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Creating a listing with variations
In this article
In this article

What's a listing with variations?

Instead of creating a number of separate listings for an item that has multiple options, you can create a single multi-quantity fixed price listing that includes all the variations you offer. For example, a t-shirt might come in multiple colors and sizes. Buyers can select which variation they want to purchase from the single listing.

What categories can have listings with variations?

You can create listings with variations in several eBay and eBay Motors categories:

  • Baby

  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

  • Crafts

  • Health & Beauty

  • Home & Garden

  • Jewelry & Watches

  • Pet Supplies

  • Sporting Goods

  • eBay Motors Apparel & Merchandise

Not all categories support listings with variations. Use our category look-up tool to find out if listings with variations are available in your category.

Best Offer and Lots options aren't available when listing items with variations.

Listing your items

1. Get started
Listings with variations can be created in the advanced listing tool.
Begin your listing with variations by selecting the category for your new listing. If variations are allowed in that category, you'll be prompted to choose whether you want to create a listing with variations.
Select Yes and click the Continue button.
2. Add variation details
Variation details describe the differences between your items, such as color or size.
  • Select from the list of variation details provided, or find more variation details by clicking the Add variation detail link.

  • We'll recommend variation details that buyers commonly use when they search for items.

  • If you want to create a custom detail, select Add your own detail. When you name your custom variation detail, use common words that buyers use when they search, such as "size" and "color." In some categories certain words, such as "brand" and "condition," can't be used for variation details.

  • We may ask you to provide more specifics, or values, for some variation details. For example, after providing a color, we may ask you to describe the shade.

  • You don't need to use all the choices you see in a list. If a variation detail or value doesn't apply to your item, you can leave it blank and it won't appear in your final listing.

You can select up to 5 variation details, with up to 60 values for each.
For example: If you're selling a certain style of shoes, you can have up to 5 different variation details—for instance, color, size, width, material, and heel height. For each variation detail, you can add up to 60 different values. In this example, you could add 60 different colors or 60 different shoe sizes. While there are a large number of variations possible, only 250 variations are allowed in your listing.
Once you've added all your variation details and values, click the Continue button.
3. Add item specifics
Item specifics are characteristics that apply to all the items in your listing. For example, if all of the shoes in your listing are made of leather, you'll want to add that as an item specific.
  • Select item specifics such as "brand" or "manufacturer" from the list.

  • If an item specific you need doesn't appear in the list, click the Add your own item specific link and enter a unique item specific name (such as "toe type" or "country of origin") and at least one value (such as "open toe" or "France").

  • You can add up to 15 item specifics. Include as many item specifics as you can. The more specifics you use, the easier it is for buyers to find your items.

  • You don't need to use all the item specifics that appear in a list. If an item specific doesn't apply to your item, you can just ignore it and it won't appear in your final listing.

Once you've added all of your item specifics, click the Continue button.
4. Review your variations
We automatically create a table showing the variations of your item. While there are a large number of variations possible, only 250 variations are allowed in your listing.
  • Edit the list to remove any variations that you don't have in stock.

  • Add a custom label, or stock keeping unit (SKU), if you want. Select the Add a SKU for your items checkbox, enter the information in the field, and click the Add button.

Once you've reviewed and updated your list of variations, click the Continue button.
5. Add pictures
  • The main photo shows general views of the item you're selling. If you like, you can show all the variations of the item you're selling in a single main photo (such as all available colors of a pair of shoes). The main photo is used as a default if you don't add any variation photos.

  • Add more photos in the Show variation area to show the differences in the items, such as individual colors. Select a variation detail from the Show variation drop-down menu. If you change the variation detail that you're showing in the photos, you'll delete all the variation photos you've already uploaded.

  • You can add as many as 12 main photos and as many as 12 photos per variation detail for free. You don't have to add pictures for every value of the variation detail you're showing.

