Free eBay Store and WordPress Plugin

I’ve been fooling around with the WordPress Plugin API, and I decided to take a stab at putting together a free eBay Store plugin. An eBay store is a great way to make some extra income with your blog or website, and you don’t even have to directly sell anything. You will make commissions on any eBay fees you generate.

For instance, let’s say you have a photography blog and you are writing a review for the Canon Rebel XSi. You can use my free eBay store WordPress plugin to display relevant products right in the post! Here is the code you would place into your post (put it all on one line):

[ebay campaignid="5336304844" keywords="canon rebel xsi" rows="3" columns="1"]

And here is what your store would look like:

[ebay campaignid="5336304844" keywords="canon rebel XSi" rows="3" columns="1"]

If you have many posts on your blog that discuss many products, you may wish to set up entire pages dedicated to relevant products. You can even place multiple stores on the same page for different keywords.

I’ve seen some products out there similar to my plugin (such as BANS), but they are not free. If they are free, then they want you to sign up for mailing lists and bombard you with solicitations via email. Why am I willing to give this away for free, when there are others charging for similar eBay stores?

Well, for one thing, people love free. It makes it easy to try something out when there is little or no risk involved. I’m confident that because my plugin is free, I’ll have many more takers than I would if I were to charge for it. I want my free eBay store plugin to become the plugin everyone uses for their blog’s eBay store. Making it free is essential for that to happen.

So what’s the catch? Two simple things I think you can probably live with:

  • As you may have already noticed, the store displays a link back to this page. This will help to spread the word about this great plugin so that many others can also take advantage of it.
  • Your campaign ID will used 90% of the time, and 10% of the time it will be my campaign ID. This will allow me to be compensated for my efforts, and help me spend more time making even more great plugins.

So how do you get started? First you need to sign up as an eBay affiliate for free. Once you’re signed up or if you’re already signed up, create a new campaign to use with your free eBay store. Then download, install, and activate the WordPress plugin.

Download the Plugin

Once you’ve activated the plugin, write up a post or page where you wish to display an eBay store. Then, enter the proper code to display a store (put it all on one line):

[ebay campaignid="YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID" keywords="YOUR-STORE-KEYWORDS" rows="NUMBER-OF-ROWS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY" columns="NUMBER-OF-COLUMNS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY" pagination="yes" vertical="yes"]

campaignid and keywords are required parameters. Use spaces between the keywords, and if you want to exclude a word, prefix it with a minus (-). columns and rows are optional, and the store plugin will default to 2 columns x 5 rows (10 items in total). The maximum total product display is limited to 25 products.

The pagination and vertical parameters are also optional. The pagination parameter will allow the display of multiple pages of products when set to yes. You can see this demonstrated on my free eBay Store demo page. Setting the vertical parameter to yes will display the item info below the image, rather than to the right of it.

The plugin also comes with a widget, if you would like to display ebay Products within a widget. This would allow you to display advertisements for eBay items on every page on your blog. To use it, just log into your WordPress blog, go to Appearance > Widgets and add the Free eBay Store widget. The sidebar widget uses the vertical parameter to display the item information below the image.

Don’t forget to supply your eBay campaign ID and the keywords you want for the products displayed in your widget. If you want, you can display different types of products at random. To do this, use multiple sets of keywords and separate them with a pipe character (|). For example, to display teddy bears and inflatable pools, you enter teddy bear|inflatable pool as the keywords. The widget will select the pipe-separated keywords at random.

If you don’t have a blog, but you have access to a scripting language (such as PHP) on your host provider, feel free to use the following URL to access the store as a pseudo-service:

http://geeklad.com/tools/ebay.php?campaignid=YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID&rows=NUMBER-OF-ROWS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY&columns=NUMBER-OF-COLUMNS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY&keyword=YOUR-STORE-KEYWORDS&pagination=yes

And of course, you need to replace the campaignid, rows, columns, and keyword parameters accordingly. The output is just regular HTML. For instance, to display a 3 x 4 store for products to make money online in PHP, you would use the following line of PHP code:

echo file_get_contents("http://geeklad.com/tools/ebay.php?campaignid=YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID&rows=4&columns=3&pagination=yes&keyword=make+money+online"); And your store will be displayed right on the line within the webpage where you supply the code. If you want to reformat the display of the store on either your blog or a webpage, just enclose the store within a <div> HTML tag, and set the formatting for that div however you like.

