In most categories, you can list with Item Specifics without using eBay's recommendations. However, there are some cases when an Item Specific is required in a particular category, or you must use a value that eBay has defined (not your own value).

eBay can recommend popular or required names and values for the seller to use for a given item. When you fill in Item Specifics, it's a good idea to use well-known or standard names and values, for these reasons:

  • Well-known terms can help buyers (and comparison shopping tools) understand the details of your item more easily.
  • Standard terms help achieve consistency across items in the same category.
  • Recommended Item Specifics are more likely to be indexed for title and description searches in the future.

eBay determines the popularity of a name or value based on several factors, such as the number of recent listings and/or recently sold listings in the same category that have used the same name or value.

To determine which item specifics are required/recommended/available for a category the following Taxonomy API methods may be used:

  • getItemAspectsForCategory

    Determines which item specifics are required/recommended/available for a specific leaf category.

    To retrieve Item Aspects for multiple leaf categories, this method may be called multiple times.

  • fetchItemAspects

    When retrieving Item Specifics for multiple leaf categories, a single call of this method may be more efficient since it downloads one zip file that includes Item Specifics for every leaf category in a marketplace.

    This method may be combined with the Taxonomy Metadata SDK to track and update changes that have been made to Item Specifics metadata for any leaf category.

    Note: The Taxonomy Metadata SDK performs a deep comparison of item aspects' metadata and reports any metadata changes in a structured manner.

When the seller is listing with Item Specifics, the seller may be able to list more quickly if you let them choose from a predefined list of recommended Item Specifics, and also give them the option to enter their own names and/or values.

In the response of the getItemAspectsForCategory method, required aspects are returned first, followed by recommended aspects, and then optional aspects. If a recommended aspect will soon become required, an aspects.aspectConstraint.expectedRequiredByDate field will be returned for that aspect showing the date when the aspect is expected to become a required aspect.

When using the AddItem call, Item Specifics are passed in as name value pairs in the Item.ItemSpecifics array.

The following example shows the relevant portion of an AddItem request with Item.ItemSpecifics listed. This particular item is a gold bracelet. The request needs to specify all Item Specifics names and values that are to be included in the listing.

    <Value>Yellow Gold Filled</Value>
    <Name>Chain Type</Name>
    <Value>Cuban Link</Value>
    <Name>Metal Purity</Name>
    <Name>Item Length</Name>
    <Value>7 in</Value>
    <Name>Clasp Type</Name>