Be seen. Use the right product information in your listings.
New product-based shopping experience
Your success as a seller begins when your buyers choose to shop first on eBay. To meet the evolving expectations of buyers, eBay is transforming the shopping experience to be product-based, where all listings for the same product are grouped together.
Until now, search results on eBay have overwhelmed buyers. Combing through the dozens of similar listings within eBay's vast inventory has made the shopping experience time consuming and frustrating—driving buyers away from your merchandise.
By transforming the shopping experience to be product-based, listings will now be collapsed and grouped by product. A product-based shopping experience will make it easier for buyers to find the merchandise that meets their search criteria, and quickly decide which products they want to purchase.
The eBay catalog
By associating your products to the eBay catalog when you list, your items will be a part of a retail-standard experience that buyers expect. The eBay catalog is a central repository of product information that allows you—the seller–to more easily associate your products with the product specifics that your buyers are looking for.
Associating your listings with the catalog also ensures that they qualify for things like product reviews and price trends, further highlighting the value of your product.
Listing using the eBay catalog
You will be required to list using the eBay catalog starting in May 2018. After this date, when you create a listing for an item in the specific products below, and do not associate it with a product in the eBay catalog, you will be unable to complete the listing process. The new shopping experience will only display listings that are associated with a product in the eBay catalog.
If you're selling in the product lines listed below, we advise you to start listing with the eBay catalog now. Seller Hub will also flag any of your listings that need to be updated to comply with this new requirement–this information can be found on both the Overview and Growth tabs.
How buyers will see products
Buyers shopping in the new product-based environment will find what they are looking for faster. By listing with the catalog, products that are heavily searched for will benefit from a collapsed search result. Items that are unique or vintage, will remain unique in search results and the catalog.
Since search results will be organized by product, buyers will be able to make quicker purchasing decisions. The image below shows this idea visually:
Slowly, over the next few years, we will expand the eBay catalog in phases to eventually cover all products. You will still be able to add any items that are not represented in the catalog yet—like unique, handmade, and vintage items.
We will invite you to provide your expertise and suggest edits to the catalog as you see fit to help ensure that all products in the catalog have accurate, up-to-date information.
Associate your items with the eBay catalog
Before you can begin listing with the eBay catalog, remember to verify that your item variations are listed with the right product identifiers. See here for step by step guidance.
In order to associate your listings with the eBay catalog, you will be required to enter a Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) in your new or existing listings. See detailed guidance below:
- Using eBay Tools
- Enter a Title, Manufacturer Part Number, or Global Trade Item Number (Universal Product Code, International Standard Book Number, European Article Number).
- Review the details of the matching products
- Click Select on the product that matches the item you are selling
- Click the Checkbox to prefill the listing with eBay Catalog Information
- Select condition and provide listing description information to provide buyers with additional detail
Revise an existing listing
- Log-in to your eBay account.
- Search using the Item ID you would like to revise.
- Ensure that your item does not feature multiple-SKUs or Variations.
- Click on the Find a Product link to the right of your listing title.
- Enter a Title, MPN, or GTIN (UPC, ISBN, EAN).
- Review the details of the matching products.
- Click Select on the product that matches the item you are selling.
- Using File Exchange
File exchange uses Product code fields to associate the eBay catalog with the items you are listing. To ensure your items qualify for the new product- based shopping experience, use the Product:EPID header and the number that best represents your inventory.
You may also want to use Product details fields to define which catalog attributes are included with your listing.
The Product details fields are:
For more information on formatting and header prerequisites, please review the File Exchange Advanced Instructions here.
- Using the Merchant Integration Platform (MIP)
- Open/Create the MIP flat file
- Add a column with a designated ePID and provide the number that represents your item in the eBay catalog (List of ePIDs attached with this email)
- Upload the flat file to associate your items with the eBay Catalog
- Using Turbo Lister
- Select the appropriate category. For example: (DVDs & Movies > DVD, HD DVD & Blu-ray).
