Using Variations for eBay Power Sellers Listings

Listing your items

Let’s begin! Start by entering keywords to describe your item and clicking “Search”. For this eBook, we’ll use “Levi 501 Jeans” for our example.

Note: Place your mouse cursor over images with a blue border to view full image size.

Select the category or categories for your new listing.


If variations are supported for those categories, you’ll be prompted to choose whether you want to create a listing with variations. Select Yes and click the Continue button to complete the following steps in the List Your Variations tool.

Variation details describe the differences between your items, such as color or size. Select from the list of variation details provided (if there are any), or enter your own variation by clicking the Add your own variation detail link. You can select up to 5 variation details, with up to 30 values for each listing.

Example: If you’re selling shoes, you can have up to 5 different variation details – for instance, Color, Size, Width, Material, and Style. For each variation detail, you can have up to 30 different values. In this example, you could offer up to 30 different colors, 30 sizes, 30 widths, 30 types of material, and 30 styles. You don’t need to use all the choices you see in the list or if a variation detail doesn’t apply to your items, then ignore it. When you name variation details use common words that buyers use when they search, such as Size and Color. In some categories certain words, such as Brand and Condition, can’t be used for variation details.

In our example, let’s add Waist Size, which is already listed as a variation. We’ll choose sizes 30, 32, 34 and 36 for the Waist Size. You can add up to 30 choices of Waist Sizes.

Next, I want to add Color as a choice for the buyer. I click “Add your own variation detail” and enter “Color” for the choice and then add the first variation of that choice. In this case, I’ll start with “Black” and then click Save.

Next, I’ll add my other Color choices. Click the (+) sign by Color to add another Color choice.

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 color or sleeve style instead of size or manufacturer. When you’re done with this step, click the Continue button.

Define other details about your items

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 theAdd 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 1999).  If an item specific doesn’t apply to your listing, just ignore it.

The variation details you defined initially don’t appear in the item specifics list, and you can’t add them to the list.
For Example: If you’ve already selected “Color” 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 for your item. The more specifics you use, the easier it is for buyers to find your items. When you’re done, click the Continue button at the bottom.

Next, enter a Name or a SKU for your variations and click theCreate variations button.

eBay will 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 eBay creates uses the information you provided:

  • The variation details
  • 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.

You can also rename the SKU for each item to make each easier to read.
For example: LEVI_501_JEANS_3-1_B-1 is the SKU for my Levi 501 Size 30 Black Jeans. I renamed the SKU toLEVI_501_JEANS_30_BLACK for better clarity.

When you’re done with this step, click the Continue button.

Next, we’ll add images.

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 Colors), 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 I don’t include a picture of the black jean variation, buyers will see the shared picture that shows all the colors for the jeans when they select the black jeans.
For variation pictures, show off your items’ individual colors or the first variation detail you defined. To add pictures that show a different variation detail, click the Change variation button.

Note: If you change the variation detail that you’re showing in the pictures, you’ll delete all the variation pictures you’ve already uploaded.

To add a Shared picture for your items, click Add pictures.

Next, click Browse. Navigate to the picture on your computer you want to use and select it by clicking on it and then clickingOpen. You can now repeat the same process for each variation if you want. 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 for your items

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.  

Next, enter the quantity of each item that you are selling.

Review your items and make any adjustments necessary.

To see how this information will appear in the listing click thePreview 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.

Continue filling out the Sell Your Item form to complete your listing as you normally would for any other listing.

Note: you cannot switch to simple form with variations.

Viewing and managing listings

To view and manage your listings with variations, go to the Sellsection of My eBay, and then click the Active link.

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 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.