[ic] Advice needed for IC/eBay API integration

Grant listbox at email.com
Sat Oct 18 18:12:23 EDT 2003


> >
> > Paul, thanks for your response.  I should have included more info on
> > how the app works in my initial post.
> >
> > The app will do the following, but any of the mentioned specifics can
> > be easily changed:
> >
> > - list regular eBay listings:
> > Every 3 days, the top 50 best-selling (based on existing "Generate
> > others who..." functionality) qualified items will be listed as
> > single-quantity, 3-day, fixed-price listings.
> Note: There should be a flag column for this also, denoting the ability to
> place on ebay. there may be situations where an item in a store is OK, but
> maybe inapropriate for ebay, so one would not want it being
> automagically place
> on ebay.

Good idea, will do.

> > - list eBay Store listings:
> > Every hour, any products not currently listed in your eBay Store will
> > be listed as "Good-Til-Canceled" listings.
> >
> > - associate orders with auctions:
> > Auction winners are directed to your auction page where they can
> > enter their auction number(s) and eBay user ID, and have their
> > shopping cart populated with any items they purchased from your eBay
> > listings.  They can then continue shopping or checkout right away,
> > and the IC order is placed as normal, except it is associated with
> > the auction number(s) they entered.
> IMO, the ebay items should be immutable once in the cart. Adding
> other itmes is
> fine, but deleting auction items may cause trouble for you.

I was thinking of some log_transaction code that checks the entered auction
number(s) at checkout against the items in the cart, and only associates an
auction number with an order if the necessary item was purchased.

> >
> > - leave positive feedback on eBay for transactions in which the item
> > has been shipped: Every day, positive feedback will be left for eBay
> > transactions in which the purchased items have been shipped to the
> > buyer.
> >
> > - relist ended and unsold item listings:
> > Every 3 days, any ended and unsold listings will attempt to be
> > relisted. eBay's rules say unsold items can only be relisted once,
> > and are not subject to the insertion fee.
> >
> > - send email notifications to the buyer (payment instructions,
> > payment reminder): Every hour, emails are sent to any auction winners
> > (once each) directing them to your auction page, and reminders are
> > sent to auction winners that haven't placed their order through your
> > IC store within 7 days of the auction's end (once each).
> >
> > - send email notifications to you (submit a Non-Paying Bidder form to
> > eBay, submit a Final Value Fee Credit form to eBay):
> > The submission of the Non-Paying Bidder and Final Value Fee Credit
> > forms to eBay must be done manually so an email is sent to you with
> > the necessary information and a link to the appropriate page on the
> > eBay site.  NPB emails are sent 14 days after an auction's end if
> > necessary, and FVFC emails are sent 21 days after an auction's end if
> > necessary.
> >
> > The focus is on automation.  Off the top of my head, the only input
> > that is required from you after setting it up is changing an order's
> > status to "shipped" to trigger the positive feedback when the IC job
> > comes along.  I think most people do that anyway.  I used a much more
> > manual-type system to manage eBay listings with IC in the same way
> > for many months before I dug into this project.  All bugs in the
> > general design of the system have been ironed out.
> This sounds like a pretty nice project Grant. One thing to make
> sure is that it
> degrades nicely. If a bidder chooses to bypass the automation,
> will it be a
> headache to get back on track? IOW I assume paymant can be
> accepted other ways
> (mail-check, mail-money_order, fax-cc, paypal). If someone just
> goes to paypal
> and sends you cash, will it be a pain to get the system back on track?

That's definitely one of the things I came up against while I was doing my
eBay management more manually.  What I did was not include my Paypal email
address in my eBay listings, but I did mention that I accept Paypal.  I set
up my Paypal account with email address paypal at mystore.com and not
contact at mystore.com .  The payment instructions for the listing instruct the
buyer to visit www.mystore.com/ebay to complete their purchase.  After they
do so and checkout, the receipt page instructs them to make payment to
paypal at mystore.com (if they selected Paypal payment) and note their order
number with their payment.  If I receive a Paypal payment to
contact at mystore.com, I send a reply email to the Paypal payment notification
email which then goes to the sender of the payment.  The reply reads
something like "We can not accept Paypal payments sent to
contact at mystore.com ."  Which is true.  "To complete your purchase, please
visit www.mystore.com/ebay ."

> I know it may seem wierd, but I have been leary of sellers payment systems
> before. It was probably not an issue, but ebay is getting an air
> of seedyness
> about it. I almost hate selling now it is such a pain with NPB's.
> The point is, I hope you are stll able to accept payment outside
> the app, or it
> may detrimentally effect your auctions IMO for the foreseeable future.

All payments are accepted through the IC checkout.  The buyer has to
complete checkout to submit a credit card number, get the Paypal payment
email address, or get the payment address for mailed payments, and when they
do so their eBay auction number(s) are associated with the order they place.

> > This will all be donated to the IC community.
> >
> > Now what do you think about writing all listed items to a database?
> > If you think that should be done, should unsold item records be
> > deleted once their use is up?  If so, how can that be done in IC
> > using a DBM database?
> why dbm? Not that it matters, but the more advanced IC gets, the
> sooner it will
> have to (should) cut ties with non sql db's. It sounds like you
> have a pretty
> advanced app, not something that would be utilized by users not
> using a sql db.
> I mean, even the $4.95 Cpanel accounts come with a Mysql db 8-)
> actually...
> they come with UNLIMTED Mysql db's... haha!
> If this was a general "see what others are buying" type thing, that is one
> thing, but there is no point in not optimizing what sounds like a
> very nice
> app, and intend it for serious users.

I'm still using the DBM db, as my site is pretty low traffic right now.  It
sounds like you're suggesting I make the app SQL-only for the sake of being
able to optimize it for SQL.  What would optimization like that entail and
what would the benefits be?

> I am on a couple projects right now that are very very slick, and
> they are SQL
> only. I noticed your post the other day about accounting. Part of
> the project I
> am doing will be going that direction. I still have not weighed
> the pros and
> cons of integrating a pre-existing OS accounting app, or building it from
> scratch. I would be interested in possibly kicking around some
> ideas, and maybe
> we could help each other out if your interested.

I'd love to talk about that.  I could start a thread on it if you'd like to
discuss it on-list.

> WRT deleting the items, do you mean the item description only? or the
> accompanying transaction rows? I assume inserting an item creates
> a transaction
> row?
> Anyways, you are familiar with a JOB... is it a timed ITL run? If so, just
> query the database and find all items that were relisted and not
> sold (however
> you are flagging that), iterate through them, and with the
> [query] tag, do a
> DELETE. I assume that will work with dbm (and sql_statement).

Ok, that's what I needed to know.  Which do you think is better between
using the query tag and the method Racke mentioned of
$Db{ebay}->delete_record("0815") ?  What I need is something to remove
specified entire rows in a database without leaving blank rows.

- Grant

> Paul

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