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Published: June 28 2017, 10:21:00 AMUpdated: September 07 2022, 1:45:44 AM

eBay categorize listings into different categories with their respective IDs for in a market place.  Categories for each market place are stored in a category tree consist of category tree nodes.  Taxonomy API helps sellers and buyers to find the most appropriate category IDs to post listings and to find listings for purchase.  For more information about category, please read:


Using Taxonomy API in a Selling Flow

Step 1: Call GET /get_default_category_tree_id to get the default root category reference for a given market place. 

Step 2: To find a category to use in the selling flow, use any of the below three calls to find an appropriate category ID:

a.       GET /category_tree/{category_tree_id}

b.       GET /category_tree/{category_tree_id}/get_category_subtree

c.       GET /category_tree/{category_tree_id}/get_category_suggestions

Step 3. Once you decide which category ID to use, find out eBay GTIN mandate for that category.  Each category may have zero or more required fields that must be included in the listing input.

For more information about GTIN, please read:

As of June 2017, to find out GTIN mandate you must use GetCategoryFeatures, GetCategorySpecifics, and GeteBayDetails within Trading API.  eBay is working on equivalent RESTful APIs that will provide similar functionality and this will be rolled out in the future.

Step 4. You may use eBay’s RESTful Selling API , or XML based Trading API to list your item.

Using Taxonomy API in a Buying Flow

Step 1: Call GET /get_default_category_tree_id to get the default root category reference for a given market place. 

Step 2: You may use GET /category_tree/{category_tree_id}/get_category_suggestions to find suggested leave categories and associated IDs with a keyword.  This API returns the categories with the highest percentage of listings whose titles or descriptions contains the keyword.

Step 3: Base on category ID, you may use eBay’s RESTful Browse API, or XML based Finding API, Shopping API to search for listings.



·         Why do I need to call GET /get_default_category_tree_id?

eBay occasionally updates categories for a given market place.  This call lets you know the current version of the category tree and you may compare this against results from previous calls, before you call the more time consuming Get Category Tree (GET /category_tree/{category_tree_id})

·         What happens if I list my item in an incorrect category?

Listing items in incorrect category may result in less visibility of your listing, since buyers may browse products based on categories.

In addition, eBay may take down listings that are obviously listed in incorrect categories.  This may affect your seller rating.

·         What are the differences between Trading API’s GetCategories, GetSuggestedCategories and Taxonomy API?

Functionality wise, they are similar.  However, Taxonomy API is lighter weight and can return response faster in gzip format

Taxonomy API offers RESTful format and present category trees in an intuitive, easy to traverse tree structure base on tree nodes.

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