eBay New Mandatory Item Specifics from September

eBay New Mandatory Item Specifics eBay mandatory item specifics

There are new mandatory Item Specifics coming into effect on eBay UK from the 9th of September. The new mandatory item specifics values are available now in eBay listing flows and eBay say they would encourage you to add them ahead of the September 9th deadline. The snag is that if you leave the work until later, you won’t be able to list, revise or relist after the 9th of September.

We know that Item Specifics are one of the most tedious aspects of selling on eBay, not least for the many businesses who are just re-opening, worrying about finances and starting to kick start their sales again after shutting down for the past three months. That said, as they will be mandatory from early September, we would recommend putting a programme of works in place to get them updated on a gradual process rather than wait for listings to fail and have to deal with the issues at the end of the summer.

Categories for new Mandatory Items Specifics

Below are the categories where the new mandatory Item Specifics apply along with a link to download the requirements:

Home & Garden

From 9 September, there will be new item specifics required in Home & Garden.
Home and Garden item specifics requirements September 2020 (XLSX, 38.44 KB)


From 9 September, there will be new item specifics required in Electronics.
Electronics item specifics requirements September 2020 (XLSX, 53.92 KB)


From 9 September 2020, you will be required to provide item specifics in the Watches categories.
Watches item specifics requirements September 2020 (XLSX, 20.21 KB)

Business & Industrial

From 9 September 2020, you will be required to provide item specifics in the Business & Industrial categories.
Business & Industrial item specifics requirements September 2020 (XLSX, 28.52 KB)

Sporting Goods

From 9 September 2020, you will be required to provide item specifics in the Sporting Goods categories.
Sporting Goods item specifics requirements September 2020 (XLSX, 33.53 KB)

Previous mandates

If you would like to check the Item Specifics from previous mandates, you can find them all on the eBay Item specifics requirements – downloads page for: Fashion; Home & Garden; Toys & Games; Electronics; Watches; Business & Industrial; Sporting Goods.


eBay have made Optiseller available to eBay sellers, free of charge, through to the 31st of December 2020. Optiseller can assist you to:

  • Identify missing and required Item specifics
  • Automatically review your listings
  • Find recommended values
  • Easily update your listings (either directly on eBay or through another listing tool)

Frankly this is a cracking tool and (sorry eBay) way better than any bulk editing tools that eBay have made available (hence they’ve arranged for you to use it for free).

Sign up to use the Optiseller Aspect Finder + tool for free

You can sign up to get started here. Remember, you don’t just want to sort out your mandatory Item Specifics, you should be trying to fix them ALL so that your items are seen more in search and you don’t lose sales to competitors.

Too busy? Consider a paid service

For busy online businesses with lots of listings on eBay it’s really hard to find the staff time for the many hours it takes to add and amend all the item specifics one by one. Optiseller also offer an onboarding process for larger merchants which involves bulk data enrichment for categorisation, titles & item specifics as a feed for new and existing products.

This is a way to get all your listings up to 10 out of 10 in one go without taking time yourself. It’s a paid-for managed service which will augment the optimisation of product data using the same technology as Aspect Finder +, but in addition to existing listings this supports new products at scale and will provide categorisation, optimised eBay data with confidence. Prices start from £2,400.

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Yeah, eBay sent me the email, with a 'link' to 120 listings that needed attention. Of course, in true eBay style, the link just took me to all my active listings, so was no use whatsoever. No surprise there then.

JoeB • 10th July 2020 •

I only had 13....I have every EAN every title every box filled in have no idea what else they want.

SAM • 10th July 2020 •

Exactly the same. 157 listings need attention, but link just took me to my listings. So, I did the contact CS competition, to try to get advice. Got through, but the agent could hardly write English and was totally useless. An hour wasted and no further forward (he stopped replying in the end). At least the thousands I pay eBay every month is well spent - superb value for money.

BFT • 10th July 2020 •

One question I asked was in response to the watches spreadsheet. It says specifics required are brand (fair enough - they are all up to scratch on that one) and "department". What does department mean? - silence. Disgraceful lack of respect for sellers.

