Wednesday, January 09, 2008

eBay Launches Best Match as the Default Search in Several Categories!

In eBay's undying effort to improve the buyer experience they have launched "Best Match" as the default search method in several categories:

Consumer Electronics
Cameras & Photo
Computers & Networking
Toys & Hobbies

Though there has been no official word from eBay on this, one of my readers alerted me to the change last night -- I'm just now getting around to writing about it. Ina Steiner did post about this in her blog post today, though she is calling it a test (haven't they been testing for close a year already).

I won't go into any discussion about how Best Match works because it really is just eBay's way of surfacing what they believe is the best product for the search terms you provided. The concern I have is that this is the default search in those categories.

On eBay, buyers rarely change the default search, so my guess is that sellers, in the categories mentioned above, are working frantically to see how they can work around (game) this new change.

Update: It looks like Best Match is only the default if you browse in one of those categories. When I used keyword search I got the normal "ending soonest" default. Try browsing, in the the categories I mentioned above, to see if you see Best Match results by default.

Additional Update: Here is a great article (written in Oct of 2006) on what "Best Match" as the default search may mean to eBay Sellers.

Just my 5 cents!


Anonymous said...

I will be interested to see how Best Match rankings will effect the big US based volume sellers, like, say, Thermite- Media/Moviemarz/redtagmarket (all the same seller) the nature of their virtual-only inventory/Costco style business model, they can never meet ebay Powerseller status criteria (can't earn enough overall positive feedback to qualify for very long) or ever have decent DSR ratings (their rankings are dangerously close to 5% bad, as per the this week)...based on that, their ranking in core should become quite low. I wonder if they will be able to keep their core tranche sales afloat-amidst this likely, new lower ranking in the default results....

With profit margins so low for mega-commodity sellers, I've often speculated that core tranche sales for mega-sellers like this are mostly useful just for cash flow, in the soft sales quarters....who knows? Keep us posted on what you hear from the greater community!

Randy Smythe said...

You are wise in the ways of eBay my son!

I think you are absolutely right on, in your assessment. Mega sellers stand a good chance of being disadvantaged once DSR ranking is in full force.

But that will only happen in CORE. Store listings will still display just as they always have.

A "little birdy" told me though, that we can expect category specific pricing in categories that are comoditized like Media.