job.
Usually problem is that you need to risk keeping high stock level.
Depending on market you’re operating ( read competition ) sometimes you need only 500, 1k items to be at the top.
Question that i’ve been asking myself for some time is:
How do huge companies not even being Top Sellers, not offering Premium Service kicks me out of my leader position.
For example, i have one big listing running atm, most sold items of this kind of ebay, really nice looking, low click through, high percentage of sale per click. I was at the top for a month, then bum … Kicked me out of the position.
How is that even possible if:
I’m eBay Top seller ( 100% Feedback ) – They’re 98
I offer Premium service – They don’t
I sold 700 – They sold 150
We use excatly same pictures.
My guess is that it’s not that easy these days and some huge companies are treated better than the others even tough requiments are not met.
(I’m sure they also pay lower fees as otherwise they would not been able to offer prices that low )
My guess is 5%
Sad but true.
Noticed above in couple of listings.
Anyway this is a bit complex as eBay seems to be promoting your item for some time with Google Ads and if it’s strong enough (existing in price comparision sites, etc ) they push somebody else at your place. There is nothing you can do about it.
They shouldn’t be pushing listing not meeting conditions they set for Best Match themselves.
Policy became mystery these days.
Yes, it is a mystery sometimes, of course – no one knows for 100% how it works, but from what I have seem this strategy works 9 out of 10 times very precisely.
As for your example – could it be that their price is lower? As price still plays major role in this process.
P&P is higher than mine, this is the thing 😉
could be because its contents is more relevant to the search words? these search ranks are generated by program, so there must be something different.
Hi I doubt, if it works, as i have one listing with 200+ watchers and good sale history but still my item is not getting good ranking, forget first page it’s not even coming on page 2/3 . Why ? could you please explain .. posting the URL of my listing so you may check, Really need your help thanks.
This strategy works 100%, I have tested this with hundreds of listings.
As for your particular case – what keyword you check your rankings for?
As it’s unclear to me from the listings title.
great advice but can you help me with one thing. competitors have 41 solds on an item i have much more but theirs shows up in the search results whereas mine dont so no-one knows how many i have sold unless they go into the listing
Is your listing older that competitors?
Just wondering – I used the vacation hold for 5 days because I went on a trip 1500 miles away and now my sales have plummeted to two items in two weeks. All my listings are buy it now with 3, 7, 10 and 30 day listings. What can I do to improve my ranking again? I have never used good till canceled. I will have to try it.
If you want to get any decent results from eBay, you MUST use GTC format as it’s the only way to accumulate decent sales history over time.
And if at all possible, don’t use holiday settings as it does affect your listing search positions when you come back.
Sorry, don’t know if i understood that completely, did you say you can have the same item listed more than once?
Yes, those are eBay rules – you can now have just one BIN listing and one auction listing (with no bids) running at same time for same item.
When an auction listing gets first bid, you can list another auction for same item. If that gets a bid, again – you can list another auction.
Hi, Andrew. Year ago I started to sell my art on ebay, small watercolor paintings, pencil drawings and so on. First month I had hundreds of views, dozens of watchers and sold my first 10 paintings within 2 weeks. After that I’ve never had such activity as that first month.
Can it be, that ebay gives some temporary boost for newbies?
Also, any tips for my case, if I can’t put GTC or link auctions to BIN, because I sell only originals and I don’t have any duplicates.
It’s hard to say… with items like these – handmade paintings, one off items it’s really a gamble on eBay.
I have no experience in selling such items but I think you’ll be better off by selling them on Etsy and Facebook than eBay.
I have been following your advice for last 2 weeks now and am seeing some definitely improvement in my sales. However, I cant figure out one thing. I am ranking well in some keywords (top 50) but nowhere to be found on some other keywords , although the competition is more or less same and both sets of keywords are in my listing title. Since, my account and listing parameters are same in both cases, how can we explain this huge difference. Thanks for any advice you can give.
Can’t tell for sure as no one knows exactly how Best Match works…
Make sure you have all those keywords are in your listing DESCRIPTION too, maybe even add them in a sub-title? As those are also used for ranking purposes.
Hi there, what if one customer buys of you multiple times is that the same as different customers buying and will it still make you reach the first page?
I’m not 100% sure but I think it slightly will affect your chances even though the number of bought items will show in sales history, eBay will probably treat it as one transaction only.
It’s hard to say as no one knows 100% how the system works.
I appreciate the fast reply and I mean if the buyer buys 1 item at a time like single transactions rather that just putting the quantity amount in and buying in bulk.