BFT • 10th July 2020 •

I wonder if all the private sellers who run a business have all this hassle changing the hundreds of listing they often have

Rob • 10th July 2020 •

15 of mine out of nearly 1600 need sorted, click the link and you get all your 1600 listings with nothing telling you what 15 may need adjusting. So linked in with this Optiseller, ages and ages it just says downloading listings, bar never moves and it does not say this may take X amount of time etc, so no idea if its even working correctly or not,

Colin • 10th July 2020 •

I tried Optiseller and had exactly the same problems as you. I had to delete it in the end - another waste of my time.

BFT • 10th July 2020 •

Its ok though, use the chat feature and they get back to you in 'hours' wonderful, I am on it right now meaning I am here to get a reply and chat, I give up

Colin • 10th July 2020 •

@Colin. Don’t use the “phone you back”feature, it took them 75 minutes to ring my phone once then hang up. However I shouldn’t be surprised, it is ebay after all.

Jonah • 10th July 2020 •

I've found that I had to create my own solution here for my users (ChannelAdvisor) both to give good advance advice on the specific products and item specifics that eBay desires to have added, as well as changes that we've done to minimize the friction for those additional requirements when they come into force. It's been a challenging project, for sure, and eBay keeps adding/changing those item specifics that are involved so it's a moving target to keep up with each iteration as they're published.

marshall • 10th July 2020 •

sick and tired of bloody updating item specifics every few months.....what the hell is it with ebay, why cant they leave very much alone...if sellers want to be found, they will do it, dont have to force them.!

annie • 11th July 2020 •

I had a notification from ebay about this, part in English part in German (!?). It said 3.200 or so listings needed my attention but no clear path on how to get it fixed. I'm sure I'll manage eventually but this is being handled in typical ebay style, yet again it's an absolute mess. Ebay does not understand their sellers, that much is very clear to me.

Don • 11th July 2020 •

@Don- sure ebay understand their sellers- they are viewed as a cash cow. Simple as that.

Jonah • 11th July 2020 •

@Jonah, would be interested to know if you make money from your customers that you sell or do you just buy stock to turnover and give away? ebay are a business and there to make money. If it does not work for you then don't use them. For me it work pretty well having a global audience

Rob • 13th July 2020 •

So instead of talking about creative solutions for this, every post is a complaint about ebay. If you don't like it, don't use it. If you are using it, share steps how to resolve this. Tired of reading about moaners every time here.

Ted • 12th July 2020 •

@Ted sounds like you have a solution- if so you may care to share it? I have no solution, then again it’s not my website. Perhaps the owners (ebay) would have a vested interest in it working correctly? It’s not a lot to ask.

Jonah • 12th July 2020 •

Mine isn't...I looked at the situations that were happening and the disruption it caused, and built changes and solutions to make it more informative for my users (ChannelAdvisor) and easier to resolve these changes as they are announced and take effect. I agree that there is some disruption in play with changes to things that have previously worked, but that's part of eBay's efforts to enrich the data and help buyers find the items they're looking to purchase. I was just searching for something today for myself, and because the name is a relatively generic word there were a lot of false positives coming back from a keyword search. Being able to use category and item specifics to filter down helped me get to the right items faster. From what I do I know that's a lot of additional effort for sellers, which is why I've been working on changes to make these updates less stress and friction on sellers.

marshall • 12th July 2020 •

@Ted welcome to 'criticizebay' !

NorthCrystal • 13th July 2020 •

@Rob Yes I make money from my customers, or else I wouldn’t be in business. But it’s a two way street. In return for their money I offer them quality service and goods, a website that works and don’t require them to permanently jump through hoops. And if I make alterations on my website then I make sure they work before launch without having to hassle my customers!!! All pretty basic one would think ?

Jonah • 13th July 2020 •

It is a two way street and I think ebay have gone a long way to getting a lot of good will back in the last few months with offers like £1 FVF, the chance to delay fees or 50% shop fees if closed for a period and 50% off shipping via Packlink. Yes they are doing a pretty poor job of rolling out managed payments and returns process is awful for sellers. But it seems you only see one side of things.

Rob • 13th July 2020 •

Each aspect has a 'help text' next to them in the business listing tool which tells you what the aspect means. I looked and Department says "Describes the age, gender, etc of the intended user of a product" the definition is like 'department' in a department store, Mens, Womens, Kids, etc. I hope that helps

Darren • 14th July 2020 •