Shopping API

Shopping API Users Guide

This document gives you a quick overview of the Shopping API, answers common questions, and points you to other resources where you can learn more.

What is the Shopping API?

The eBay Shopping API makes it easy to search for things on eBay. It has been optimized to make it:

For more features of the Shopping API, see eBay Shopping API Benefits.

What Calls are Supported?

See the API Reference.

What Formats are Supported?

The eBay Shopping API currently supports these formats:

Make a call

The eBay Shopping API makes it so easy to make a call that you can start retrieving data from eBay in 2 steps!

  1. Sign up and get an AppID. [How do I get an AppID?]
  2. Click the button to search for popular items on eBay related to iPods.

Back to top

New to eBay APIs?

If you've never used eBay APIs, the following sections will help you understand and use the APIs.

How Do APIs Work with eBay?

eBay APIs let you programmatically do the same things you would do on the eBay web site. With a little programming skill and some creativity you can do these things even faster and better than the eBay site can.

Scenario 1: Searching for iPods with your app

  1. A user enters "ipod" in your cool application.
  2. Your app uses makes a search request for "ipod" using one of the eBay APIs.
  3. The eBay database looks for "ipod".
  4. The eBay database sends the response back to you using the API.
  5. Your app displays the search results to the user.

Scenario 2: Searching for iPods on the eBay site

  1. A user goes to the eBay site and enters "ipod" in the eBay search box.
  2. The eBay site queries the same database.
  3. eBay displays the search results to the user.

How Does the Shopping API Work?

eBay Shopping API is one of the ways that developers can programmatically interact with the eBay website. eBay Shopping API lets you ask eBay for information using just a URL, then get back data in XML, JSON, SOAP, or eBay's simple Name Value format. Apply a stylesheet, and you have just re-created an eBay search without ever going on the eBay site.

  1. Enter a URL into a browser
  2. Get data back from eBay
  3. Apply a stylesheet to the raw code
  4. Enjoy formatted data!

This Getting Started Guide focuses on the simplest way to to use the Shopping API: using a URL as input, and getting XML back. However, you can also use SOAP and JSON. For information on other input and output formats you can use with the Shopping API, see Making an API Call.

Why Would I Use the Shopping API Instead of Just Searching on eBay?

The Shopping API lets you take the search off of eBay and put it on your own site, or in your own application. You may be able to make the buying experience even better than eBay does, and when users buy something or become eBay members after going through your app, you make money!

Keep reading to learn how!

How Can I Make Money with the eBay Shopping API?

Here are six popular ways:

Marketing

If you're a seller, highlight your eBay auctions on other sites, and sell more items.

Commissions

Make eBay Affiliate commissions by driving new users or bids to eBay.

For more information about the Affiliate Program, see eBay Partner Network.

Marketing + Commissions

eBay sellers can now make commissions on their own items. So you can highlight your own auctions on your site, get money from the sale of that item, and get a commission too!

For more information about the Affiliate Program, see eBay Partner Network.

Selling Your App

Write a creative application and you can charge users to download your application. You write the app once and get paid for it many times.

Selling Your Services

Use your API-driven "line into eBay" to offer eBay buyers and sellers assitence in doing things like market research and custom searches.

All of the Above!

Why limit yourself to just one revenue stream? Write an app and offer a service add-on. Or throw affiliate revenue into the mix. As long as you comply with Developer Program regulations, you are limited only by your imagination!

Why Does eBay Give Money to Affiliates?

If you introduce a new person to eBay, or help them find an item they need, everyone wins! eBay gets a new user or another sale, the user gets a great item, and you get a nice commission.

For more information on the Affiliate Program, including commission payouts, see eBay Partner Network.

How Does eBay Know to Give Affiliate Commissions to Me?

Sign up with the eBay Partner Network. When new users go to eBay from your site, you get credit when they become new users or buy items.

For instructions on how to get an Affiliate ID, see How Do I Get an Affiliate ID?

What Do I Do with the Code I Get Back from eBay?

There are a lot of things you can do with the code you get back from eBay. In our examples, we've assumed you're getting back XML. One thing you can do with the XML is apply an XSLT stylesheet and reformat the XML code into HTML.

Raw XML Code

XML Code with Stylesheet Applied

See the W3Schools XSLT Tutorial for information on how to create an XSLT stylesheet.

How Do I Apply a Stylesheet?

Create an XSLT stylesheet and add a line to your XML that references it.

Raw XML Response

Raw XML Response Referencing a StyleSheet

See the W3Schools XSLT Tutorial for information on how to create an XSLT stylesheet.

Back to top

Existing eBay APIs Developer?

Why would I use the New Shopping API instead of the Trading API?

Sometimes you just don't need that much information!

We call eBay's Trading API the "Trading" API because you can list items, get item information, and just generally manage your eBay sales and purchases. But if all you want to do is help people buy things, then the eBay Shopping API may be best for you.

Feature Differences

eBay Shopping API

Optimized for buyer shopping and browsing.



eBay Trading API

Designed to provide robust support for transactional activities.

Format Differences

Can I Use the New Shopping API and the Trading API Together?

Yes! You can mix and match calls from each API, as long as you point each call at the right gateway URL for that API. For more details on the features of each API, see the Documentation Center.

What if I Start Using the Shopping API, but Want to Add Features from the Trading API?

Some people may build an app on top of the Shopping API and decide later that they want to add functionality (for example, managing their messages) that's only available in the Trading API. That is not a problem.

For more details on the features of each API, see the Documentation Center.

What Goes into a eBay Shopping API Request?

A eBay Shopping API request is composed of several different pieces:

Call Building Blocks (URL-format input, HTTP Get)




For details on the other input styles, including HTTP Post requests, see Making an API Call.

How Do I Get my AppID?

Join the eBay Developers Program.

  1. Go to http://developer.ebay.com/ and click the Join button.
  2. Fill out the Join form.
  3. Generate your Production keys.
  4. Use your Production AppID for making calls in Production (the eBay website).

How Do I Get an Affiliate ID?

Follow the instructions for joining the eBay Partner Network at https://www.ebaypartnernetwork.com.

How Do I Test My Application?

The Shopping API is optimized to retrieve information from the live eBay site and you can test your application with calls to the live eBay site.

How Many Calls Can I Make?

Please refer to the API Call Limits page on the eBay Developers Program site for current default call limits and call limits for applications that have completed the Compatible Application Check, which is a free service that the eBay Developers Program provides to its members.

What Samples are Available?

We offer several different examples of the eBay Shopping API, including:

Back to top

Additional Resources

You can obtain more information about the eBay Shopping API at these locations:

User-Contributed Notes

 

Copyright © 2007–2014 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.