What you need to know

  • We’re adapting our approach to Shop by Product on our biggest international sites (eBay.co.uk, eBay.com or eBay.de). While we recommend you match your items to a catalogue entry, you won’t be required to do so.
  • In certain categories, we’re making more item specifics fields mandatory. These item specifics are the ones which help your items to be found and sell faster.

Last year, we announced our plans to move to a new shopping experience for buyers with ‘Shop by Product’ on eBay.co.uk and other international sites. 

We knew building the eBay catalogue would take different adaptations and versions to get it right. We want to include your feedback and make it work for everyone on eBay. With this in mind, we’ve listened and adjusted our approach.

A focus on Item specifics

We’ve now adjusted our approach so that in the future we’ll be using Item specifics to identify products. We’ve reviewed which Item specifics are the most useful to buyers when they’re looking for products and have aligned with the way they search, including changing the names of some Item specifics to reflect this. In addition, we’re updating the filters buyers will see when searching to make it faster and easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

Item specifics are descriptive terms that tell a buyer about your item which you enter when you create or amend a listing. They could include the brand, size, type, colour, style or many more and will vary depending on what you’re selling.

Making sure that your items have all the information available will give you more visibility on eBay.co.uk or eBay.com, in search and the potential for an increase in sales. It will mean that in the future we’ll be able to use Item specifics to identify products and showcase similar items together in many of the new buyer experiences on most of our international sites. 

Our research shows the impact of adding item specifics to your products:

  • Listings in the Dresses category that included the “Style” and “Dress length” Item specifics sold 81% better on average than those without.* 
  • Listings in the Dresses category that included the “Dress length” Item specific sold 76% better than those without.*

*Measured over 8 months from December 2017 - July 2018

Our new requirements and the timeline

As a result of this adapted approach, we’ll let you know the most important 3 or 4 Item specifics you need to fill in for each category that could benefit your conversion rate. We’ll provide you with 8 weeks notice when Item specifics are required in a category. The requirements will apply to all new and revised listings. Any Good ‘Til Cancelled listings will remain the same until they are revised, however, we encourage you to add the relevant Item specifics to those listings to see the benefits of our changed approach.

This year’s requirements will be focused on a few key categories: 

  • Fashion
  • Home & Garden (later this year)
  • Electronics (later this year)

The next requirements will happen in May 2019 for Clothes, Shoes & Accessories in the following categories:

L2 L3 Timeline
Women's Clothing  Tops & Shirts November 2018
Women's Clothing  Dresses January 2019
Women's Clothing  Skirts May 2019
Women's Clothing  Shorts May 2019
Women's Clothing  Coats & Jackets May 2019
Women's Clothing  Boots May 2019
Women's Clothing  Sandals & Beach Shoes May 2019
Women's Clothing  Tops & Shirts May 2019
Women's Clothing  Jumpers & Cardigans May 2019
Men's clothing Shorts May 2019
Men's clothing Coats & Jackets May 2019
Men's clothing Trainers May 2019
Men's clothing T-Shirts May 2019
Men's clothing Hoodies & Sweatshirts May 2019
Men's clothing Casual Shirts & Tops May 2019
Men's clothing Formal shirts May 2019












Click below to download the list of Item specifics that will be mandatory in the above categories. Please be aware that some Item specifics may have new names now that we’re aligning more which what buyers search for. Later in the year, we’ll update you with the Item specifics required for Home & Garden and Electronics.

Categories for Item specifics - May 2019

Next steps

  • If you sell in the Clothes, Shoes & Accessories categories on eBay.co.uk, eBay.de, eBay.fr, eBay.it, eBay.es start updating your listings now to include any missing Item specifics before May 2019.
  • If you sell items in the Women’s Clothing category, you’ll have already received information about Item specifics requirements we put in place at the end of 2018 and in February 2019. 
  • Get a head start by adding as many Item specifics as possible to your listings, even if they’re not mandatory, as they will help your buyers find your items. This advice applies to all categories, not just the ones shown above.
  • If you sell items in the Home & Garden and Electronics categories, look out for further announcements later this year.


For more information about Shop by Product, please visit our dedicated Seller Centre page.

Frequently asked questions

Is all the work I did matching my products to the eBay catalogue wasted?

Your work is definitely not wasted. We’re still fully committed to Shop by Product as we believe it is the right direction for our customers. The items that you’ve already matched to the catalogue will get a headstart in most cases as many of the Item specifics will have already been added to your listings automatically when you linked them.

When will I find out which Item specifics are mandatory for my categories? 

You’ll receive official communications via Business Seller News, my eBay messages, emails, Seller Hub and, in some cases, via phone. We’ll provide a minimum of 8 weeks notice of any upcoming item specific requirements. To make sure you don’t miss out, make sure you’re opted into to receiving communications from eBay by going to your Account settings > Communication preferences > Promotions and surveys > General email promotions. 

Should I still add Product identifiers to my listings?

Yes you should still add Product identifiers to your listings where they exist.