eBay: marketplace guide
About this guide
This is a ChannelEngine guide on the San Jose-based marketplace eBay. Here you can find information on how to request an eBay account, how to configure this channel on ChannelEngine, what the specific requirements are, and more.
Table of contents
Channel-specific requirements and exceptions
- Countries and languages
- Change the location of your warehouse
- Additional mappings and options
- Merchant product numbers/SKUs
- Product variants (beta)
- eBay Plus
- Set stock to zero instead of removing products
- Order extra data
|Headquarters||San Jose, California, United States|
|Area served (orders)||Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States|
|Revenue||USD 10.27 billion (2020)|
|Number of monthly visits||circa 880 million (2021)|
|Commission||4.3% or 7%, depending on the product category|
|Other costs||listing fees, if applicable|
|Payment||within 4 days|
|Product categories||almost anything legal|
|Input language||depends on the country|
|Input currency||EUR (other currencies are possible, but require currency conversion)|
|Profile on ChannelEngine||eBay|
Disclaimer: for the API connection with eBay, ChannelEngine uses the relatively new Sell API. eBay's back-end, however, still uses an older platform, so there could be discrepancies between the possibilities of the two systems.
How to request an account
To start selling on eBay, you first need to request a business account. Regardless of the country you use during the setup, one account is sufficient to start selling on every available portal. More information on how to set up selling on eBay can be found on Selling internationally.
eBay is a fully open marketplace and there are no strict requirements attached to business accounts. What is more, the number of different categories and products that you are able to offer via eBay is almost limitless.
eBay does not charge any listing fees for offers in your default country, that is, where you create your first account and where your warehouse is located. However, selling internationally via other eBay portals may involve listing fees per product (e.g.: you started with ebay.co.uk and now want to add ebay.de). This depends on the type of business account you use, and the fees can vary based on the category your products are listed under. More information on fees can be found on the following eBay help pages:
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands (in Dutch)
- Germany (in German)
Products are always be listed as a 'good till canceled' (GTC) offer, and are renewed automatically every 30 days.
|Product offers||Marketplace fulfillment service|
|Product content||Returns (merchant)|
* This feature is currently in beta, so the related task cannot be scheduled to run automatically.
Settings and configuration
Setting up each channel on ChannelEngine follows the same flow, once you add the channel:
- Go through the Setup.
- Create a Product selection.
- Complete the Categorization.
- Set up the Mappings (content, offers, and carriers).
- Configure the Pricing (rules and currency conversion).
- Finish the Activation.
- Check the Listed products overview.
Channel-specific requirements and exceptions
If your business is based in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, or Switzerland, sign up via eBay's starter promo page. For other countries, sign up for an eBay account in a regular way.
Following the creation of your account, you can set up the mandatory policies necessary for ChannelEngine to list your products on eBay. The policies that must be set up are Payment, Return, and Shipping.
- Go to Account settings, Business policies on eBay. For all the policies listed below, it is recommended to choose an easy and specific name for ChannelEngine (e.g.: ChannelEngine payment) – without special characters such as colons, semi-colons or hashtags.
- Create a Payment policy. Its name is required to properly configure ChannelEngine, so make sure to write it down (or copy-paste it). When configuring PayPal as a payment method, it is advised to enable Require immediate payment when buyer uses Buy It Now to prevent orders from remaining on a waiting status for a long period.
- Create a Return policy. An easy and specific name is also recommended here.
- Create a Shipping policy. The same naming advice is applicable to this policy as for the Payment policy. The shipping policy is where you set up the countries you want to ship to, and, as such, in what countries the offers are visible. Make sure to only enable countries you can and want to ship to.
- Enter the previously created policies on ChannelEngine.
Add eBay as a channel on ChannelEngine (please see Channels: adding a new channel for more information on how to add a channel).
Once the channel has been created you can enter two of the policies created under the Channel settings on your account. You are also required to enter the location of your warehouse (country, postal code, and city).
Save this information and, when reopening the tab Channel settings, select the orange button Authorize at the bottom of the page.
A pop-up appears so you can sign into your eBay account. Once logged in, you can confirm that ChannelEngine is allowed to have access to your account.
Create a listing in the corresponding tab on ChannelEngine. More information on how to create a product listing can be found on Channels: product selection.
Categorization on eBay is mandatory. If your categories are not linked, products under those categories will not be published on eBay.
All products (required)
Condition - if this field is empty, by default the status New is used. You can use the conditions below for your products, depending on the product category. For more information on this, check out the Item condition by category and Category and marketplace support for the eBay Refurbished Program articles on eBay.
