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Variations for multiple-product listings
Variations for multiple-product listings

Explanation of the "Variation Format" setting for Etsy

Jeff Schnitzer avatar
Written by Jeff Schnitzer
Updated over a week ago

Etsy allows listings to have up to two "variations" - fields which determine the exact product SKU being ordered. For example, this listing has two variations, Color and Size:

There will not always be two variations; if you configure your blueprint with a single product with a single color, the customer will only be asked to select Size.

With multiple-product listings, there are three possible variations - Product, Color, and Size. But Etsy only allows two! So OrbitKit will combine variations for you to fit the two allowed boxes. You can configure how this happens as a Venue setting:

Product/Color, then Size

This combines Product & Color in the first box, putting Size in the second:

  • If you have only one product in your blueprint, the first box will be Color alone.

  • If you have multiple products in your blueprint but only one color (for all of the products), the first box will be Product alone.

  • If you have one product with one color, there will only be one box - Size.

Product/Size, then Color

This combines Product & Size in the first box, putting Color in the second (if appropriate):

  • If your blueprint has only one color (across all products), there will not be a Color box.

  • If your blueprint has only one product, the first box will be Size (alone).


Just pick "Product/Color, then Size" - it's the most common choice. Combining Product/Size is typically only used with single-color listings, streamlining the customer checkout process to a single dropdown selector.

How Many Products & Colors Am I Allowed?

This is surprisingly hard to answer. Technically, the answer is 70, but in practice you will be limited to far fewer.

Etsy has a technical limitation: If you offer a color, it must be offered for all products. Since not all products come in all colors, OrbitKit "cheats" by creating hidden variants (the "UNAVAILABLE" variants). Customers never see these color options in the picker boxes (illustrated above), but these variants still count against the 70-slot limit.

As an example, if you offer Hoodie/Black and Unisex Tee/Black, that counts as two colors. If you add Hoodie/Sand, you now have four colors, even though there is no such thing as Unisex Tee/Sand.

You can squeeze more colors into a blueprint by using colors with common names across all your products.

The OrbitKit UI attempts to keep you out of trouble, but it's still possible to end up with exhibits that are BROKEN because of the 70-slot limit. That's ok! Fix your blueprint (usually by removing a color or two) and unbreak the exhibits. They will update automatically.

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