Specifying an Item's Condition

Item condition is one of the top factors buyers consider when deciding whether to purchase an item. When you create your listing, help your buyers understand exactly what they'll be receiving by specifying its condition. Listings that specify the item's condition provide useful information and as a result, may be more likely to sell.

Topics:

Using ConditionID to Specify an Item's Condition

Describing Details About the Condition of Items That Are Not New

Adding or Changing ConditionID When Revising or Relisting

Retrieving a Listing's Item Condition

Your item's condition appears at the top of the View Item page. When buyers search for items, they often use eBay's Refine Search options to narrow their search based on the item's condition. In these cases, your listing will appear in search results only if you specified the condition by using one of eBay's structured methods (not in the text of your listing description).

See also:

Improve Performance with Better Descriptions (eBay online help)

http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/descriptions.html

Using ConditionID to Specify an Item's Condition

For most categories, eBay defines a list of well-understood conditions, like "New", "Used", and other values. Each condition has a numeric ID (like 1000 for "New") so that even if the display name varies across categories or sites, you can use the same IDs in AddItem and related calls.

To find the right condition ID to use in your listing:

  1. Use GetCategoryFeatures to determine whether ConditionEnabled is set to Enabled or Required for the category (or its ancestors).
  2. If this condition model is enabled (or required), look up the list of valid condition IDs in ConditionValues. Each ID also has a human-readable display name, such as "New" or "Manufacturer refurbished". These are returned in GetItem, but you cannot pass them in AddItem.
  3. After choosing the most accurate condition ID from GetCategoryFeatures, use Item.ConditionID to specify the condition in AddItem (or related calls).
  4. If the item is not new, consider also adding ConditionDescription to describe any wear and tear. See Describing Details About the Condition of Items That Are Not New.

Please note the following behavior if you pass a ConditionID value that is not valid for the category:

We recommend that you read these sub-topics to understand more about how to work with item conditions, and how to decrease disputes with buyers:

Item Condition for US eBay Motors

Helping Sellers Choose the Right Condition

Listing in Two Categories

Condition Differences Across Categories

Item Condition for US eBay Motors

The US eBay Motors site supports ConditionID for vehicles as well as parts & accessories. Call GetCategoryFeatures to determine which categories require ConditionID for newly listed or relisted items.

Helping Sellers Choose the Right Condition

Although many categories use the same condition IDs, buyers may interpret the conditions differently in each category. It is very important that sellers understand what each condition means for each category, because it is part of the contract between the buyer and the seller. So, GetCategoryFeatures also returns links to eBay's online help (ConditionHelpURL).

We recommend that you display the help links prominently in your application interface, so that sellers understand how buyers will interpret the item condition. (Or, if you are mapping older condition values to the new field on behalf of sellers, you should be aware of eBay's definitions for each condition.)

Note: If a category (such as one in Antiques or Collectibles) doesn't support ConditionID, but you still want to describe the item's condition in your listing, here are some options: If the category supports custom item specifics but doesn't specifically recommend Condition as a name, make up your own custom item specific for the condition. Alternatively, explain the condition in your item description. In these cases, eBay's search engine will treat your text like any other keyword. That is, eBay will not recognize or process the item's condition when users filter on condition, but your text will be searchable and visible to buyers when they view the listing.

Listing in Two Categories

If you are listing in two categories, the primary category determines which condition model (ConditionID or item specifics) and which condition values can be used.

On the eBay site, you may see items that appear to have an item condition specified in ConditionID even though GetCategoryFeatures shows that condition is disabled for the category. This can occur when the seller lists in two categories, because the primary category's rules take precedence.

So, for example, on the eBay US site, the Technology Books & Resources (3516) category supports ConditionID, but the Vintage Computing (11189) category doesn't. So, as long as a listing uses 3516 as the primary category ID and 11189 as the secondary category ID, the listing can use any of the ConditionID values that category 3516 supports.

Condition Differences Across Categories

In general, each meta-category (level-1 category) defines its own default set of conditions (rather than inheriting from a site default). Most meta-categories on a given site will actually define the same default set of conditions, but some meta-categories define different default sets to meet buyer and seller expectations. Furthermore, within each meta-category, a significant number of child categories may use different sets of conditions than their parent categories. Use GetCategoryFeatures to determine which conditions each category supports.

