Item Specifics Updates in June and July for Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

(Updated June 26, 2011 -- Color will not be required, but it is strongly recommended. 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

When we enabled custom item specifics for Clothing, Shoes & Accessories in 2009, we announced that the ID-based attributes in these categories would be deprecated in about a year. 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 had Clothing, Shoes & Accessories listings with ID-based attributes as of April 2011, eBay converted those existing listings to custom item specifics for you. However, as the item specifics have changed since April, these conversions will no longer occur.

Category Structure Changes in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories

A number of changes have been made to the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category structure. Category structure changes 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. The category structure updates were effective on April 5th. Please revise your GTC listings if you feel a different category is a better fit.

In addition to the category structure changes, we have tailored custom item specific values in Clothing, Shoes & Accessories.  The values were improved to meet sellers’ needs and to help with item specifics relevance. For example, some subcategories moved 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, 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 item specifics: Brand, Size Type, Size, and Style in the ItemSpecifics (name/value) format. Required item specifics may vary by category.

Color is not required (updated from original announcement, based on community feedback), but both Color and Shade help establish consistent color across categories. Sellers are highly encouraged to provide details on both aspects. Specifying Color will enable buyers find your items when searching for items by color.

As of the end of June 2011, eBay is giving more visibility to these refinements in Fashion categories, so we recommend that you start using custom item specifics now if you don't already.

These calls will fail for listings that 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 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.

Also note that if ValidationRules.SelectionMode is set to "SelectionOnly", it means you must choose from eBay's recommended values, instead of specifying you own custom value. (This occurs for Style, Occasion, and Color in some categories.) This requirement is already in effect. However, if your application does not yet support using SelectionOnly values in GetCategorySpecifics, you can omit the item specific entirely in the short term while you adjust your application. AddItem and related calls will not block fashion listings that omit item specifics, until July 20.

More Information On These Fashion Category Changes

Item Specifics Lookup Table (All Categories) for Developers

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


June 9, 2011 in Best Practices, Business News, Categories and Item Specifics, Certified Provider, Critical Notes from Tech Support, Documentation, Product News, Seller Releases, Trading API | Permalink

New API for Browsing Inventory on is launching a brand new Half Finding API, which will help streamline the search and browse functionality for items listed on The API includes the findHalfItems call, which returns a paginated list of items for a specific product ID, sorted by price. In addition, you can filter items based on item condition and seller. You can retrieve a maximum of 1500 items for a given product through this API.

See the Half Finding API documentation for more information.

February 3, 2011 in Business News, Product News | Permalink

Major Change to Large Merchant Services: UTF-8 encoding is required starting Feb 14, 2011

Important Announcement

Beginning 2011-02-14, Large Merchant Services will require all input files to be UTF-8 encoded. Other encodings (e.g. ISO-8859-1) will not be rejected by the system, but some characters may not be rendered correctly on the View Item page.


Please make the required changes in your application.



eBay Developer Technical Support Team

February 2, 2011 in Best Practices, Business News, Critical Notes from Tech Support, Developer Community, Large Merchant Services | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tax Reminder for US Affiliate Developers

eBay Developers who are also members of the eBay Partner Network will want to take a look at this post:
For US Publishers Only – Review the Accuracy of Your W9 Information for 1099-Tax Forms by Dec 31, 2010

You will receive a 1099 tax form for the year 2010 from eBay Partner Network if:

  • You are a United States citizen or legal resident and
  • You had $600 or more reportable tax activity for the year 2010

To prepare for this, please log into your eBay Partner Network account and verify that your W9 shows the correct information.

For more information, please see:

For US Publishers Only – Review the Accuracy of Your W9 Information for 1099-Tax Forms by Dec 31, 2010

December 13, 2010 in Affiliates, Business News | Permalink

Introducing the new eBay China Developers Program!

eBay's cross-border business in the Asia Pacific region has seen rapid growth in the past 3 years, and China's growth in 2009 is especially amazing!

With China's strong business growth, third-party applications and API development have been in strong demand. In the past 2 years, eBay has drawn approximately 200 new developers, 20 private solutions and a number of public API solutions. Meanwhile, in order to promote API development, eBay's Cross-border Trade team and China Development Center successfully held 2 Developer Seminars in China in 2009 and 2008.

Our experience tells us that language, time difference and service fees have been major barriers for developers in China. To more effectively help China developers grow, eBay is launching the eBay China API Developer Program in 2010 to address these issues.

Our Target

  • Build an active eBay API Developer Community for Greater China
  • Grow the number of API applications designed for cross-border trade to provide support for sellers in Greater China

Our Plan

  • Provide local engineering and consulting support for all China developers for FREE!
  • Host a Developer Seminar in Shenzhen in 2010 to focus on API development, inviting experienced developers for best practice sharing

For more information on eBay China Developer Program, please visit our dedicated forum: China Dev Community,
or contact our API technical support & consulting team at





因此,我们希望在2010年通过建立eBay中国API 开发者计划 来更好的服务于为广大中国地区的开发人员们。

·       建立一个活跃的开发者社区,供大中华区的开发者们更便捷地交流以及分享经验。
·       孵化更多针对跨国贸易的高质量API应用程序,以帮助中国的卖家更好地经营他们的eBay业务


欲了解更多详情,欢迎您参与我们的开发者论坛:China Dev Community


June 7, 2010 in Business News, Program Events | Permalink

The market for your apps just got a whole lot bigger!

