Many of the items that we list on eBay have distinct variations. This means they could be different sizes, colors, types, etc. Most eBay sellers decide to list these items under one listing, while others prefer to list them individually. But how can we tell which method performs better, and how can we learn the impact of each strategy on sales?

We decided to share our understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each method so that you could decide which one is most suitable for you.

Variation Listings

How many variations can I have under a single listing?

You can have up to 5 different variation categories (eg. color, size, material, model compatibility for tech accessories, etc.) and up to 60 different values under each category.

In total, you can upload up to 250 variations in one listing without any additional fees.


1) More options = More sales

If you’re selling an item with different sizes, colors, etc., you’ll want to place all of them under one listing using variations.

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.

With the AutoDS dropshipping monitor you can upload all variations of an item from supported suppliers.

You can also add different prices for each variation, though shipping costs and payment methods must remain the same. In this way, you can test which price points work better and bring in more sales.



When selling items with variations, list them with different prices and allow your dropshipping tool to manage the price optimization for you automatically. Find out more about automatic eBay price optimization here.

2) 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).

All these extra sales contribute to your total amount of sold items, which improves your sales history and will eventually land you a higher rank and placement on eBay’s search results.

3) Better promotion on eBay

As we discussed above, listings with variations have higher selling potential and obtain a better sales history. Thus, eBay prefers to promote these listings on their search pages, so long as they maintain a higher ranking. As a result, we can realize that listings with variations are more likely to be found than others, which will result in more sales and profits for an eBay dropshipping business.

4) Sales History

The total amount of sold items for each listing makes up its sales history. A better sales history will win the listing better placement on eBay’s search results. As a result, the first listings seen by users are the ones with a large sales history. In most cases, these listings also have variations.


5) Fewer Listing Fees per eBay Listing

A listing on eBay, regardless of the number of variations it may have, counts only as one listing. Therefore, when we upload an item with 5 variations, we pay less than we would, to upload the same item 5 individual times. This would cost more money, as well as it could violate eBay limits. As previously stated, you can have up to 250 different variations of a product under one listing without paying any more fees.



1) The title, the description, and the item’s specifics

When running an eBay dropshipping business, which requires uploading products in bulk, titles could easily cause problems. We must be especially careful and diligent when crafting the title of each listing.  

On suppliers’ websites, like Amazon or Walmart, each variation may have its own title. On eBay however, the title remains the same for each variant. This means that we should be careful, especially when uploading our listings in bulk. The title must be generic, and not include any words that define a specific size or color of the item that’s being sold.

Example of an item with different titles on Amazon: 


This same rule applies to the item specifics and the description of an item. You must be sure to add generic details in your descriptions which won’t indicate that you are selling a specific size or color of the product. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to deal with angry customers or customers who are asking to return the product.

On the other hand, suppliers like AliExpress and Banggood use the same generic title, description, and item specifics. Therefore, uploading items with variations from these suppliers is an easy process that doesn’t require much editing of the listing.

A great way to avoid having words that define a specific variation of the listing is to add specific keywords to your personal keyword blacklist. This is an extremely helpful feature of the AutoDS dropshipping tool. How does this feature work? Simply decide and add the words you’d like to be removed or completely blocked from your listing when being uploaded, just in case they are embedded within the title of the item. Blacklisted keywords should include words or numbers that define size, colors, etc.



2) The images of the items

Likewise, you will need to pay attention to the images on the listing. Each image should represent the variation (especially for color variants) so that the customer sees what they are buying. You need to remember to remove pictures of variations that will not be included in the listing. Lastly, be sure to include images for all the different variations.

On the AutoDS dropshipping platform, this process is done automatically. All item specifics and variation pictures are grabbed. You just need to make sure that each listing’s title and description remain relatively generic.

Single Item Listings


1) Easy to work with them with bulk uploading

With regards to bulk uploading, working with 1 item listings is a very easy thing to do. You can collect all the items you want to upload and use the existing default title for your listing. You won’t have to utilize specific wording since the default title will accurately describe it.

This same advantage applies to the item specifics and description. All of these factors can save you a lot of time which would otherwise be spent editing each item before upload.

2) Adding variations as individual listings allow you to add more keywords to each title

You can upload the variations of an item as individual listings. This method will allow you to upload more listings with many different keywords in the title and the item specifics.




1) We spend more money and reach limits on our eBay account

When uploading items separately and not under one listing, it costs us more money in eBay fees. Furthermore, splitting an item to create more listings can be troublesome, depending on the number of variants we plan to list. By uploading too many individual listings we might incidentally reach eBay item limits.

2) Less traffic per listing

Splitting items into more listings will result in less traffic. Why? Because factors such as views, watchers, etc, will be split among the listings. This will result in a smaller sales history, leading to less promotion on eBay’s search results. Therefore, single item listings yield less traffic.

3) We may lose potential buyers because they want a different variation

When the 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.

4) eBay promotes variation listings more because of their sales history

As stated above, variation listings gain better promotion. This is due to their sales/ views/ watchers history, as well as their good conversion rate (more sales per visit). When you have all variants gathered under one listing, all sales contribute to the sum of your sales history. Thus, you see the total amount of sales from within the listing, regardless of which variant is sold.


Evidently, there is no actual dilemma between uploading individual products or creating listings with variations. If an item we are selling has sizes, colors, and/or other types of variations, it’s obvious that we should place them under one listing. This will bring us more sales, greater visibility, and of course, more profits for our eBay dropshipping business. Listing individually only makes sense when posting items without any variations.

Check our video on how to maximize your profits while listing items with variations

The AutoDS dropshipping platform fully supports uploading items with all their variations,  along with other cool and useful features every eBay dropshipper needs.

What is your preferred way of working: With variations or single item listings? Comment down below and share your tips on how to work with a variation or single item listings. If you want to suggest a topic which you would like to see discussed on our blog, just leave your comment below 🙂