- Under Details, search using a keyword or the product's assigned identifiers (UPC/EAN/ISBN) to return a list of product matches.
- Select the product and click on Next button to enter, review, and provide additional Item Specifics.
- Once Item Specifics are selected, click on the Done button to save the product details.
- Using the API
- Using 3rd Party Providers
Contact your 3rd party provider to find out more on associating your listings to an eBay catalog entry.
Need more information for help on this? Visit our Listing FAQs.
- Why is listing with the eBay catalog essential now?
One of the biggest opportunities eBay has is to organize, catalogue, curate, and present our vast inventory in ways that enable every person who shops on eBay to find their version of perfect, no matter what it is. As we move toward a product-based, retail-standard marketplace, it has become necessary for sellers to tell us exactly what items they are offering, because buyers expect a more streamlined shopping experience online. The best way to achieve this is to select the appropriate product in the eBay catalog, which includes information about each product for these product lines.
- What is the eBay catalog?
The eBay catalog is the central repository of product information that allows sellers to more easily associate their products with the qualities that buyers search for.
- What are product identifiers?
Most new, branded items have unique identifiers that help buyers recognize and find them. Unique identifiers include the item's brand, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). For more information on product identifiers, see our Listing FAQs.
- What is a GTIN?
Most new, branded items have unique identifiers that help buyers recognize and find them. Unique identifiers include the item's brand, Manufacturer Part Number (MPN), and Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) such as Universal Product Code, European Article Number or International Standard Book Number.
- When will sellers need to use the eBay catalog?
We strongly encourage sellers to begin adopting the eBay catalog now for the required product lines. Starting in May 2018, you will be required to match your items with products in the catalog for these specific products: Amazon Echo, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple iPads, Apple iPhones, Apple TV, Dyson AM Cooling Fan, Dyson AM Fan Heater, Dyson AM Humidifier, Dyson Pure, Google Chromecast, Google Home, Jawbone Jambox, Nest Thermostat, Roku Premier/Express/1/2/3/4.
We will continue to expand the requirement to additional product lines throughout the course of the year. Continue to check here for updates.
- How can sellers associate 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 a Universal Product Code, International Standard Book Number, or other keywords. Once you have selected the product from the catalog, you will continue the rest of the listing experience. Starting in May 2018, if we determine that you are selling a product in the initial product lines listed, but you did not adopt the catalog for it, you will be unable to complete the listing.
- When associating an eBay catalog product, will sellers be able to customize their listing?
It will depend on the item condition. For new products, additional pictures are optional. For other conditions (e.g. Used, Refurbished), you are already required to include additional pictures and item information to help buyers with their purchasing decisions.
- What benefits can sellers expect from listing with the catalog?
Adopting the catalog enables a number of enhancements:
- Listings will appear in more places through our internal merchandising efforts
- Sellers will have access to enhanced pricing guidance
- Listings will be eligible for product reviews
For product lines where we require catalog, adoption will be a prerequisite. You will not be able to list your inventory without it.
- When will new or existing listings not show up in search?
Starting in May 2018, the new product-based shopping experience will only display listings for the first set of products that require listing with the eBay catalog. The first set of products are: Amazon Echo, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple iPads, Apple iPhones, Apple TV, Dyson AM Cooling Fan, Dyson AM Fan Heater, Dyson AM Humidifier, Dyson Pure, Google Chromecast, Google Home, Jawbone Jambox, Nest Thermostat, Roku Premier/Express/1/2/3/4.
- Do product identifiers still matter in listings?
Yes. By providing product identifiers like brand, Manufacturer Part Number, and Global Trade Item Number, eBay will better be able to recommend the product you need to list with the catalog.
- How can sellers put their listings in a top spot in collapsed search and on product pages?
In order for listings to qualify for a higher search result, you should focus on providing competitive prices, shipping offers, and shipping services, alongside striving for top seller performance.
- When listing with the catalog, will sellers still be responsible for Significantly Not as Described (SNAD) claims?
