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The GetCategorySpecifics Trading API call and the Taxonomy API methods (such as fetchItemAspects and getItemAspectsForCategory) enable users to retrieve a list of aspects that are appropriate or necessary for accurately describing items in the specified leaf category. Each aspect identifies an item attribute (for example, color) for which the seller will be required or encouraged to provide a value (or variation values) when offering an item in that category on eBay.

For each aspect, the complete metadata is provided, including:

  • The aspect's data type, format, and entry mode
  • Whether the aspect is required, recommended, or optional
  • Whether the aspect can be used for item variations
  • Whether multiples values can be specified for the aspect
  • Allowed/recommended values for the aspect

Users can leverage this information to construct an interface through which sellers can enter or select the appropriate values for their items or item variations. Once you collect those values, include them as product aspects when creating listings.

The following table compares the key functions available through the Taxonomy API methods and the GetCategorySpecifics Trading API call.

Key functional capability

Taxonomy API Methods

GetCategorySpecifics Call

Retrieve and cache the taxonomy for category subtrees or specific categories  
Retrieve category data for a specified eBay marketplace or multiple categories (bulk download) 1
View the taxonomy of each eBay category and the relationships between parent and child categories  
Retrieve item specifics recommendations in eBay categories
Retrieve metadata on compatible vehicle aspect names and values
Discover categories for buyers to browse or search for items  
Retrieve a reference to a default category tree associated with a specified eBay marketplace ID  
Retrieve the expected date after which an aspect will be required  

1 This data returned in the fetchItemAspects Taxonomy API method can be used alongside the open source Taxonomy SDK to compare changes and updates.