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
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.
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).
Updates to Summer 2009 Release; Part 2 of 2.
Updates to Summer 2009 Release; Part 2 of 2.
On July 29, 2009, Laurel posted an announcement about the July 2009 updates. In this entry, we highlight part 2 of the features that were released since then
For the list of calls changed with each Trading API version, see the Trading API Release Notes.
Because there are many updates, the details have been split into two entries. The first part can be found here. This is the second entry and covers the following topics:
As a reminder, the first entry included: will link to part 1 entry.
If you would like the complete details on the July 2009 Update, please refer to the following links and to the API Release Notes.
- All features are not available to all Sellers, use the Trading call GeteBayDetails to find out which features are available for your site. As part of the seller release, some listing upgrades were removed for some sites, and some will be restricted to eBay Top-Rated Sellers or PowerSellers. The listing features include bold title, border, Featured First, Featured Plus!, gift icon, highlight, Homepage Featured, and ProPack. A new type, ListingFeatureDetails, has been added to the GeteBayDetails response that returns which listing features are available to the seller for the site. Another addition to the GeteBayDetails response, UpdateTime, reports the time of the most recent modification to any Detail.
- A type has been added to the Trading call ListingStartPriceDetailsType.MinBuyItNowPricePercent, which returns the minimum percentage difference between the start price and the Buy It Now price for a listing on the specified site. There is one exception: Use category details to find the percentage requirements for Motor Vehicles (using Site ID 100 - the eBay Motors site.)
- GetSellerEvents now returns variation details in Item.Variations, including StartPrice, Quantity, and QuantitySold, plus SKU and/or VariationSpecifics. Multiple variations are returned together in the same Variations node (similar to GetItem).
- To keep the GetSellerEvents response smaller, the variation specifics are not returned if the variation has a SKU.
- With RelistFixedPriceItem and ReviseFixedPriceItem, you can now use SKU to uniquely identify an existing variation, regardless of whether the listing has inventory tracking set to SKU.
- ReviseInventoryStatus now supports modifying variations when InventoryTrackingMethod is set to ItemID.
- For the site specified in the request, GeteBayDetails now returns variation constraints, such as maximum number of variations, in VariationDetails.
- GetUser now returns QualifiesForVariations (a boolean) to indicate whether the user is eligible to list with variations on the site specified in the request.
- In SetUserNotes, you can now set private notes for variations. These notes will be visible to the user for variations that are displayed in My eBay.
- GetMyeBayBuying and GetMyeBaySelling now return PrivateNotes for applicable variations. Depending on how the notes were set (what was specified in the SetUserNotes request), the variations may be returned within Variations or within Item
-  Shipping Insurance option has been removed from many sites. If shipping insurance is included in AddItem, it will be dropped with a warning, but won't fail. See the Release Notes.
-  Using My eBay, you can create an Exclude Ship-To List of the locations to where you will not ship items. Once set up, all items that you list on eBay will, by default, use the Exclude Ship-To List to exclude the locations you specified in the list. If a buyer's primary ship-to location is a location that you have listed as an excluded ship-to location (or if the buyer does not have a primary ship-to location), they will receive an error message if they attempt to buy or place a bid on your item. Use GetUserPreferences to review the default set of excluded locations that you have set up in My eBay. Use GetUserPreferences to retrieve your global exclusion list. See the Release Notes.
-  Tracking for multiple package shipment for a single item. ShippingCarrierUsed and ShipmentTrackingNumber have been moved to a repeatable ShipmentTrackingDetails container. See the Release Notes.
-  More shipping carriers supported. The type for ShipmentType.ShippingCarrierUsed has been changed from ShippingCarrierCodeType to string. This enables sellers to specify a shipping carrier (via CompleteSale) other than the ones noted in ShippingCarrierCodeType.
- With a request version lower than 627, the value you specify for CompleteSale's ShippingCarrierUsed must be a value found in ShippingCarrierCodeType. If the request version is 627 or higher, you can specify the shipping carrier of your choice, even if it is not in the ShippingCarrierCodeType list, and GetSellingManagerSaleRecord will return that value. See the Release Notes.
-  Local Pickup: Shipping Time DSRs ignored, Shipping and Handling Charges MAY be ignored.
