Frequently Asked Questions

On August 31, 2020, eBay turned off both their RSS feed service, which provided targeted eBay auction results based on search parameters you send them, as well as their feed generator to craft those search parameters into a query eBay understands.  While many people already have their search queries generated, as of August 31, they’ll no longer work when you send them to eBay.  Our software engine provides a way for you to continue to receive those RSS results, with minimal changes on your part – and the results will look exactly the same as they did before.  Plus, we’ve built a replacement feed generator (that we dare say, works a lot better than eBay’s old one!), AND, are offering several exciting enhancements to both the search parameters and how your links will function.
We’re utilizing eBay’s API (Automated Programming Interface), which is a language that lets us “translate” your RSS query (the feed you’ve generated) into something the API understands, receive your search results from eBay, compile them into RSS format, and send them back to your web app or plugin – all automatically.
Just do three things:

1)  Register on our site.  It’s quick and painless, and we only need a valid e-mail address so we can contact you if there’s a problem.  Registering gets you assigned a UserID, which is one part of your authentication process.  Unless you’re creating your own feeds (see question below), you can safely ignore your UserID.

2)  If you’re a Premium user and an eBay affiliate, enter your campaign ID(s) in your Profile, so we can further verify it’s you when we receive your link requests.  Additionally, without a campaign ID designated, your links won’t be getting ePN credit!

3)  Armed with your UserID, proceed to convert / build your own feed links that point to us (see below), or head over to the Feed Generator and build one here!
Put the feed link you generate from our tool into your RSS reader, or any app that shows RSS feed results.  Our recommended plugins give you a way to display those RSS feeds, as well as additional control over the RSS results to make them look nicer on your site.
We’ve had a user confirm that phpBay Pro API 3.x (for standalone PHP-based websites) does work.   You’ll need to edit the file ebay.php and change the following line:

var $eb_base = “http://rest.ebay.com/epn/v1/find/item.rss?”;

to

var $eb_base = “https://www.auctionrequest.com/arfeed.php?uid=[AUCTIONREQUEST USERID]&”;

where [AUCTIONREQUEST USERID] is your AuctionRequest UserID from your profile, without brackets.

For the WordPress version of the phpBay plugin, the edit is in /wp-content/plugins/phpbay/lang/english.php, near the bottom:

define(“PB_EPN_RSS_URL”, “http://rest.ebay.com/epn/v1/find/item.rss?”);

to

define(“PB_EPN_RSS_URL”, “https://www.auctionrequest.com/arfeed.php?uid=[AUCTIONREQUEST USERID]&”);

In addition to these edits, you’ll need to be on the Premium tier with all your ePN campaign ID(s) entered in your Profile here for you to receive affiliate credit.

However, as this plugin has been abandoned by its author, we do not recommend its use and cannot provide any support for it;  instead, we point you to one of the solutions featured on our front page.
Not only did eBay take down their feed generator, they also turned off their RSS service.  Thus this website.  The feeds we generate point to our server; our server retrieves the search results from eBay and then returns the results to you in RSS format.  The search results will look and perform identically to how they did pre-shutdown.
The Free tier is primarily designed for merchants who have eBay shops.  For example, using an RSS search query limited to your eBay username, the RSS feed will display your current auctions on your website or blog.  This tier is also useful for collectors’ websites and blogs, where you craft RSS searches to spot rare or unusual items of interest to your readership.  As an added bonus, all of your links to eBay will be both “cloaked” and “geotargeted” – more on that below! The Free tier does not permit you to add your own eBay affiliate tracking code to your links.  Also, the auctions you display will only be updated every 30 minutes.

