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Catalog Best Practices Guide

This guide describes the eBay Catalog and how you, as a seller, can add new product entries to the Catalog.

The eBay Catalog is the foundation of the Product Based Shopping Experience, or "PBSE" for short. For more information, see: Product-Based Shopping Experience

About the eBay Catalog

The eBay Catalog is a structured database containing product information in the form of "product entries."

In the Catalog, a product entry describes the characteristics of a manufactured good that is offered and sold on eBay. The entry holds factual information about the product, including attributes and specifications that describe any identical good or product being offered for sale.

Catalog entries vs. seller item descriptions

A product entry in the eBay Catalog acts as a fact sheet on the product; it describes a product as it is produced by the manufacturer. This is different than the descriptions of the item that an individual seller offers for sale. Sellers add sales details to the Catalog product descriptions to create their personalized item listings.

A Catalog entry describes a product as it is offered by the manufacturer and the product information in the Catalog is used by all sellers who link their items to the Catalog entry. Product entries include product aspects, photos that can be used as the default (or stock) product photos, and general product descriptions.

The details in a seller's item listing, on the other hand, contain the details specific to the individual items being offered for sale. Sellers supply their own listing titles and item descriptions, images (where appropriate), and other seller-specific information (such as price, condition, shipping terms, and so on). The table below gives more details.

Product Properties vs. Listing Properties
Catalog Product Properties Seller Defined Item & Listing Properties

The following product properties are shared by all sellers via the eBay Catalog:

  • Product description
  • Product name
  • Product specifics
  • Product photos
  • Product identifiers
  • Product categories

The following item properties are specific to the individual seller:

  • Listing title
  • Listing description
  • Item Condition
  • Item Price
  • Quantity available
  • Shipping options
  • Item return policy
  • Other sales-related details

The advantages of adding entries to the Catalog

Here are several good reasons to add new products to the eBay Catalog:

  • Item listings that reference product entries in the Catalog are more likely do be displayed on eBay search result pages, and they are also more likely to be displayed in the search results of external search engines.
  • Buyers find it easier to make purchasing decisions when they can review structured sets of product aspects.
  • Using structured product data, eBay can tie together different products in the Catalog, which gives listings tied to Catalog entries a better chance of being displayed on search result pages. Also, product entries help to optimize the keywords coded into View Item pages, which gives those pages an advantage when external search engines index the web and surface their results.
  • By tying products to specific marketplace categories, the items linked to a product entry in the Catalog gain the product identifiers associated with that category. This not only helps SEO performance, but it also associates the items with product reviews, includes them in product price trends, and participates them in other programs that further highlight the value of the items being sold.
  • Importantly, referencing products in the Catalog highly streamlines the item-creation process. Now when creating new inventory items, sellers can use the Catalog entry to supply the product specifics, which leaves them to create only the title, a description of the item condition (if needed), and their selling terms.

For more details, see Adding product entries to the eBay Catalog.

Translated guides

The Catalog Best Practices Guide has been translated into the following editions: