How to add a custom eBay listing description

As you probably know, WP-Lister builds your eBay listing description using your listing template and the listing shortcodes within. A standard listing template includes the shortcode [[product_description]] which will be replaced by your product description from WooCommerce.

While this works very well for the great majority of its users - and saves a great deal of time by pulling existing data from your website - your mileage might vary and you might want to have a dedicated field for a custom eBay listing description for each product.

It's a question that rarely comes up, which is why we didn't want to clutter the edit product page with yet another WYSIWYG editor - but we'll show you in this guide how you can easily implement any number of custom fields (with or without WYSIWYG editor) and how to use them in your listing template.

Preparation

You will probably want to have a proper WYSIWYG editor with features like bold or italics. There are various plugins which allow you to add custom fields to any WordPress post type - including WooCommerce products: 

Types is a well known plugin that can do way more than just adding custom fields - you can add custom post types (hence the name) and even custom taxonomies as well. 

Advanced Custom Fields is one of the most used plugins for custom fields with almost a million active installs as of this writing.

For this tutorial, we'll go with Types - but the process is not much different using Advanced Custom Fields, except for the slightly different shortcode which will be explained in step 3.

Step 1 - Installing Types

Visit Plugins -> Add New in your WordPress site, search for "Types", then install and activate the plugin.

Step 2 - Create your custom fields

Visit Types -> Custom Fields and click on the button Add New Group. Name your group "eBay", then click the Edit button next to Post Types and tick "Products" - to show this group only on when editing products.

Now click the WYSIWYG button on the right to add a new text field, and enter the field name "eBay Description":

Click the Save button - and you're done. 

You have created a custom eBay description field which will show up on every edit product page. Give it a try and edit a product, you should enter a custom description for a least one product before you continue with step 3.

Step 3 - Update your listing template

The final step is rather simple: All you have to do to make WP-Lister use your custom eBay description instead of your WooCommerce product description is replace the default shortcode [[product_description]] with a shortcode that pulls the content from the custom field you created.

When you look at the screenshot above, you'll see that below the field title "eBay Description" it says "ebay-description" in lower case with a hyphen. This is the meta key or field slug of your custom field - think of it as the location where your description is stored in the database.

Luckily, WP-Lister already has a shortcode built in that allows you to pull content from any meta field - by using the prefix meta_ followed by the meta key. With most custom fields plugins, this would give you the shortcode [[meta_ebay-description]] but Types is a little different ...

Types prefixes the field slug with "wpcf-" internally to avoid collisions with fields created by other plugins - so while you see the field slug "ebay-description" the actual meta key is "wpcf-ebay-description" - which means your shortcode looks like this:  

[[meta_wpcf-ebay-description]]

Copy and paste this shortcode into your listing template and preview your example product in WP-Lister. 

Please note: if you copy it from this website, make sure you don't paste in any formatting or simply switch the template editor to HTML mode before. 

Known Issues

Please note that this will not work for split variations. WP-Lister only sees the product ID of the single variation, but the custom meta value wcpf-ebay-description is set on the parent product (which has a different product ID / post ID). This means you can't use the builtin shortcode [[meta_*]] to pull the value into your listing template, you would have to implement a custom shortcode for that purpose.

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