- In the Trading API LeaveFeedback call, DSRs left for Shipping Time will be ignored for all Local Pickup transactions. DSRs left for Shipping and Handling Charges will be ignored for Local Pickup transactions where the seller did not add any special handling fees. See the Release Notes.
- This change affects the following eBay sites: AU, Mn-AT, BE-FR, BE-NL, CA, CA-FR, FR, DE, HK, IN, Mn-IE, IT, MY, Motors, NL, PH, PL, SG, ES, Mn-CH, UK, US
-  Seller Status Now Returned by GetSellerDashboard. See the Release Notes.
- Avoid 1s and 2s
- Only domestic DSRs count
- [629 ] Top-Rated Seller Details Available via GetUser and Other Calls; SellerInfo.SellerLevel to Be Removed
- When Top-Rated Seller details became available in October (see Announcement), GetUser began returning fields that identify the seller as a Top-Rated Seller and gave details about the Top-Rated Seller program. These fields are already present and documented for GetUser and other calls. They include TopRatedSeller and TopRatedSellerDetails.TopRatedProgram, which identifies the Top-Rated-Seller programs for which the seller is qualified. See the Release Notes.
- When the Top-Rated Seller feature became active on the US, DE, and UK sites, SellerInfo.SellerLevel no longer returned results for those sites. Affected calls include GetUser, GetBidderList, GetSellerList, GetItem, and GetItemTransactions.
More categories are becoming catalog-enabled
When Good Till Canceled (GTC) listings are renewed, they will be checked for Return Policy and Handling Time. If these details are not included, the GTC listing renewal will fail. For more info, see this entry in the Forum.
December 17, 2009 in Best Practices, Categories and Item Specifics, Certified Provider, Client Alerts API, Developer Community, Documentation, Finding API, Large Merchant Services, Merchandising API, Product News, Shopping API, Trading API | Permalink
Terapeak Announces New Market Research Tool - Value Track
Terapeak, an eBay Certified Provider providing eBay market research, has announced a beta launch for their new tool, Value Track.
Value Track will allow an eBay seller to save or "track" their eBay searches and then generates reports based on -
- track trends in a category over week-by-week
- track product movement
- track product pricing
Value Track automates your eBay research process. Information is updated automatically and displayed in a format similar to a stock ticker.
Terapeak provides robust market research tools through the eBay Market Data program.
The eBay Market Data program offers rich consumer insight data allowing eBay Developers the opportunity to innovate and build research solutions like cross-border research tools, shopper analysis, intelligent cross-merchandising & listing solutions, and more. Click here to learn more about the eBay Market Data Program.
Click here for more information on Value Track and how to be part of the beta test.
New Certified Provider Hub on eBay Radio
Adam Hundt, Solutions Marketing Manager with eBay's Developer Program, and Laura Della Torre, Senior Manager with eBay Certified Provider's Program, recently talked about the new Certified Provider hub (http://certifiedprovider.ebay.com) and how those tools can help sellers save time and increase profits.
Listen to the archived show on eBay Radio. It's the 5th segment on the show.
eBay Radio: Interview with Certified Provider MyStoreRewards
This interview is part of our monthly developer showcase of Certified Providers. Catch the whole series here.
AsWas shares how to market to the eBay Community
Debbie Levitt from As Was is one of our Call For Papers community speakers at DevCon this year. This morning right after the opening keynote, she shared some of her tips and fun personallity for marketing tools to eBay sellers at her session. She prefaced her talk noting that she talks to lots of developers who often claim to understand marketing concepts, but don't often implement well. Between being short-staffed and spending time on developing tool, marketing effectively to customers often gets neglected or treated as an afterthought by many eBay tool providers.
Naming your tool and making it findable was a well-covered topic, from what she describes as "Full Vessel" names, where you can tell what the company does immediately (e.g. EZ Lister and MyAuctions), versus Empty Vessel names, where you have no idea (e.g. As Was and Infopia), versus, Half-full (e.g. ChannelAdvisor and Marketworks).
A good rule of thumb she shared is that the harder it is to spell out your tool name or domain, the more difficult it is for customers to tell a friend, difficult to find your site. Unique branding is good, but not necessarily at the expense of findability.
After working with clients and recommending many different tool, she finds that eBay tools do not necessarily to enough to differentiate and position themselves to make themselves stand out, so it is difficult for many eBay sellers to tell the difference between their different tools. Targeting your audience and creating positioning statements are helpful exercises to avoid this trap. Do you want to target new sellers or experienced sellers? Just on eBay or multi-channel?
