New Mandatory eBay item specifics requirements for March 2020

By Chris Dawson January 29, 2020 - 12:00 pm

eBay are today announcing new mandatory eBay item specifics requirements which will come into effect at the end of March 2020. The good news is that there are no major name changes or new attributes, this is a mandate to use already existing Item Specifics.

Throughout 2019, eBay have emphasised the importance of item specifics and how they increase the visibility of your listings on both eBay and on external search engines. The more data you give eBay about what you’re selling, the better they can match your item to what a buyer is looking for. This is either through query search (which as well as titles makes use of Item specifics), left hand navigation filters and on category merchandising pages.

With this in mind, eBay are continuing with their requirements for item specifics in March 2020 in a number of categories and giving you at least 8 weeks notice for you to prepare accordingly. These Item specifics values are available now in eBay listing flows and eBay encourage you to add them ahead of the deadline on the 31st of March.

You’ll be forced to add them for new listings or when you revise existing listings in the future. Although Good til Cancelled listings will continue to renew if you don’t add the new mandatory eBay item specifics requirements, when you go to add new stock in the future you’ll be unable to do so until you add the Item Specifics so we would recommend you get this task done and out of the way as soon as possible, preferably before the end of March. The alternative course of action is of course to do nothing and just deal with each listing as and when you’re forced to.

New Mandatory eBay item specifics requirements for March 2020

In March, eBay will be introducing mandatory Item specifics in the Home & Garden and Electronics categories. These requirements will be live from 31 March and apply to all new and revised listings.

A full list of the required Item specifics and affected categories is available in the eBay Seller Centre with downloadable excel lists. I’m also pleased to report that eBay have done some review and consolidation of values, for instance for Processor Speed in Laptops, the values you will see will all be in the format of ‘1.7GHz’ etc. only. Other variations of values from the past (e.g. 1700MHz were added as synonyms to these standardised values (they will be mapped behind the scene). This should help sellers use the most appropriate values from drop down lists whilst at the same time not requiring sellers to change work they’ve done in the past. As you create new listings we’d recommend checking the suggested values to pick the current most appropriate value and format for attributes.

Use Optiseller Aspect Finder to find missing Item specifics

Optiseller’s Aspect Finder tool has proven useful for eBay sellers in 2019 and so eBay have announced that they have now extended free use of Optiseller until at least the 30th of April. We recommend making full use of Optiseller, courtesy of eBay, to automatically review your listings, identify missing and required Item specifics, find recommended values, and easily update (either directly on eBay or through another listing tool).

This eBay offer includes access to the Optiseller Aspect Finder tool for sellers until April 30th 2020. No commitment is required from sellers beyond this date, no payment details are required to redeem this offer, and sellers who redeem the offer will not be charged for the use of the tool during the offer period. Optiseller does offer other paid-for tools, services and plans which can be purchased separately, these are not included in the free offer.

Mandatory eBay item specifics requirements on other eBay sites

Mandatory eBay item specifics requirements are rolling out on all other eBay sites across Europe. If you sell in other countries on eBay, head over to Seller Centre pages to find out more information about additional local changes.

  • Jay
    2 years ago


    Glad we’re not having to worry about this nonsense anymore.


  • Kyle
    2 years ago

    Ebay determined to drive all the sellers away.

  • 2 years ago

    March 31st ?

    Surely 1st April would have been more appropriate…

    Lets see how they manage it this time as the last round of item specific changes was an absolute joke!

  • 2 years ago

    Another hoop to jump through, whoopee!

    At this stage I’m pretty much done with adding anything new Ebay. The listings that I still have do produce regular sales but its not any where near the level it used to be.

  • Johni21??
    2 years ago

    Total waste of time. Closing all us smaller seller sdown slowly which can only be bad for buyers. Only bigger businesses will be able to compete.
    What with suppressing my listings and blocking me from my sales record I give up. !!!
    It’s is who put them where they are today.

  • Rob
    2 years ago

    Have ebay just any idea how long this will take sellers even using Optiseller ????