  • To see how your pictures and variations appear in the listing, click the Preview your listing link.

When you're done adding photos, click the Continue button.
6. Enter the price and quantity for each variation.
  • Enter your prices and quantities directly in the table.

  • To enter or revise the price for several variations at a time, select the variations you want to edit and click the Enter price or Enter quantity button.

  • To see how this information will appear in the listing click the Preview your listing link.

After your listing is active, you can use this page to monitor your listing with variations, update quantities when you add stock, and change prices.
Click the Save button to save your variation information and continue listing your items.

Viewing and managing listings

To view and manage your listings with variations, go to My eBay > Sell > Active.

The Active section shows your current listings and links to your listings with variations. Click the Go to variations button to view your listings with variations.

When viewing the listings, click the Show Variations button to expand the listings to show all variations. The expanded view also shows: 

  • Individual prices for each variation

  • Variation details in the item column

  • The number of buyers watching the item

  • The price of each variation

  • The time left for the listing

  • A drop-down menu with common actions such as Sell Similar and Revise.

Items are sorted from the unexpanded view only. If you sort by price, the lowest available item price is used for items with variations.

If an item needs to be restocked:

  • You'll see an "out of stock" note in the item listing and an information flag.

  • The drop-down menu shows the restock option, and directs you to the Revise your item page.

You can also view your scheduled, sold, and unsold listings with variations in My eBay.

Revising listings

  • You can revise a listing by selecting Revise from the listing's drop-down menu in My eBay or by clicking the Revise your item link in your listing.

  • You can change variation details, prices, quantities, and pictures.

Change categories with caution. Listings with variations aren't available in all categories. If you change the category to one that doesn't support listings with variations, all variations you previously defined are deleted. If you choose to change back to a category that does support listings with variations, you need to recreate your original variations.

Best practices

Consider listing in only one category.
  • If you choose to list in 2 categories, make sure that both categories allow listings with variations.

Emphasize your most popular variations.
  • List your product so that buyers can easily see the information they're most interested in. For example, in most Clothing, Shoes & Accessories categories, buyers want to see the various colors and sizes available.

  • Remember to add plenty of pictures.

Use variation details and item specifics that buyers are likely to search for.
  • Item specifics can help attract buyers to your listing, and we encourage you to follow our recommendations.

  • When you specify a color, choose the more common color name we suggest, such as "red," instead of a unique color name, such as "cranberry."

  • Use a unique color name only when you're sure that buyers will search for it.

Make the most of your photos.
  • Pictures help buyers decide whether to buy an item, especially in listings where there is more than one variation of your product.

  • We recommend at least one picture that displays all the variations in the listing, and at least one picture for each variation.

Try different combinations of details.
  • Experiment with your listings to see which approach is the most successful in helping you sell your items.

  • Example: You want to list cobalt blue Fiestaware place settings. Instead of selecting color as a variation detail (since they're all cobalt blue), you could enter "plates" as a variation detail, and then specify "dinner," "salad," and "dessert."

Consider the duration of your listing and monitor your inventory.
  • Consider using a time frame of Good 'Til Cancelled for your listings with variations, and keep the items listed for as long as possible. Popular listings can appear higher in search results, allowing you to reach more buyers.

  • When you sell an item, we'll automatically deduct the item from your quantity and price list for that variation.

  • If you sell out of an item, it will show in your listing as "out of stock" until you replenish it.

  • Use the Quantity and Price page to track your inventory. Make sure you don't sell out of all your variations. If you sell all the variations of the item, the listing will automatically end. You'll need to relist the item to sell more.

Use variations that are appropriate for the item.
  • For example, don't list a "gloves" variation of a listing for a pair of shoes.

  • Using a single listing with variations to try to sell different products in order to avoid fees is a violation of our policy on avoiding eBay fees and can cause poor search and buying experiences.


List your product with variations

See our step-by-step guide on how to create listings with variations.

10 minutes

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