Product Overview

The eBay Developers Program enables third-party developers to create innovative solutions that tap into the power of eBay.


eBay APIs

eBay SDKs

Types of Applications You Can Build

Common Use Cases

API License Agreement and Usage

eBay APIs

The eBay APIs provide programmatic access to eBay marketplaces. It enables third parties to build custom applications, tools, and services that leverage the eBay marketplaces in new ways. eBay APIs enable developers to create applications that perform many of the same operations as the various eBay sites. API calls are used at particular points during the lifecycle of a listing to serve particular purposes, or to initiate particular actions.

The API calls available in the eBay APIs correspond to particular individual activities a user might engage in on an eBay site. Each call has a distinct purpose and may only be applicable at a particular point in the lifecycle of a listing, such as when the item is first listed, when a buyer is considering the purchase of a listed item, or when the seller and buyer are completing an order.

Many users buy and sell items using the various eBay sites, interacting with eBay directly through our standard Web flow or through our mobile apps. As a member of the eBay Developers Program, you have access to eBay's platform and technical resources. eBay APIs offer application developers the power to create a wide variety of solutions to meet the diverse needs of the millions of buyers and sellers on eBay. By leveraging the resources offered by the eBay Developers Program, you can create your own applications that communicate directly with eBay business logic and databases. Your applications can provide a custom interface, functionality, and specialized operations that are not available through the eBay Web flow or in the mobile apps.

You can select a programming language (such as PHP, .NET, Java or any other language that you are comfortable with) to interact with eBay APIs. We also have software developer kits (SDKs) to make your programming tasks in these languages easier. For information about programming using the SDKs for Java, .NET or Python, see eBay SDKs.

Through the power of eBay APIs, applications can operate independently of the eBay user interface. That is, your application doesn't need to change every time the eBay user interface changes, and it doesn't need to present data in the same way that eBay does. Your eBay-enabled application can present data in custom ways that best meet your users' needs.

Most eBay APIs support two protocols:

XML/HTTPs: With the XML API, the request interface is an XML document. Each request is composed of XML elements that specify the request parameters (e.g., the properties of an item to be listed and additional processing instructions).

With the XML API, your application builds the request as an XML string, sets a number of HTTP headers, and sends the request to eBay using the HTTPS protocol. After processing the request, the eBay server sends a response back to your application, also via HTTPS. This response consists of an XML document containing the data that resulted from the original request. Your application then parses the XML to extract the data.

SOAP: With the SOAP API, the request interface is an object in your application's native programming language. You use a third-party SOAP client to generate business-object interfaces and network stubs from a WSDL document that specifies the eBay message schema, the service address (eBay's SOAP gateway URL), and other information. Your application works with data in the form of object properties, and it sends and receives the data by calling object methods. Your SOAP client handles the details of building the SOAP request and sending it to eBay, and converting the response back to an object that is easy to work with. This frees you from the need to build and parse XML documents yourself, so you can focus on managing and presenting the data itself. By simplifying the way you access eBay data, the SOAP API helps you to get your applications up and running more quickly and to adapt more easily to changes.

The SOAP API is built on open standards like SOAP and WSDL. These standards are supported by a wide-range of development tools on a variety of platforms.

Both the XML API and the SOAP API share the same schema, so the basic format of the input and output data is the same no matter which API you use. Regardless of whether you are using the SOAP API or the XML API, you are accessing the same eBay functionality and data. Thus, you can choose to use one or the other or both—whichever approach is best for you.

eBay SDKs

For the Trading API, there are three SDKs (Software Development Kits) that are designed to make application development easier and more efficient. SDKs are downloadable kits that include pre-coded solutions for common programming tasks in a language you already use.