I am really complement you for a very neatly explained article on how to rank on ebay best match. I have been struggling with it for last 1 year and had almost given up on it and moved to etsy where I had much greater success with search ranking. Finally, a few days ago, I sat down with paper and pencil and noted down the different visible number for each product in my category which was ranking high. And I came to the same conclusion as what you have mentioned in your article, only that I found your article just the next day. Now my problem is that I applied this theory and reduced the price of my fixed price multi variate listing to a level that I made 4 sales in a day. Yet, I am not seeing any improvement in my rankings at all and I behind listings that dont even have 1 sale. Can you suggest what I am doing wrong ? Thanks a lot.
Thanks for your comment.
Usually I recommend starting with a fresh/new listing and then apply these principles. This way your conversion rates will be very high from first days which eBay will take into account.
But even without that, give it more time! It can take from few days up to 1-2 weeks to see improvement in search results. So arm yourself with patience.
If Im selling an item that has size as a variation and I sell 5 of one particular size , do I just increase the price for that size or for all sizes?
sorry, not sure what you’re asking – can you elaborate?
Sorry Andrew I’ll try to explain. In this article you say once you have 5 sales then increase the price and then rinse and repeat until the price is where you want it. Im selling an item that has 7 different size variations. They are all currently priced at 99p but Ive just sold 5 packets of one particlar size. So do I increase the price of this size only or the price of all 7 sizes?
for that size only, yes.
I’m currently watching your current Easy Auction Business course (got to say the current 3.0 version is even better than your last version, and that was brilliant!) and after many months of research, designing templates, etc. etc. I’m just about ready to go.
My question is about the GTC listings, you mentioned here and on your course that if stock runs low to increase the price, but only for a few days as your click through rate can decrease. I understand it’s all about percentages, but how long would too long be? Also what is a good ctr? I imagine it would vary from niche to niche, but could you give a rough guide?
One other question that has come form the above is to do with click through rates, I will be selling an item that has many colour variations (up to 30 different combinations), I would imagine that if I had all 30 types on one listing (I know that would be too much but for example) would that increase or decrease the CTR? How would you list such an item? Would it be best to have the range split into about 5 main listings with a few combinations in each, one listing per type, or all under one listing?
Sorry if this has gone off topic slightly but would be good to know!
1) GTC & stock – I’d say up to 1 week it’s ok, 2 weeks tops. Depends on now long the listing has been established though – the longer it has been getting views and sales, the longer it can stay up with no additional sales as overall conversion rate won’t decrease that fast (compared to recently launched listing with just few sales).
2) Good conversion rate – impossible to tell as it really depends on product price and type. I have products that convert at 30% and products that only convert at 1%. Average could be 5%-10% probably. 1% is extremely small conversion rate and 30% – extremely high.
3) If it’s a identical item with just 30 different options/variations (like colour, style, design), I would still list them all in one Good Til Cancel listing! Yes, even if it’s 30 variations. But do this only if the item really is the same and just colour/style/design/size is different.
Thanks Andrew, that’s really helpful, yes the item does have up to 30 colour combinations, although to be honest I’ll probably only stock 20 max as keeping up with stock levels may be difficult in the early stages.
Once again, thanks for your help and your fantastic course.
Sean, do you intent on listing stock you don’t have, could this not be a bit risky?
I’ve noticed a few post from you, I take it you found your all important niche? id like to wish you good luck with it. Ebay and Amazon is a fiercely competitive place!
You’re welcome Sean & Good Luck!
Wow, such a great article. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I was always curious if their was a way to break it down and you did that perfectly. Will be following these steps to a T. Thanks again!
You’re welcome Chris!
[…] As I’ve said many times, you should always register as a business on eBay anyway as you get access to some much-needed features, most importantly the use of Good ‘Til Cancelled listings. […]
Andrew, great article – Thank you.
I see a lot of sellers are now using variation listings in order to appear to be the cheapest seller for some items. I would like to hear your thoughts on this one…
Variations are variations – you use them when you HAVE variations of the item you sell.
Not sure what you mean by “using variation listings in order to appear to be the cheapest”?
This is so fricken annoying! I wish eBay would fix this!
Celia means this:
You are looking for a say a really cheap iphone case.
You sort the order “Price + Postage: lowest first”
There are heaps of listings with iphone cases for $1 BIN.
You click on one of the $1 listings… you go to select the colour of the case from the VARIATION drop down, and suddenly the price for the case is now $5.
That is because in the list of 10 different colours, there is a ‘Screen Protector’ in there, and this is the only item in the listing that costs $1. All the cases are $5.
Sorting “Price + Postage: lowest first” is now a joke as it simply does not work with popular items.
