EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 669 - December 19, 2003     1 of 3

eBay Launches Data Licensing Program, Historic Data for Sale

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eBay launched a data-licensing program that allows third parties to access eBay's historical transaction data. eBay's Web site describes the program as "designed to extend the eBay platform and provide technical resources and information that foster innovation and enhance trading within the eBay marketplace."

Auction management firm Andale was one of the first to license eBay's historic data, introducing a service called Andale Research in June 2003. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that and Intuit are recent licensees.

eBay's Data Licensing Program provides access to closed listing information, such as prices, item descriptions, selling price, feature usage, number of bids, or other transaction details. Personal information (usernames, feedback, etc.) and reserve prices are not included as part of the data. The program is available to all licensees, including those outside the United States. Only data from eBay’s US, German and UK sites is available.

eBay is pitching its Data Licensing Program to companies who want to create private or commercial applications. The program description states that the data "lends itself to a variety of products" such as the following:

  • Analytics - To explore pricing or product decisions
  • Price Guides - To understand fair-market value of goods
  • Merchandise indicators – To discover where supply constraints exist
  • Efficacy – To decide which merchandising features work
  • Consulting & Training – Help eBay sellers understand marketplace dynamics

The eBay Data Licensing Program is a fee-based program that uses a combination of fixed fees and revenue sharing. Annual licensing fees start at $10,000 per year for private use and $25,000 per year for commercial use. There are different levels of pricing based on the volume of data required.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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