The Inventory API is used to create and manage product offers on eBay marketplaces. The Inventory API has the following entities:
- Location: a seller must have at least one inventory location set up before that seller can start creating and publishing offers with the Inventory API. Every inventory location must also have a seller-defined merchant location key value.
- Inventory Item: before a product can be sold in an offer on an eBay marketplace, an inventory item record must exist for that product. An inventory item record contains such things as product details, item condition, quantity available. Every Inventory Item must also have a seller-defined SKU value.
- Offer: an offer is what becomes a live eBay listing. An offer is first created, and then it is published with the Inventory API. Each offer must be associated with an eBay marketplace, an inventory item, an inventory location, and a category ID. The offer will contain quantity available for the offer, the listing description, an offer price. Every offer must also reference a payment, a fulfillment, and a return business policy.
- Inventory Item Group: an inventory item group is necessary if the seller would like to create multiple-variation listings through the Inventory API. An inventory item group is a collection of similar inventory items that might vary on a couple of aspects like color and size.
- Compatible Products: the product compatibility calls allow the seller to create a compatible vehicle list, or vehicles that are compatible with a motor vehicle part or accessory.
The Inventory API is more-or-less a "standalone" REST-based API, but it does have the following relationships with other APIs:
- Trading API: sellers may use the Trading API to get some listing-related metadata, and may also want to use GetItem call to view the listing that they have created through the Offer calls
- Account API: sellers can use the Account API to opt in to Business Policies, and to create and manage business policies (that are used/referenced with the Create Offer call in the Inventory API).
- Fulfillment API: sellers can use the Fulfillment API to get order details and manage shipment tracking.
Business use cases
Below are the high-level use cases addressed by the Inventory API.
- Create and manage inventory locations
- Create and manage inventory item records
- Create offers
- Publish and manage offers
The following use cases are not necessarily required, but they can be done:
- Get expected listing fees for unpublished offers
- Create and manage inventory item groups
- Create compatible vehicle lists for motor vehicle parts
- Disable or enable inventory locations
To use the Inventory API (or any other eBay API), the user must have an eBay Developer Program account, and the user's seller account must be opted in to Business Policies.
The Inventory API is supported on all eBay marketplaces that have API support. However, with the initial release, the Inventory API does have the following restrictions:
- Only Good 'Til Cancelled (GTC), fixed-priced listings are supported; no auction listings and no listing durations of varying days
- Traditional 'ship-to-home' inventory only; In-Store Pickup and Click and Collect inventory will be supported in the near future.
- The Parts Compatibility calls are only supported by eBay sites that support Parts Compatibility.