Maximize Your Revenues with the API

Keyboard_Typing The API (Application Programming Interface) is one of the most powerful ePN tools available. Not only does it give you access to all of eBay’s inventory, but it also enables you to customize listings to optimize your campaigns and improve your conversion rates.

The API allows publishers with deeper programming knowledge to fully customize the user experience, while considerably enhancing your chances to boost your performance. Here are a few things you’ll need to know:

What can I do with the API?

The API is the most open and powerful tool for tailoring eBay listings to work harmoniously with your site. There is also functionality to integrate ePN reports within your own backend systems for a more streamlined way to monitor your performance.

Customizing eBay listings

You can use the API to personalize eBay’s listings according to filters, thus maximizing your performance potential. There are multiple types of calls and filters available for you to experiment with to find the mix that works best for your visitors.

For example, a comparison website might use the API to display eBay products that are sold by top rated sellers, above a certain amount, and with free shipping, which could help drastically improve conversion rates.

How do I access the API?

First, apply to join the Developers Program here. After you have been accepted, go to “My Account” and click on “Generate Productions Keys” to get an Application ID.

Then, begin by picking a call, checking out the sample code and testing using your Application ID.

From there, you can build your app, test it and have it approved by the eBay Developer Program to start making up to 5,000 requests per IP per day. For more details, check out the Checklist for Going Live.

What are the different APIs available? How can I filter my listings?

Though we have a number of APIs, the most popular ones are the Finding API and the Shopping API.

Finding API

The Finding API enables you to search for items using eBay's Finding Platform. This API allows advanced search capabilities for eBay items, while providing useful metadata to refine searches and enhance the search experience.

Calls available in the Finding API include:

Shopping API

The Shopping API is optimized for response size, speed and usability. You can use the Shopping API to search for eBay items, products and reviews, user info, as well as popular items and searches. You can also retrieve public eBay data in a buyer-friendly view, for easy consumption by widgets, search tools, and other buyer-focused applications.

Calls available in the Shopping API include:

Other APIs

There are also additional APIs that can help you create great content and experiences for your users, including:

  • Merchandising API - Provides you with an easy way to surface available items and products that provide good value or are otherwise popular with eBay buyers
  • Trading API - Offers secure, authenticated access to private eBay data
  • Best Match API - Enables you to understand key factors affecting search ranking when sorted by Best Match

We hope you find this overview useful. If you think a deeper dive into the API would be helpful, please let us know! Feel free to post your comments below and we’ll be happy to help answer any questions!

Upcoming Changes to the Finding API for Affiliates

api1 The eBay API is the most robust tool we offer our publishers today. You can use the API to get real-time information for all eBay listings - with the flexibility to best meet the needs of your application. The Finding API is the most commonly used API for accessing eBay search results, with a wide selection of filters and other search criteria. The Finding API represents the latest in eBay search technology with improved performance and scalability over the former search API’s.

The week of May 23rd we will be launching some changes to the click URL’s that are provided in eBay’s Finding API calls. As you probably know, many eBay API calls will return properly formatted ePN links in the response if you provide your tracking information in the API call.

Here’s a sample Finding API call with affiliate tracking:

http://svcs.ebay.com/services/search/FindingService/v1?OPERATION-NAME=findItemsByKeywords&SERVICE-VERSION=1.9.0&SECURITY-APPNAME=Your-App-ID&RESPONSE-DATA-FORMAT=XML&REST-PAYLOAD&affiliate.networkId=9&affiliate.trackingId=1234567890&affiliate.customId=mycustomid& sortOrder=EndTime&paginationInput.entriesPerPage=2&keywords=elmo

In the response to this call, you currently see click URL’s that look like this:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=1234567890&customid=mycustomid&toolid=0&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2F Sesame-Street-Fisher-Price-2008-Farmer-Country-Elmo-11-%2F190527439548%3Fpt%3DLH_DefaultDomain_0

We will be updating this link with the correct Tool ID and a simplified Item ID link structure (to replace the Custom URL link structure that is currently in place). Two new parameters will also be added – lgeo and vectorid. These are for internal use and shouldn’t be modified. This is how the link will look after these changes are made:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&toolid=10041&campid=1234567890&customid=mycustomid&lgeo=0&vectorid=229466&item =190527439548

It’s very important that you adopt these changes in your applications. Providing your tracking information and using the proper Tool ID will ensure that you are getting the correct ePN click URL’s and will automatically populate the correct Tool ID for use in your reports. For more information on how to specify your ePN tracking information, please refer to the Finding API documentation.

You should also take a minute to let us know your eBay Developer Program User ID by logging into to the ePN portal and going to Account > Business Information. By linking your accounts within ePN, we can better serve you if there are ever any issues with the API and reach you directly with any updates on new API capabilities.

Still Using the Shopping and Trading APIs for Search Calls?

The eBay Developer Program has posted more information on their blog regarding the deprecation of the following API calls that are popular among affiliates:

• Shopping APIs: FindItemsAdvanced and FindItems • Trading APIs: GetSearchResults and GetCategoryListings

These API calls will not be available after October 2011 and you may start to receive warning messages in early June if you are still using these calls. Please be aware that your applications may be disrupted if you are not properly handling error messages that are returned from the API.

Here are some highlights from the Developer Program blog post that we hope you find useful in planning your migration from the Shopping/Trading API calls to the Finding API.

Features Only Available in Finding API:

1. Retrieve aspect histograms and filter by aspects and/or domains

2. Support new search capabilities:

  • Item Condition histogram and filters
  • Restrict searches to as many as 3 categories at a time
  • Expedited Shipping filters
  • Top-Rated Sellers Only filter
  • Returns Accepted Only filter

3. Image Search API (findItemsByImage): expand eBay’s capabilities in Fashion to developers for the “More Like This” functionality.

4. Three sizes of gallery image: 140x140, 96x96, 80x80 that users can choose to use based on their application’s needs.

5. Future enhancements to picture URL, Multi-variations, LocatedIn etc. filters and more will be released in May.

How Can I Learn More About Migrating to the Finding API?

The following migration guides map input and output fields for GetSearchResults in the Trading API and FindItemsAdvanced in the Shopping API to the corresponding input and output fields in findItemsAdvanced in the Finding API:

Please feel free to contact the eBay Developer Program for questions or more information on Finding API or migration.

-The eBay Partner Network Team