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Types of eBay Item Specifics

November 11, 2020

If you’re selling on eBay, you need to take Item Specifics seriously.  

Item Specifics provide important attributes of the product you are selling, such as brand, size, type, colour, style and other relevant data. These nuggets of information are crucial to visibility and sales on eBay.  By populating them, you will ensure your listings are easily found by buyers and allow them to purchase with confidence.   

Listings with optimised Item Specifics are immediately more visible on eBay because they help users narrow down their choices using filters on search results. This is especially true for certain verticals. For example, eBay states that buyers looking for fashion items are 65% more likely to use filters (and therefore Item Specifics) to narrow down their search results.  

We realise that the sheer number of Item Specifics, as well as the constant updates by eBay (or eBay mandates), can cause some confusion. Because of this, here is a summary of the four main types of Item Specifics and what they really mean. 

Required Item Specifics  

Required Item Specifics are mandatory for eBay sellers. You need to enter Required Item Specifics when creating your listings on eBay, and there is no way around it. This type of Item Specific is considered the bare minimum needed to provide the eBay buying experience. Without completing these values, eBay will return an error such as “The item specific Colour is missing.  Add Colour to this listing, enter a valid value and then try again.”  

Required Soon 

Required Soon Item Specifics are the values that aren’t compulsory yet but will become enforced in the short term. Typically, a couple of times a year eBay announces new eBay Item Specific mandates for the marketplace. The changes are to improve the buyer experience and are based on what eBay learns about how the customer searches and shops for items on the platform. If you are a seller and your listing includes a Required Soon Item Specific, consider filling it in, as it will soon become Mandatory.  

The shift indicates that many buyers are searching for this Item Specific when looking for items like yours, so treat it as strategic information that can help you stay ahead. Optiseller’s Buyer Demand Indicator can help here, providing a visual guide of the most used Item Specifics. More importantly, if you don’t complete a “required soon” item specific, you risk not being able to revise the price or stock of the listing after the deadline for the change, which could impact your sales and revenue.  

Recommended Item Specifics  

Recommended Item Specifics are optional but provide more information to your buyers.  Again, they are an indication that buyers frequently use them in their searches, so populating these values can enhance your search visibility across the eBay marketplace, leading to more views and increased sales.  The Recommended Item Specifics are ranked in the order of the most searched, so you will see the most critical Item Specifics at the top (our Buyer Demand tool can help you with this). We recommend that you complete these Item Specifics, as they can be crucial to stand out from your competitors. 

Additional Item Specifics 

Additional Item Specifics are optional and provide extra information about your listings to potential buyers.  These values are not as highly searched as Recommended but should not be overlooked and populated where possible, because buyers may also be interested in them. Like the Recommended Item Specifics, the Additional Item Specifics are ranked in the order of the most searched. This means that the Item Specifics that users filter by are at the top. We recommend that you populate them where possible. 

The bottom line is that, the more Item Specifics you use, the more views and sales your listings will receive. You should also do your best to keep them updated and in line with eBay’s mandates. The best way to tick both boxes is to use Optiseller's Aspect Finder + toolFind out today how it can help you automate the process.  

Our tip: Use our Aspect Finder + tool to optimise your Item Specifics on eBay.

Why complete Item Specifics?

80% of eBay customers are likely to filter item specifics in the women's fashion category."

"82% of eBay customers in the dresses category are likely to filter by colour. 43% of eBay customers are likely to filter by style. 35% of eBay customers are likely to filter by length."

Don't miss out on any sales!

Optiseller's Aspect Finder + is free for all eBay sellers until December 31, 2020. 

Link it to your eBay store now! 
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