Many online users in general don't like to spend a lot of time reading, don't like to read corporate-sounding things. Friendly and professional is preferable to corporate-speak. Simple and intuitive UI and marketing are always better (Delyn's note: think Apple or Skype). In other words, don't leave your UI and customer service up in the hands of just your development team. If you want adoption of your tool or service, you are going to need to spend resources and attention on UI, marketing and customer service, and these areas often require different skill sets than developers building tools and services.
Last week's CP Fair in Salt Lake City
eBay held its second Certified Provider Fair at the eBay Customer Support center in Salt Lake City, UT, on Wednesday, March 14th. The purpose of these events is to expose Customer Support employees at eBay to developers and service providers who have qualified to become Certified Providers. eBay Certified Providers offer a variety of tools and services to the eBay Community.
Over 300 eBay employees attended, including Top Seller Account Managers, Seller Outreach and OnRamp Business Consultants, PowerSeller Stores Support, ProStores Pre-Sales, Motors, Half.com, Listing Tools and even our Trust and Safety teams. These teams are on the phone every day helping eBay sellers grow their businesses. Saving time and increasing profits is key to the success of every seller, so helping to pair the right solution with the right seller is vital.
Feedback from the eBay teams has been extremely positive. “The CPs were especially helpful, and I have already sent some of my sellers their way,” said David Wallentine, Top Seller Account Manager.
They were amazed at the range of software and services available, including product sourcing, accounting and business management, listing strategy consulting, and research solutions. Brian Grow from eBay Seller Onramp had this to say, “I especially enjoyed meeting Certified Providers that I hadn’t previously heard of like JDT and Palo Alto. Now that I know more about their products I’ll be better able to advise the growing eBay business owners I talk to every day.”
Certified Providers just as thrilled to meet directly with these key influencers. “I'm sure both the vendors and the eBay attendees will all agree that the value created for everyone was immeasurable....” said Tobe Goldfinger from JDT Technologies, “including the trickle-down value for all those eBay sellers who will now be able get really useful information from their eBay contacts about what kind of solutions are available.”
“I was really pleased at the turn out and the response from the people who came into our little room. I thought everyone was really receptive and excited about what our software could do for their clients, which is always fantastic to hear.” ‘Chelle Parmele, Palo Alto Software.
Fourteen Certified Providers were onsite to showcase their solutions, including:
- As Was
- JDT Technologies
- Worldwide Brands
- Palo Alto Software
- Channel Velocity
With feedback like this and over 25% of all listings on eBay.com coming through third party tools, there is more interest in events where eBay employees can learn about tools and services available to recommend to the eBay Community. To learn more about the benefits of becoming an eBay Certified Provider, visit http://developer.ebay.com/certifiedprovider.
Tapping into eBay Market Data with HammerTap
eBay Market Data is rich historical information about what is bought and sold on eBay. The volume of trade conducted on eBay marketplaces results in market data with large amounts of valuable, dynamic commerce activity, supported by a database full of information about market trends. eBay Market Data has answers to key questions about sellling and shopping on eBay, such as what is the average selling price of items? When is the best day and time to list an item? Which listing upgrade features will help sell my item more quickly?
To help their sellers answer some of these questions, eBay Web Services API developer, Infopia, recently partnered with eBay Market Data provider, HammerTap, on a new online marketplace research solution, PowerWeb, that integrates into Infopia's Marketplace Manager selling tool. (Click on the screenshot for a better look.)
Check out HammerTap's market research options to see what might add value for your customers to integrate with your eBay tool. You can also read about Infopia's experience with integrating eBay Market Data in their selling app, or get to know more about the developers behind Infopia and their recent Appy Award for mashing up Salesforce.com Apex and eBay APIs.
Mashing up with buySAFE APIs
The eBay developer community has been mashing up APIs for years, integrating eBay and PayPal APIs. Now, eBay Web Services API developers behind eBay buyer tools are getting into the act.
Nabit, for example, is using one of the new buySAFE APIs to identify bonded sellers and display a small logo next to the item or merchant in their eBay desktop application. (Click on screenshot for a better look.) This type of information can provide eBay shoppers with additional peace of mind, increasing the likelihood that they will click through to the listing and make a purchase from the seller.