2020 Newsletter

Program news

We hope everyone is well. We are closing in on the end of 2020, and we want to take this time to share with you some updates that occurred within the eBay Developers Program over the last several months. 

eBay Connect 2020 virtual conferences

Due to COVID-19, eBay Connect went all virtual this year.

In April, the eBay Developers Program joined a Partner Days event with European developers and contributed to a webinar focused on eBay APIs.

Throughout the summer months, the eBay Developers Program held three virtual eBay Connect webinars. The June event focused on managed payments, the July webinar focused on product aspects, buyer experience, and new selling API capabilities, and the August event focused on a variety of new APIs, including the Charity API, the Listing API, and the Translation API.

Tanya Vlahovic, Head of Developer Ecosystem and Lead Architect for Public APIs was the host for all three webinars, and the speakers at these events included the following eBay executives:

  • Jamie Iannone, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Mazen Rawashdeh, Chief Technology Officer
  • Randy Shoup, Chief Architect and VP, Engineering Ecosystem and Experience
  • Alyssa Cutright, VP, Global Payments
  • Shan Vosseller, VP of Product, Payments
  • Harry Temkin, VP, Head of Seller Experience
  • Scot Hamilton, VP of Engineering, Seller Experience

In case you missed any or all of these virtual webinars, you can access all of the video recordings from the eBay Connect 2020 page.

To round out the year, we partnered with the regional team in Japan and hosted another virtual eBay Connect with presentations delivered in Japanese.

eBay extends partnership with NHS and DHSC

Shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak back in March, eBay teamed up with the National Health Service (NHS) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to build an online portal where the NHS is able to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to primary care and social care providers free of charge. eBay software engineers from around the world, including at our sites in San Jose, Portland, Zurich, Dublin, Berlin and in the UK, worked around the clock to get the portal up and running. It has been a huge success from the start, and eBay, the NHS, and the DHSC have extended and scaled up this partnership. ensuring that eligible health and social care providers in England can order PPE for free until the end of March 2021. 

To build the NHS PPE portal, eBay engineers leveraged our Buy APIs and the Catch platform. The portal is scaled to support up to 200 million orders per week from over 50,000 healthcare organisations. For more information on the technology and  implementation of the portal, see this Tech Blog. For more information on eBay/NHS partnership, see this eBay Inc press release

API updates

The following updates have been made to public APIs over the last few months.

eBay managed payments updates

eBay managed payments hit major milestones over the summer and again in the early fall. These milestones include the following:

  • Managed payments rolled out to three new eBay marketplaces in July, including Canada, the UK, and Australia; additionally, more sellers on the US and Germany marketplaces were onboarded for managed payments.
  • International selling was fully enabled for managed payments sellers in eligible corridors; this means that managed payments sellers can now list on marketplaces outside of their home countries; to enable this feature, a currency conversion capability was added to all APIs that support managed payments listings/orders.
  • ‘Final Value Fees’ are now deducted from seller payouts instead of being billed to the seller’s monthly invoice; eBay now only charges managed payments sellers one consolidated ‘Final Value Fee’ and one low ‘fixed-price per order’ fee.
  • In addition to ‘Final Value Fees’ being deducted from seller payouts, the seller pending payouts can also be used to cover order return/cancellation buyer refunds, or for other charges such as purchased shipping labels; the Finances API and the Post-Order API were updated to show details on the funding source for buyer refund reimbursements

For full details on all managed payments-related updates in the public APIs, see the Managed Payments page.

New Charity API

With eBay for Charity, sellers can donate anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of the proceeds from each sale to their favorite charity, and buyers who want to support their favorite charities can search for the listings that contribute toward those charities. Additionally, non-profit organizations that register for eBay for Charity can sell directly on their own behalf.

eBay has over 83,000 registered charities on the platform, and since 2003, over $1 billion has been raised for eBay charities. In 2019 alone, $112 million was raised for these charities! Visit this eBay for Charity Impact page to see personal stories and videos of individuals and groups who have made huge impacts on peoples’ lives through eBay for Charity.

To make it easier for both buyers and sellers to find their favorite charities, the eBay Developers Program introduced a new Charity API earlier this year. The new Charity API has methods that can retrieve charitable organizations by registration ID (e.g. EIN), or by eBay's unique identifier for the organization. There is also a search query capability where the user can retrieve charitable organizations that match keywords.

The Trading API has supported sellers who want to create charitable listings for many years, and this capability was also released to the Inventory API earlier this year. In the add listing flow, the seller identifies the charity with the charity's ID, and then sets the donation percentage from 10 to 100 percent. 

New Deal API 

The new Deal API was released as a buyer-facing API in July.  This API provides a programmatic way to retrieve details about eBay deals and sales events, as well as the items associated with those deals and events.

