Thursday, August 07, 2008

Best Match Becomes Default Sort on eBay Motors!

eBay announced today that beginning Aug. 18th Best Match would become the default sort for eBay Motors and just to drive home the point, knowing that there would be a seller uproar they said:

"As a reminder, Best Match has been the default sort option on since March, and it has been the default sort even longer in other international markets, such as France and Germany. Best Match helps buyers find relevant items quicker and easier than other sort methods. In fact, since its launch, our data show that Best Match has a better buyer conversion than any of our other sort methods, such as "Time: Ending Soonest."

Okay, so why will sellers be upset? eBay says "our data show that Best Match has a better buyer conversion than any of our other sort methods, such as "Time: Ending Soonest." but this is not seller's personal experience.

So, if it is working for eBay then it has to be working for sellers correct? It certainly is working for some sellers but at the detriment of others. Because eBay's GMV is growing a measly 4% Y/Y all best match is doing is moving share of sames around.

Ending soonest gave everybody a share of the pie, but Best Match distributes that share differently. A smaller number of sellers are getting the majority of the benefit. Hey, that is the way of the world in a competitive business. I really don't have much of a problem with the idea, except every seller is paying the same fees to list and getting vastly different exposure (except

What are the chances that eBay will stop charging listing fees any time soon? Nil!

Just my 12%


Cliff said...

Here's one I can be with you on, you know I hate Best Match. If anything it benefits me as a seller because I have nice marks, but anything I go out of my way to filter out of and around as a buyer cannot be good for my buyers. I don't like shopping that way, I work under the assumption that neither do my customers.

But I guess they liked what they saw on .com to move it to Motors. I was hoping it'd get scaled back, not amped up.

Your last line...I thought you were of the opinion that they'd be moving to a subscription model in time, which would put the chances well above nil, no?

Randy Smythe said...

Cliff, the nil comment was just a dig. Sometimes I'm not above doing that.

Cliff said...

No, you? Seriously, I more often than not take the wait and see approach, but my mind has been made up here pretty much from the get-go. I'd like to see someone else come along on this one, play my usual part, and defend "Best Match" without using any eBay speak or other BS. Why should I like this?

I'm always willing to be convinced.

Chris said...


I have heard that by the end of the month media will be the first category to go to very low or maybe even free listings. It will basically be stores in search again with 30 day durations and a single listing page. I hav 2 contacts at eBay who will not confirm this, but they wil not deny it either. They just say something big is coming by end of Aug. Have you heard any buzz?


Chris said...

Oh yeah, higher final value fees will also be implemented in media to offset the low insertion fees.


Anonymous said...

Is anyone else scared shitless??

I think they will remove the listing charge but jack up the FVF to 18-20% which leaves me worse off.

If you look at their historical changes, they always result in higher FVF for the .99 auction guys.

Randy Smythe said...

Chris, yes I have heard something similar. No details though.

What I have heard is:

The announcement is happening at the end of the month and will involve a complete revamping of the media category.

I posted about it a couple of weeks ago and Richard at eBayInk even linked to my post.

Randy Smythe has taken a stab at going a few steps further and is predicting what this will mean for folks starting this Fall. I’ll be interested to see - over the next few weeks - how much he has right.

David said...

I wonder what this means for somebody like Jay And Marie who has almost a 100% conversion rate.

The Prophet Smythe said...

"What are the chances that eBay will stop charging listing fees any time soon? Nil!"

Define "any time soon" :)

Randy Smythe said...

David,I'm not sure if they will accomodate sellers like Jay and Marie

The Prophet Smythe, I like that name. I think they will always have listing fees but that's just me.

A prophet is right 100% of the time. I'm far from right even most of the time.

Anonymous said...

It's that silly Twitter-- it's diluting the quality of your blog.

Randy Smythe said...


The jury is still out on Twitter and its affect on the blog. I think tha lack of news in the marketplace has had more impact on the blog than anything recently.

I can't keep repeating the same stuff over and over again. Good thing eBay is getting ready to make some more big announcements. I will have plenty to blog and Tweet about.

Dervish said...

Randy, I found this VERY INTERESTING and thought you might want to look at it more in depth. PLEASE go to INFAMOUS EA comments AFTER the article:

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