Improve search ranking with Item Specifics

Buyers look for items by using their keywords. It is therefore very important for your products to show up in search results as per the “refined options” chosen by buyers.  

“Item Specifics” are descriptive keywords that tell buyers about your item. They may include brand, size, length, width, height, type, color or style and many more, and vary depending on what you’re selling. Together with product identifiers, item specifics are the most important way to help buyers find what they’re looking for.

By adding detailed and accurate Item Specifics, you are increasing the chances of making a successful sale by taking small steps to improve product ranking on eBay. When you are very precise in adding the Item Specifics, it helps eBay to know what you are selling and thereby display the appropriate results to the buyers. You have to show the buyers the right thing – which will get your buyer’s attention. Make sure that the added Item Specifics are within the category chosen by you for the product. 


The “Sell Your Item Form” gives you the option to add the detailed Item Specifics during the listing process itself. Do know that eBay automatically populates the Item Specifics for you based on the item title provided by you? And the best part – each section under the Item Specifics tells you what the next aspect that needs to be added is, to improve the search results.

eBay emphasizes the importance of adding detailed item specifics to listings as they help to increase item visibility. Remember – the more data you give us about what you’re selling, the better we can match your item to buyers that are looking for it, either through query search, left-hand navigation filters or category merchandising pages.


What are the benefits of adding Item Specifics to my listing?

1. Buyers use Item Specifics to filter their search results, making it easier for them to find exactly what they’re looking for. Your item will only appear in those filtered search results if you have added the matching Item Specific information to your listing.

2. Complete and accurate item specifics can increase the visibility of your listing in eBay search results, Google search and Google Shopping, and help your buyers find exactly what they are looking for.

3. Item Specifics have a direct impact on your listing’s visibility within a buyer’s search results.

4. They sit at the top of your item description in a standardized format, giving buyers a clear overview of what they’re looking at.

5. Item specifics are very important on mobile search results as most the buyers look for products through their mobile and narrow down their search results via the items specifics

eBay Product Ranking Factors

eBay’s Best Match algorithm—the formula eBay uses to sort listings—considers a number of different factors.

These include:


How closely the listing matches the buyer’s search terms


The listing terms of service, such as your return policy and handling time


The quality of your listing (description, photos, and so on)


How complete the listing is


Your track record as a seller


The price of the item


How popular the item is

Item Specifics requirements and recommendations

eBay uses certain labels to indicate which specifics will help your items get found more easily by buyers.  


Certain Item Specifics are crucial in identifying the items you have listed and making sure your buyers can shop with complete trust and confidence. You’ll need to fill in all required Item Specifics for any new or revised listing. 

Required Soon

At eBay we periodically add new Required Item Specifics based on buyers’ search trends. If your listings have Item Specifics that will be “Required Soon”, you’ll see a note as you list that you can hover over to learn when they will become required.  


We recommend certain Item Specifics based on buyer demand data and popular searches. It is therefore very important that you add as many of these as you can to help buyers find your listings and thereby increase the chances of a potential click which may lead to a sale. 


These Item Specifics help buyers know more about your item. Completing these could potentially save you from having to answer questions about your item, and help you make a sale.

When creating a listing, these labels will help you identify the most important Item Specifics to fill out first. 

Features for finding missing Item Specifics

There are a number of features to assist you in adding missing Item Specifics to your listings.

On your Overview page in Seller Hub, a new task in the Tasks module will let you know when you have listings that are missing required Item Specifics. Simply click on the task and you’ll be taken to those listings.

If any of your listings are missing Required, Required Soon, or Recommended item specifics, you’ll see a corresponding Quick Filter on your Seller Hub Active Listings page. 

From your Active Listings page, you can select multiple listings and click “Add item specifics.”  This will load all of your selected listings into a pop-up window where you can cycle through each listing and add any missing Item Specifics.

When you list or revise an item, you’ll see “Required soon” above any item specifics that have an upcoming enforcement date. Seller Hub will show you more information as well as the dates the item specific will become mandatory for your current listing.


As you list, you’ll see guidance on what Item Specifics your buyers are searching for, based on the number of searches over the past 30 days. Completing these Item Specifics will help increase your listing’s visibility, especially when buyers use the left-hand navigation filters. 


Bulk edit tools to update missing Item Specifics

The bulk edit tools are very easy to use and save time especially when you have a number of listings with missing Item Specifics.

