Product-Based Shopping Experience
eBay is moving towards a Product-Based Shopping Experience (PBSE) in 2018. With the new experience, buyers will be able to easily find merchandise that meets their search criteria and quickly decide which products they want to purchase. Please visit our Seller Center for more information on why eBay is moving to the new experience.
Sellers and developers looking for complete integration details can skip directly to the Product-Based Shopping Experience Playbook. Note that sellers and developers have the option of integrating with PBSE using the traditional Trading API or the new REST-based Inventory API.
At a glance
- Sellers listing within the Phase 1 product lines will be required to associate new and existing listings of any condition and in any format (auction, fixed-price, etc) with products in the eBay Catalog, as announced in the Spring 2018 Seller Update.
- In mid-August 2018, all Phase 2 functionality is expected to be ready for use by sellers. In addition to the Phase 1 product lines, sellers listing within the Phase 2 categories will be expected to associate new and existing listings of any condition and in any format (auction, fixed-price, etc) with products in the eBay Catalog. With Phase 2, the PBSE requirement will roll out to entire leaf categories, and not just certain brands within a category. Sellers will be required to associate all listings with an eBay Catalog product beginning in mid-September 2018.
- eBay is releasing new APIs, updating existing APIs, and improving the eBay selling tools to make it easier for developers and sellers to find, edit, and add products in our catalog, and associate them with their listings.
- Most of the PBSE Phase 2 capabilities of these APIs are ready and can temporarily be tested in the Production environment using predefined test categories. For details, see the PBSE Production Testing Guide. The full Product-Based Shopping Experience functionality will be available in mid-August 2018 for the Phase 2 categories.
- If developers and sellers do not take action to associate their listings with eBay products for Phase 1 and Phase 2 categories, their listings may have minimal or no visibility to buyers, and sellers will no longer be able to successfully revise an existing listing or complete a new listing if you do not use the catalog.
Two new RESTful APIs were recently launched to support Product-Based Shopping Experience.
Catalog API (Beta)
For Phase 1, this RESTful API allows sellers to match their item to a corresponding product in the eBay Catalog. This API does not support parts compatibility. The operations are summarized below:
- search - search for a matching catalog product using a GTIN value, an MPN value, a keyword, or one or more product aspects.
- getProduct - returns detailed information on a specified catalog product, including product title, product description, product identifiers, stock photo(s), product aspects, primary category, and a link to the associated eBay product page.
For Phase 2, product/category metadata and catalog change request operations will be available in this API. The operations are summarized below:
- getProductMetadataForCategories - this call allows a seller to retrieve an array of all supported aspects, aspect constraints, and aspect values for specified eBay categories. This metadata will assist sellers when they make a catalog change request.
- getProductMetadata - this call allows a seller to retrieve an array of all supported aspects, aspect constraints, and aspect values for the specified catalog product and its associated or suggested categories. This metadata will assist sellers when they make a catalog change request.
- createChangeRequest - this call allows a seller to make a request to eBay to add a new product to the catalog, or to request a change to an existing catalog product that has missing or inaccurate information.
- getChangeRequest - this call checks the status of a specific catalog change request.
- getChangeRequests - catalog change requests can be searched for according to date or status.
Note: The above methods can temporarily be tested in the Production environment using predefined test categories. For details, see the PBSE Production Testing Guide. The full Product-Based Shopping Experience functionality will be available in mid-August 2018 for the Phase 2 categories.
This RESTful API allows sellers to retrieve detailed information on listing violations for active listings that are not complying with product-based listing requirements. These product-based listing requirements include the categories/brands that will require association with an eBay catalog product. The operations are summarized below:
- getListingViolationsSummary - returns the total number of active listings on a given eBay marketplace that are currently not complying with the product adoption compliance type.
- getListingViolations - retrieves the specific active listings that are not complying with the product adoption compliance type; these listings will need to be revised with catalog product data. The response also includes recommended products in the eBay Catalog when available.
Note: The Compliance API will start returning compliances for listings in Phase 2 categories in August 2018.