For example, while the Sporting Goods category on the eBay US site might define a default set of conditions that most of its child categories will inherit, a child category like Running > Shoes would use the same set of conditions as the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories > Shoes category instead.

Similarly, the Books meta-category and meta-categories where items are typically CDs or DVDs (i.e., the DVD & Movies, Music, and Video Games meta-categories) are considered "media categories", and they typically all define the same default set of conditions. But a child category like Video Games > Systems has items that are electronic devices, so it defines a different set of conditions (the same set as the Computers & Networking meta-category).

The table below lists the conditions that are supported across the eBay US site, plus conditions that some meta-categories and child categories actually use.

Please note these details about the data in the table:

Table: Examples of Conditions in eBay US Categories
ID Typical Name Video Games (1249) Video Games > Systems (139971) Shoes (163450)
1000 New Brand New New New with box
1500 New other (see details) New other (see details) New without box
1750 New with defects New with defects
2000 Manufacturer refurbished Manufacturer refurbished
2500 Seller refurbished Seller refurbished
2750 Like New Like New
3000 Used Used Pre-owned
4000 Very Good Very Good
5000 Good Good
6000 Acceptable Acceptable
7000 For parts or not working For parts or not working

eBay doesn't define conditions in categories where an item condition make no sense or would never be anything other than new. For example, an item condition would not apply to Event Ticket listings.

Note: eBay defines 10-15 overall sets of conditions. Each site may have a few hundred categories that use one of these sets instead of a meta-category's default set. The condition sets are determined based on testing with sellers and category experts, as well as research into what buyers expect.

Describing Details About the Condition of Items That Are Not New

The ConditionDescription field (in the API, Sell Your Item form, and other listing tools) helps sellers more clearly describe the condition of items that are not brand new.

The condition description field is available for all conditions except 'new', 'brand new', 'new with tags', and 'new in box'. This field also applies to categories where the condition type is not applicable (e.g., Antiques).

The ConditionDescription field is used in Add/Revise/Relist calls in the Trading API. This field helps buyers more quickly find and understand an item's condition and may help to reduce disputes, as many buyers miss item condition comments that are buried deep in the seller's item description.

GetItem and related calls in the Trading API, and GetSingleItem and GetMultipleItems in the Shopping API return the ConditionDescription field.

The Finding API and other search calls do not return condition descriptions. eBay's search engine does not search text within the ConditionDescription field.

Policies and Best Practices for Sellers When Using Condition Description

Please keep the following policies and best practices in mind when you create listings:

To avoid contradictory or confusing descriptions:

Rules for Using ConditionDescription in Listing Requests

Use of the ConditionDescription is summarized below:

Adding or Changing ConditionID When Revising or Relisting

To add ConditionID to an existing listing, specify it in ReviseItem, RelistItem, and related calls in the usual way. See Using ConditionID to Specify an Item's Condition.

In most cases, you can add or modify ConditionID when you revise or relist. If GetCategorySpecfics specifies ConditionEnabled as Required for a category, you can change the ID to more accurately describe the item, but you cannot remove ConditionID from the listing when you revise or relist it.

Modifying ConditionID for Listings in Restricted State

If the listing is in a restricted state, the condition is subject to eBay's usual revision restrictions. If you attempt to add or change ConditionID when a listing is in a restricted state, your request may fail.

For example, if an auction has bids or ends within 12 hours, you cannot remove or change its condition . In this case, if there are fields that are still editable on the auction, you will be able to edit them (even though ConditionID is not present).

See Item Changes Allowed During Revisions for typical rules about fields that can't be modified when an item is in a restricted state.

Retrieving a Listing's Item Condition

GetItem returns the item condition in whichever field the seller used to specify it. Check ConditionID or ItemSpecifics to find the condition.

For items listed with ConditionID, GetItem also returns the human-readable condition label in ConditionDisplayName. The label is always in the language of the site on which the item was originally listed. That is, if a seller listed a brand new item on the eBay Germany site, and then you call GetItem but you send the request to the eBay US site, ConditionDisplayName will still return "Neu" in German (it will not convert the display name to "New").

You can use calls like findItemsAdvanced in the Finding API to retrieve the new ConditionID field in searches.

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