Selling on eBay

This article will explain what eBay is and how you can use it with BigCommerce. Below is a video tutorial on how to setup your eBay integration with your BigCommerce store. Then following that is a complete article introducing eBay and this process in written form.

Video Overview

Still need a little help getting this setup in your store? Log in and post your question in the Integrations section of our community forum.

What is eBay?

eBay is an online auction website that allows businesses and people to sell a variety of goods worldwide. As with your store, items are listed in categories to allow potential buyers to locate your products easily. If you are new to selling on eBay then you may wish to read the selling basics.

Although eBay has many types of listings (including auctions, classified ads etc), your products can be sold using these two formats: auction-style (also known as a 'Chinese' auction) or fixed price format.

Auction Listings

In an auction-style listing, the seller offers an item for sale and sets a starting price. For the duration of the auction, buyers place bids on the item. When the auction listing ends, the high bidder purchases from the seller for the high bid. You may optionally set a reserve price on the listing, which is the lowest price you're willing to sell your item. The amount that is set for the reserve price isn't shown to the buyers, but they will see that the auction has a reserve that hasn't been met. After the auction has ended, if the reserve price hasn't been met then you are not obliged to sell the item.

A "Buy It Now" price may also be included with your listing which allows users to purchase the item immediately. The buyItNow_15x54.gif icon will be shown in the search results and on the items listing page. The Buy It Now option is available until someone places a bid or the reserve price is met.

Fixed Price Listing

A fixed price listing allows buyers to purchase the price immediately at the specified price, but they cannot place bids. The Buy It Now option will be always be available and you can sell more than one item per listing.


Note: The account set up in the following tutorial is a sandbox account purely for demonstrative purposes. Listings made through production accounts are subject to listing fees. Please check the official eBay website for up to date information regarding listing fees.

Selling My Store's Products on eBay

Instead of duplicating all of your product content manually on eBay, listing templates make it easy to automatically list some or all of your products on eBay. You will be able to view the products you have listed, see the current highest bid and the quantity remaining. When an item is sold on eBay, an order will be created in your store's control panel.


Getting Started

First, you will need to register with the eBay Developers Program. Visit the eBay developer centre and fill out the form to create your account. After registering, navigate to the "My Account" section where you can generate the API Keys needed for your store to communicate with eBay. If you'd like to test the eBay feature first without listing your products on the live eBay site, then you can use the "sandbox" mode. Copy your Keys from the page into the corresponding fields on the setting tab.

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When you are ready to begin selling, switch to the Production mode and copy the production keys into the settings:

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You will now need to generate a token for your regular eBay account. The token consents your store to selling products under your eBay account. On the "My Account" page, click the "Get a User Token" link in the "tools" box at the bottom of the page.

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Follow the instructions to generate your token and then copy it into the token field in your settings:


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eBay Stores

An eBay Store is a an additional paid subscription service that eBay offers buyers. It allows the owner to create a central location for presenting their products for sale. Custom categories can be created for you to arrange your products.

If you have an eBay Store at the time when you configure your eBay settings in your control panel, then it will be automatically detected. If you purchase an eBay Stores subscription at a later date, you can click the "Check for eBay Store" link at the bottom of the settings page to manually check for your store. Your store's name will be displayed next to this link:

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In addition to listing your products in eBay's categories, you will be given the option when creating your listing template to list your products within 2 of your store categories.


Listing Templates

Now that you have setup your account and configured the settings, you can create your first listing template. A listing template defines which site you wish to list on, the categories the items will appear in, payment and price options, shipping methods and other features and enhancements to your listing. Depending on the options you choose with your template, you may be charged various fees. Click here to learn more about eBay's fees.


Creating a Listing Template

On the "eBay Listing Templates" tab, click the "Create an eBay Listing Template..." button. Creating a template involves a two step process that is described below.


Step 1 - Selecting the eBay Site and categories

Firstly enter a descriptive name for your template to help you identify the template when listing your products.

Now you will need to choose which eBay site you wish to list on. The sites presented will depend on the currencies you have configured in your store. For example, to list on eBay US you will need to have US Dollars (USD) configured. Similarly, to list on Australia, you would configure the AUD currency. A template can only be associated with one site. If you wish to list on multiple sites, you will need to create separate templates. You may also set the template to be private; this will cause the bidders user ID's to not be shown on the listing. Sellers use this option in situations in which bidder's may not want their user ID disclosed to others. Optionally, you may also set this template to be the default template. This will result in this template being automatically selected by default when you start listing your products.

