As a top-rated eBay seller, I want to help all eBay sellers realize their potential for maximum sales and best practices.
Stop Wasting Money on an eBay Store
If you have a large inventory of similar items but don't want to pay those ridiculous eBay fees for a premium or anchor storefront, creating a variation listing is something you must learn how to do. By creating variation listings, you will be able to showcase hundreds of similar items in a single auction listing. If you only have 25 similar items, that is still okay. You will still essentially get 25 listings for the price of one.
What Is a Variation Listing?
Variation listings allow you to bulk similar items into one singular listing. The eBay rule for variations is somewhat vague and can be manipulated to suit your auction-listing needs. This format is often used for clothing with different colors, patterns, or sizes, but a loophole allows you to list other items by simply categorizing them into brand names, series, or titles.
Do's and Don'ts
It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. Don't try to stiff eBay by using variation auctions to list items that are totally unrelated to each other. For example: A toy car and a t-shirt are two totally different items. If you list something like this, your auction will be removed and you will be sent a policy violation notice/warning.
The way to use this feature to your advantage is to find out what your items have in common. If you have items that feature a particular individual, celebrity, athlete, or historical figure, find out how you can list them in one auction that can have a universal title. Almost any category can have a variation listing if you know how to set up the listing correctly without violating eBay policy.
How to Create a Variation Listing
Although it can be a bit time consuming, these types of listings are quite easy to create. Follow this process step by step to create a variation listing you can use to sell multiple items in one auction listing.
- The first thing you will want to do is create a universal title that applies to every item you will showcase in your listing.
- Before proceeding any further, make sure you have photos of all of the items you will be offering in your auction. You will need them in the next step because you will be given the option to upload a unique photo for each different variation of the item you are selling. You want a picture of each item so that potential buyers can click on the variation and preview the item you are selling.
- Once you have all of your pictures ready to upload, scroll down to the section with a "UPC" field. Directly above that field, you will see a link labeled "Create Variations." Click that link and a pop-up window will appear. Once that window appears, you will see a bunch of different attributes, but you will want to create your own. To do this, all you have to do is click on the "+Add" link. Once that link is clicked, another pop-up window will appear.
- In this pop-up window, you want to deselect all of the checkboxes and mark "Choose your own attributes." After you have selected "Choose your own attributes," a text box will appear. In that text box, type "Choose from." This will simply display the text "Choose from" next to a drop-down list that will feature each of your variations in the listing. After typing that information in, click save. The pop-up window will close, redirecting you back to the previous pop-up window with the "Choose from" attribute displayed with a down arrow pointing to where you will be working next.
- Underneath the "Choose from" text you will see "Options." Under that, you will see "+Create your own." You will be using that link to create the title of each variation you want to add. It is pretty self-explanatory, so just enter each item until you are finished then proceed to the next step by clicking "Continue."
- In this next step, you will first see a "Default Photos" option. You will want to have some sort of default photo in order for a picture to display in the search results. Otherwise, you will have an ugly blank image in the search results. Once you have your default photo uploaded, scroll down to the "Add Variation Photos" section.
- In the drop-down box underneath the "Add Variation Photos" section, you will want to change it from "Use Default Photos" to "Choose From." After doing this, a whole new section will appear, displaying all of the items you previously entered. Select each title and upload the corresponding photo(s).
- Once you have all of your photos uploaded, move on to the final step of multiple variations editing, which is "Variation Combinations". This final step is basically a quicker way to edit price, quantity, and SKU numbers (if applicable). Once you are finished entering all of the correct information, click on "Save and Close," and you will be redirected back to the original item listing page.
- All that's left to do now is to edit your description and shipping and you will be all done.
Things to Remember
Since this will be a multiple quantity auction, be sure to adjust the combined shipping rates and the rates for each additional item. This can be the difference between selling one or ten items.
Make sure your description lets the buyer know how your auction works. In other words, make sure they know the auction is for one item of their choosing and not all of the items pictured.
Make sure to promote your listing. You get a ton of exposure for multiple quantity listings since your auction includes several different items. This will help drive sales. My business increased by over 40% just by using promoted listings. You can set your payout rates to suit your needs, and it is well worth the promotion.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Kari Poulsen from Ohio on December 09, 2017:
Thanks for the head's up. I have not sold on ebay, but I have been thinking about it. :)