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Adding product entries to the eBay Catalog

Each product in the eBay Catalog is identified by an eBay Product ID, or "ePID" value for short. When you create a new product entry in the Catalog, eBay issues a new ePID value for your product. Once issued, you can use the ePID to reference the Catalog entry in any of your items.

Tying an item to a product entry in the Catalog streamlines the listing process and if the product you're selling on eBay doesn't have an entry in the Catalog, you should add the product to the Catalog!

This topic offers basic guidelines and troubleshooting tips for how to create new product entries in the eBay Catalog.

For more, see the FAQ on Creating and Updating product entries in the eBay Catalog.

Referencing Catalog entries

To refresh, Catalog entries are referenced by ePID values.

When you create a new item listing using the eBay web flow, you can enter an ePID value in the flow to search for the product you're listing. If the ePID points to a product that's in the Catalog, the product entry is displayed with your item.

If you enter an ePID value that doesn't return a result, try searching the Catalog using product identifiers (such as the UPC, EAN, and ISBN), brand names and the associated MPN numbers, and product titles. If you're convinced the product doesn't exist in the Catalog, add a new one.

Avoiding duplicate product entries

In the Catalog, multiple entries for the same product add confusion to buyers and sellers alike. There should never be more than a single entry for any one product in the Catalog, and we keep product entries accurate by maintaining a single source for each one.

When you add a new Catalog entry, eBay searches the Catalog to see if an entry already exists for the product you're creating. The main review criteria includes product identifiers (such as the UPC, EAN, and ISBN), brand names and the associated MPN numbers, and product titles.

If you attempt to create a new Catalog entry for a product that already exists in the Catalog, your request to create the new entry will be denied. But eBay sends you the ePID value for the existing product entry, and you can use that value to reference the product entry in the items you create.

Accounting for product variations

Every different product variation leads to a separate catalog entry and therefore you must issue a separate product creation request for each variation you plan to reference. In other words, with multi-SKU listings, every variation in your listing must be associated with a separate Catalog entry and ePID value.

Note that product-creation requests are not accepted for mixed aspects, such as a request with four different color variations or a request with several different sizes for the same product.

Choosing the right category for a new product

A product entry in the Catalog is directly linked to a specific eBay category.

When creating a new Catalog entry, you must choose the correct category for the product you are creating. If you don't specify a valid category for the product, your request to create the new product entry will fail. For example, you cannot list parts for an appliance in the appliance’s main category; the parts must be listed in the relevant Parts & Accessories category.

To illustrate this guideline, if you are selling a refrigerator door seal, the product must be listed under the refrigerator Parts & Accessories category, and not under the general refrigerator category. Likewise, if you are selling cellphone covers, the covers must be listed under cellphone accessories category and not under the general cellphone category.

Note that you can reference a non-Parts & Accessories category when creating a new entry for a part or accessory only when there is no relevant Parts & Accessories category for the product you are referencing. In this case, the entry for the product part or accessory can be created in the main category associated with the item.

Product title guidelines

Titles should describe the product's top features while being as short as possible. Our guidelines on titles include:

  • Titles should not exceed 80 characters in length.
  • Titles should not include:
    • Superlative adjectives
    • Promotional text
    • Conditions
    • Prices
    • Shipping options
    • Multiple synonyms
    • Abbreviations
    • Irrelevant search keywords

For more details, see Title guidelines.

Titles for Parts & Accessories products

Parts & Accessories products commonly have multiple brands and identifiers in their titles.

We allow you to include up to three brands names or MPNs in the title. The first name must be the name of the manufacturer of the part or accessory, and the two more brands are allowed to indicate the brands the that the part replaces, or brand to which it is compatible.

For example, the following title correctly includes three brands:
Whirlpool Refrigerator Shelf (WH432) for Kenmore (KM765) LG (LG987)

All brands, models, MPNs, and replacements should be manually added to the product under the relevant aspect, as listed below:

  • Compatible Brand
  • Compatible Model
  • Compatible MPN
  • Replaces
  • Compatible With

Writing product descriptions

Product descriptions offer a high-level summary of the product and should include only factual information specific to the product being described. Our guidelines on product descriptions include:

  • Product descriptions are limited to 2000 characters
  • Descriptions cannot contain HTML or scripting
  • Descriptions serve to clarify the product aspects through plain text
  • Descriptions must not include promotional or seller related text

For more on descriptions, see Description guidelines.

Including images

Experience has taught us that a good image positively affects a buyer's first impression of a product, and therefore it is important to select an image that best represents the product for the catalog entry.

Good images clearly depict the product as the buyer will view it and the best product images have simple backgrounds. For clarity, add secondary images to more fully display the product features.

Don't include images of seller logos or photos that contain item or commercial related text, copyright marks, watermarks, or placeholder images.

For more details on using product images in catalog entries, see Image guidelines.

Using ePID values in API requests

You can use ePID values to reference Catalog entries in your API requests. Consider the following code snippet from the Trading API, where an ePID value is supplied in the ProductReferenceID field:

<ProductListingDetails>
			<IncludeeBayProductDetails>true</IncludeeBayProductDetails>
			<IncludeStockPhotoURL>true</IncludeStockPhotoURL>
			<ProductReferenceID>1234567</ProductReferenceID>
			</ProductListingDetails>
		

See the following page for a description on how to use ePID values in the RESTful Inventory API: product.epid