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Fulfillment API

The outcome of a buyer's eBay checkout process is an order. Order payments are often processed immediately. However, in some cases such as cash on delivery (COD), order payments will be pending until other activities complete.

Note: The Fulfillment API covers only the transactions that have completed the checkout process. This includes all paid purchases and purchases that do not require upfront payment (e.g., COD). However, it does not include pending payment purchases that require upfront payment before shipment.

This API enables sellers to manage the completion of an order in accordance with the payment method and timing specified at checkout. The line items in the order are grouped into one or more packages. As the seller addresses, handles, and ships each package, you use the Fulfillment API to facilitate these activities. The set of specifications for this process is known as a fulfillment.

For more information about using REST APIs, see Using eBay RESTful APIs.

Technical overview

The checkout process produces an order and generates its order identifier, which serves as the starting point for the Fulfillment API.

Primary Fulfillment API objects

Objects are as follows:

Order

The Order object contains information about an order that requires shipping, including:

  • Information about the buyer and seller
  • Information about the order’s line items
  • The plans for packaging, addressing and shipping the order
  • The status of payment, packaging, addressing, and shipping the order
  • A summary of monetary amounts specific to the order, such as pricing, payments, and shipping costs
Line Item

The LineItem object contains details about one or more units of a sold item in an order, including:

  • Information about the item's eBay listing, including listing title, promotions, and the seller's SKU
  • All monetary amounts specific to the line item such as pricing, promotions, delivery costs, fees, taxes, and refunds
  • The status of packaging, addressing and shipping the line item
Shipping Fulfillment

The ShippingFulfillment object contains information about one package and its delivery, including:

  • The plans for packaging, addressing and shipping a set of line items
  • The history of the fulfillment
  • Shipping and tracking details of the fulfillment
  • Estimated and actual delivery dates
Fulfillment Start Instruction

The FulfillmentStartInstruction object contains recommendations for fulfilling an order, including:

  • The type of fulfillment
  • The shipping carrier and service
  • Recipient contact and address information
  • The estimated delivery window

Business use cases

This section outlines the high-level use cases addressed by the Fulfillment API.

Discover orders that need to be fulfilled

Retrieve unfulfilled orders so you can create and process each order's shipping fulfillments. You can retrieve known orders or search for orders by creation date, modification date, or fulfillment status. See Discovering unfulfilled orders.

Package line items and define delivery parameters

Determine whether any line items in an order have not been assigned to a shipping fulfillment, or have been assigned to a shipping fulfillment but not fulfilled. Ensure that all line items have been included in one or more packages, and that each package is assigned to a shipping fulfillment. See Handling unfulfilled line items.

Monitor fulfillments to completion

Periodically retrieve and examine an order's shipping fulfillments to determine if they have been fulfilled. When all of the order's shipping fulfillments are complete, the order is fulfilled. See Managing fulfillments for an order.

API restrictions

Supported marketplaces

Currently the Fulfillment API is supported on only the eBay US marketplace (EBAY_US, ebay.com).

Rate limits

The number of calls you can make per day using the Fulfillment API depends on your application's eBay compatibility level:

  • All applications: 100,000 calls/day
  • eBay compatible applications: 2,500,000 calls/day