Make up your own item specifics

No primary category set are about to start testing the most radical change on the site ever!

Up until now whenever eBay have made a category change, introduced item specifics for a product set, or in fact made any change which buyer could search on bar keywords it’s been decided by an employee.

Now they’re about to test item specifics which the sellers can generate themselves. This was announced at eBay Live! in Boston and is the next generation of Finding (or search) on eBay. Sellers will for the first time be in control of what item specifics are required relevant to their product without eBay spending months researching the category and determining what’s required. An example could be a red ipod – when the first red ipods became available it took a couple of weeks for eBay to realise this and add the colour red as an item specific option. Now the seller listing the very first red ipod on eBay could simply add the red attribute to item specific for buyers to search for.

Initially testing will be carried out on about 90 categories which currently don’t have items specifics available. Certain custom item specifics may be offered because eBay have learnt that they’re appropriate, but eventually the site will organically learn which item specifics sellers use and possibly more importantly which item specifics buyers are searching on. Those that are used by both buyers and sellers will automatically be included as standard over time enabling sellers to better specify what buyers are looking for, and of course enabling buyers to find sought after items more easily.

This really is a quantum leap in finding technology for eBay. Just think of the man hours required to decide which item specific attributes are needed for a single category. An example could be printers, just for manufacturers how many are there? Which manufacturers should be included? How detrimental to a buyer searching is it if an obscure manufacturer is missed out? Will the sellers printer be found by buyers?

Multiply that by the thousands of categories available on eBay today and it’s a gargantuan task to manually set available attributes for every product. By allowing sellers to set the attributes they need and learning organically which attributes buyers are actively searching for, not only are countless man hours of eBay employee time saved but the entire site will develop without human intervention.

I’m really looking forward to the time the entire site worldwide has user definable item specifics. This is, in my opinion, the most important enhancement to search on eBay possibly since they first introduced categories in the first place.

9 Responses

  1. one of the first rules of selling is make it easy for buyers to part with their money

    it seems to me it gets more and more complicated rather than easier,

    why not make title 100 letters or more rather than 55

    or include the sub title in the title search
    with a 110 letters I could just about give the vital info on most things,

  2. if I were looking for an OBSCURE Printer
    my first action would be to type in OBSCURE Printer in Title
    and if nothing turned up, I would then google it,
    item specfics would not be used ,unless it turned up in a title search ,and even then only if there were lots of obscure printers, that I needed with an extra special obscurity

  3. north, I think 55 characters is more than enough. Making it longer will just increase the mess on the results screen – not to mention the flood of ” MINT L@@K! NO RESERVE NEW IN THE BOX WILL SHIP SAMEDAY etc..” The title is abused already.. infact, I would welcome ebay cleaning up the title.. starting with the “no reserve” brigade.

    If you cant fit it in 55 characters then use the subtitle. The high subtitle charge keeps the use of that to a minimum.

    I like item specifics, I think there is a place for it. See here for more info for those that havent seen it..

    I’ll be interested to see how this experiment works out.

  4. My concern is that sellers will abuse this feature and start adding nonsensical fields to the item specifics. Then we could actually get less functionality instead of more

  5. Hi Vincent, the good news is that eBay will automatically learn which items specifics that sellers add that buyers actually use. In time the popular specifics will be added automatically to the default dropdown menus. The nonsensical fields will be ignored if buyers never search for those terms.

  6. I think 55 characters is more than enough

    exactly my point

    Whats the matter with stating no reserve perfectly reasonable information and selling point
    in my opinion

  7. Stating no reserve has nothing to do with the ITEM. It’s simply a hook, one of many used by sellers. Please understand my position, I find the search results screen a MESS. Like you, I also use google – often finding stuff I MISSED. 🙁

    So back to item specifics, if ebay can increase the number of ways buyers can find stuff, then that can only be a good thing!

  8. yes of course its good thing if buyers can find stuff

    but its becoming so involved they will soon need to attend a course to do so


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