Seeing your product on page one of the eBay search results is a dream for many! Here’s how you can achieve it… Ten years ago when I listed my very first item on eBay, it was relatively simple to reach the top of the search results with a product – in other words to have my product appear on page one of the listings relating to my keywords. And it was simple for good reason:
  • There were fewer sellers.
  • There were fewer ‘professional’ sellers.
  • There was no Cassini (eBay’s search engine).
  • There were no ‘Best Match’ search results.
  • There was no such thing as a Top Rated Seller!
You just needed to put together a great description, take some good photos and above all, sell cheap – and this would ensure your products appeared at the top of page one! So, in the past ten years, eBay has obviously evolved quite considerably. But, before you throw your arms in the air, sigh dejectedly and convince yourself that you were actually right all along and that it’s much too difficult to sell on eBay these days with so much competition, powerful sellers, product saturation, cheap prices and blah, blah, blah… Stop right there! Price is of course still an important factor when it comes to your search ranking (although you certainly don’t have to be the cheapest seller as I have said many times before) but the element you need to sit up and take notice of now is ‘Best Match’, simply because ‘Best Match’ is the default order in which products are displayed to viewers when they search for an item. So, if you are not following a ‘Best Match’ strategy for your products, your chances of ranking highly can’t even get off the ground. When you list a product on a Buy It Now listing, ‘Best Match’ doesn’t just take into account the price of your product. It sifts through your overall performance as a seller, your click-throughs and conversion rates, your recent sales history, your listing title, your P&P price (free is best) AND whether you are a Top Rated Seller or offer a Premium Service. This is why, in any category, you’ll usually see Top Rated Sellers with a great sales history, and who are offering free P&P and a competitive price on page one of the search results. Now, once again, before you throw your arms in the air, sigh dejectedly and convince yourself that you were actually right all along and blah, blah, blah… Stop right there (again)! Now ask yourself – do you really think it’s impossible to compete, or is it that you just can’t be bothered to put in some hard work and match those other sellers search rankings? With some effort you could ensure your products appear on page one. And the first thing you have to do is achieve the Top Rated Seller status that is favoured so much when it comes to rankings. This is vital for you to move forward – and do you know, you could achieve this in between 1 and 3 months.
  • To get TRS you’ll first need to be a Bronze Powerseller, which you can achieve very quickly if you put your mind to it. You can read about the requirements here 
  • Next you need to aim for that all important TRS status. The requirements are the same as for Powerseller, with some added extras! See those here 
And once you’ve gained TRS status the fun really begins! With TRS status achieved, your listings will already start being given a boost in the search results – and you need to take advantage of that. I’m not going to talk about your title keywords and your listing description today, as I hope it goes without saying that you should always ensure that your keywords are ultra relevant and that you put together a great listing with superb photos! Concentrate on your selling history. The more you sell, the higher your search ranking. List your products on a Good Till Cancelled listing (you will need an eBay shop to do so) and price your items to match (or at slightly less than) your lowest priced competitor. You should see sales straight away due to your higher search ranking (due to TRS) and your competitive pricing. As your sales build, gently increase your price until you reach your target price. This exercise also allows you to work out the highest price a buyer will pay, as if you go to high your sales will drop off! It’s important to point out that you’re not trying to generate a price war here, as you will be steadily increasing your prices – you just need to get some sales history behind you. So, for example you might start off selling a product that generally sells for £8.99, at a price of £4.99 – sell 10, then increase to £5.99 – sell 5, then increase to £6.99 – sell 5, then increase to £7.99…and so on, until you reach the desired price that still ensures you keep steady sales. Once your are selling in multiple quantities daily, make sure your Good Till Cancelled listing doesn’t run out – in other words, always make sure you have sufficient stock, because if it runs out you’ll have to start from scratch with your sales history. And one final point – you’ll need to be prepared to potentially make a loss to start with when using this strategy – but it’s worth it for the sales history and the potential profits later. As your sales history increases – and with your TRS status – you will see your search ranking continue to rise and you will appear on page one! So, to put it in a nutshell, here are the 10 basic steps you should follow to give yourself the best chance of ranking on page one of the search results for your product:
  1. Become a Powerseller.
  2. Become a Top Rated Seller.
  3. Ensure your title keywords are ultra relevant.
  4. Put together a compelling listing description with images.
  5. Open an eBay shop.
  6. Use a Good Till Cancelled listing.
  7. Price your product to match or sit slightly below the average price.
  8. Increase your price in small increments as sales start to build.
  9. Don’t run out of stock or let your listing end.
  10. Be patient.
It’s not magic – it won’t happen overnight so you’ll need to be patient – but this is a solid strategy, and importantly, it works.