Updated APIs and feeds
Existing RESTful API and Trading API calls were updated to support Product-Based Shopping Experience.
- The product.epid field of createOrReplaceInventoryItem was added to enable the ability to directly associate an inventory item with a catalog product using an ePID value (instead of a GTIN value).
The following update was made to the Trading API for Phase 1 of PBSE:
- GetCategorySpecifics - a new ValidationRules.ProductRequired field is returned if a product brand within an eBay category requires association with a catalog product.
The following Trading API updates have been made, or are currently in development to support Phase 2 of PBSE:
- GeteBayDetails: new URLs returned in the URLDetails container of the response that take seller to eBay pages where they can make requests to add products to the eBay Catalog, make requests to revise existing catalog products, and to get statuses of all catalog change requests. Partners can use these URLs if they prefer not to build their own user flows for these use cases. See the Making a catalog change request topic for more information on how to make a catalog change request using the stand-alone web flows.
- GetCategoryFeatures: new ProductRequiredEnabled field returned in the Category container of the response if all products within an eBay category require association with a catalog product.
GetCategorySpecifics: this call will be updated with the following changes:
- A new flag will be returned to distinguish between product aspects (defined in the catalog product) and item specifics (specific/unique to the actual item/listing).
- New item specifics will be added to allow sellers to provide details on bundle listings, modified products, and foreign products.
- New "maximum length" field will be returned for PBSE categories for some item specifics that require longer descriptions (such as the new details fields that will be introduced.
- (Add/Revise/Relist)FixedPriceItem: new ProductReferenceID field added to VariationProductListingDetails container to allow sellers to associate a variation (within a multiple-variation listing) with a catalog product.
- GetItem/GetSellerEvents/GetSellerList: will be updated to include the ProductReferenceID (ePID) field in the response for each variation in multiple-variation listings.
Why is eBay making this change?As we move toward a Product-Based Shopping Experience, it has become necessary for sellers to tell us exactly what items they are offering because buyers expect a more streamlined online shopping experience. The best way to achieve this is to select the appropriate product in the eBay Catalog during the listing process.
What is the eBay Catalog?The eBay Catalog is a centralized repository of product information that allows buyers and sellers to achieve a common understanding of what is for sale.
How can I associate my listing with a product that's in the eBay Catalog?When you start a listing, you will be able to search for a product in the eBay Catalog by using an identifier like UPC, EAN, or ISBN, or keywords. Once you have selected the product from the catalog, you will continue with the rest of the listing experience. Starting in May 2018, if we determine that you are selling an item in the select product lines, but you did not associate it to a product from the eBay Catalog, you will be unable to complete the listing.
What are product identifiers?Product identifiers are unique numbers or codes for products that help buyers recognize and find them. Most new, branded products have unique product identifiers. These can include an item's Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), such as UPC, EAN, or ISBN, as well as the combination of brand and manufacturer part number (MPN).
What is a GTIN?A GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) is a unique number that identifies products and services. GTINs can include an item's Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
When will I need to use the eBay Catalog?We strongly encourage you to begin adopting the eBay Catalog now for the required product lines. Adopting means that in the listing process, you select a product from the catalog (by searching by identifier like UPC, EAN, ISBN or keyword) that corresponds to the item you are listing, and you associate that product in the catalog to your listing. Starting in May 2018, in order to complete your listing for an item that is within the select product lines, you will be required to match your item to that product in the catalog. Later this year, we will expand this requirement to more categories and product lines.
If I use an eBay Catalog product, will I be able to customize my listing?Customizing your listing will depend on the item condition. For new products, additional pictures are optional. For other conditions (e.g., used, refurbished), you will continue to be required to include additional pictures and item information to help buyers with their purchasing decisions.
What if I discover inconsistent information in a product entry?Seller Hub users can suggest changes to the catalog information for a product while they are listing by clicking a flag icon next to the product in question. In addition, if you spot inaccurate information in the eBay Catalog you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In Phase 2, API users can submit catalog change requests via the Catalog API. See the Making catalog change requests topic.
