Category & item specifics updates

Updates to categories, item specifics, and the eBay catalogue—find out if your category is affected

Some category names are changing

Category, item specifics, and catalogue updates will be released this spring to provide a more intuitive buying, selling, and search experience. Check the list of affected categories and make any necessary updates to ensure uninterrupted sales.

Notable category and item specifics updates will affect the following categories beginning in June 2015:

  • Books
  • Business & Industrial
  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
  • Crafts
  • Health & Beauty
  • Jewellery & Watches
  • Musical Instruments & Gear
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Everything Else
  • Motors

We’ve added new categories, too

Over 800 categories named “Other” have been renamed to provide greater context for your buyers, and 234 new categories have been added. Significant improvements have been made in the Toys & Hobbies category.

See if these updates apply to you

Click on the category name for more details

When listing with any of the new or changed categories, please always use the eBay recommended item specifics.

Please fill out all applicable item specifics in order to optimize visibility on your listing. Get more details .

Category

Update

Books

    Updates to:
  • Category ID changes to align with global eBay sites

Business & Industrial

    Updates to:
  • MRO & Industrial Magnets
  • Shipping & Moving Boxes

Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

Bridal Accessories > Belts & Sashes category added

Crafts

    Changes include consolidated categories in:
  • Knitting Needles
  • Knitting & Crocheting Patterns

Use the eBay recommended item specifics for optimum visibility after the changes are made.

Health & Beauty

    Changes include:
  • Category ID changes to align with global eBay sites
  • New categories under Oral Care

Jewellery & Watches

    Look for consolidated categories in:
  • Jewellery Boxes

Use the eBay recommended item specifics for optimum visibility after the changes are made.

Musical Instruments & Gear

    Look for consolidated categories under:
  • Acoustic Violins

Toys & Hobbies

    Look for significant redesigns in:
  • Diecast & Toy Vehicles
  • Games
  • Model Railroad & Trains

If you list in these areas, please review the updates, and be sure to use the eBay recommended item specifics for optimum visibility after the changes are made.

Everything Else

Minor changes

Motors

    New categories including:
  • Cars & Trucks > Aston Martin > Rapide
  • Cars & Trucks > Chevrolet > SS
  • Electronics & Navigation (8 new categories)
  • Minor changes in Cars & Truck Parts

How to get the most from these updates

  • Item specifics updates in existing categories are now available. Revise your listings with new item specifics to help ensure they’re moved to the correct category when the category changes are made in June 2015.
  • For optimal visibility, update your listings with the listing improvement recommendations found on the Summary pages in Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro.
  • In many categories, unique identifiers are required for your items to show up in Google Product Search. The best way to ensure your listing contains the required information is to list your item with the eBay catalogue whenever there’s a product match. If listing with the eBay catalogue isn’t possible, fill out the item specifics for brand, model, UPC, ISBN, EAN, colour, size, gender, and/or MPN wherever they are available/applicable.

See the complete list of category updates.

    Use any of the following eBay tools to update your listings:
  • Bulk edit functionality in My eBay
  • Selling Manager/Selling Manager Pro
  • File Exchange
  • Turbo Lister
    • Category and item specifics are updated every 24 hours. To manually update, go to the “Refresh” tab and select “Update eBay Categories and Item Specifics”.
Tips and tools to edit listings

Practical tips for creating descriptions

  • Use eBay-recommended item specifics whenever they’re available to help buyers find your items quickly.
  • Provide photos that complement the description of your item. Every listing must have at least 1 picture, but you can include up to 12 for free.
  • Describe your item as completely and accurately as possible in the body of your listing, and make sure the description is consistent with the item specifics you choose.
  • List your item with the eBay catalogue whenever there’s a product in the catalogue that’s an exact match to the item you have for sale and/or required by the category. To list an item with the catalogue, select it from the list presented. You can also use the catalogue photo of the item; however, catalogue images cannot be used as the primary photo for non-new items.
  • Only list your item with the eBay catalogue when the catalogue product is an exact match to the item you have for sale. If it is not an exact match, then we recommend completing your listing without selecting a product from the catalogue list presented. You can also request that we add your product to our catalogue.
  • Whenever possible (and even if you can’t list your item with the catalogue), include unique product identifiers like UPC, GTIN, and ISBN to help buyers find your listings when they search within eBay, on search engines, and using mobile applications.

Frequently asked questions

  • Which categories are being changed?

    Please see the complete list of category updates.

  • When can I start listing in the new or revised categories?

    You can start using the new and revised categories as soon as they become available in June 2015.

  • Which item specifics are being changed?

    Please see a complete list of item specifics updates for Spring 2015.

  • When can I start using the new and recommended item specifics?

      Item specifics for categories that will be going away will appear on the site starting in March 2015. Using the newly added item specifics will help us move items to the best possible replacement category in June. Using the eBay-recommended item specifics will also help to ensure that:
    • a) your item is classified correctly and is more likely to be returned in search
    • b) buyers find your item more easily by refining their search results using the left-hand navigation refinements
  • What happens if I don’t use the new and recommended item specifics in my listings?

    Excluding recommended item specifics will make your item less likely to surface when buyers use the left-hand navigation refinements; for example, if the seller tag for “colour” is omitted on a listing, then the item will surface when “not specified” is selected on the left-hand navigation, but will not surface when the buyer refines by a given colour.

