Category and Item Specific Updates

No primary category set

If you trade in one of the categories affected by yesterday’s category update then you’ve probably got a busy day ahead of you updating your listings.

The categories affected are: Books, Comics & Magazines, Clothes, Shoes & Accessories, Computing, Consumer Electronics, Mobile & Home Phones, Photography and Video Games. In some categories the changes are fairly minor renaming of categories, but in others you’ll need to totally recategorise your listings. There is a full schedule of category changes at

Sadly as well as changing the category of your listing you’ll probably also be forced to manually update the item specifics for each item. When you change category normally you’ll find that the specifics don’t exactly map.

It will also cause problems for buyers in the short term. Until sellers update there listings they will for example be led to believe that there are only 17 pairs of boots, 10 shoes and just a single pair of slippers available on eBay. That’s not correct of course, it’s just that 23,419 pairs of Men’s Shoes and 61,162 pairs of Women’s shoes have been dumped into the “Other” category.

I do feel for the sellers who have hundreds or thousands of listings to edit and revise. I’ve been affected by eBay category changes in the past and it’s never fun, especially when you find that the Item Specifics you so carefully entered have been wiped out and need re-entering for each listing one by one.

If you sell in Clothing, Shoes and Accessories then you’ll also need to ensure your listings have as a minimum the which in general are Brand, Size and Style. You have until 16 May 2011 to revise the item specifics in your listings to ensure visibility for your products.

If buyers can’t find the products they want to buy it’s bad news for sellers, so if you are in an affected sub-category the sooner you can get your listings revised the sooner buyers will find your items… and of course the longer your competitors take to recategorise their items the greater the advantage you gain by getting the work done sooner rather than later.

19 Responses

  1. If the buyers can’t find products which are being sold by sellers, it’s a marketplace failing.

    Isn’t it time eBay fixed search and made the marketplace work better, rather than leaning on sellers all the time?

    Google’s answer to organising the web wasn’t to ask every website on the planet to neatly categorise all its content – it built a search capability which would do that automatically. As a result it’s useful.

  2. If you’re a media seller and revising listings, don’t forget to start changing the item condition too, there’s five to choose from instead of just new/used. While you don’t have to use them until May, it makes sense to revise them now if you’re revising them anyway because of the category changes.

  3. The new item specifics have some in over the last couple of days and have wrecked my catergory (bras)

    I list bras on a multi variation listing with the variations as cup size and bra back size. However as the cup size has now become an compulsary item specific I am no longer allowed it as a MVL variant!

    Tech support’s only suggestion is that I do a listing for each cup size and then have all the back size variants in that listing. So instead of 1 listing for 30 to 42 backs and DD to K cups, I now have to have 12 listings. One for cup sizee DD, one for E, one for F etc etc.

    So then it costs me 12 times in listing fees which adds up when you pay 30p onm each one for US visability.

    How is this progress? It’s going to make everything much lower in best match as it splits my sales on one style 12 ways.

    Honestly I could cry.

  4. Gerry – the relist option doesn’t work and nor does revising or doing a new listing.

    The size variations are not spamming. I sell bras for big girls and the difference in size from my smallest at a dd to largest at a kk is staggering. A kk cup doesn’t even fold flat into an a4 envelope because the underwire is too big.

    Trust me at these sizes and weight of breasts you need exactly the right size bra.



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