Yes. As is with the existing policy, sellers must ensure listing details are accurate and up-to-date. This includes any product information in the eBay catalog that you adopt.
- Will buyers still be able to view listing description of an item if it's included on a product page?
Yes. While product information may be consolidated on product pages and collapsed search, buyers will still want to review the information you provide, and the images you share in your item's description.
- How will the product-based shopping experience impact sellers' promoted listings?
Promoted listings will continue to be featured on the search results page, as well as below seller offers on our product pages. As the buyer experience evolves, we will continue to enhance these placements to more intelligently drive traffic to seller listings.
- When sellers associate an item with the eBay catalog, they are presented with multiple options. What is the best fit?
We recommend that you click into and review specifications, cosmetic features, as well as any bundled accessories to ensure that the item you are listing aligns with the available product information.
- Will I need to use the eBay catalog for multi-SKU listings? What do sellers need to do to comply with the new listing requirements?
Yes. Variations are not currently compatible with the eBay catalog. In order to comply with the new catalog requirements, you are required to provide Universal Product Code, International Standard Book Number, or Global Trade Item Number for each variation in multi-SKU listings within the initial product lines. Later this year, we will expand this requirement to more products.
- What if there is inconsistent information in the eBay catalog?
Seller Hub users can suggest changes to the information in the catalog for a product 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.
- Will sellers need to use the eBay catalog if selling items in bundles?
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 Universal Product Code number (or International Standard Book Number if books) associated with them and should be found in the eBay catalog.
- For seller-created bundles with a clear primary product (e.g. Camera + accessories such as case, tripod, memory card, etc.), select the primary product from the eBay catalog as the product for your listing (in the above example, select the corresponding camera from the eBay catalog).
- For seller-created bundles with no clear primary product where all included items are related (e.g. a perfume gift set that includes five different bottles of perfume, or an assortment of DVDs), 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 checkbox.
- For seller-created bundles with no clear hero product, and/or no clear relationship between products in the bundle (e.g. mystery boxes), don't list these items as a bundle, list each product as a separate listing.
In all of these cases, apart from selecting the right product from the catalog, you must also set the "Bundle Listing" item specific to "Yes" and clearly itemize what's included in the bundle in the item description field.
- Will sellers need to use the eBay catalog if selling 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 car tires): Pick the product, then fill out the "Lot Size" field with the right value (in the above example, choose the appropriate tire 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 for the 12-pack, AND set Lot Size = 75.
- How do sellers list a foreign product for the initial products affected?
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:
Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version AT&T
Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version Verizon
Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black US Version T-Mobile
Apple iPhone 6s 128GB Black INTERNATIONAL Versions
If you search by Global Trade Item Number (i.e., EAN=888462563048) instead, product e4 will display as the only result, which should then be selected.
If your product is locked to a specific network, or is unlocked, be sure to mention this in the title of your listing.
- Will the catalog information be accessible through all eBay listing tools, third party tools, and APIs?
Yes. 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 with third party developers about this directly as well. However, we encourage you to check with your third party provider in preparation for this change.
- Will this requirement apply for listings with all item conditions, aftermarket customization, and bundles and lots?
Yes, this requirement applies to all item conditions (i.e. New, Used, Refurbished), as well as customized items, and bundles and lots.
- Will auction be represented in the product-based shopping experience?
Yes. Buyers that prefer the format will be able to access and filter out auctions that have been grouped with buy it now listings.
- Will Best Offer continue to be a feature in the product-based shopping experience?
Yes. Best Offer is an important tool for many sellers on the site.
- Will the catalog listing requirement expand to vintage, unique, or one of a kind items at a later time?
Yes. We will enable all sellers to add their products to the eBay catalog directly, including unique, handmade, and vintage items. Associating these items with the catalog will ensure that they are discoverable in the new product-based shopping experiences. Adding a unique product to the eBay catalog will require a similar time investment as the current listing creation process.