What is a variation?
Instead of creating a number of separate listings for a product that has a choice of options, you can create a single multi-quantity Fixed Price listing that includes all the variations you offer. For example, a T-shirt might come in multiple colours and sizes. Buyers can select which variation they want to purchase from the single listing.
Variations in some categories are preset (e.g. colour or size) however in other categories you'll need to create your own variation values.
By listing only once for all variations, you benefit by:
Saving time – You list only once instead of multiple times
Saving money – You'll pay fewer insertion fees, and get special pricing for pictures with variations
Gaining more visibility – As buyers start purchasing from your listings with variations, the listings can appear higher in Best Match search results.
What categories can have variations?
Multi-variation listings are available in certain categories within:
Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
Download the full list of categories that allow Multi-variation listings.
Listing your items
After you select the category for your new listing, you’ll see a pop-up window that asks whether you want to list variations
Select Yes and click the Continue button to complete these steps in the List Your Variations tool.
Note: If you choose to list in a category or sub-category that does not allow multi-variation listings, the multi-variation listing option will not be available.
Make sure you meet the requirements to list variations.
||Define the differences in your items.|
Item variations are the details where buyers have choices, such as colour, or size. Select from the list of variation details, or enter your own variation detail by clicking the Add your own variation detail button. You can select up to five variation details.
Example: If your product comes in small, medium, and large, click Size and select S, M and L.
You don’t need to use all the choices you see in the list. If a variation detail doesn’t apply to your items, ignore it.
When you name variation details use common words that buyers use when they search, such as Size and Colour. In some categories certain words can’t be used for variation details, such as Brand and Condition.
Note: The first variation detail you select will be the one that is displayed in your pictures. Be sure that the first variation detail you select is one that can be seen in pictures, such as colour or sleeve style instead of size or manufacturer.
When you’re done with this step, click the Continue button.
||Specify the characteristics your items have in common.|
Item specifics are characteristics that apply to all the items in your listing. Select item specifics such as Brand or Manufacturer from the list. If an item specific you need doesn't appear in the list, click the Add your own item specific button and enter a unique item specific name (such as Manufacturer or Year) and at least one value (such as Acme or 1998). If an item specific doesn't apply to your listing, ignore it.
Example: If all the items in your listing are made of cotton, select Material from the drop-down menu, and then select Cotton.
The variation details you defined in step 1 don't appear in the item specifics list, and you can't add them to the list.
Example: If you've already selected Colour as a variation detail, you can't enter it as an item specific.
You can add as many as 15 item specifics. Include as many of the item specifics as you can. The more specifics you use, the easier it is for buyers to find your items.
When you're done with this step, click the Continue button.
||Create your variations.|
Optionally, assign a unique name, custom label, or stock-keeping unit (SKU) to your variations.
Click the Create variations button. We'll automatically create a list of all the variations of your product. Edit the list to remove any extra variations until the list includes only the items you're selling.
The list we create uses this information you provided:
The optional custom label or SKU
You can also create your list of variations manually. Enter a name or SKU in the table and select the variation details from the drop-down menus until you generate a list of the items you're selling.
When you're done with this step, click the Continue button.
||Add shared and variation pictures.|
Shared pictures show general views of your items. Variation pictures show the differences in the items.
For your shared pictures, you can show all the variations you're selling in a single picture (such as all the colours), a pair of your items, a close-up, or other alternate views. The shared pictures are used as a default if you don't add any variation pictures.
Example: If you don't include a picture of the pink T-shirt variation, buyers will see the shared picture that shows all the colours for the T-shirt when they select the pink T-shirt.
For variation pictures, show off your items' individual colours or the first variation detail you defined. To add pictures that show a different variation detail, click the Change variation button. If you change the variation detail that you're showing in the pictures, you'll delete all the variation pictures you've already uploaded.
You can add as many as 12 shared pictures and as many as 12 pictures per variation detail. You don't have to add pictures for every value of the variation detail you're showing.
To see how your pictures will appear to buyers, look at the What buyers see section on the right side of the page.
To see how your pictures and variations appear in the listing, click the Preview your listing link.
When you're done adding pictures, click the Continue button.
||Enter your quantity and price information.|
To enter or revise the price for several variations at a time, select the variations you want to edit and click the Edit Fixed Price button. Enter the price for the variations.