GA version of Taxonomy API released

The GA (general availability) version of the Taxonomy API was released in late October. This GA version of the API is replacing the beta version, and developers who are using the beta version should make plans to migrate. No additional updates will be made to the beta version and the beta version will be decommissioned on March 31, 2021.

eBay Authenticity Guarantee program

The eBay Authenticity Guarantee program was rolled out in eBay US for Luxury Watch categories in September. With this program, sellers listing luxury watches priced at $2,000 and above must first have these watches authenticated by an eBay authentication partner before that watch can be shipped to the buyer. 

To support this program, the ‘Get Orders’ operations in Fulfillment and Trading APIs were updated. These API calls now return a flag that indicates an Authenticity Guarantee program order, as well as response fields that provide more details on the status of the authentication test results. Another API-related change is that the shipping address for Authenticity Guarantee program order shows the address of the eBay authentication partner, and not of the buyer’s shipping address. The seller ships the item to the authenticator, and if successfully authenticated, the eBay authentication partner ships the item to the buyer. See the following eBay help page for more details.

The Order API and the Browse API on the Buy side will also be updated to return Authenticity Guarantee program-related fields for applicable orders and listings.

For more information about the Authenticity Guarantee program, see the eBay Authenticity Guarantee page. 

Mobile-friendly listing descriptions

To account for the limited amount of screen space, eBay uses and displays a “short” version of listing descriptions when items are viewed on mobile devices. The short listing descriptions on mobile devices are limited to 800 characters, and whenever the full listing description (provided through the Trading or Inventory API or through a UI or seller tool) exceeds this limit, eBay derives the best possible short listing description within the 800-character limit. 

eBay wants sellers to have full control of their mobile-friendly short descriptions, and to enable this, eBay created a feature that allows sellers to create their own customized short descriptions using HTML div and span tag attributes. See the View Item description summary feature help page linked for more details on using the HTML div and span tags, and the overall process.

New features supported by the Inventory API

The following five capabilities were added recently to the Inventory API:

  • Charitable listings, which allows a seller to donate a percentage of sales proceeds to a charitable organization.
  • Scheduled listings, which allows a seller to start a listing at a future date/time, instead of starting it immediately upon publishing the offer/listing.
  • Secondary category, which allows a seller to list an item in and additional category for a small fee, which may lead to more views of the listing.
  • Hide buyer details, which allows a seller to hide buyer details when the seller believes that a listing's potential bidders/buyers would not want their obfuscated user IDs (and feedback scores) exposed to other users.
  • location-based inventory, which allow sellers to set the quantity of an item available at one or  more specific inventory locations. 

The Browse API has moved out of the beta stage

The 'beta' label of the Browse API has officially been removed, and the initial general availability (GA) version was released in mid-October. Note that none of the endpoints have changed, so if you were already integrated with the Browse API, there are no actions required on your part.

In addition to moving out of the beta stage, the following enhancements have also been made to the Browse API recently:

  • New getItems method can retrieve up to 20 single-item listings or up to 10 multiple-variation listings.
  • Added support for the eBay Singapore marketplace
  • Added 'charity ID' as a search filter to retrieve charitable items

Translation API updates

The Translation API now supports 13 different language translation combinations. See the Translation API Overview page for the full list of supported translation combinations. The Translation API is used to translate item titles and item descriptions from one language into another.

Item Aspects updates

In addition to the Taxonomy API going to GA (general availability), and the bulk download capability, the Taxonomy SDK, and the ‘expected to be required by dates’ going live, the following Item Aspects enhancements were also recently rolled out:

  • relevanceIndicator rolled out to the Taxonomy API and Trading API, and this feature provides the number of eBay searches that have been made using a particular item aspect. 
  • The getListingViolations method of the Compliance API was updated to return a list of items that are currently missing item aspects that are soon to be required. 

Recent deprecations 

A few legacy APIs have recently been deprecated, and to make it easier for developers to track these deprecations, we have created the new API Deprecation Status page. This new page will track announced deprecations of both legacy and REST APIs. In addition to the deprecation and decommission dates, eBay also provides an alternative API that can be used as a replacement for the API being deprecated.

The deprecation of GetCategorySpecifics (of the Trading API) was announced back in August. Although this call will be supported until the beginning of 2022, developers should make plans to migrate to the Taxonomy API (GA version), as this API is the better, more complete solution going forward. As part of this transition, eBay recently launched the initial GA (General Availability) version of the Taxonomy API. Any developers using the Taxonomy API (Beta version) should make plans to migrate to the Taxonomy API (GA version), as the Beta version will be decommissioned at the end of March 2021.

We hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season, and we are looking forward to working with the community in 2021!