I found your advices very useful and big thanks for sharing your knowledge. It certainly helped me to improve my listings.
But I’m hesitant to believe you can get TRS in 30 days. It is not your strategy though, it’s eBay rules. Imagine you sell over 100 items in one month and have perfect feedback. At the end of the month you are evaluated and then need to wait till the 20th following month to get your status changed. Then according to my discussion with eBay support today, you need to maintain Above Standard status for 1 month which is another ~30 days delay. This last requirement is not mentioned on any official eBay page. Have you come across it before? Do you know any ways to overcome this and jump to TRS straight from Standard status?
Thanks a lot!
Thanks for your comment.
Those 30 days – what I mean was – that you can achieve the sales in one month, and then just wait 20 days for the evaluation day (you don’t have to do anything in that time really, hence I’m not counting that time).
Many of my customers have done this and this is first time I hear that you need to maintain account above standard to qualify for TRS, so really can’t comment on that. What you need though is an account that is business seller and at least 90 days old. So with brand new accounts this won’t be that fast (not talking about selling restrictions most new accounts get for first 90 days).
Hope this helps Mark!
Andrew Hello, First of all I wanted to say a huge thank for all the information and your desire to help others.My question is : You said in order to be in the first place in search results on eBay we should do a number of things and one of them is the more sales you do of the product you promoted higher, I have a product I list it before I read your article for a period of 30 days, and now I’m ranked in the first place , Still not a TRS , the question is whether to cancel the list before the – 30 days ended and relist it at GTC and do all the work again so in the long run it will pay off in more sales and maintain or continue with the existing list to make as many sales to reach as quickly as possible TRS or wait until the end and then relist the new page? Thanks for everything Yehudit
Thanks for stopping by.
You can wait or do it now – up to you really… in any case, you want to re-list as GTC listing so you can make most out of selling history.
If the listing gives you good sales right now, probably wait till it ends and then just re-list it as GTC.
I’m new to ebay selling and have bought some stock but I have a question about how best to get started.
All my competitors on page 1 of eBay have thousands of feedback and are selling using GTC and each listing is using the drop down box with different quantities. Obviously I can’t compete with this as I have no credibility yet (all I have is 75 buyer feedback). My product is in the health & beauty niche and although it’s pretty competitive my research on Terapeak tells me that it’s a hot seller.
To get TRS do you think I should list using auction format first? Based on the results of a few other new sellers of the product using auction format I’d say I’d probably make a loss of £1-3 per sale, but that might be worth it if it means selling every item and building up my credibility and feedback.
Or should I sell BIN but undercut my competitors? I want to make the right decision so that I can progress as quickly as possible.
Thanks for your blog BTW – I haven’t bought your ebook yet but intend to invest in it very soon. Your free info on the blog is great so I’m sure your ebook will be even better!
Thanks for your comment.
If you haven’t done it already, please check out this guide on how to achieve TRS:
In general yes, you’ll want to use Auction type listings in crowded niches as auctions get featured higher in search results. Even if it means losing some money, look at this as an investment to get TRS to make most out of eBay platform.
You can also set your auction price so that first bid actually reaches your target/BIN price. You’ll have to pay more in insertion fees but at least you won’t lose money if auction ends with a low price. (and remember – you can always re-list one time for free).
Hope this helps!
Thanks for answering both my questions so quickly. Your answers have been very helpful!
You’re welcome Hamida!
Just wondering – how important is your total feedback score?
one of my items is ranked no 3 (and that’s fine) but I outsell the no 1 listing by 2 to 1 consistently, I am cheaper,offer same day del (up to 1pm) compared to their next day del,offer 1st class post as standard compaired to their 2nd class and offer more colour options and a larger range of sizes
the only place that they betterme is in feedback score I have 100% positive with 370 ratings from about 1000 units sold andthey have 99.9% pos with 20 100 ratings (for a long time I sold one product while they sell hundreds)
Naturally I am happy with this listing but the question is really aimed at my new products where I am competing with sellers who have a high feedback score – not on each listing but overall
are there any hints on improving feedback scores as I am on about 35%
will this affect getting my new htc listings up the rankings if there are mans elders wita higher overall feedback count than me
Thanks for your comment.
I haven’t really noticed that number of overall feedbacks plays that much of a role in this. It almost always comes down to Sales History for that particular item. But no system is perfect so it could be a glitch or maybe it is true that eBay takes into account number of overall feedbacks in some cases.
I don’t know what you’re already doing, but you should def. add a Thank You letter with each and every order (can be made as part of the invoice) which kindly asks to leave a feedback, 5 star DSRs if everything is ok. Standard text.