Download/Upload file

  • Available on the Seller Hub Active Listings page, this tool allows you to download an Excel file containing all of your active listings that are missing Required, Required Soon, or Recommended item specifics.
  • Follow the instructions in the Excel file to edit your Item Specifics, then upload the file to your Active Listings page to apply changes across multiple listings. Learn more about how to use Download/Upload file.

Optiseller Aspect Finder+

  • Optiseller Aspect Finder+ is a third-party tool that can help you quickly identify and update listings that are missing Item Specifics.*
Fee and Features: Insertion Fees- eBay

Listings with multiple variations to improve product ranking on eBay

Adding variations to your listings lets you use item specifics to group closely related items under a single listing.

For example, if you’re selling shoes, you can create a single listing with multiple variations for different sizes. Items grouped under a single listing need to be closely related, and you can select from a list of variation details (such as size, color, or width) to describe how they are related.

As part of our Item Specifics updates, certain variation details will no longer be valid. This change helps clarify what variations work best as a single listing, and what items are more likely to get noticed as separate listings.

Listings impacted by this change will display the following error message when you edit them: ”This attribute is not valid for this variation. Add a valid attribute.”

If you see this message, first try to update your listing. Look for an existing variation detail that more accurately describes how the items are related. For example, a listing for a kitchen faucet may have previously used “Type” to describe the variations “Stainless steel”, “Rubbed Bronze”,  “Stainless steel”,“Chrome.” This could be updated to “Finish.”

If you can’t find a relevant existing variation detail, you’ll need to create separate listings. For example, a listing for tools may have used Type”to describe variations for “Hammer,” “Wrench,” and “Screwdriver.” In this case, the items are not closely related enough to fall under a single listing. The variation “Type” will need to be removed and the items re-listed separately.

Making these changes helps your listings with multiple variations show up in the right searches and encourages buyers to feel more confident with their purchase.

Personalizing items for your buyers is now easier with our new Item Specific feature. This feature allows you to easily communicate to the buyer what information you will need from them to personalize an item. When you add this feature to your listings, buyers can add their personalized text on the View Item page in certain categories, which can then be sent to you using the “message to seller” option. Buyers can now also filter for personalized listings when they search for items.

To set up your personalized listings, you’ll need to take the following action:

  • Add the Personalize” item specific to your relevant listings
  • Provide personalization instructions for your customers
  • Turn on the “message to seller” option


If you have previously used the personalization item specific, make sure you have completed steps 2 and 3 above to add this experience to your listings.

This option is currently available in certain categories in the following areas:

  • Antiques
  • Art
  • Baby
  • Books & Magazines
  • Business & Industrial
  • Cameras & Photo
  • Cell Phones & Accessories
  • Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
  • Coins & Paper Money
  • Collectibles
  • Computers/Tablets & Networking
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Crafts
  • Dolls & Bears
  • eBay Motors
  • Entertainment Memorabilia
  • Everything Else
  • Gift Cards & Coupons
  • Health & Beauty
  • Home & Garden
  • Jewelry & Watches
  • Movies & TV
  • Music
  • Musical Instruments & Gear
  • Pet Supplies
  • Pottery & Glass
  • Specialty Services
  • Sporting Goods
  • Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop
  • Stamps
  • Tickets & Experiences
  • Toys & Hobbies
  • Travel
  • Video Games & Consoles

Frequently Asked Questions

When buyers search on eBay, the default order of results is called Best Match. Our Best Match algorithm—the formula eBay uses to sort listings—considers a number of different factors. To improve your Best Match ranking, make sure your listings are complete and accurate with the appropriate Item Specifics, and offer competitive prices, reasonable shipping, and great customer service.

Most new, branded items have unique identifiers that help buyers recognize and find them, including the item’s brand, manufacturer part number (MPN), and global trade item number (GTIN). GTINs can include an item’s Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

Item Specifics act as a filter for buyers when they are looking for products on eBay. So failing to add the appropriate or complete Items Specifics can result in your item being excluded from the search results. And this would mean you would miss an opportunity for a potential sale. 

For multi-variation listings, you first enter what variations you want to specify for an item e.g. size, color etc. Then you define the item specifics that are generally required for the listing e.g. brand, material etc.

Using the predefined mandatory item specifics or variations will improve your listings’ visibility in eBay search results and can increase your chances of making a sale and boosting your profits.