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Published: November 17 2008, 9:53:00 AMUpdated: November 28 2020, 1:30:39 PM

I used GetCategory2CS to retrieve values for site-wide item specifics, such as return policy and item condition.  When I try to use these AttributeSetIDs in my AddItem calls, I keep getting an error that says "Your Item Specifics (####) do not match the category you selected"!  Why is GetCategory2CS returning the "wrong" values?

Important note: As early as February 2009, this method of specifying return policy using attributes may be deprecated.  We recommend using the new <ReturnPolicy> node.  Please see https://ebay.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ebay.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1304.

The most common cause of this error message is that developers don't properly check the <ExcludeCategoryID> nodes returned by the GetCategory2CS call.  Site-wide item specifics aren't valid for every category, and you can figure out which categories are excluded from the attribute set by looking at the list of <ExcludeCategoryID>  nodes present in the response.  Take a look at the following excerpt of a GetCategory2CS response:

GetCategory2CS Response excerpt
- <SiteWideCharacteristicSets>
- <CharacteristicsSet>
  <Name>Return Policy</Name>
  <AttributeSetID>2135</AttributeSetID>
  <AttributeSetVersion>85828</AttributeSetVersion>
  </CharacteristicsSet>
  <ExcludeCategoryID>19069</ExcludeCategoryID>
  <ExcludeCategoryID>100225</ExcludeCategoryID

You can see here that ReturnPolicy is a site-wide item specific with an AttributeSetID of 2135.  However, note the <ExcludeCategoryID> nodes associated with it.  For these categories, this is not a valid AttributeSet, and will generate the error "Your Item Specifics (####) do not match the category you selected".  When trying to use site-wide item specifics, you should also check the <ExcludeCategoryID> nodes first.

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