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dylancristy asked

Where do I start? I just want to help a friend create listings in his storefront.

I have a friend who has a WordPress site running WooCommerce, as well as an eBay storefront. He gets a lot more traffic and sales through eBay, but the vast majority of his inventory (~12k items) is on the WordPress site, so he wants to move all his stuff over to eBay.

I've downloaded all the data, so I have all the product information (it's mostly CDs, so Artist, Title, Genre, etc.) and I have all the images. Now I want to create a little app that will help him easily post all this stuff as new items in his storefront, so he doesn't have to post 12k items "by hand" through the regular eBay website.

I've registered for the developer program. I got my app ID, client ID, client secret, all that stuff. I'm versed in C# and Javascript, probably a little better with making API calls from Javascript (very used to making REST calls and dealing with JSON at this point).

I tried finding some tutorials or guides, but everything out there I am finding to be extremely confusing. For instance, I found this tutorial about listing an item:

Since I know C#, I tried downloading the .NET SDK and setting something up with that. I managed to do the "hello world" get eBay official time call (not sure that really worked - it just gave me back the current UTC time, what does that prove?). According to that tutorial linked above, the first step to listing an item is figuring out which "category" your item should be. So I hacked around with the .NET code and figured out (I thought) how to do a "GetCategories" call from the sandbox. However, I get zero results (but no errors?).

Then I started finding all the info about the "new" REST APIs. Perfect, I can figure out a REST request, and there's even an OAuth token helper library for Node, so I can work in Javascript. Cool. Got that set up, and I did manage to get a token for the sandbox. Great, my code is talking to eBay, making progress. Now to figure out how to list an item. I go to the "API Explorer" for the Inventory API for the "createOrReplaceInventoryItem" call (is that even the right thing I should be looking at as an example????) here:

Looking at the JSON payload for that example, it seems like they're trying to list an Apple Watch. OK. But you know what I don't see in the JSON payload? A CATEGORY NUMBER. So is that first tutorial wrong, do you not actually need a category number? And what about...EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE JSON PAYLOAD? Where is the documentation that tells you the schema of what is required in the JSON to list an item?

My head is spinning because there's all this contradictory information out there, stuff that's supposed to be step one (get categories) does NOT work using one of the SDKs, and appears to not even be a requirement using the REST APIs, and there just seems to be a lot of missing information about how to get things done.

How can I learn how to create a listing? Where do I start?

listingdocumentationbad documentationwhichapi
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1 Answer

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crutchfield_electronics answered

Hi there fellow developer! I started working on writing software to talk with Ebay's RESTful API a couple of years ago, and reading your description reminds me of what I went through when starting. CreateOrReplaceInventoryItem is the first call you will make to create the item. Then you will need to call CreateOffer to create the ebay Offer, and with that ebay offer id , you call to publish the offer to have it live on ebay.
For category numbers I used this.

Lastly, creating an item in the sandbox is difficult. I suggest just creating it in production, since it will not be listed until you make a call to publish it.
Hope that helps! Best of luck!


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dylancristy avatar image dylancristy commented ·

Thank you for answering! This stuff is really confusing, thanks for pointing me in the right direction for the first few steps. I hear you about the sandbox, but I have to try to get that working because I want to try to set up one of my sandbox test accounts with a fake store, so that I can practice working with a store without messing with my friend's _actual_ store. BTW in the end I was able to call GetCategories in both the sandbox and prod and get results. Baby steps.

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