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Ebay auction manager for OSCOMMERCE

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Hi

I believe there is somany people out there wants to combine their auctions with their website. A standalone php program could list the chosen products on ebay by taking the available stock as reference.

So oscommerce stock information will be always uptodate. And it can relist the unsold products automaticly after auction automated feedback posting. And any other feature an auction manager can supply.

Is there any plug in to do all this things. Or is there anyone planning to contribute this option?


I can't type a trick like i can type.

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I'm all over this one too! Once I get OSC set up I will do my part to help create/test such a system. I'm far from a PHP programmer or MySQL wizard, but for a complete and robust system like this, it would be worth the time and energy to learn!!!

 

:D


You've tried to philosophize your pain

but the hurt's in your heart and not in your brain

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Gads and I usually write all these Add-ons for free ... :shock:

 

I must be in the wrong side of this business :roll:

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I guess we have to work out everything slowly by try and learn. We can simply check out existing codes written like manageauctions.com

 

Emailing customers and order tracking wouldnt be difficult. BUt fetching auctions from ebay to the program would be difficult as we dont kow the Database , variables and passwords etc.


I can't type a trick like i can type.

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This has been discussed numerous times in the past. If you search the archives you will find a lot of entries about eBay.

 

My conclusion was that when you use the HTML pages, parse them and use the results for any sort of add-on you are in violation of eBays terms of use. The only official way is to use these API that are very expensive.

 

I once stated that eBay has not been noticing that the world is changing and Free Software will rule :-)

 

HTH


You can't have everything. That's why trains have difficulty crossing oceans, and hippos did not adapt to fly. -- from the OpenBSD mailinglist.

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I guess we can setup and auction management service for oscommerce and pay $300 to ebay. And charge to the oscommerce users monthly fee.

We charge $.05 per listing and $.05 per parsed auction as other auction management sites do. So we cover the ebay API charges. I currently pay $25.00 everymonth to manageauctions.com. And the service deserves the money. And there is hundreds of people out there wouldnt mind to pay for this kind of service.


I can't type a trick like i can type.

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I guess we can setup and auction management service for oscommerce and pay $300 to ebay.

 

How about setting up a program that gives us - the developers of osCommerce - money? SCNR.

 

And charge to the oscommerce users monthly fee.

We charge $.05 per listing and $.05 per parsed auction as other auction management sites do. So we cover the ebay API charges. I currently pay $25.00 everymonth to manageauctions.com. And the service deserves the money. And there is hundreds of people out there wouldnt mind to pay for this kind of service.

 

I always love ot to read messages that say "It is fine to pay money for software". I would only hope that people that say something like that realize the amount of time we spend on developing and supporting osCommerce.

 

This is on the eBay User Agreement page (nr. 7):

 

http://pages.ebay.com/help/community/png-user.html

 

 

Our web site contains robot exclusion headers and you agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automatic device, or manual process to monitor or copy our web pages or the content contained herein without our prior expressed written permission. You agree that you will not use any device, software or routine to bypass our robot exclusion headers, or to interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the eBay site or any activities conducted on our site.

You can't have everything. That's why trains have difficulty crossing oceans, and hippos did not adapt to fly. -- from the OpenBSD mailinglist.

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I am not quite sure to which part of my posting you are referring, so I will split this in two parts:

 

Part 1: How can I support osCommerce and the Team?

 

Simple - http://www.oscommerce.com/about.php/team and give us your money :-)

 

Part 2: What about eBay?

 

You can do three things:

 

- Pay money to eBay and use the API. But that will get you in big trouble. If you would program an osC-module based on that you will get problems with the GNU/GPL. Why? Because on of the essential freedoms fo Free Software is violated in that case. The right to use software without restrictions. And you cannot integrate software in osCommerce that is licensed under some other license.

 

- Break their rules and parse the HTML. You can do that. And as soon as eBay changes the layout of their pages all installed modules based on this will be broken and you have to fix it ASAP. And you could get trouble with eBay when the module is widely used and thus causing problems at eBay.