SDKs help simplify some common programming tasks, such as error handling and call retry. See below for the SDKs that apply to the Trading API. SDKs are based on a specific API version.

eBay SDK for Java: The eBay SDK for Java is designed for use in creating applications in various environments (such as Microsoft Windows and Linux) using Java. The eBay SDK for Java is an encapsulation of the SOAP API. Developers can use the eBay SDK for Java to create applications that integrate with eBay Including classes for automating data synchronization. The eBay SDK for Java supports programming in the Java language.

eBay Software Development Kit for Java

eBay SDK for .NET: Designed for the Microsoft Windows environment, the eBay SDK for .NET is a set of class libraries that encapsulate the SOAP API. Developers can use the eBay SDK for .NET to create applications that integrate with eBay Including classes for automating data synchronization. The eBay SDK for .NET supports programming in any .NET language or language that can work with COM, including C#, VB.NET, and VB 6. There are SDKs available for .NET 2.0 and .NET 4.0.

eBay Software Development Kit for .NET

eBay SDK for Python: The eBay open source Python SDK is a simple, programmatic interface into the eBay APIs. It simplifies development and cuts development time by standardizing calls, response processing, error handling and debugging across the Trading, Shopping, Finding & Merchandising APIs.

eBay Software Development Kit for Python

Note for SDK Users: The fields in this documentation are defined in the WSDL upon which the SDK is based—the field names are not based on the corresponding SDK wrapper class. Because of this, there can be instances where the field names in this reference do not match the names in the SDK wrapper classes. However, the behavior of the corresponding fields is the same. This documentation applies to a specific schema version, and it might contain fields that are unavailable in the version of the SDK you're using. Advanced SDK users can use such fields by updating the code stubs in their SDK (using a more recent WSDL file than the one delivered with the SDK). For more information on WSDL updates (or code generation), see the Readme file for the SDK you are using. This documentation shows the language-independent simple types (e.g., string). For each field, you can find an equivalent class, method, property, or variable in the SDK. Start by looking at the methods and properties that are defined on the wrapper class.

You will find the most current SDK information on the eBay eBay SDKs.

Types of Applications You Can Build

This section focuses on some of the types of applications, tools, and services that can be created using the API. Typical eBay-enabled applications include order management (which could include integration with database inventory systems), item search utilities, user account management systems, systems that embed partner item listings in their web pages, and applications that assist buyers in managing the listings they're interested in.

Following is just a sampling of what is possible. The variations are many. Perhaps you came to the eBay Developers Program with a specific business need to be satisfied by an application based on eBay technology. You might be a developer looking to get started in eCommerce application development, without a specific type of application in mind. Use this section to help guide you in creating the application you already have in mind or to spur your imagination with a type of application you never even imagined before.

You can find more information and ideas in the eBay Solutions Directory.

Listing Application

A listing application is a relatively simple program that provides a seller with the ability to list items on eBay. The breadth of coverage for such an application is fairly focused and so the technology required to bring the application to existence is similarly narrow.

If the user already knows the Category ID of the eBay category in which they want to list their item(s), the minimum requirement for a basic listing application is that it should support submitting a listing to eBay (see Creating Item Listings). A user might already know the eBay Category ID if they sell in a vertical market

If the user does not know the eBay Category ID, the basic listing application should also support the ability to retrieve and display the eBay category hierarchy and allow the user to select a category (see Retrieving the Category Hierarchy for a Site).

Seller Application

A seller application is a more comprehensive solution for sellers than a listing application. A seller application covers most, if not all, of the aspects involved in the sales process, from beginning to end. This includes:

Gallery List Tool

A gallery list tool is one that displays a seller's items in a sub-section of a web page that has other content. For example, a web page with information about professional golfing might have a rectangular area on the page in which the page's host offers golf equipment for sale. The tool would retrieve a collection of items the seller currently has up for sale on eBay.

See Browsing a Seller's Items for information about functionality that would support the development of a gallery list tool.

Common Use Cases

You can use the API to perform these tasks, and more:

API License Agreement and Usage

Your use of the eBay APIs is subject to all the rules described in your API Public License Agreement. The same Compatible Application Check Requirements also apply regardless of the protocol you use to access the eBay Platform.

Your API Public License Agreement

Copyright © 2005–2016 eBay Inc. All rights reserved. This documentation and the API may only be used in accordance with the eBay Developers Program and API License Agreement.