View Item description summary feature

The View Item description summary feature will become available to sellers in the Summer of 2016. This feature will allow sellers using code in their item description to customize and optimize the item description summary as it appears on mobile devices. This feature will be especially helpful to sellers who sell complex products (that require item descriptions longer than 800 characters long) or for sellers using active content (JavaScript, Flash, etc.) in their item descriptions to customize the look-and-feel of the listing in the desktop environment.

Once the View Item description summary feature is released this Summer, sellers who are familiar with using HTML can customize the actual content that appears in the item description on mobile devices. To customize the item description for mobile devices, the seller will use special HTML <div> and <span> tag attributes in the item description field/text box. An example of this HTML code is shown below:

<div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="Product">
<span property="description">
	This paragraph contains almost 800 characters of text to be displayed in the mobile item description.
	And the text in this paragraph through this sentence contains 250 characters, which is the amount we
	will display without any actions on your part. When you tag a paragraph with these HTML breaks, the 
	content will be displayed to shoppers looking at your item. This will allow the shopper to see the 
	key information you want to display, without them having to click through to the complete description. 
	If your complete description is 800 characters or less and uses basic HTML we will display the entire 
	description without any action on your behalf – so the best practice is to keep it within 800 characters. 
	If you have a long description, make it easy for your buyers by using this option.
</span>
</div>

Notice in the example above that the <div> tag has vocab and typeof attributes. As in the example, the value of these attributes must be set to "http://schema.org" and "Product", respectively. The <span> tag has a property attribute that must be set to "description".

All of the text above between the <span> tags will become the item description on mobile devices. The text between these tags must not exceed 800 characters. Basic HTML tags can be used within the text, but these tags will count towards the character limit. The type of HTML tags that can be used and the amount of characters they will count towards the character limit is summarized below. No other HTML tags other besides the ones listed below can be used within the <span> tags.

The first 800 characters (including text and the supported HTML tags) between the <span> tags will be extracted and used by eBay to create the item description on mobile devices. Any characters coming after the 800-character limit will be ignored by eBay, so it is very important that the seller stays within this 800-character limit.

The following images show the difference between a seller-generated, standard item description (not customized for mobile), and an eBay-generated, item description customized for mobile

Seller-Generated Item Description Seller-Generated Item Description

eBay-Generated Mobile Item Description eBay-Generated Mobile Item Description

As part of the View Item description summary feature, eBay will also release a tool that will allow sellers to preview the customized item description and to tweak/edit the text/HTML between the <span> tags before actually publishing the listing.