eBay’s selling APIs enable retailers and third party developers (acting on behalf of retailers) to manage all aspects of their eBay business by programmatically integrating with eBay’s selling infrastructure. These include end-to-end capabilities for:

  • Inventory and listing management
  • Order management and fulfillment
  • Post-order process management (returns, refunds, cancellations)
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Performance reports
  • eBay metadata (site, category, catalog)
  • Managing communication with buyers and eBay

eBay provides a range of integration options based on retailer needs. In 2016, we introduced a new suite of retail-standard Sell APIs, providing a major advancement from our Trading APIs (designed over 10 years ago). While we will continue to support Trading APIs for existing integrations, all new integrations must choose between the new and traditional models for core selling capabilities.

Functional Need Individual operations (in real time) Bulk operations (batch processing, asynchronous)
Retail-Standard Selling
  • SKU-based inventory management
  • Modern API technologies (REST, JSON)
  • Fixed price format (auction support will be added later)
  • Latest capabilities
New Sell APIs New Merchant Integration Platform
Traditional eBay Selling
  • Listings-centric selling
  • Older API standard (SOAP, XML)
  • All listing formats
Trading APIs Large Merchant Services (LMS)

For non-core capabilities, sellers can choose to use either the new Sell APIs or the older Trading APIs. To learn more about the capabilities and which APIs would best fit your needs, see our Selling API Features Comparison below.


Retail-Standard Sell APIs

For sellers who prefer a retail-standard, inventory-centric selling model, we have released a new suite of Sell APIs, and we will continue innovating on these new APIs going forward.

eBay’s Sell APIs are built on eBay’s latest technology platform, which is centered on catalogs (structured data), retail-standard inventory on-boarding and management capabilities, as well as a SKU-driven approach to managing purchase orders, fulfillment, and returns.

The Sell APIs also include support for eBay’s on-site marketing features, such as seller marketing campaigns through Promotions Manager and advertisements in eBay search (also called Promoted Listings). Promoted listings empower sellers to increase their sales velocity by improving visibility in search, combining search ads with seller promotions to increase exposure of their promotions. Note that eBay does not charge an ad fee unless the item is sold.

With the Sell APIs, sellers are able to integrate many features found in eBay’s Seller Hub into their own applications, to better understand their business performance on eBay with detailed reports on sales, business operations and traffic.

All of eBay’s latest APIs are designed based on a common, consistent interface for all applications. They use modern API standards, such as OAuth 2.0 for authentication, JSON payloads, and RESTful design principles. They have been carefully designed to ensure data consistency across all buying and selling tools--both those created within eBay as well as applications created by 3rd-party developers. Learn more about the technology behind our latest APIs in The API Journey on the eBay Tech Blog.

Currently, the Sell APIs include:

  • Account API: Manage all account level information and settings like business policies, program subscriptions, inventory locations and tax details
  • Inventory API: Manage seller inventory using eBay’s new retail-standard inventory management platform--a SKU-based model for creation and management of inventory across sites
  • Fulfillment API: Retrieve and fulfill sales orders, manage tracking / shipping status, indicate readiness for pickup
  • Marketing API: Create, retrieve and update Promotions Manager promotions and Promoted Listings campaigns
  • Analytics API: Analyze business performance on eBay by getting reports on traffic funnel and seller operational metrics

To learn more about these capabilities, see the Selling API Features Comparison below and the Sell API documentation.


eBay’s Listing-Centric Selling APIs

For sellers who have been with eBay for many years, and who are currently invested in eBay’s historical listing-centric model, eBay will continue to support our older Trading API as it exists today, as well as our Large Merchant Services for bulk listing.

eBay’s Trading API follows eBay’s traditional listing model, where all aspects of a listing (description, product details, quantity and price, etc.) are created and managed as a unit.

eBay’s Trading API supports both OAuth 2.0 (without scopes) as well as Auth ‘n’ Auth for authentication, and SOAP and XML payloads. eBay’s other older APIs also support these technologies, as well as JSON payloads and SOA design principles.

Please note that as a large number of integrations have been built on eBay’s older-style APIs, eBay currently has no plans to deprecate these APIs. However, all eBay’s new development and innovation going forward will be on eBay’s latest technology platform and the Sell APIs. Therefore, if you are building a new application, or you are upgrading your current application, we recommend that you carefully evaluate which APIs will best meet your needs in the future.

To learn more about the capabilities and APIs that best fit your needs, see our Selling API Features Comparison below.

Selling API Features Comparison

Whether you prefer an inventory-based or listing-based solution, you can support the entire eBay selling process via eBay’s APIs.

For creating listings and managing your inventory and orders, we recommend using the new, retail-standard Sell APIs, as eBay will continue to enhance that set of APIs with the latest features. If there is an existing eBay capability that you need which will not be available in the Sell APIs within your application release time frame, you can use the Trading API for that capability.

Please note that Trading API calls for listing items and managing orders are not compatible with new Selling APIs, but for all other capabilities you can choose to use methods from either API suite.

Key Functional Capabilities Sell APIs Trading APIs
Account Settings    
Business Policies management X X
Sales Tax Table management X  
Account preferences and privileges X  
Inventory and Listing Management    
Manage inventory by SKU X  
Manage inventory by Item ID   X*
Retail-standard selling formats: Fixed-price with immediate pay X X
Other selling formats: Auctions, fixed-price with deferred pay Planned X
Multi-variation listings X X*
Product catalog search X X
Manage seller’s private catalog X  
Parts compatibility for vehicle fitment X X
Managing inventory in specialty categories, such as tickets, classified ads, and real estate X X
Manage inventory & sales across multiple geographies seamlessly X  
Order Management and Fulfillment    
Download paid order details X X*
Upload shipment tracking numbers, monitor deliveries X X
Download unpaid purchase commitments (auction, deferred pay purchases) Planned X
Post-Order process management    
Manage returns X* X
Manage cancellations X*  
Resolution Case management X*  
Promotions Manager X  
Manage eBay Search Ads (Promoted Listings) X  
Create and manage eBay Stores programmatically   X
Performance Reports    
Download traffic reports X  
Download Seller Performance X  
Get eBay site and category metadata Planned X
Messaging Planned X
Collect seller feedback from buyers Planned X
Provide seller feedback to buyers Planned X

* Some IDs are not compatible with eBay's latest retail-standard APIs