  • I use a third-party listing tool through ChannelAdvisor (or another Certified Provider). Do I have to do anything to make sure my listings comply with the new category, item specifics, or catalogue updates?

    ChannelAdvisor and other Certified Providers typically update their tools with the new category structure. In instances where third-party tools haven’t been updated, eBay will automatically map new listings with the old category IDs to the new categories. Once the Certified Provider has updated its category structure, use the new category as opposed to the old category ID.

  • Can I get guidance on what item specifics changes will impact my listings?

    Yes. Check Selling Reminders on your My eBay All Selling page or the new Listing Improvement section of the Selling Manager summary page to identify your listings without item specifics. You can then easily edit those listings in bulk. Remember, using eBay-recommended item specifics in your listings makes it easier for buyers to find your items.

  • What happens to my listing if my category now has subcategories?

    If new subcategories have been added below your category, your listings will be moved to the best possible subcategory based on the item specifics used in the listing. If the eBay-recommended item specifics are not used, your item will be moved to the “best fit” category based on keywords in the listing title. If the item cannot be moved based on keywords, then it will be moved to the “Other” subcategory. When you relist these items, be sure to list in the appropriate subcategory and use eBay-recommended item specifics for optimal visibility in a buyer’s search results.

  • What happens if I don’t believe my listing has been moved to the most appropriate category?

    If your listing has not been moved to the most appropriate category, revise the listing and select a category that’s better suited to your item.

  • What happens if I can’t find a product in the catalogue that is an exact match to my item?

    It’s a good idea to try and match your item with a product from the catalogue as often as you can. However, if you’re unable to find a product in the catalogue that’s an exact match to the item you have for sale, create your listing without selecting a product from the catalogue. Remember, selecting a product from the catalogue for your listing that’s similar but not an exact match to the item you have for sale may be confusing for your buyers and could create a bad buying—and selling—experience. Therefore, in cases where an exact match cannot be found, we recommend completing your listing without selecting a product from the catalogue.

  • What happens to my listing if a category gets merged with another category or parent category?

    If your category gets merged with another category, your listing will automatically move to the new category. If the item specifics differ from the previous category, you’ll need to update your listing using eBay-recommended item specifics for more potential visibility on the search results page. Be sure to check your listings to see if any of them have changed categories.

  • How will changes to category IDs affect my multi-quantity listings?

    Your active multi-quantity listings will be moved to the correct category for you. Please make sure you have the latest version of Turbo Lister or other third-party tools to ensure the category IDs reflect the latest changes.

  • How will this change impact my Good ’Til Cancelled listings?

    Any of your Good ’Til Cancelled listings that used the catalogue information prior to it being updated will remain intact and continue to include product details from that version, even after the catalogue has been updated in June 2015. Should you ever decide to revise these Good ’Til Cancelled listings, however, you will be asked to select a product from the updated catalogue.

  • What happens if the updated item specifics don’t match my current custom item specifics?

    We recommend you use the eBay-recommended item specifics whenever possible, since custom item specifics won’t be matched to the left-hand navigation on the search results page. To make it easier for buyers to find your item, revise your listings using eBay-recommended item specifics.

  • How do I edit my listing when the item specifics in my category change?

      To edit a single listing:
    • Select the listing you want to revise in My eBay and click the “Edit” button.
    • From the Actions menu, select “Edit listings”. To edit multiple listings, select the listings you want to revise, then click the “Edit” button.
    • From the Edit drop-down menu, select “Item specifics”.
    • From the drop-down menu, select “Edit listings in bulk”.
    • Make the changes you want in the grid, then click the “Save and Close” button.
  • I’m using item specifics, but they aren’t showing up in the filter options on the results page. Why is this happening?

    If you add your own custom item specifics and values, they will not show up in the left- hand navigation. When buyers use the item specifics filters, your listing will only get matched if you use eBay-recommended item specifics and values.

  • How will category updates affect my fees?

    Generally speaking, when your item or items are moved to a new category with different final value fees, they take on the final value fees of that new category. Insertion fees and advanced listing upgrade fees will be based on the original category. In cases where the original category has been merged with a category with different fees, you’ll be charged the insertion fees and advanced listing upgrade fees for the original category until the listing ends and the final value fees for the category into which the original category was merged. See fees for selling on eBay for details.

  • What happens if I don’t associate my listing to a matching product in the catalogue?

    While it’s always a best practice to list your item with the eBay catalogue whenever there’s an exact match available, it is not a requirement to complete your listing. It is important to note, however, that product descriptions from the old catalogue will be removed from all listings if you revise, relist, or create a similar listing. If your listing contained a product description from the old catalogue, you will either need to update your listing by selecting a new product from the catalogue or add your own product description.

  • If I can't find a matching product in the eBay catalogue, is there some way to add my product to the catalogue?

    Yes. You can request that we add your product to our catalogue.

    Get more information here

Connect & learn more

eBay Radio

Tune in to a special Seller Update live broadcast of eBay Radio, Tuesday March 17, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm PDT, to hear Griff discuss these changes and get your questions answered by eBay experts.

Discussion boards

Join a special Community board and discuss these changes with eBay staff and other sellers.