 

- Convince eBay to support osCommerce and other Free Software/OpenSource solutions in a GNU/GPL-compatible way. Good Luck :-)

 

We had this discussion before and at a certain point we saw that eBay must change their rules before we can do anything usefull. This situation has not changed. So change it :-))

 

HTH


You can't have everything. That's why trains have difficulty crossing oceans, and hippos did not adapt to fly. -- from the OpenBSD mailinglist.

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- Pay money to eBay and use the API. But that will get you in big trouble. If you would program an osC-module based on that you will get problems with the GNU/GPL. Why? Because on of the essential freedoms fo Free Software is violated in that case. The right to use software without restrictions. And you cannot integrate software in osCommerce that is licensed under some other license.

Why would this cause problems? Surely all you pay eBay for is access to their API, you're not buying any code are you? The code written to access the API would be available for anyone to use and so would be under GNU/GPL. Of course you wouldn't be able to do anything with the code unless you paid eBay, but isn't the same true of the majority of the payment and shipping modules?

 

I've used software that just parses the eBay pages. They seem to regularly changes things just to break them, but re-writing the parsing logic shouldn't take too much time. Can they actually stop you doing this?

 

I don't rate the chances of eBay giving free access either. They'd lose the income, but more importantly they would lose control.

 

Jon.

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Of course you wouldn't be able to do anything with the code unless you paid eBay, but isn't the same true of the majority of the payment and shipping modules?

 

All shipping and payment modules provide the specifications for free and allow development of these modules under the GNU/GPL. eBay wants you to sign an NDA and pay prior to give you the API-documentation. The license of this API actually prohibits use of the API in OpenSource/Free Software as that would be a violation of the NDA/License agreement. And things get even worse. eBay Germany has different license terms - so a generic solution must satisfy all local eBay license terms or else eBay could get really angry.

 

I've used software that just parses the eBay pages. They seem to regularly changes things just to break them, but re-writing the parsing logic shouldn't take too much time. Can they actually stop you doing this?

 

By using the part of the usage terms I quoted thy actually can do that.

 

I don't rate the chances of eBay giving free access either. They'd lose the income, but more importantly they would lose control.

 

Hehe. So do we by giving away osCommerce under GNU/GPL. Are you saying we should change that? Proprietary systems will be wiped away by open standards - that's what I believe. eBay will develop a standard method using SOAP or something similar and will provide the specs free of charge or special license terms. Just as google does for example. And the shipping/payment gateway providers do. Charging money to actually use these APIS is something different.


You can't have everything. That's why trains have difficulty crossing oceans, and hippos did not adapt to fly. -- from the OpenBSD mailinglist.

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It would appear everyone here (Jan excluded of course :) ) is missing a very important point.

 

If you look at the pricing page you'll notice this little tidbit:

 

Tier Pricing

Bronze $1,000 per year PLUS

$6.50 per 1,000 API calls

Silver $5,000 per year PLUS

$3.15 per 1,000 API calls

Gold $10,000 per year PLUS

$2.90 per 1,000 API calls

 

Notice the per API call pricing? How on earth could you integrate that into OSC? Everyone that wanted to use it would have to pay ebays ridiculous prices and then pay for the API calls themselves. Kinda defeats the purpose of free open source software no?!?! :shock:

 

It looks to me that the only viable auction solution would be to use Amazon. I'm going to delve a little deeper into this and see if it's even possible using Amazon's current web services (at first glance it looked like it might be although posting auctions might be a problem - there has to be a way though since there are already standalone solutions out there that do this and Amazon seems a whole lot friendlier about opening up their standards 8) ).

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Has anyone looked at Yahoo Auctions?

Or we in the same boat as ebay?

 

Just wondering. :?:

 

Steve

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Or another idea....

 

We launch our own auction site, with full OSC integration. There are a number of PHP scripts that we could base it on. When someone buys something it would just take them to the payment screens of the selling website. Plus it could check the stock in realtime. There could be an option within OSC to list the item in the auction site.

 

OK, so it would be a lot of work but....if all the OSC sites supported it and directed traffic to it, it might work. It would be a good way to generate more sales for all users of OSC.

