Listings with variations – what are they and how do they work?

Variation listings make both the seller’s and the buyer’s life a lot easier. It’s one of those features that we simply cannot live without. So what is this feature exactly, and how does it work?

Simply put – variations keep potential buyers on the same product page. Let’s say, for example, you’re selling t-shirts with multiple colours (red, white and black). By having all of those colour variations on the same product page, you keep the potential buyer interested, as he won’t have to navigate through your store to find the colour that he was looking for.

It would also be bad from a seller’s point of view, as you would have to create multiple listings for each different t-shirt. Just think about it, you have 5 t-shirt colours that all come in 5 sizes. That would be 25 different listings that you’d have to create (and pay fees for) – what a hassle!


And what’s even worse – think about the buyer’s perspective. They just found a t-shirt that they like, but the listing is the wrong size. Now they have to search through your store to find the listing for the exact colour and size t-shirt that they were looking for. They might find it, or they might just give up and search for another product – that’s bad business.

What are the advantages of using variations?

When using variations, you can have all product variables on a single page, within a single product listing. Have a pair of shoes that you want to sell and they come in 8 different sizes, 5 different colours and 3 different patterns? No problem, create a variation listing, and everything will be in one place. This is helpful for the buyer, as they can find the product that they want much easier. And it’s also helpful for you, the seller, as you can easily manage and find the different versions of that product.

How do I create variation listings?


You can create and manage your variations through your eBay Seller Hub, or from your preferred listing tool, such as Ad-Lister. Each tool will walk you step-by-step through the process.

When creating variation listings, you’ll want to:

-Fully describe the features of the product that are standard across all versions/variables of the product. I.e. all shoes, no matter the size or colour are made out of the same quality material.

-Specify your variations and the options for each variation

-Review the variations in order to make sure that your inventory matches with the quantity selected for each variation. If needed, you can delete variations for which you’re missing inventory.

-Add pictures – this is very important! Have different pictures for each different variations. So, when a buyer selects the red shoes instead of the blue ones, the picture will display a pair of red shoes. We can’t stress how important this is! You can add up to 12 for each variation.

-Add quantities and price, which can be different for each variation of your item.

Which categories can have eBay listing variations?

You will have to keep in mind that not all eBay categories support variations, however most categories are set up for eBay listing variations. For a full list of available categories, you can click here.

What would and wouldn’t be considered a multi-variation listing?


Shirts that are the same brand, but available in different colours are considered a multi-variation listing. However, shirts that are similar but have different brands can’t be variation listing(s).

In a nutshell, if the brand differs, it’s a non-variation listing. But if the brand is the same, and an attribute is different (size, colour, pattern, etc.), then it can be a variation listing.

Also, please keep in mind that each listing can have 5 variation details and up to 60 values for each of those details (or up to 250 total variations, whichever comes first). Yet another important thing to keep in mind is that the prices of your items can vary, but your payment methods and shipping costs must be the same.

The golden rule of eBay Variations: more options = more sales

Especially when someone is looking for a product but hasn’t yet decided which color or size they want, having many options all under one listing increases your opportunity to make a sale. Plus, the listing looks more professional this way.

Also, it is good to know that customers tend to buy more items on variations listings. When you have a variation listing, it’s likely that a customer will buy more than one variation of the item. This is considerably rare for individually listed items because a customer won’t even know that you sell more types of the same item (in different colors, sizes and more).

Maybe they cannot decide between a red and a blue t-shirt, so they just end up buying both. Congratulations, you’ve just made two sales! This is why we consider variation listings to be extremely profitable.

Another major advantage of variation listings are the fees, or lack thereof. In other words, if you list a variation listing with 200 variations, you only pay the listing fee once. But if you were to create 200 different listings, you would pay that fee 200 times. And you already know what we call that – bad business.



When buyers are looking for an item to purchase, they may not know which color/size/type they want to buy. If you have all variations under one listing, it would be easier for them to find precisely what they need.

But if the different variations are split into individual listings, the customer may never find others which we are selling. Not all buyers check the “Other Items” of a seller, and it’s possible that they will find the variation being sold by another eBay seller.

To sum up, we would highly recommend having variations for your listings, whenever possible.






Subscribe today for latest news