Let me know if you encounter any bugs, have any questions, or have any suggestions on how I might be able to improve the free eBay Store. Enjoy!

About GeekLad

Geeklad is a technology enthusiast and programming hobbyist. Occasionally he will put together useful little bits of code (be it JavaScript or PHP) and share them with the world. He also enjoys creating and sharing howtos, describing how to do the things people want to do with their computers.
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  • http://www.mojadieta.eu Diety

    I've heard that one can make a living off e-bay, but I always thought it's only a successful few and a lot of fuss over nothing. Now I'm not so sure – this is a great way to supplement what your blog is making. I have a diet blog and have been thinking about also selling diet pills etc. but never really got around to it. Now I just might !

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    That's the general idea behind the plugin. Providing some additional income
    to bloggers, without having to go out and spend $100 on something that may
    never work.

  • http://jewelryguides.blogspot.com/ evan

    the code for display is too long. how about just the keywords?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Unfortunately, some products do indeed have very long descriptions. I think
    just the keywords wouldn't be very helpful, since they would be the same for
    all of the products. I might place some kind of character limit and
    use ellipses(…) to indicate a long description.

  • Lisa

    I'm having a problem with keywords – probably very simple to resolve and I've tried multiple ways, but how do I get more than one keyword or keyword phrase to show up? I've tried quotes, commas, pipeline… sigh

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    If you want to place multiple keywords at the same time, use the smart tags
    multiple times. For example, if you want to display XBox consoles and games
    at the same time, you can do something like this:

    [ebay keywords="xbox console" rows="1" columns="3"]
    [ebay keywords="xbox games" rows="2" columns="3"]

    This would display 3 XBox consoles (1 row with 3 columns), and 6 xbox games
    (2 rows with 3 columns).

  • http://www.kurkuma.pl/ Sushi

    This is awesome! I could definitely use it. Normaly I had to manualy add and removie links to products currently in my ebay shop. Now I finaly won't have to waste time.

  • http://www.cakebaker.ws/ Keith

    Can you make this work for eBay UK?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I'll look into it. I could probably add an additional parameter to select
    which eBay locale to use.

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  • jodie

    Will your plugins work with newer versions of wordpress? i'm just learning to build niche stores, and your plugins look like what i'm after. do you know of any/have you written any that do price comparisons like shopzilla?

    thanks so much for sharing your work!
    jodie

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    My niche stores are definitely a good way to get started. I haven't written
    any comparison tools (yet).

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  • lusily

    really?
    my online store is http://www.any-bag.com.but I didn't know where can sell my product free at other online store?

  • lyricalbiz

    So I'm going to appear rather dumb here, but how would I put that into the code?

    this is what I have right now based on the plugin: (with the keyword search changed for obvious reasons)
    [ebay campaignid="xxxxxxxxxxx" keywords="xbox console" rows="10" columns="NUMBER-OF-2" pagination="yes" vertical="yes"]

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    NUMBER-OF-2 needs to just be “2″

  • lyricalbiz

    thanks for the reply, but it looks like I wasn't clear – I would like to be able to have a multiple search for ebay – ie in ebay you can do this (vintage,collectable) records which gives you a wider search parameter. Any idea how to achieve that with your plugin?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Ahh… You could try using an or within the keywords.

  • lyricalbiz

    Nope, still doesn't work – just negates the search with no results. Thanks for your time.

