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Item Specifics Updates for Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

(Updated June 7, 2011 -- Note that support for ID-based attributes in these categories has been extended to July 20, 2011. Also, GetCategorySpecifics returns required custom item specifics for applicable categories as of early June 2011.)

From April through July 2011, eBay is making changes in fashion categories for fashion enthusiasts. Here’s what developers need to know to support these changes. (These changes will affect eBay US and international sites.)

No ID-Based Attributes in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

Support for ID-based attributes (Item.AttributeSetArray) is ending soon (late July) in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories. Use custom item specifics (Item.ItemSpecifics) in AddItem and related calls instead.  (All areas of Clothing, Shoes & Accessories have supported the new custom item specifics format for the past year or more.)

If you still have Clothing, Shoes & Accessories listings with ID-based attributes, eBay will convert those existing listings to custom item specifics for you.

Category Structure Changes in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

A number of changes have been made to the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category structure. Category structure changes will eliminate redundancies, improve coverage, and meet buyers’ shopping experience expectations.  Your (or your sellers') listings falling under impacted categories may have been moved to new categories based on existing category ID and item specifics. After the category structure updates are effective (on April 5th), please revise your listings if you feel a different category is a better fit.

In addition to the category structure changes, we are tailoring custom item specific values in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories.  The values are being improved to meet sellers’ needs and to help with item specifics relevance. For example, some subcategories are moving out of the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category structure and into item specifics instead. (Some new categories are being added, as well.)

GetCategorySpecifics identifies the available custom item specifics for leaf categories, as well as dependencies between item specifics. After the metadata changes are available in the system, see NameRecommendation.ValidationRules.MinValues to identify required item specifics, and NameRecommendation.ValidationRules.Relationship for any dependencies. GetItemRecommendations will also be updated.

Note: Although GetCategory2CS and GetAttributesCS may still return ID-based attribute data for these categories, we recommend that you avoid using these calls for Clothing, Shoes & Accessories. As a general rule, if GetCategoryFeatures shows that a category supports custom item specifics (ItemSpecificsEnabled) or a category has been converted from ID-based attributes to custom item specifics (AttributeConversionEnabled), you should use custom item specifics instead of ID-based attributes.

Required Item Specifics Coming in June and July in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

Starting July 20, 2011 all new and revised listings in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories categories must include the following custom item specifics: Brand, Size Type, Size, Style, and Color. Required item specifics may vary by category.

These calls will fail if listings in the above categories are missing required item specifics:

  • AddItem and AddFixedPriceItem
  • RelistItem and RelistFixedPriceItem
  • ReviseItem and ReviseFixedPriceItem (even if your revision does not touch the item specifics)

The following cases will not be blocked for now. However, we recommend that sellers include the required item specifics in these listings in order to benefit from the new buyer experience:

  • ReviseInventoryStatus (for changing price and quantity) won't be blocked regardless of whether existing listings in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories categories have the required item specifics.
  • Good 'Til Canceled (GTC) listings that you don't revise, they will continue to renew automatically for the next several months even if they are missing required item specifics.

Early Access Info: Starting in June 2011, GetCategorySpecifics and GetItemRecommendations will identify the required custom item specifics for leaf categories, before they become mandated on July 20. (Alternatively, see the lookup table for developers (link below) to view the mandated item specifics).

In general, if ValidationRules.MinValues is set to 1, it means the item specific is required for that category. For Clothing, Shoes & Accessories categories, it means that the item specific will be required after July 20.

AddItem and related calls will not enforce these required item specifics in fashion categories until July 20. However, we encourage you to start using the required item specifics as early as possible.

More Information On These Fashion Category Changes

Site changes for Fashion Pages - April 2011

Item specifics required in Fashion categories

Required Item Specifics Lookup Table for Sellers

Review the category, catalog and item specific updates coming April and May

Item Specifics Lookup Table (All Categories) for Developers


April 4, 2011 in Best Practices, Categories and Item Specifics, Large Merchant Services, Product News, Seller Releases, Trading API | Permalink