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.
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:
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("/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!