  • angelia110

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  • http://healthcampus.net Health_Campus

    What a useful post here. Very informative for me..TQ friends…
    Cheers
    good-jobs.org

  • http://www.cilenebonfim.com/sho cilene

    Didnt work to me. I tried everything and didnt work.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    It may be that your host does not allow loading remote content. Without
    this enabled, it won't work.

  • brucini

    any chance you can make the plugin compatible up to and beyond wordpress 2.8.1?
    I'd defo be using it if you could
    it's just what i've been looking for

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I'm using it on 2.8.1 right now, so it should work fine. I just need to
    update the readme to indicate it works on 2.8.1.

  • brucini

    sweet. is working well http://theblackkeysfanlounge.com/merchandise/. thanks. just need to exclude some non-associated products appearing because of the keywords

  • frankie

    The idea is great but you need to have the ability to select the country Ebay items. By default it uses US for me and I need UK. You need to add a country variable to the code in each page to tell it to go the required country version of Ebay :-(

  • http://www.secretutorial.com maxomen

    wow nice tips, this will increase earning of my blog

  • 17s

    Is there any way to make the listings display in £GBP? All of my websites are UK based. Thanks.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    I still haven't added support for UK and other countries, but I will be
    soon.

  • jaybp

    Nice work on the plugin. The only problem I see is that all the auctions displayed are quickly ending, most in a few seconds or minutes. Is there a way to display the newest auctions? Thanks.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    If you set it up for pagination and page through them, you should see older auctions. I don't know that there's really any any other way around this at this time. I may have to add in a sort parameter to show the newest auctions.

  • Oto

    didn't work for me in post, I think the reason for it is that the enclosing double quotes are being changed by wordpress from a straight quotes to curly ones, and therefore not being read as code correctly. I tried the code in widget and using third party ad software and worked fine, just not in post.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    That's odd, I haven't seen WordPress change square brackets to curly braces.
    What version of WordPress are you using?

  • Oto

    I'm using the latest WordPress 2.8.5.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    When you save the article/page and re-open, the brackets are converted to
    braces? Are you using some kind of article editing plugin perhaps?

  • Oto

    I don't have any article editing plugin. The brackets don't change, they just disappear, and the commas change from straight to curly commas. I assumed that it was something to do with the wordpress theme, so I tested a number of themes with same result. I've even had a friend test it on a different hosted domain with similar results:

    The following is the output of the code on the post page unaltered. The results are the same regardless of what I do to the script, notice the brackets are gone, but the commas change:

    ebay campaignid=”YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID” keywords=”YOUR-STORE-KEYWORDS” rows=”NUMBER-OF-ROWS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY” columns=”NUMBER-OF-COLUMNS-YOU-WANT-TO-DISPLAY” pagination=”yes” vertical=”yes”

  • Oto

    That said, I've got it to work fine using the “Smart Ads” plugin

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    It sounds like you're using the visual editor, so that may be the problem.
    Try clicking the HTML tab and then adding the code.

  • Oto

    That small issue aside, your plugin works great and was just what I was looking for. Thanks :-)

  • Oto

    I was using the html editor when I got this error – and also using html editor on friends site with same results

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    That's bizarre. I'll have to try it out on another WordPress 2.8.5 blog I haven't yet installed it on and see if I get the same issue.

  • Oto

    Just chatted with my friend, and his is working fine now. He had missed a bracket. My issue still persists, so I'm going to assume that it's my wordpress that's messed up.

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Perhaps if you simplify the code, you can isolate the issue. How about if
    you just try [ebay campaignid="YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID"
    keywords="YOUR-STORE-KEYWORDS"] and replace YOUR-CAMPAIGN-ID and
    YOUR-STORE-KEYWORDS appropriately. Does it still break?

  • Oto

    same thing, it's not a big deal, it's working great with the smart ads plugin, so I'm cool with it. Thanks for all your help :-)

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    You bet. Glad that at least it works w/ smart ads.

  • bdnet

    Will this plugin work with a store id or do you have to have a campaign id?

  • http://geeklad.com GeekLad

    Campaign id. Everything is from the main Amazon store (no third-party
    stores).