Learn how to upload normal images and variation images with Shop Uploader.

Shop Uploader supports everything you could ever want to do with images. However, with that much power comes some complexity. This guide will explain the basics of images and then delve into the possible use-cases you might have.

TLDR: Images are uploaded as URLs. The URLs must point directly to the raw image file — not a preview, not a login page. Use columns image_1 -> image_10 to upload your images. If you have variations, think of the number as priority. All the image_1 are uploaded before any of the image_2.

Getting started

All images are uploaded with URLs (read more below).

There are two kinds of images:

  • Numbered images
  • Linked images

Numbered images are regular listing images. These are managed with the columns image_1 -> image_10.

Linked images are images that can be linked to variations. These are managed with linked_image_url, etc. There is a whole separate guide about linking images to variations.

If you’re just uploading one type of image, it’s easy. When you combine both types of images and variations, things get more complicated.

Image URLs

All images are uploaded via URL. Shop Uploader’s servers will download the images from your URLs and then upload them to Etsy. That means your image files must be accessible via the internet unless you use a direct integration.

If you are using our Google Drive integration or Dropbox integration, you can keep your files private and use file paths instead. No need to worry about the hassle of converting URLs to public file links either!

URLs must point to raw image files. This is a raw image file URL. On most browsers you should see a black screen with and your image in the center — nothing else. If you see any website branding, a website header, any popups, that URL does not link to an image file, it links to a website that has an image on it.

Each platform has a different method of converting URLs to a raw file link — aka direct download.

Parsing order

Images can be parsed in different ways and this can be customized with upload settings. First, we’ll go over the default settings, then how default settings work with variations, then discuss the advanced customizable settings.

Numbered images by priority

By default, numbered images are parsed by priority. That means 1 will be first, 10 will be last. The name “priority” will make more sense when we add variations into the mix.

Numbered images by priority (no variations):

image_1 image_2 image_3 image_10

All the URLs will be simplified because URLs are long.

Linked images before numbered images

By default, linked images are placed before numbered images. That means the linked_image_url will be before image_1.

Linked images before numbered images:

linked_image_url image_1 image_2 image_3 image_10

Note: These examples are simplified to only show the image URLs. This is not a valid linked image.

Numbered images by priority (with variations)

With variations, the name “priority” makes sense. All the image_1 URLs are parsed before any of the image_2 URLs. They are parsed column-by-column instead of row-by-row.

Numbers are priority (with variations):

parent_sku sku image_1 image_2 image_3
psku1 sku1 URL1 URL4 URL7
psku1 sku2 URL2 URL5 URL8
psku1 sku3 URL3 URL6 URL9

Linked images before numbered images (with variations)

Combining variations and numbered images things start to get a little more complicated. First, the linked images will be parsed, then the numbered images will be parsed.

Numbers are priority, linked images before numbered images, with variations:

parent_sku sku linked_image_url image_1 image_2 image_3
psku1 sku1 URL1 URL4 URL7 URL10
psku1 sku2 URL2 URL5 URL8 URL11
psku1 sku3 URL3 URL6 URL9 URL12

We aren’t using the linked_image_position column. This column is optional if you want the default behavior shown above.

Variations linked image position

The linked image position will use a simple ascending order by default. If you don’t specify a linked_image_position the values will automatically be (1, 2, 3, etc.).

parent_sku sku linked_image_url image_1 image_2
psku1 sku1 URL1 URL4 URL7
psku1 sku2 URL2 URL5 URL8
psku1 sku3 URL3 URL6 URL9

You can also specify the exact position if you want to intersplice the images between your numbered images.

parent_sku sku linked_image_url linked_image_position image_1 image_2
psku1 sku1 URL2 2 URL1 URL6
psku1 sku2 URL3 3 URL4 URL7
psku1 sku3 URL9 9 URL5 URL8

This will place linked images at positions 2, 3, and 9.

You can also place the linked images after the numbered images by filling up the last image positions. Shop Uploader will automatically adjust the image positions as needed:

parent_sku sku linked_image_url linked_image_position image_1
psku1 sku1 URL4 8 URL1
psku1 sku2 URL5 9 URL2
psku1 sku3 URL6 10 URL3

This will place numbered images at [1, 2, 3] then linked images at [4, 5, 6].

Advanced image parsing settings

These settings can modify the behavior (defaults in bold):

  • Linked images (before / after) numbered images
  • Parse numbered images by (priority / exact position)

The first options just toggle whether you want the linked images to parse before or after the numbered images. Default is before.

Parsing: numbers are position

This setting changes the numbered images, treating the number as the exact position instead of the priority. So, image_5 goes in position 5.

Numbers are position, linked images before numbered images, with variations:

linked_image_url image_1 image_2 image_3 image_4

If two images want the same position, the first one gets it, the second image is ignored.

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