January 2019 Newsletter

Program news

The New Year has officially begun, and we want to take this time to share with you some updates about the eBay Developer Program. In 2019, one of our focuses is making sure that the eBay APIs are stable and reliable for you and your users and we are hard at work with that. Here is a recap of some of what happened in the past few months.

Update to the eBay API License Agreement

The eBay Developers Program has updated the eBay API License Agreement. The focus of this update is improved security, especially with regard to data protection and eBay member privacy concerns. As a result of new requirements, application owners may need to update account settings and/or their application.

Learn more ...

Nova Award Kickoff

eBay’s new Nova Award recognizes developer innovation for applications using eBay APIs. We are looking for applications with potential for significant business impact in line with eBay's purpose—to empower people and create opportunity for all.

Starting in March 2019, three Nova awards will be given to three nominees selected by eBay staff. The winners will receive $10,000 and 10 hours of mentoring from eBay leaders, to help them transform their great ideas into small businesses. The Nova - Star Developer Award for Innovation page has more information about the award, including links to rules and the entry form.

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Security update

eBay is committed to protecting eBay’s data and the data of our buyers, sellers, and developers. Our recent update of the API License Agreement reflects this commitment to privacy and security. Additionally, the eBay Developers Program is taking action to better secure developer accounts and API access.

Here are some of the ways the eBay Developers Program is protecting you and your customers:

  • OAuth 2.0 and scoping – OAuth 2.0 is the industry-standard protocol for authorization and eBay uses OAuth with scoping of resources and endpoints to manage access to sensitive data
  • Improved rate limiting – we pair OAuth 2.0 with improved rate limiting to ensure that data does not get consumed at unacceptable levels
  • Developer account verification – we use multiple levels of verification to secure developer accounts, including email verification to get access to application credentials

The eBay Developers Program is committed to providing a secure and stable platform for our developer community. In 2019, we plan to do more work to secure your accounts and API access. Stay tuned.

Open eBay Apps program has been shut down

In 2016, eBay introduced Seller Hub to provide better support for professional sellers on eBay and, at the same time, we have been investing in and reinvigorating the eBay Developers Program with new APIs and technology. We have continued to build on these new platforms to provide great experiences for buyers, sellers, and developers. The Open eBay Apps program, however, no longer fits in with eBay’s current business objectives. This program gave select developers the ability to embed their application within the eBay site experience. As of November 2018, the Open eBay Apps program has been terminated.

The eBay Apps Center is still available to help connect eBay buyers and sellers with third-party solutions.

Learn more ...

Tips and best practices

This section contains information to help you get the most out of your integration with the eBay APIs.

Changes to the API flow for returns

The API documentation for handling returns has been updated to address changes related to eBay's Simplified Returns and to clarify the process in general.

Please note the following changes/clarifications:

  • Restocking fees have been eliminated as part of eBay's Simplified Returns changes
  • Sellers must opt-in to the RMA program in the following situations:
    • Sellers use eBay labels and supply RMA numbers (valid RMA number must be used in the API flow)
    • Sellers supply their own labels (RMA value must be null in the API flow)
  • Return instructions for buyers can now be specified via comments.content (Note: This capability is new. Starting in January 2019, comments added here will be displayed on the Return Details page when the buyer visits the page to print their shipping label.)

Note: The RMA program is an “opt-in” feature. However, not opting in to the RMA program may provide a better return experience for the buyer, because eBay can accept the return and provide a return label in real-time to the buyer. See Buyer requests a full refund for more information.

Refer to Handling Returns in the eBay Features Guide for comprehensive instructions for using the Post Order API to manage returns.

API Releases and Updates

The following table lists all of the public API releases from October and November 2018. Click Learn More in the Summary column to jump to the API release notes.

Resource list

The following eBay resources may provide timely, useful information for your eBay application and business.

We look forward to working with the community in 2019!