- Not working
- Like new
- New other
- New with defects
- Seller refurbished
- Certified refurbished
- Excellent refurbished
- Very good refurbished
- Good refurbished
- Used acceptable
- Used excellent
- Used good
- Used very good
NB: only merchants approved by eBay can use the Certified refurbished condition.
Image URL 1 - the URL for your main product image. The requirements are:
NB: although eBay cannot check if self-hosted images meet the above requirements, self-hosted images that do not comply may be removed from listings at a later stage. Relisting or revising the product may fail if its images do not meet the requirements.NB: if one of the images uses eBay Picture Service: eBay hosted images (eBay EPS), and others do not, ChannelEngine automatically uses its own content delivery network (CDN) to host the images. This is because eBay does not allow for mixing both types of images. In these cases, mapping images to anything other than the usual product image fields will not work.
- Minimum resolution - 500x500 px.
- Recommended resolution - between 800x800 px and 1,600x1,600 px, which allows prospective buyers to enlarge the images.
- File format - JPG, BMP, GIF, TIF, PNG, WEBP, HEIC, AVIF. All non-JPEG files are automatically converted to JPEG. Since JPEG files do not support transparency, PNG files that have a transparency element are converted to have a white background. TIF files with transparency may result in a black background being incorrectly rendered.
- Color space - JPEG images must be uploaded in RGB. CMYK is not supported.
- Images must be free from text and artwork added by the merchant.
- The image URL must not redirect to another URL.
- No rate limits, passwords, or tokens in the web hosting serving the image.
- HTTPS protocol.
- Prefill from eBay catalog - if you enable this feature, eBay populates your product content with input submitted by other merchants. This only works when creating products on eBay. Note that if you disable this feature, after enabling it, you must remove the products you had already created on eBay with this input before you can add them again – it is not enough to disable the feature.
- Shipping policy name - use this field to enter the Shipping policy you created on eBay.
- VAT - the product's sales tax, according to the eBay country where it is listed.
All products (optional)
- Brand - the product's brand.
- Image URL 2-10 - the URLs for your additional product images. Additional images can be mapped to default ChannelEngine fields, or to other extra data attributes, during content mapping. For the image requirements, see Image URL 1. For additional tips and guidelines, check out the articles Introduction to pictures in listings and Adding pictures to your listings in the eBay help center.
- Condition description - only required when a product is used. For every condition your products can have, a condition description is used.
- eBay Plus - see the eBay Plus section.
- EPID - the product's eBay product identifier (EPID).
- ISBN - the product's international standard book number (ISBN), if applicable.
- Ktype numbers - see the Ktypes section.
- Limit quantity per buyer - use this to limit the maximum quantity of a product a customer can purchase in a single order.
- Payment policy name override - overrides the default payment policy, which is configured on the Setup page of your eBay channel.
- Product description - the product's description. The maximum number of characters allowed is 500,000 and HTML formatting is supported.
- Product subtitle - the product's subheading, which helps it stand out in the search results page. Note that eBay charges for the use of this feature. For more details on it, such as the costs involved, check out the Fees for optional listing upgrades section of the Selling fees article on eBay. The maximum number of characters allowed is 55.
- Product title - the product's title. The maximum number of characters allowed is 80.
- Return policy name override - overrides the default return policy, which is configured on the Setup page of your eBay channel.
- Secondary category - the product's second category. Note that eBay may charge a fee if you list your products in two categories.
- Use product adoption - if you enable this feature, eBay may match your SKU (such as the Manufacturer part number) to offers from other merchants and use their category and product compatibility information (e.g.: Ktypes). If enabled, eBay sets your MPN to your SKU if the brand is mapped – otherwise, it is left empty. If disabled, eBay sets the MPN to 'Does not apply' and eBay does not do product adoption for newly created products. Note that if you disable this feature, after enabling it, you must remove the products you had already created on eBay with this input before you can add them again – it is not enough to disable the feature.
- Manufacturer part number (MPN) - normally this is only applicable to motor parts, however, eBay is known to require this information for other product categories as well and, if left empty, it could cause issues with the listing. It is advised to map the SKU/Merchant product number to this field if no MPN is available.
- Variant aspect 1-5 name - use this field to introduce an aspect that distinguishes product variations from one another. E.g.: color; size.
- Variant aspect 1-5 value - use this field to provide a corresponding value for the Variant aspect name field. E.g.: black; small.
For information on the Map promotion and Percentage discount for 2-4 and more items attributes, check out the article eBay: how to set up multi-buy volume discounts.
Carrier mapping is required on eBay. The list of carriers supported is fixed, but quite extensive.