To see how this information will appear in the listing click the Preview your listing link.
After your listing is active, you can use this page to monitor your listing, update the quantity when you add stock, and change the price of a variation.
Click the Save button to save your variation information and continue filling out the Sell Your Item form.
Viewing and managing listings
View and manage your listings that have variations in the Active Selling section of My eBay.
The Active section shows your current listings and links to your listings with variations. Click the Go to variations button to view your listings with variations.
When viewing the listings, click the Show Variations button to expand the listings to show all variations.
If your variations have a range of prices, the price column shows the lowest available item price until you click the Show Variations button to expand the listing. When the listing expands to show all item variations, you'll see the individual prices for each variation.
The expanded list for items with variations also shows:
Variation details in the item column
The number of buyers watching the item
The price of the individual variation
The time left for the listing
A drop-down menu with common actions such as Sell Similar and Revise.
Items are sorted from the unexpanded view only. If you sort by price, the lowest available item price is used for items with variations.
If an item needs to be restocked:
You'll see an "out of stock" note in the item listing and an information flag.
The drop-down menu shows the restock option, and directs you to the Revise your item page.
You can also view your scheduled, sold, and unsold listings with variations in My eBay.
Multi Variation Merger
Multi Variation Merger is a tool that can help save you time by quickly merging your existing listings. The tool is currently available only in the Clothing, Shoes & Accessories category.
If you want to combine a number of existing single quality listings into one Multi-variation listing in other categories that allow variations, you will need to cancel the existing listings and create a new Multi-variation listing. Creating a new Multi-variation listing may incur an insertion fee.
You can revise a listing by selecting Revise from the listing's drop-down menu in My eBay or by clicking the Revise your item link in your listing.
If you change the category, you might wipe out all variations in the listing and will need to re-create them.
If you decide to change categories, you'll see a page of eligible categories to choose from. Select a category and click the Continue button.
If you select the Change Variations button you'll be directed to the Enter quantity and price page. If you add or delete any variation detail, you'll lose all variations and will need to re-create them
If you select the Change Pictures button you'll be directed to the Add pictures page. If you change any variation picture, you'll need to upload all your pictures again.
If you have not sold any of the variations in your listing, you can revise, add, or delete any of the item's information. If you have sold one or more of the variations, you can add additional variation details, but you can only revise the price, quantity, or pictures.
Consider listing in only one category.
If you choose to list in two categories, make sure that both categories allow listings with variations.
Make your most popular variations more prominent.
Choose the best way to display your product, the way your buyers want to see your items. In most Clothing, Shoes & Accessories categories, buyers want to see the various colours, sizes, and styles you're selling. Be sure to add plenty of pictures. In some Home & Garden, Jewellery & Watches, and Health & Beauty categories, however, you might want to show different variations.
Example: You list cobalt Fiesta dinnerware. Instead of selecting colour as a variation detail (since they're all cobalt blue), you use Place Setting as a variation detail. Under that variation you would specify 4-Piece and 5-Piece. You could also enter Plates as a variation detail, and then specify Dinner and Salad. Experiment with your listings to see which approach helps you sell the most.
Use variation details and item specifics that buyers are likely to search for.
Item specifics can help attract buyers to your listing. Use variation details and item specifics that your buyers are likely to use when they search.
Example: When you specify a colour under Colour, choose a more common colour name like "red" instead of a unique name like "cranberry." Use a unique colour name only when you are certain that buyers will search for it.
Make the most of your pictures.
Pictures help buyers decide whether to buy, especially in listings where there is more than one variation of your product. We recommend at least one shared picture that displays all the variations in the listing.
Consider the duration of your listing and monitor your inventory.
Consider using a time frame of Good 'Til Cancelled for your listings with variations, and keep them listed as long as possible. Popular listings can appear higher in search results, so you'll reach more buyers
When you sell an item, we'll automatically deduct the quantity from your quantity and price list for that variation
If you sell out of one item, it will show in your listing as "out of stock" until you replenish it
Use the Quantity and Price page to track your inventory. Check to make sure you don't sell out of all your variations. If you sell all the variations of the item, the listing will automatically end and you'll need to relist the item to sell more. In addition, you can lose the search visibility benefits that you earned from the previous listing.