 

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Though it is, just an idea.

 

Jon.

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Ouch, althought this would be lovely to take the monopoly away from ebay, as most are aware, its no small task, although ebay is a 'b*tch' its a BIG 'B*TCH' and would take yrs of work to get a good auction site going, in addition, most of us have barely got time to play with OSC let alone a monster like this!

 

John

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I dont think it will be a big problem. Open source auction site. This is a good idea.And auction site also can generate income from banners and similar things etc.

And i am sure oscommerce team wouldnt say no to earn some cash from banners in auction site. An international auction site.

This idea kicks ass. I am ready to contribute 1.0 Gb space and 10 Gb bandwidth for this auction site. I will also provide as many mysql and pop3 email accounts possible.

 

Lets kick ebays *ss


I can't type a trick like i can type.

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One thing ebay doesn't do well:

 

Indexing.

 

Go and try to find a computer with 512 Meg, AND a 40gig drive or larger.

 

You can search for 512 and get a bunch of memory sticks and motherboards that can take up to 512 Meg.

 

search for 40gig, and you'll find drives, and computers with 40 gig drives, but you'll miss those with 42gig drives.

 

Any item with multiple attributes isn't handled well with ebay. Searching isn't smart enough to handle this.

 

So imagine an auction back end with a front end that's smart enough to understand that when people want a computer they care about speed and mem size and hard drive size, but when they buy a stereo, they care about watts, dolby, and manufacturer name. Sure, you still need a generic "list an item" thing, but the searching could be so much more useful if it was smarter about the types of items you were looking for.

 

Tim

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So i guess everybody is okey with the idea of OSCOMMERCE auctions. What are we going to call this auction site.

 

Also can we start to use php auction and later add on it new features?

 

If you people are interested on this idea post your thoughts so we can act quickly.

 

If 10% of oscommerce sites supports this auction we create a big community in a few months.

The nice site is selling and listing will be free. Site will create revenue from banners to cover the costs.


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Site will create revenue from banners to cover the costs.

 

Did you miss something? Banner advertising as a source of revenue has been in the toilet for quite some time now (years to be exact).

 

IMHO it's foolish to think that something like this could possibly put a dent in the online auction market. Amazon and Yahoo can barely compete with eBay ("barely" is probably putting it mildly) - how on earth is some unknown site with a hodgepodge of products from a bunch of mostly unknown sites going to? I'll stick to what I do best - selling stuff from my own site. :)

 

[/dose of reality] :roll: :D

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All we need is small income to cover the cost of webspace and maintenance really. Also we can still charge for special services like front page auctions etc. And that will be enough to cover the costs.

The important point is providing an auction site to the oscommerce community. Just oscommerce community will be enough for beginning.

The target isnt to compete with ebay. There is somany auction sites out there and all are surviving and getting bidders and sellers.

It isnt bad thing for oscommerce community to have their auctions.

At the end of the day i will be the one providing the space. So noone will lose except me.

Anyway. I will be setting up phpauction but we will need a domain name for that. It has to be catchy and easy name. So you all out there post your thougts about the name


I can't type a trick like i can type.

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Ive actually been having a play around with an auction script and classifieds module for osCommerce for some time now, but cause i havent had time to scratch myself its been sitting on the server in a very unfinished state.

 

If only i had enough $$$ to employ someone to take care of my business admin etc then i could get stuck into all these mods and belt them out. :?

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I think we're getting away from the original topic a bit.

 

The question wasn't about setting up your own auction site - it was about integrating with eBay.

 

We've pretty much determined that this is out of the question considering how much eBay thinks of themselves. :roll:

 

It looks like it may be possible with Amazon (although I still have some more homework to do on it) via their Web Services. I can figure out how to pull information via WS (for status of auctions, etc.) - just can't get a handle on how to post new ones yet. It should be relatively simple though.

 

IMO it would be a great addition to be able to add auctions for any given products via the OSC admin. Live stats on the status of your auctions, etc. etc. etc. I'm off Sunday so I'm going to monkey around with this a bit and see what I can come up with.

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