Countries and languages
ChannelEngine offers support for eBay in the countries listed in the Commercial information section of this guide. There are more countries in which eBay is active (such as in other parts of Asia), however, ChannelEngine deliberately offer support only for portals with relatively fast shipping options and Western currencies.
Multiple countries, one language
Although there are multiple eBay portals, if you place a product on one it will be found on all portals. This can be changed by either excluding or including countries in your Shipping policy. Make sure to set up your shipping policy exactly as desired before uploading products, in order to prevent orders you cannot fulfill.
If you only use one portal but ship to multiple countries, your product information will be shown in your setup language on every portal. In this scenario, it is advised to choose the plugin for the country you are shipping from. So if your warehouse is in the Netherlands and you are using Dutch descriptions, select the eBay.nl plugin.
Please note that if someone searches for a specific unique attribute (such as an EAN) on an excluded eBay portal, your product can still be found. However, orders can not be placed on it.
Multiple countries, multiple languages
If you want to place products on several eBay portals in multiple languages (which is advised to achieve maximum conversion), add a different eBay plugin per language. E.g.: if you want to sell to Dutch, German and French customers, add the eBay.nl, eBay.de, and eBay.fr plugins. You are required to perform the above-mentioned steps for each portal set up.
- Create payment, return, and shipping policies for every eBay portal. You can use the same login for every portal. I.e.: if you create an account on eBay.nl, you can use the same credentials on eBay.de.
- Make sure to use the correct policy names for every channel.
- Use a business eBay account, otherwise you cannot use 'good till cancelled' offers on other eBay portals. This can be done from your eBay account, under Account, Personal information, Account type, Change account type. After changing the account, you have to re-authorize ChannelEngine via the Authorize button in your account.
- A different SKU is necessary for each and every portal. If you only use one SKU, make sure to enable the setting Append country code to SKU by going to the Setup page and expanding the Advanced settings section. When enabled, products on eBay.nl are published with the suffix _nl added to the original SKU – for example. When importing an order, that suffix is removed once again to prevent systems such as Magento from not recognizing the product.
Change the location of your warehouse
If your warehouse is moved to a different location or if you are switching to a different fulfillment supplier, you have to configure it on eBay as well. This can be done by changing the location information on ChannelEngine (make sure to change the postal code as well). Due to limitations on eBay, this will only be updated for new products.
For existing products you have to manually change the location on eBay via the following steps:
- Go to Sell.
- Select all products by selecting the upper checkbox.
- Select Edit in the options listed above your offers.
- A spreadsheet view will appear, listing all your products. You can change the location of your products in bulk.
Additional mappings and options
- Once you have added shipping costs per individual product (e.g.: because they vary based on size and weight), these will be used to overwrite the Domestic shipping costs set in the Postage policy.
- For many product categories, the GTIN/EAN, brand, and MPN are mandatory. For non-auto parts (which have an actual MPN) you can use the SKU.
- The title/name of a product cannot be empty.
- When selling used or refurbished products, it is mandatory to fill in a Condition description matching the condition of those items.
- There are limits on how many products can initially be sold on eBay, especially for new sellers/accounts. You can find more information on Selling limits.
Merchant product numbers/SKUs
eBay has strict requirements when it comes to the stock keeping units (SKUs) used for offers. SKUs can only contain alphanumeric characters, hyphens (-), and underscores (_), with a maximum length of 50 characters.
This means that SKUs containing a slash (/), for example, are rejected by eBay. For more information on how to prevent issues with offers on specific marketplaces, check out our Merchant product numbers/SKUs article.
- 10426,1071 -> product compatible with Ktypes 10426 and 1071
- 10426;1071 -> product compatible with Ktypes 10426 and 1071
- 10426|Rear axle;1071|Front axle -> product compatible with Ktype 10426 with note 'Rear axle' and Ktype 1071 with note 'Front axle'
Returns on eBay are imported and you can mark them as received, after which they are exported to eBay for full refund.
Beware of the following limitations:
- You can only fully accept or decline a return. Partial decline is not possible.
- ChannelEngine only exports updates on a return request that was previously imported. It is not possible to create a return on ChannelEngine and export to it to eBay, because eBay does not support this scenario.
- ChannelEngine does not support eBay's return shipping labels, seller shipping labels, or seller-funded return shipping (i.e.: free return shipping). Your customer has to get the shipping label for returns, and pay for the return shipping.
- ChannelEngine only supports refunds, not replacements.
- According to eBay's documentation, returns are only available for the eBay portals in the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Australia, and Canada (both in English and French). This may have changed, so let us know if you would like to test it on other eBay sites.
