The outcome of a buyer's eBay checkout process is an order. 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, the set of specifications for this process is known as a fulfillment. Use the Fulfillment API to facilitate and monitor these activities from the order to completion. Sellers' status on eBay depend partly on their record of timely fulfillment.
Note: The Fulfillment API covers only the transactions that have completed the checkout process. This API does not cover pending payment purchases that require upfront payment before shipment.
In addition to the 'get orders' and 'shipping fulfillment' methods, the Fulfillment API also has a seller-initiated issueRefund method and a full suite of payment dispute methods.
The issueRefund method allows a seller to issue a full or partial refund to a buyer for an order. Full or partial refunds can be issued at the order level or line item level.
The payment dispute methods allow the seller to retrieve and manage buyer-initiated payment disputes. These particular payment disputes are disputes that buyers open up with their payment provider, such as PayPal or Visa, and then the seller is alerted once the payment disputes come into eBay's system
Business use cases
This section outlines the business use cases addressed by the Fulfillment API.
Retrieve orders that need to be fulfilled
You can retrieve known orders using the getOrder method, or the getOrders method allows you to search for orders by creation date, modification date, or fulfillment status. See Discovering unfulfilled orders.
Use the createShippingFulfillment method to associate shipping packages and tracking numbers with one or more line items of the order. See Handling unfulfilled line items.
You can retrieve the status of all fulfillments of an order by using the getShippingFulfillments method, or the can retrieve a specific fulfillment by using the getShippingFulfillment method. See Managing fulfillments for an order.
Issue full or partial refunds to buyers
Sellers can issue full or partial refunds to buyers in the case of order cancellations, returned items, or other order issues, including items 'not as described'. Buyer refunds issued through the issueRefund method are processed asynchronously, and sellers can track the status of the refund by making a getOrder call.
Separate orders can be linked
Limited information from separate linked orders, which may be from different sellers, can be returned through the getOrder and getOrders methods. The information can provide details about a component (purchased from one seller) needed for its installation (purchased from a different seller). Details can identify the linked seller and also include delivery times, item information, and order information.
For example, if a tire order is linked to a separate order for installation, limited information about the tire order is available in the installation order:
tracking information (including shipping carrier code, estimated ship date)
tire seller name, tire listing title, and tire specifications including (wheel diameter, aspect ratio, section width, and other similar aspects)
buyer email and phone number (this can help with scheduling appointments)
Manage buyer-iniated payment disputes
It is possible that an eBay buyer will initiate a payment dispute with their payment provider instead of directly on the eBay platform. The payment dispute operations in the Fulfillment API allow sellers to discover these types of disputes. In addition to 'get' calls that retrieve payment disputes that have been created, there are also operations to accept or contest these payment dispute, and operations to upload image files to support the seller's case if a seller decides to contest a payment dispute.
Fulfillment API requirements and restrictions
The order and fulfillment methods of the Fulfillment API are supported on all eBay marketplaces that support selling and order management, including the following:
- eBay US (
- eBay UK (
- eBay Germany (
- eBay Australia (
- eBay Canada (
- eBay France (
- eBay Italy (
- eBay Spain (
- eBay Austria (
- eBay Switzerland (
- eBay Ireland (
- eBay Netherlands (
- eBay Poland (
- eBay Belgium (
- eBay Hong Kong (
- eBay Philippines (
- eBay Malaysia (
- eBay Singapore (
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