10 mins

How to List Faster with eBay Bulk Listing

Daniela Cherkova
Aug 9, 2018

This is a guest post by Maxim Godin, co-Founder of Crazylister.

A vast majority of merchants creates eBay listings individually, not utilizing the advantages of bulk listing. Over time, sellers who master the bulk listing technique gain a significant advantage by saving huge amounts of time which can be dedicated to further expanding their business and gaining a competitive advantage.

eBay Bulk listing in abstract –

Most sellers fill in the “Sell your item” form on eBay for creating individual listings.

eBay also offers several other interfaces to communicate with the marketplace and create listings among other tasks.

One such interface is called – File Exchange. Just as the name suggests, File Exchange allows sellers to communicate with eBay via excel-like files named CSV (Comma-separated values) files.

Sellers can submit CSV files which contain the required data for bulk listing 100’s and 1000’s of products via File Exchange.

Key concepts in eBay bulk listing

Below are the key concepts you must familiarize yourself with in order to successfully bulk list items on eBay.

  1. CSV file – The format in which you submit the data to eBay via File Exchange. It’s basically working
    with an EXCEL file and saving it in a CSV format.

  2. Preparing images for bulk listing – as opposed to manually selecting images per listing as sellers do when listing individual items, when bulk listing on eBay, you need to have your images hosted online and named in a structured format to easily map the right image to the right listing at scale. (I know this doesn’t make much sense right now, but don’t worry – I’ll explain this in detail further in the post).

  3. Applying a professional template – File Exchange will help you get the basic info about your products up on eBay. The final step is to apply a professional template to the basic info to make your listings stand out from the competition.

The best way to explain how bulk listing works is with a real example, so let’s get to it.

eBay bulk listing with File Exchange – a step by step guide

Step 1: Get File Exchange (it’s free)

If you’re not subscribed yet, follow this link to subscribe to File Exchange (it’s free).

Step 2: Download a CSV template

The first thing you want to do is download a CSV template which you can fill in with your products data.

You basically have 3 options here:

  1. Item Specifics Category Template – Use this template to create listings in a specific category. The template will include all item specifics relevant to the selected category.

  2. Catalog listing template – Use this template if you plan to use ISBN or UPC codes to create listings in the following categories: Books, Movies, Music, and Video Games.

  3. Basic Template (no item specifics) – Use this template to create listings in categories that do not include item specifics.


For this example, I’ll continue with the Item Specifics Category Template option.

Once you click on “Select a category”, you’ll be asked to enter the category id number –


How to find the category id number?

In order to get the category number, you can look it up at eBay’s category list –

Click here for eBay’s list of category id numbers

Alternatively, you can find the category id number in the URL of that category on eBay.

For example, let’s look for the category id number of an Apple laptop.

Find a listing from that category, then click on the category link at the top  –

Next you’ll see the category id in the URL –


You’re all set, enter the desired category id (“111422” in our example) and click on “Generate template”.

Now click on “Item Specifics Category Template” and download the CSV template.

Here’s what the CSV template file looks like when opened using MS excel –

The template is basically the headers you see in row 1. Rows 5-20 are simply comments explaining the various item specifics for your category, so you can delete those.

Step 3: Fill in your products data

Now that you have the template, fill in your products data.

Filling in an excel file is much faster and easier than filling in eBay’s “sell your item” form for every listing.

I’ll explain the mandatory fields in detail, for info about the optional fields click here for eBay’s File Exchange tutorial.

Below are the mandatory (must fill) fields in the CSV template:

  • *Action – This is where you specify the desired action – i.e. Add, Revise, End.For creating new listings, you’ll want to indicate – “Add”, note that File Exchange is case sensitive.

  • CustomLabel – Although optional, this field is usually used to add the seller’s stock keeping unit (“SKU”) to manage inventory (this is a must have if you want to synchronize your stock across multiple sales channels).

  • *Category – This is where you input the category id number you found through the previous step. In our example, I’ll input 111422 for “Apple laptops”.

  • *Title – This is your eBay title.

  • *ConditionID – Indicate your item’s condition using a condition id. A list of the id’s can be found here. For our example, I’ll use id “1000” which indicates New.

  • C:<item specific name> – i.e. *C:Brand, C:Product Family, C:Color… All of these fields are item specifics. It’s highly recommended to fill in all item specifics to increase the discoverability of your listings.

  • PicURL – This is where we indicate the image URL address. I’ll explain how to handle images in a dedicated section further down the post.

  • *Description – product information about your item. This is the text description that we will later on enhance with a professional, high-converting template.

  • *Format –  FixedPrice or Auction, I’ll use FixedPrice for our example.

  • *Duration – The duration in days, I’ll use “GTC” (for Good Til Canceled).

  • *StartPrice – For Auctions this is the price at which bidding starts. For FixedPrice format, this is the price to buy the item.

  • *Quantity – Quantity of the item available for sale.

  • *Location – Location of the item. Enter the State and Country information. For this example, I’ll use US without specifying the state.

