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eBay Opens Payments to Third-Party Developers

eBay
eBay Opens Payments to Third Party Developers

In a significant move, eBay has opened its Managed Payments platform to third-party developers. eBay shared the news with developers at its annual eBay Connect developers conference, which kicked off on Tuesday.

eBay began rolling out Managed Payments last year in its move to intermediate payments between buyers and sellers, but the platform hamstrung sellers who opted in because of its initial limitations. For example, until April, shoppers were unable to use PayPal to purchase from sellers who were enrolled in Managed Payments.

And sellers who opted into Managed Payments were unable to use many third-party tools they relied on, including bookkeeping and accounting tools, as well as eBay’s own Global Shipping Program, powered by Pitney Bowes.

Here’s a tweet from eBay Vice President of Mobile and Developer Ecosystem and GM of eBay Portland Gail Rahn Frederick with a slide about the Managed Payments APIs that was shown to developers.

eBay announced a host of new and forthcoming APIs (that’s tech talk for systems that allow other companies to interact with eBay’s technology). Here’s what eBay had to say about the payments APIs:

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“Starting today, eBay is launching new payments API capabilities that will give our third-party developers access to eBay’s new managed payments program, creating more efficient ways to integrate their businesses. The new Finances API provides developers with a more holistic view of transactions on eBay to more seamlessly manage payouts to bank accounts for sellers enrolled in managed payments, get transaction details, and help sellers with accounting and reconciliation. Finances API is an alpha release intended for developer evaluation and feedback. The Account API adds a new capability to determine whether a seller has opted-in to the managed payments program. And, we added a new refund capability to Fulfillment API that enables managed payments sellers to issue full or partial refunds to their buyers.”

eBay is limited in how widely it can make its own payments-processing services available under the terms of the operating agreement entered into with its former subsidiary PayPal when the two split in 2015. Next month, eBay will be able to expand Managed Payments to a second country under the agreement, and said in April that it plans to enter the German market.

Other APIs announced at eBay’s developers conference reveal eBay’s priorities, and some could potentially help sellers boost sales. For example, eBay will make available later this year an “Offers to Buyers in Negotiation” API.

“This new capability allows Sellers to send offers to buyers that are watching their product with an exclusive discount. Buyers will instantly get notified on their mobile and desktop devices and can accept the offer or counter with the price they would like to pay to purchase.”

Another, called “Volume Pricing in Marketing” API, allows sellers to offer a volume discount to their buyers when they buy multiples of the same item.

One that promises to boost eBay’s active listings, the “Consumer Selling” API, will be released later this year. According to eBay’s announcement, it will “enable users on partner marketplaces to also list their inventory on eBay Marketplace, giving those sellers the additional reach of eBay’s 180M buyers.”

And then there’s an API to help boost eBay profits:

“We have also announced enhanced Promoted Listings capabilities with the Recommendation API. This API provides guidance for Promoted Listings to help sellers optimize their advertising strategy by leveraging trending ad rates and recommended listings. Our third-party developers can use this new capability to competitively elevate sellers’ visibility in sponsored placements across eBay.”

While eBay pushes even small, casual sellers to advertise through Promoted Listings, eBay boasted that a big brand has had success using the Recommendation API: “Reebok saw great success in following eBay’s Promoted Listings recommendations. They promoted more than 100 items at eBay’s trending rate for their multi-quantity inventory. Over the past 5 months, Reebok has seen a 55% lift in overall sales and a 142% lift in sales for the items that were promoted.”

You can find the full announcement on the eBay corporate blog.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.

5 thoughts on “eBay Opens Payments to Third-Party Developers”

  1. This “big brand” success is exactly why all non-Brand sellers have to fear Promoted Listings. It’s like a nuclear weapon of advertising, wielded by Brands. A company like Reebok, when selling directly, has a HUGE amount of margin to work with – margin that they would have lost to the brick and mortar retailer. So they buy additional advertising (Promoted Listings) and reduce the price to the buyer, both actions funded by the margin they now have without a middle man. And they will STILL net more money than wholesaling to a retailer.

    If all Brands do this, they will soak up every available dollar in the marketplace. Brands are Brands for a reason – they sell popular, mass market items. After the eBay buyer has his new shoes, new wardrobe, new fashion accessories, new tools, new appliances, and new electronics, he has no money left for general marketplace sellers. Effectively he has been picked up by the ankles and shaken until all his money has spilled from his pockets and into the hands of Brands. Then he is guided along to the rest of the marketplace, penniless.

  2. So, I have been away from eBay for several years but I am thinking of jumping back in again. I understand PayPal and eBay have separated but ….is PayPal still the most preferred payment method or has that changed since I’ve been off of eBay? If not, what is the standard for eBay payments now, as a seller? And what will the new payment options include as they are rolled out?

  3. To kjp55
    Part of me wants to tell you STAY AWAY from the “new and improved” Ebay. What Ebay has become is a paid Advertising Revenue for CLICK Thru – Using….seller listings to promote other sellers and sites, they don’t really care if you sell anything or not. The Final value fees have increased for many instead of 10% – they can go up to 14% (if people return their stuff to you for – oh, Changed my mind) and other fee amounts in different categories, the site wants to “guide’ you into FREE SHIPPING, FREE RETURNS (we are talking 30, 60, 90+ days – plus in paypal 180 days allowed to return) – the returns are automated – so if someone frauds the system – YOU end up paying the shipping cost back instead of your buyer (if you get back the same thing to shipped out), oh and your appeal – FORGET IT. OH, and Ebay now is moving everyone to MANAGED PAYMENTS – so instead of paypal taking…using your money – EBAY will gladly KEEP the money safe for you – and they will take out their fees (0.25 for each listing that sells something – and not only .25 per multiple totals (remember .30 plus 3% for paypal for the total transaction – now, .25 each item). And since Ebay will be managing the money, they can help themselves to the money you have for refunds immediately and maybe in a few days you can get access to the money left over.

    I suggest you spend a little time reviewing the comments under each of the headings here now – like the Screwups on Hasbro and Reebok this month – and you’ll see why many of us have closed our stores and left – the Middle Man is just adding more and more fees to the sellers that remain, but if youre lucky perhaps in the beginning they will actually show your listings to the world – and then for the other 29-30 days a month – NOTHING. It’s just not worth it anymore – even if you do wholesale, you are competing with China Sellers that can sell an item .99 plus free shipping. It’s very sad what the site has become, as it is now a psuedo-stock market – the site gets paid for transactions, not sales – ’cause if the refunds occur – you don’t get back any fees to them you paid in….so your customers can buy something, cancel and – Whalla you are only out the Final Value Fee, instead of the shipping cost (2-ways for the returns to occur). I wish I could paint a rosier picture for you….but honestly , I cannot.

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