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After choosing the site, you can now select the category you wish to have the products listed in. The categories that are available will also differ between each site. The primary category you choose determines many options and limitations of the rest of the template, such as if a reserve price can be set, the minimum reserve price, available payment methods and other enhancements. Next to the "Primary Category" field, click the "Change" link to select a category:

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A dialog will open that will allow you to navigate the category tree structure of the chosen eBay site. Click a category in the list that is shown to load that category's sub-categories. You can only list in a leaf category (ie. a category that is at the bottom end of the tree. eg Video Games -> Systems). Leaf categories are indicated by their bold name:

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After selecting a valid category you can proceed to the next step where you can choose the item conditions. If the category you picked is a secondary category, an eBay Store category or doesn't support item conditions then this step will be skipped and the category will be added to your template. Your store uses the 3 item conditions: New, Used or Refurbished. eBay has different item conditions which are dependent on the category you have chosen. Because of these differences, it is necessary to "map" your store's conditions with the eBay conditions. Your store's conditions (New, Used and Refurbished) will be shown as 3 separate fields with a drop-down box that contains the conditions that the category supports. Choose the eBay condition that best matches the store condition. If the category doesn't require a condition to be specified then if you wish, you can leave the conditions unmapped and a condition will not be specified when listing your products. Most categories will however require a condition (in which case the conditions will be marked with a red asterix *)so these should be mapped accurately.

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When you have finished mapping the conditions, click "Finish". The category will be added into your template and the dialog will close. A list of features that are supported by the category will be shown below the category list:

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Click the "Next" button to continue to Step 2.


Step 2 - Template Details

This step is where you will specify all the options that affect the prices, payment methods, shipping methods and other features.


General Tab

By default a quantity of one is set for all listings. For a Fixed Price listing you can specify that you have multiple items for sale by increasing the quantity here. If you are using an Auction method, then specifying a quantity higher than one will result in the product(s) being listed separately for the quantity. This will result in higher fees due to the separate listings.

The Item Location fields should accurately describe where your product is shipped from. By default, these fields will be pre-filled with your store's shipping address details.

Now you can choose the Selling Method for your template. Online Auction, or Fixed Price. These methods are described in detail above. After choosing a method, pricing options will be displayed below. For an online auction you can set a reserve price, starting price and Buy It Now price. Note that not all categories support a reserve price, in which case that option will not be available and notice will be displayed. Fixed Price listings only support the Buy It Now price.

For each price (reserve, start, buy-it-now) you are given 3 options on how to describe the amount. You can choose to use either the product's price (as specified in the product details itself), the product price plus or minus a fixed or percentage modifier, or thirdly you may specify a fixed custom price. There may be restrictions on the minimum reserve price you set (depending on the category, site and also relative to the start price) as the well as the start and Buy It Now prices. In the example shown below, the starting price has been set at $0 (ie. no start price), the reserve price will be the same as the product price and the Buy It Now price is set to the product's price plus 15%:

ebay_online_auction.png

Select a listing duration you wish the auction to run for. After the specified duration, if the auction or fixed price listing has not sold or been bidded on then the listing will end and will be removed from eBay. If an auction has received bids and the reserve been men (if set), then the high bidder will win the auction.


Payment Tab

This tab is where you can decide which payment methods you will like to allow your customers to use when paying for an item they have bought. The payment methods displayed depend on the site you initially chose. Many categories will also require PayPal as a payment method, in which case a notification will be displayed and this method cannot be unticked. For PayPal, you will also need to fill in the PayPal Email Address field.

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Shipping Tab

The shipping services, costs and locations you would like to ship to can be chosen on this tab.

The minimal configuration is to offer your products for local domestic pick-up only. Alternatively, you can choose to specify up to 3 services, or 2 services plus local pickup. There are two types of shipping services you may specify: Flat Rate or Calculated.

A Flat Rate service is where you specify the exact cost to ship the item using a particular service. Hence, the cost will be the same to every customer regardless of their location. You may also specify an additional cost for each subsequent item if the customer is purchasing more than one item from you.

A Calculated service automatically dermines the shipping cost based off the item's weight, dimensions and the destination. The Package Type you choose will also determine which services you can pick. To ensure accurate quotes and valid listings, ensure that you have the correct dimensions and weights specified in your products before listing them.

For the first domestic service you specify you may also optionally mark it as having Free Shipping.
If you specify a Buy It Now price and at least one expedited (overnight, eg. UPS Next Day Air) shipping service then you may also mark your listing with the Get It Fast icon. This means that have you committed to posting the item within 1 business day (even if the buyer does not select an expedited service). This applies to domestic shipping only. When enabling this option, the Handling Time drop-down will become disabled.