  • ShippingProfileName, ReturnProfileName, PaymentProfileName – These are your Shipping, Return and Payment business policies. Go to your business policies to see the names of your policies.If you’re not yet opted-in to business policies, use this link to opt-in.


Step 4: Preparing images for bulk listing

One of the required fields in the CSV template is “PicURL”. As opposed to manually uploading individual images when listing through the “sell your item” form, when bulk creating listings, we are able to upload multiple images for multiple listings with one CSV file.
Below is a step by step tutorial for preparing and working with images when listing in bulk:

  1. Name your images after the SKUs of your items, in a structured format – this will allow you to retrieve the image URL addresses automatically.

    In our example, I’ll name the SKU for the Apple laptop – “MacBookPro”.

    Subsequently, I’ll name the images:
    MacBookPro-1.jpg
    MacBookPro-2.jpg
    MacBookPro-3.jpg

    Note that the image names follow the pattern: {SKU}{-number.jpg}
    This insures that we can easily retrieve the URL locations of all images for all items.

    TIP: It’s best practice to have an identical number of images per item. This will allow full automation in mapping images’ URLs, otherwise you’ll have to do some manual work to map the images per listing.

  2. Upload your images to an online hosting – In order to have URLs for your images, you must have them stored on an online hosting solution.
    If you have your own webstore, you can host the images on your store’s hosting solution. Otherwise, you can host your images on any hosting solution suited for eCommerce image hosting.
    For example, check out – Godaddy or Photobucket (these cost $10-50 a year, Photobucket used to be free, but it’s not anymore. I’m not really familiar with any free solutions, so if you are, please share in the comments below).

    Tip 1:
     Dropbox, Google drive and the rest of the “private files” hosting solutions are not suited for image hosting for eCommerce because they have a limited bandwidth – these solutions are not designed to allow thousands of people to load the images on a daily basis.

    Tip 2: 
    Make sure to upload images for all the products in the same folder, this will make the URL path very simple.

  3. Use an excel formula to structure the URLs of your images.
    Now that you’ve completed steps 1 and 2, you can structure the image URLs for all of your products within the CSV template with an automated excel formula.

    Here is the pattern that our formula will build:
    {Your image hosting domain path}{SKU}{-1.jpg}
    {Your image hosting domain path}{SKU}{-2.jpg}
    {Your image hosting domain path}{SKU}{-3.jpg}

    The end result will look something like this –
    Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-1.jpg
    Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-2.jpg
    Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-3.jpg

To automatically construct the URL path, use the concatenate excel formula. Here’s a quick guide for using concatenate in excel.

To add multiple images (up to 12) per listing, separate the URLs with a pipe ” | ” character.
This is how your PicURL field will look like for 3 images:
https://Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-1.jpg|Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-2.jpg|Mylaptopstore.com/product_images/MacBookPro-3.jpg

Tip: You can use the concatenate excel formula to automatically structure multiple image URLs. This is why I recommend to have the same number of images per listing. Otherwise you’ll have to make manual adjustments to the picURL filed per listing.

Step 5: Upload your CSV file to File Exchange to create the listings on eBay

We’ve now entered the items and images into the CSV template, and are ready to upload the file to File Exchange.

Uploading your CSV file


From within File Exchange, click on “Upload Files”, choose your file and click “Upload”.

It will take eBay a couple of minutes to process your request, this may vary depending on how many listings you’re uploading.

Checking the results of your upload

Click on “View Upload Results”, right below the “Upload files” on the left menu.

Here you can download a report which shows the result of your request –

Click on “Download” from the right most column “Load Results Report**”.

Your file will contain the upload results for each and every listing from your upload.


The “Status” column will indicate if your listing loaded successfully, or if you have an error.

Any status other than “Error” indicates that your listing was created successfully and you can see the listing number under the “ItemID” column.

Tip:
 It may take several attempts until you manage to get your template right and successfully launch your listings. If you see an error status, read the error message from eBay to get an idea of what the problem is and how to fix it.

A “warning” status is very common, you can usually disregard it.

SUCCESS!

You should now have created basic “text only” listings in bulk using File Exchange.

The next step is to apply a professional template to your listings to increase your sales and conversion rates.

Last step: Apply a professional template to increase sales

Once your basic (text only) listings are live, you can use CrazyLister to apply a professional template to multiple listings with one-click.

Here is how it works:

1. From within your CrazyLister account, click on the “Listings” tab –


2. Click on “Sync from eBay” on the right side to import your recently created listings –


3. Select all of your listings and pick a template to apply –

4. Pick a template and apply.

Congratulations! You’ve now applied a professional template to all your listings.

To summarize the process

There are four main steps in creating eBay listings in bulk with File Exchange:

1. Download and fill in a File Exchange CSV template.
2. Name your images in a structured format and upload them to an online hosting.
3. Upload the CSV template to File Exchange to create the listings.
4. Apply a professional template to your listings.

Need help with eBay bulk listing? Contact CrazyLister’s support by clicking the support widget at the bottom right of any page at CrazyLister.com

Happy selling!

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