    If you’ve got 10 listings, about 10 mins – if you’ve got 1000 listings, about 2 days exclusively working on this pointless exercise………………..

    • Jonah
      2 years ago

      Rob the hoop is steady……get ready…… jump

  • Darren
    2 years ago

    There seems to be a massive amount of hate on this site via comments for eBay – do you not find spending so much time full of hate for something takes away the time you could spend being positive about your business and what fits for you. Don’t get me wrong there are frustrations here too – returns for one, Amazon taking away our ability to sell our best selling product because one customer said it was 2nd hand – it wasn’t.

    However, these item specifics have been on the cards for a long time. We have been adding details like that here and there for a long time and on new listings as we do them – just did the Optiseller report and have 5 products that had something missing. Things are always going to change and not always for the better, but come on please play a different record as it puts me off reading comments and I look on this whole website as a positive place for information to help my business.

    • Dav
      2 years ago

      The reasons for the eBay hate is because nothing they do is positive and it’s been this way since years ago. Everything they do always involves more work, more wasted time, more gimmicks, more deception, more schemes for money, etc. The entire marketplace is rigged and controlled. eBay isn’t about sales anymore either. It’s only about getting more sellers and more listings which they use for advertising profit, their GTC relisting scam, store fees, and trying to get sellers into Promoted Listings. They are using sellers for their own profit at the seller’s expense. eBay is involved in trying to get money for everything NOT involved in sales. The marketplace is just a giant money collecting scheme where eBay wins and the sellers are left with scraps.

    • NorthCrystal
      2 years ago

      You haven’t been on eBay for long enough, or you have experienced worse marketplaces, or something else.

      When I was starting on eBay few years ago and this was time when I did discover Tamebay as well. It striked me like piranha all those hate in comments towards eBay etc on here.

      Now, few years later and many “managed” returns later, 500 errors (“it’s us and not you”…) all the time, low sales and race to the bottom, no development, I too have slightly different view on the marketplace.

      I just recently battled with changing all our listings from RM48 default postage to “other 48h courier” as we “lost” the green badge for “fast & free”. Now eBay decided that RM48 is faster than “other 48h” so we have lost the stupid green badge. Seems like I’d need to change it again. Now, it’s impossible to efficently change something like postage options on few thousand listings. So we have custom software to speed up this process yet it may take hours and hours to do. Meanwhile I’m not expanding my business by any means.

      And then while i’m done with the above they come with “item specifics” requirement. And the update journey starts again.

    • Darren
      2 years ago

      We have been on eBay for many years and have sold online for as long as it has been possible. Our eBay sales had huge growth in 2019, and whenever we had a problem it nearly always fell in our favour because we had done everything we were supposed to do. My biggest challenge is the increase in returns and the condition those returns come back in – but that is eBay trying to keep up with market expectations I suppose. I certianly don’t agree with them trying to get you to pay more to get more sales and I don’t as the margin is tight enough already.

      I suppose we will see in a few years, if it is that bad then retailers will move to other platforms and there are certainly many of them.

    • 2 years ago

      I don’t hate Ebay, it was very profitable for a long period of time. Its just that the effort involved doesn’t justify putting in any extra work now.

      For example I have sellers in some of my categories that I know are selling at near to cost , if not below at times, just to get some sales. Why would I want to try an compete with that?

  • jim
    2 years ago

    we have sold on ebay from the very start ,more than 2 decades,
    last one out, switch the light out, doom , gloom , and disaster, prophets
    have been there since then also
    yet ebay still makes billions,

  • NorthCrystal
    2 years ago

    Just received email from eBay:

    “You’ve closed your eBay Shop”

    Yup, down to just 15 listings!
    Ok it’s our 2nd shop which was underperforming a bit. The decision to close it down was not an easy one as I hoped little that it might “just work” if I put more work into it. But there’s limit how much time one wants to battle with broken UI …dating as far as 1995….

    • Jonah
      2 years ago

      I would close those listings, you won’t get any exposure at all.

  • NorthCrystal
    2 years ago

    got 2 sales in today. thx for the advice.

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