In the example below, the user has specified flat-rate shipping options. The buyer is able to have their item shipped for free using USPS Priority Mail. Alternatively, they will be charged $20 for using USPS Express Mail, with an additioncal cost of $5 per additional item. The buyer may also opt to pick up the item from the seller as well. Because an expidited (USPS Express Mail) service has been selected, the seller is also able to mark the listing with the Get It Fast feature.

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Listing Your Products on eBay

After creating your template, you can now use it to list your products on eBay. In your control panel, click Products then View Products. Select the products you wish to list by ticking the checkboxes next to each product. If you wish to list all of your products then leave the boxes unticked. From the drop-down menu, choose "List these products on eBay..." then click Go:

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In the window that pops up, select your template in the drop-down box. By default, your products will become active instantly on eBay and buyers can start bidding or purchasing. If you wish to select a future date for the products to become active, select the schedule option and use the date-picker to select the day and time:

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Click the Next button to continue. A list of estimated fees for listing each product on eBay will be presented. If there are any detectable issues with your template, the errors will be shown now and you may cancel and correct them in your template before proceeding.To confirm the involved costs and begin the listing process, click the "List on eBay" button:

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The listing process will now begin and a progress bar will be displayed that indicates the progress of the listing. If you wish, you can now close the dialog window and the listing will continue in the background. When the listing has finished, an email will be sent to you which summarizes the listing including any errors that may have occurred. If you wish to cancel the listing progress, then you can either click the Cancel link in the dialog, or on the home page of your store's control panel a progress panel will be shown on the right. If you cancel a listing that's in progress, then only any remaining products will be cancelled, any products that have already been sent to eBay will not be automatically cancelled.

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After the listing has finished click the 'View Your eBay Listings...' button to navigate to the eBay Live Listings page. A list of the products that you have listed on eBay will be shown. Initially, the items will have a status of Pending:

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After several minutes when the items have been formally accepted by eBay, the status will change to Active:

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Clicking the name of the product will take you to the item's listing page on the eBay site:

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Listing Products With Options

eBay allows Fixed Price items with options to be listed for specific categories only. You can find a list of valid categories here. Additionally, eBay places the following restrictions on options:

  • A maximum of 120 combinations may be listed. For example, if you had a variation with the options:
  • Up to 5 variation options may be specified with a maximum of 30 values each.
For example, you could have Color, Size, Width, Material, and Style as your options and each may have up to 30 values.
  • Different brands and different functional products cannot be combined.
In most cases this would be a violation of eBay's Circumventing Fee policy. For example, you could not create a listing that combines different brands of fine gauge cotton cardigans into one listing. You also could not create a listing with the traits Article, Size and Color, where "Article" refers to shirt, pants and jacket to make the single listing include an entire outfit.

The Buy It Now price for each individual option is calculated by first determining the price specified in your template (product price, product price +/- modifier or custom price) and then applying the option's own modifier to that amount. The quantitiy available to purchase for each option is equal to the Quantity To Sell specified in the template. For example, if you set a quantity of 3 and have a option with 10 possible combinations, then there will be 30 items for sale (ie, each combination can be purchased 3 times).

For more information regarding options on eBay, please read this article.

Managing Your Listed Products

You can view a summary of all the item's you've listed on eBay (through your store) by viewing the "Live eBay Listings" tab.

Each item, along with it's current status (Pending, Active, Sold), the current high bid and the quantity remaining (Fixed Price items only) will be shown. You can click the product's name to view the item on eBay's site. If you wish to revise any details for the product or listing then you can do so from that page.


Removing Products from the Live Listing Page

If you wish to stop a product from being shown in your store's live listing area then you can click the "Remove" action link or select products and choose the "Remove these products from my store..." option from the drop-down menu. Removing products will only stop them from being displayed in your store, they will remain unaffected on eBay's site.


Canceling Active Products on eBay

To completely cancel an item's listing from eBay, click the "Cancel" link on an individual product, or select multiple products and choose "Cancel these product listings" from the drop-down menu. When you choose to cancel a product(s), a dialog will be shown and you will be required to select a reason for canceling the listing. Depending on how much time is remaining and if bids have been placed, it may not be possible to cancel a listing.


Managing Orders

When an auction ends and the item is sold to the high bidder, or if an item is purchased immediately, then an order will be created in your store. The live listings table will show the order number for the new order. Clicking the order number will take you to the order management page of your control panel where you can view the details of the order. Orders created from eBay sales will be marked with eBay icon to help you quickly identify these orders in your list. The order will contain the item that was bought along with customers billing and shipping details. You can manage this order in the same that you do with regular orders on your store:

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