Besides that, you should set up in SMP that feedback reminder email goes out after 10-14 days of purchase. But just once as people don’t like sellers who spam with feedback requests.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to achieve 50% feedback rate. 50% is eBay’s average so your 35% looks low to me.
Hope this helps Peter!
I have been in touch several times about different things. I am very interested in using eBay purely as a sales funnel to build an email list. This is the advice from Jim Cockrum that I’ve taken to heart. This eBay biz model of literally giving away product, & intense competition is a recipe for burn-out. Most new sellers simply can’t hope to be competitive & will not have funds or patience to follow through.
I enquired about your alternative online biz models to produce online income. I forget the name now. I have become side-tracked in my other biz interests & also I’ve have been introduced to sports & forex spread betting by my 20 yr old nephew. He cleared an audited 75k part-time from his “betting exploits” & truly an exceptional young man . He’s teaching his uncle the rudiments & it is a very interesting & challenging pursuit. I think it appeals to my personality as I like to be independent & enjoy mental challenges & need to produce a pure online hands free income as I will be living abroad several months of the year.
Thanks for your inspiration Andrew & All the Best for 2014.
Thanks for your comment.
Whatever works for you Rick! There are many ways to make money online and eBay is of course not the only one. I’m also doing several things, on different platforms just to keep me busy and life interesting.
Great post – am working on it already and hope to have good feedback for you soon
Great to hear that Peter, keep us updated!
just a quick question, I had an item on eBay for 30 days for which i was selling a lot, the duration just ended today and now it automatically relisted and all my effort and history of sales have started form zero again. Do you have an idea how i can make sure the listing duration stays as it is, as i tried to extend it but it wouldn’t allow. I look forward to your reply.
Thanks for your comment.
What you need to do is use Good Til Cancelled (GTC) listing format instead of regular 30 day listings. With GTC your listing automatically renews every 30 days, so it never ends. You keep all the sales in your history and rankings.
GTC listings are available only for eBay shop owners so if you don’t have a shop yet, it’s worth subscribing simply because of GTC feature.
When you wrote this post I was at postion 250 -300
Have followed instructions and am currently at position 11 and climbing – one month later
I have now been at full price for about 2 weeks so for anyone reading this IT WORKS!!
PS do you have a post on how to increase your sales on Amazon 🙂
Great to hear that Peter, well done! 🙂
On Amazon it works in a similar way really – it’s just on Amazon reviews play the biggest role. But you still want to start with a low price to get as many sales and potentially reviews in, which will result in increased rankings as time goes by.
Also, you want to ask/remind your customers to leave those reviews.
Thank you for the information. Reading through it is scary , but a least I know what has to be done
Your strategy is why the search results are clogged with too many cheap crappy items. Running 14 GTC listing for the same product may get you higher rankings but it sucks for sellers who sell unique items.
Congratulations on getting your garbage to the top of the pile!
Have you actually read the article Tom?
This is NOT about running 14 GTC listings for same item. It’s even against eBay rules!
So please read it before you leave comments like these.
Quick question regarding being the #1 position for best match. I’m selling an item that was listed on 1/26/16 GTC and so far have sold 12 of them. Another person have listed the same item using the same title as me (just changed the wording positions) on 2/1/16 and have sold 2 of them. His price is $2 cheaper than me, has lower feedback score (but more feedbacks) and he is occupying the #1 position for a 6 word keyword phrase. I am like all the way towards the bottom. So how is that I am not in the top spot and this person is there since I’ve sold more of them and have built a good history. Is it just because he is $2 dollar cheaper than me that Ebay put him at the top? Any feedback?
There are many, many factors that could cause this – we cannot calculate it..
It could be that the price for exact item is cheaper by $2, it could be a boost new listings get sometimes, it could be a better conversion rate or simply pure luck and system’s glitch.
The strategy explained in this guide works in 90+ cases but there will always be exceptions, anomalies we simply can’t explain.
Yes, it is hard work and you need to be patient but results are well worth it.
Also, with some less competitive items it’s not as bad as it sounds! If there are just few pages of results, you can rank on top of 1st page within few weeks time.
I am a TRS, 100% seller, but can never get anywere near the top pages and would really like your help and advice,I would really appreciate it please
Have you tried following system explained in this post, set by step?
yes i have tried it but there is allot of sellers who aren’t even top rated sellers and who don’t offer free fast postage selling more than me and also getting on to the earlier pages before me..
I spend so much time looking at my listings trying to figure out is it something i am doing wrong or have i left something crucial out when making my listings
In fact some items aren’t getting noticed and when i look for then i cant see some of them listings but there live and are really getting limited views ??