Will I need to use the eBay Catalog for multiple variations (multi-SKU) listings?Yes. In order to comply with the new catalog requirements, you are required to provide a valid GTIN (UPC, EAN or ISBN) for each variation in multi-SKU listings within the initial product lines. In Phase 2, each variation will require a valid eBay Product ID [ePID] in PBSE categories.
If I'm selling my items in bundles, will I need to use the eBay Catalog in the select categories?Yes. The way you should select a product in the eBay Catalog will vary depending on what type of bundles you offer:
- Manufacturer bundles that are sold in a single package usually have a dedicated GTIN (UPC, EAN or ISBN) associated with them and should be found in the eBay Catalog.
- For seller-created bundles with a clear primary product (e.g., iPhone + accessories such as a case, selfie stick, etc.), select the primary product from the eBay Catalog as the product for your listing (in the example, select the corresponding iPhone from the eBay Catalog) and select the bundle check box (or Bundle Listing item specific if using API).
- For seller-created bundles with no clear primary product where all included items are related, choose what you believe to be the most popular product in the bundle and select it from the eBay Catalog as the main product for the listing and check the bundle check box (or Bundle Listing item specific if using API).
- For seller-created bundles that do not have a clear primary product and there is no clear relationship between products in the bundle, don't list the items as a bundle, but create separate listings for each item instead.
Will I need to use the eBay Catalog if I am selling my items in lots?Yes. The way you should select a product in the eBay Catalog will vary depending on what type of lots you offer:
- When listing a lot of a single-pack product (e.g. a set of 4 Nests):
- Pick the product.
- Fill out the "Lot Size" field with the right value.
- In the above example, choose the appropriate Nest product and set Lot Size to 4.
- When listing a lot of a multi-pack product (e.g. a lot of 75 12-pack AA batteries):
- Pick the appropriate product for the multi-pack
- Fill out the "Lot Size" field with the right value
- In the above example, choose the appropriate product AND set Lot Size = 75.
How do I list a foreign product for initial product lines?You can select a "proxy" product for international versions available for every iPhone and iPad product and specify the exact carrier/network in the listing flow. For example, if you want to list a UK version of an “Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Vodafone” on the US site with an EAN=888462563048 on the box, search for iPhone 6s 128GB Black during the US selling flow. You will see the following results. Select product e4:
|e1||Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version AT&T||Apple||AT&T|
|e2||Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version Verizon||Apple||Verizon|
|e3||Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version T-Mobile||Apple||T-Mobile|
|e4||Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black INTERNATIONAL Versions||Apple||Not Specified|
What do you mean when you say my listings won't show up in search?Under the new Product-Based Shopping Experience, listings that have not adopted a product in the eBay Catalog for the Phase 1 product lines above or Phase 2 categories will not display in the search results page.
Will catalog information be accessible through all eBay listing tools, third-party tools, and APIs?All eBay listing tools and APIs will allow eBay Catalog products to be associated with your listings. Third-party tools will have access to this information via API. eBay is engaging directly with third-party developers about this as well. However, we encourage you to check with your third-party tools provider in preparation for the change.
Will this requirement apply for listings with all item conditions, aftermarket customization, bundles, and lots?Yes, this requirement applies to all item conditions (i.e. new, used, refurbished), as well as customized items, bundles, and lots.
How do I get the top product slot on the new product page?On a product page, when multiple listings of the same item have been associated with products from product lines in the eBay Catalog, your items will compete with other sellers' listings for the chance to be featured in the top pick or the primary position on the product page. You must be at above standard, ensure your items remain in stock, and offer competitive shipping and pricing to improve your chances of winning the top pick.
How will the Product-Based Shopping Experience impact my promoted listings?Promoted listings will continue to be featured in search results as well as within seller offers on our product pages. As the buyer experience evolves, we will continue to enhance these placements to more intelligently drive traffic to your listings.
When will product-based search apply?The buyer experience will only be defaulted to product based for very specific buyer queries, directly matching the products and categories identified, and always more than a month after the beginning of the selling enforcement. Sellers will be given multiple months of advance notice before any expansion of the product based experience.