Selling Manager Applications launched in 2009 and have been so positively received that we’ve opened them up to all sellers. (Previously, you needed a subscription to SM or SM Pro to access these tools.)

Now all US eBay sellers can subscribe to any of the nearly 40 applications in the Apps Center. From sourcing product to accounting tools to shipping help, these applications offer solutions for the most critical seller business needs.

Developers start coding!

Take advantage of the newly redesigned Apps Center to promote and showcase your app to millions of active eBay sellers looking for tools to grow their business.

Use the Open eBay gadget technology to build a new app from scratch or integrate your existing app into the eBay site experience. Find out more on how to get started building for Open eBay Apps today!

March 9, 2010 in Business News | Permalink

It's time! Registration opens for eBay Developer's Conference 2010

DevCon-Logo-Medium Save the date and grab your seat now for this year’s DevCon!

It’s time! Registration has opened ( for the 9th annual Developers Conference, which will be held on Jun 8-10 in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA. We’re planning a great lineup of networking events like our annual Beer Bash, hands on sessions to get you working deep within our code, keynotes and one-on-one opportunities with some of the leading thought leaders in eCommerce.

Starting today, you can register for only $99. And if you want to make the most of your time at DevCon, take advantage of PreConference sessions (  for only $50 more!

Are you a student and want to build on you educational foundation?  Show us a valid student ID and you can attend DevCon sessions for just $49! Know some brilliant up and coming developers? Pass on the information and help them get ahead of the competition!

We’ll be announcing some great keynotes in the upcoming weeks as well as releasing the schedule of sessions. Keep checking the website to keep abreast of everything DevCon 2010. (

See you there!

March 9, 2010 in Business News, Developers Conference, Program Events | Permalink

Video Interview with 2009 eBay Star Developer Award Winner inkFrog

"No secret, it is hard work...If we see a big demand for this new (eBay) feature from our sellers, we'll make it a priority...eBay sellers are our #1 priority" — Sergey Petrenko of inkFrog on how they innovate and help eBay sellers stay on top of eBay changes.

inkFrog's Sergey Petrenko and Debbie Levitt joined us at our 2009 eBay Developers Conference in San Jose to discuss their win in the Rapid Evolution category of the 2009 eBay Star Developer Awards.

New eBay features and changes in policy often require eBay sellers to evolve rapidly to the changing marketplace. inkFrog is a company exemplifying how eBay developers can create solutions to help sellers efficiently evolve, incorporate and adapt to new eBay seller standards and marketplace enhancements. To assist sellers in evolving with eBay, inkFrog created two unique features within their Sales Manager solution for eBay; Globals and Find & Replace.

Globals — Easily Update eBay Listings

Globals provides eBay sellers the ability to bulk update live listings! All a seller needs to do is set a new "rule" or "update" within Globals and apply this to all their listings or specify which listing groups, i.e. saved listings, live listings, scheduled listings. Globals can be created and applied in bulk to change or revise payment options, checkout instructions, shipping, return policy and more.

Find & Replace — Revise eBay Item Descriptions

Find & Replace targets eBay item descriptions. Sellers can "find" specific words/text within their item descriptions and "replace" with new updated text/information. For example, a seller can "find" all item listings with the text money order in the item descriptions, and "replace" with new text such as; I accept PayPal and payment upon pickup.

Sellers are able to use inkFrog's Globals and Find & Replace to update, revise and edit all of their listings or in large bulks. Great news for large sellers and a huge time saver!

inkFrog was able to create such innovative features (Globals and Find & Replace) with the eBay API calls "GetItem" and "ReviseItem".

Watch our interview with Sergey and Debbie filmed on location at eBay DevCon (clip is 7:01 in length).

- Ginger

February 10, 2010 in Business News, Certified Provider, Developer Community, Developers Conference, Partner News | Permalink

First eBay: On Location City Announced

eBay: On Location

eBay just announced the first of their eBay: On Location events happening in Atlanta March 19-20.

eBay: On Location is a new series of day-and-a-half long, in-person, educational and networking events designed to give part-time eBay sellers and small businesses on eBay practical information and business insights. Courses and interactive sessions will be presented by both eBay experts and third-party business and branding leaders.

Early Bird registration ends February 16.

eBay Sellers will find eBay: On Location a great way to learn from eBay and from each other. eBay Developers should keep their eyes on the Developers Program blog for information on the upcoming 2010 eBay Developers Conference.

The eBay DevCon call for papers closes February 26, so get your proposals in now and share your expertise with the rest of the eBay Developer Community.

For more information on eBay: On Location, see
For information on the eBay Developers Conference and the Call for Papers, see

February 8, 2010 in Business News, Developers Conference, Program Events | Permalink

Join Us for a Webinar on the Spring 2010 API Changes

Please join us today for a webinar on the Spring 2010 changes. This webinar is open to anyone developing with the eBay API.

We'll be reviewing the announced Spring 2010 changes and answering any questions you may have about the new features.

Meeting Link:
Starting date:   Thursday, January 28, 2010
Starting time:   1:00 pm, Pacific Standard Time (San Jose, GMT-08:00)
Meeting number:   592 777 078

Call-in toll-free number

1-866-9363229  (US/Canada)

Call-in number

1-678-2245140  (US/Canada)

Conference Code: 625 487 9

January 28, 2010 in Business News, Product News, Program Events, Shopping API, Trading API | Permalink