Working with Item Specifics
Item Specifics are details about the item being sold. Depending on the listing category, some Item Specifics are mandatory, some are recommended, and others are custom-designed by the seller. Item Specifics can help users find your item in a search, and can help prospective buyers quickly learn about your item.
Item Specifics enable you to classify items by presenting descriptive details in a structured manner. For example:
- If you are listing in a jewelry category, "Total Carat Weight=3.00 carats and larger" could be an Item Specific for a bracelet.
- If you are listing in a Washers & Dryers category, "Type=Top-Loading" could be an Item Specific for a washer.
That is, information like "Total Carat Weight" would be specific to jewelry listings, and information like "Type=Top-Loading" would be specific to Washer & Dryer listings.
Each Item Specific consists of a name (like "Total Carat Weight") and a value (like "3.00 carats and larger").
The figure below shows some Item Specifics for a gold bracelet listing, similar to how they might appear on eBay's View Item page.
Figure: Item Specifics on eBay's View Item Page
Buyers and sellers can use Item Specifics to find and compare particular types of items more easily when searching and browsing eBay.
By using Item Specifics in listings, sellers can also benefit in these ways:
- Increased exposure of their listings in eBay's search and browse pages
- Recommendations for more effective names and values (so the seller doesn't have to guess)
- Faster listing times (because you can pre-fill recommended names and values for the seller)
- More structured data to help buyers grasp the details of the seller's listing more easily
In the API, Item Specifics are name/value pairs (simple strings). A seller chooses from a list of the most popular field names and values defined by other users, and/or defines their own field names and values. In the API, you use the names and values the seller specified (as-is) when you list or display an item.
Item Specifics are not supported in all categories. This chapter includes information on how you use the API to determine the categories that do support Item Specifics.
Item specifics can be included in a listing via three mechanisms:
- You can pre-fill Item Specifics based on stock information from an eBay product catalog. For example, if you're listing a camera, you just specify the UPC in Item.ProductListingDetails, and if eBay is able to match the UPC value to a product in the eBay product catalog, eBay will be able to automatically fill out some of the product details, including the pertinent Item Specifics for that product. See Pre-filling Item Specifics with Product Details.
- You can define the Item Specifics yourself in the Item.ItemSpecifics container of an add/revise/relist call. This might be necessary if you're listing an item that does not have a UPC, ISBN, EAN, or other industry-standard identifier, or if the product has an identifier, but eBay is unable to match the identifier to a product in the eBay product catalog. See Listing with Item Specifics).
- You can list a collection of similar items as a multi-variation listing. For example, if you're listing T-shirts that are all the same brand and style, but they come in different colors and sizes, you can use the Item.ItemSpecifics container to define the common details yourself, such as "Brand" and "Sleeve Length", and then use the Item.Variations.Variation.VariationSpecifics container to specify the Item Specifics for each variation of the product. Generally, t-shirts (and other pieces of clothing) would vary by "Color" and "Size". See Overview.