eBay launched their developer program many, many years ago with APIs that allow developers to create applications for the two key parties of their auction platform â€“ buyers and sellers. Frankly, most of the emphasis has been on the seller side because sellers were the businesses and buzz around â€œhow to make money on eBay.â€ Until recently, the buyer side applications were primarily in the shadow of seller applications â€“ with the exception of sniping tools (which violates the developer terms and conditions).
At eBay Devcon 2007, there was a separate affiliate and buyer tools track. Several of the sessions focused on eBayâ€™s newly released Shopping APIs. These are different from the more extensive Trading APIs that provided access to the entire auction lifecycle. The new Shopping APIs focus only on querying and presenting data relevant to potential buyers â€“ find an auction item they want, provide information about that auction, and provide information about the seller.
The idea is to create and propagate applications that promote specific eBay auctions where the buyers are â€“ namely browsing websites. The best part is that developers and/or users of these applications can make money when someone uses these applications. As a developer, you simply apply tracking code through eBayâ€™s affiliate program, which is a part of the Commission Junction network.
Here is a really cool, visually compelling example widget. In the first example, the widget displays a current auction based on my desired keywords â€“ Don Drysdale.
In a second example, a skyscraper widget displays several auctions based on Sandy Koufax as my keywords. Notice that they present a BidNow button which really entices a potential buyer to check out the auction.
Here is a link to the eBay Devcon presentation on their Shopping APIs and all of the presentations from this yearâ€™s developer conference. For more information, on the Shopping APIs, check out the eBay Shopping Web Services developer site.