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Importing Multi-Variations

Please note that importing multi-variations replaces existing variations and variation pictures for a profile. If you wish to perform an update of existing variation information you must specify all the variations instead of just those that require updating.

By using the 'Bulk Import' feature you can quickly create multi-variations for new or existing profiles, cutting down the time it takes in listing to eBay. Importing of multi-variations is done through two special 'relationship' fields in your import file. An example import is shown below.

profile_name relationship relationship_details
1 Shirt
2 variation_detail_values Color=Red;White;Blue
3 variation_detail_values Size (Men's)=S;M;L;XL;XXXL
4 variation_detail_values Sleeve Length=Short Sleeve;Long Sleeve
5 variation TS-01|100|9.99|Color=Blue;Size (Men's)=S;Sleeve Length=Short Sleeve
6 variation TS-02|100|9.99|Color=Blue;Size (Men's)=M;Sleeve Length=Short Sleeve
7 variation TS-03|100|9.99|Color=Blue;Size (Men's)=L;Sleeve Length=Short Sleeve
8 variation TS-04|100|9.99|Color=Red;Size (Men's)=L;Sleeve Length=Short Sleeve
9 variation TS-05|100|10.99|Color=White;Size (Men's)=S;Sleeve Length=Long Sleeve
10 variation TS-06|100|10.99|Color=White;Size (Men's)=M;Sleeve Length=Long Sleeve
11 variation_picture Color|Red=red_shirt.jpg
12 variation_picture Color|White=white_shirt.jpg
13 variation_picture Color|Blue=blue_shirt.jpg

This example shows the importing of a profile called Shirt that has several variations to allow buyers to purchase a shirt from a selection of colors, sizes and sleeve lengths. Profiles and their variations follow a hierarchical relationship. What this means is that profile information is entered on one row with variations appearing on subsequent rows beneath. Rows for profiles leave the fields relationship and relationship_details empty while variation rows specify either variation_detail_values, variation or variation_picture in the relationship field and use the relationship_details field for the mutil-variation information.

As you can see in the above example the importing of multi-variations involves entering three pieces of information.

Details and values
The different purchasing options such as color and size.
Variations
Multiple items that are essentially the same product but which vary in their details such as color.
Pictures
Images assigned to purchasing options that are displayed when buyers select one.

With the exception of pictures, entering this information is required otherwise no variations will be imported for the specified profile .

Specifying details and values

Variation details are the aspects of a product that make it a multi-variation. Below are some examples.

  • A shirt could vary by size and color
  • Bed sheets could vary by material, color, length and width.
  • A bag of cat food may be available in a variety of weights.

Variation values are the different options that each variation detail could have. For example,

  • A shirt that varies in color may have values such as red, white and blue.
  • Bed sheets which vary by material could have values such as nylon, cotton and silk.

A detail and its corresponding values are specified on a single row with subsequent rows containing other details and values. The order in which the details are specified is important as it will be the order that buyers will see them. For example, if you wish to allow buyers to choose a shirt by size and then by color you must ensure that they appear in that order within the import file.

Entering the required information is done as follows.

  • Enter variation_detail_values in the relationship column.
  • Within the relationship_details column specify the detail and values using the format described below.

A detail is separated from its values by the equals sign with the values separated from each other by a semicolon, i.e., Color=Red;White;Blue will specify a detail called Color that will have the values Red, White and Blue. Note that the order in which the values are entered will be the order that buyers will see them.

Details and values must conform to the following rules.

  • The maximum number of details for each profile is 5.
  • The maximum length of a detail is 40 characters.
  • The maximum number of values for each detail is 60.
  • The maximum length of a value is 50 characters.

Creating variations

Variations are similar (but not identical) items within a multi-quantity fixed-price listing. Each variation is created by combining details and values that have been specified in the import file. A variation is specified on a single row with subsequent rows containing other variations. Entering the required information is done as follows.

  • Enter variation in the relationship column.
  • Within the relationship_details column specify the variation using the format described below.

A variation is made up of the following four fields within the relationship_details column.

SKU
The stock keeping unit used to identify the variation. SKUs must be unique across each variation belonging to a profile.
Quantity
The quanity of items for the variation that are available for purchase. Different quantities can be assigned to each variation.
Price
The fixed price for the variation that buyers will pay. Each variation can be assigned its own price.
Specifics
The combination of variation details and values that uniquely identify a variation within a listing.

Each field is separated by using the pipe character, e.g., sku|quantity|price|specifics, and must be specified in that order to allow the import process to correctly obtain the required information. Entering information in the Specifics field is done using a detail value pair separated by the equals sign, i.e., <detail>=<value>. Multiple pairs are separated by a semicolon, e.g., Color=White;Size (Men's)=S;Sleeve Length=Long Sleeve.

Note that you do not have to specify variations for items that you do not sell. For example, if you allow buyers to choose a shirt from the colors Red, White, Blue, and the sizes S, M , L, you do not have to specify a variation for large blue shirts if don't sell them. You will only need to specify variations for the other combinations of color and size that you do in fact sell.

Variations must conform to the following rules.

  • The maximum number of variations allowed per profile is 250.
  • SKUs must be unique across each variation belonging to a profile.
  • Specifics may only contain details and values that have been specified in a previous variation_detail_values row. For example, it will be an error to specify Brand=Apple if either the detail Brand or the value Apple have not been specified earlier.

Assigning pictures

In order to help buyers you can assign pictures to the variation values. As buyers select an option the assigned picture is displayed. A picture is specified on a single row with subsequent rows containing other pictures. Entering the required information is done as follows.

  • Enter variation_picture in the relationship column.
  • Within the relationship_details column the variation detail and value, and picture details are specified using the format described below.

Assigning a picture requires three pieces of information.

This information is entered using the following format.

<detail>|<value>=<filename or URL>

As you can see you first specify the variation detail followed by the pipe character. You then specify the variation value followed by the equals sign and then finally the picture's filename or URL.

Note that assigning pictures is optional. You do not have to assign any pictures if you do not require them or you may only assign pictures to a few of the variation values rather than all of them.

Assigning pictures must conform to the following rules.

  • If you are specifying the picture's filename the import process will assume that you are refering to a picture within the Frooition image hosting. You must therefore ensure that you have previously uploaded this picture.
  • You may only assign pictures to values from the same detail. For example, if you have specified details such as Color and Size you may only assign pictures to either Color or Size but not both.
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