Product variants (beta)
The product variants feature allows customers to select the size and/or color of the product. The variants can be grouped based on either the parent-child or grandparent-parent-child structure of your products on ChannelEngine. Note that the child products have to have values for the size and/or color fields to work.
Under the eBay settings, select your desired grouping under the setting Group products by:
- None - no product variants (default).
- Parent - the parent-child structure is used on ChannelEngine. This will allow the customer to select by size or by color (whichever varies).
- Grandparent - the grandparent-(parent)-child structure is used on ChannelEngine. The child products are grouped by their grandparent (the parent product is ignored, used only to locate the grandparent). This allows the customer to select by size and by color (if they both vary across the child products).
- This is a beta feature, please contact your Customer Success Manager or a Support agent before enabling it.
- Once you have the option set to parent and grandparent, successfully export products, and you want to switch to another way of grouping (or turn it off by using None), then you must first remove these products from the listing, wait until they are removed and only then change to setting and include the products in the listing again, because otherwise nothing will change for the existing products. This is a limit of the way eBay supports product variants. If you change from the default to parent/grandparent, this is not necessary.
- A product cannot be a product variant and a separate single product on eBay at the same time. So if you enable grouping, the product will not appear separately on eBay, but only as a variant.
- If you are using grandparent grouping and if there is a change in the fields of the grandparent (and of the grandparent only), this will not trigger an export. A change in the parent or child (or their mapping) will trigger the export and will also change the grandparent fields.
- The different images are based on the difference of the URLs of the child product images.
eBay Plus is a membership program that provides buyers with access to special deals, exclusive sales, discounts, free delivery, and free returns.
Currently eBay Plus is only available in Australia, Austria, and Germany. If you sell in one of these markets, you can map the eBay Plus attribute under Content mappings. Products with this attribute mapped to Yes display a badge on their pages, and are included in the eBay Plus search filter.
For more information on eBay Plus, check out the Selling with eBay Plus article on eBay's Seller Center.
Set stock to zero instead of removing products
If you use a stock filter in the product selection, products are removed from eBay when they are filtered out – and recreated when they are in stock again. If you do not want that to happen, there is an option in the plugin settings to set the stock to zero when the product is filtered out of your product selection.
When that option is enabled, products are not removed by ChannelEngine. Instead, the stock is updated to zero.
To use that feature, you need to first enable it in eBay's back-end – as described on eBay's Bulk listing tool article. To enable the out-of-stock option on eBay:
- Go to Selling preferences.
- Scroll down to Multi-quantity listings and select the toggle beside Listings stay active when you're out of stock.
Note that eBay removes products with stock equal to zero after a certain time, without communicating it to ChannelEngine. Therefore, this option does not work if the product is out of stock for a long period of time.
Order extra data items
When an order is imported to ChannelEngine, ChannelEngine also fetches extra data items related to the order itself – or to order lines. This extra data is specific to this channel. An explanation of each can be found below:
Order extra data
||No||Checkout notes input by the buyer from the channel order.|
||No||The legacy order ID from the channel order.|
||Yes||The original delivery cost, taken from the pricing summary in the channel order.|
||Yes||Any discount applied to the delivery cost, taken from the pricing summary in the channel order.|
||Yes||The payment reference ID.|
||Yes||OrderMarketplaceId from the channel order|
||Yes||Tax payer ID, taken from the TaxIdentifier in the channel order.|
||Yes||Tax identifier type.|
||Yes||If the value is Yes, this means eBay has handled tax collection.|
||Yes||The shipping service code.|
||Yes||The shipping service code description.|
||Yes||The shipping category for the shipping service.|
||No||Shipping carrier code.|
Order line extra data
|eBay Plus||Yes||Indicates whether eBay Plus is set.|
|Shipping policy||Yes||The name of the shipping policy for the item in the channel order line.|
|eBay tax reference type||Yes||eBay tax reference type/name. An order line can contain multiple, e.g.:
* Conditional fields only display if the channel provided a value.
I no longer see validation messages on the 'Listed products' page. What happened?
To provide a clearer and more readable overview of validation messages, this feature was moved from the Reason column under the Listed products tab to the Validation and feedback tab, under the same Listed products section.
How does ChannelEngine handle eBay's account deletion protocols?
eBay provides their customers with a way to request that their personal data is deleted from eBay's systems. When this happens, eBay notifies companies and developers using their APIs so they act accordingly. If such a request is received by ChannelEngine, a daily task is triggered to anonymize the customer's data – unless an existing order is still open. This task runs nightly (CET).
Are images exported to eBay resized?
Yes, images exported to eBay are automatically resized by ChannelEngine to match eBay's requirements. Provided that your images have a resolution of at least 800x800 px, zooming is supported.
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