‘new thing on the eBay platform: RSS Feeds’


Alan Lewis, works eBay as a technical evangelist in the eBay Developers Program. He's got some good news for the lovers of RSS:

"the coolest new thing on the eBay platform: RSS Feeds. With eBay Stores that enable RSS, you can now subscribe to a feed of the newest items listed in that store. PetriFinds is one of the stores that has turned on the feature already, and you can see the RSS link at the bottom of the store page. Here is the RSS feed link, for the benefit of the truly lazy:

http://rss.api.ebay.com/ws/rssapi?FeedName=StoreItems&UserId=-1&siteId=0&language=en-US&output=RSS20&ssPageName=ssPageName&storeId=6196146"

Wow. There's BIG opportunity for others to run with here. New businesses could literally be built out of this new capability from eBay.

I love it. I wonder who's going to do something first...

This RSS play is a continuation of eBay's innovation. In September I wrote of how eBay has established itself as one of the prime examples of a Web 2.0 business:


Web 2.0, the Long Tail and Business Models


An example of this philosophy at work is eBay.  There are certain parts of its business (process & content/data) that will need to remain proprietary and 'own' for it to remain competitive. An obvious example is the customer data it has acquired. This is an ultra-high value asset to eBay (of course the privacy law constraints are another good reason for not opening this data up).  This is the kind of data it wants to keep under lock and key, not open.  The data it does want to and does share are category listings, product details, pricing data, bidding counts, etc., that make up the core of the value eBay has to offer third parties.  Those third parties can then create new interfaces (UIs and programmatic), recombined with other data to create new value.


The user interface on eBay.com is the primary customer interface for its 56 million customers, but is one of many used to interact with the powerhouse.  These other interfaces are distributed under its Affiliate program, including the APIs and services (such as Paid Search).  This is the Web 2.0 enablement of eBay's content, data and services and helping make their Long Tail thicker.  The Long Tail in this case being the 10,000 affiliates of  who participate in the distributed ecommerce program and growing revenues along with eBay through a variety of business models.


Now, there's nothing new here... the pure-play does this instinctively. This type of distributed business model is what it means to be a successful ecommerce business and eBay, Amazon and others have been doing it for years.

Comments (6)

  1. emmalou says:

    That is a great concept. I will do the same with our site http://www.misspelledauctions.com

    Thanks for the info

  2. Bidera says:

    Welcome to the club eBay.

    Not to tout our own horn here too much…

    However, Bidera auctions ( http://www.bidera.com ) has offered full category and subcategory RSS feeds for all of their auctions since middle of last year(June of 2004). In fact, I believe Bidera was the first to do so a few other smaller players followed thereafter.

    If anyone has any information which of any general purpose auction website offered RSS for actual auction listings before Bidera, I would love to know.

    Of course, one can sort of understand that for someone as huge as eBay going full RSS was not an option initially.

  3. Just days after announcing its RSS news, now eBay has confirmed that it is dropping their…

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