The Premium tier is designed for eBay affiliate marketers.  You have the ability to select from any of your ePN campaign IDs to add to your links.  You can turn on or off Link Cloaking and Geotargeting.  Your auction results will update every 5 minutes.  And, you can add a Custom ID to your links to assist you in tracking commissions.  Premium users can also view their recent API usage and click-thru statistics.
Exactly that – register with one of our Premium plans, and you’ll be able to try out the Premium tier risk-free, with all abilities enabled.  At the end of the trial period, your Paypal account will be subscribed for the period you chose at registration.  Cancel at any time during your trial period with no obligation.
Link Cloaking removes all mention of “eBay” from your RSS results.  So when a user clicks an auction displayed on your blog, they are first routed to our server, and then bounced to eBay.  This occurs seamlessly and without any noticeable delay.  Why is this important? Several years ago, the major search engines – Google in particular – began to heavily penalize websites in the Google Search rankings when it detected “affiliate links”.  As their thinking went, if you were displaying links to eBay or Amazon, you were probably just a “spammy” website without real content – and they dropped you down their rankings.  I personally was a recipient of that hammer!  Shortly thereafter, I cloaked all the eBay links on my website, and I haven’t had a problem since.  (Google has since stated that they no longer penalize affiliate links.  But wouldn’t you rather they not know?) The way our service here works, cloaking is a happy benefit for our Free users.  Premium users get a choice whether to cloak or not.  The disadvantage to cloaking, to be honest, is that you lose control of the link to eBay when it’s processed through our servers.  While we would never “overwrite” your affiliate code with our own, the ability for us to do so is there, and relies on a trust factor you have with us.  It’s up to you.  Uncloaked links will take users directly to eBay, and will be in the https://rover.ebay format you’re used to.

Geotargeting is the ability to correctly route a buyer (someone who clicks the eBay auction you’re displaying) to their home country’s eBay.  If you host a blog in the United States, and a user from Italy clicks one of your displayed auctions, Geotargeting ensures that they’re taken to www.ebay.it where they can see the item in their home language and currency.  They’re much more likely to complete the sale or bid on the item.  “But wait!” you say.  “eBay’s had that feature for years with their RSS results!”  Actually, they haven’t, even though they say they did – none of the links they generated actually geotargeted, even with the popular “&lgeo=1” tag added by default.  They routed everyone to the eBay region set by the owner of the blog where the results were displayed, which was usually the owner’s home region.  Our service can correctly identify where a user is “clicking” from, and route the request to the appropriate eBay.  Premium users can switch this feature off at their discretion – some of your users may be behind a VPN or Tor exit node, which would disguise their location and possibly even their country.  For those users, Geotargeting them runs the risk of sending them to the wrong eBay region.  However, also keep in mind that eBay has stated that the affiliate tracking cookie that is dropped for a user does not transfer between regions – if they land on eBay.com, but then move over to eBay.it to complete their purchase, you won’t be getting a commission.

For Premium users, Geotargeting requires that your links also be Cloaked (as both features require routing the “click” through our server).  You can, however, disable Geotargeting but still leave Cloaking on.
Because we utilize the eBay API, we can do things that weren’t possible with the RSS.  Include up to 350 characters in your keyword searches.  Exclude up to 10 sellers.  Include up to 10 sellers.  Advanced keyword syntax.  Search by seller only.  Search by category only.  Filter by condition.  Sort by Most Watched!  Search up to three categories at once, and exclude up to three categories.  Use our slick dropdown category selectors to pick your category, or directly enter the category number if you know it.  Your generated RSS feed link copied to your computer’s clipboard at the press of a button, so you can paste it into your plugin with minimal fuss!
Only two things:

1) Register on our site.  It’s quick and painless, and we only need a valid e-mail address so we can contact you if there’s a problem.  Registering gets you a UserID, which you’ll need to put in your feed links.  If you’re an eBay affiliate, enter your campaign ID(s) in your Profile, so we can further verify it’s you when we receive your link requests (and without a campaign ID designated, you won’t get ePN credit for your clicks!).

2) Replace the first part of your feed URL: http://rest.ebay.com/epn/v1/find/item.rss? with this: https://www.auctionrequest.com/arfeed.php?uid=(your Auction Request ID here)& (don’t forget the “&” at the end).  That’s it!  Your feeds will work perfectly without any interruption, or any of your users being the wiser.  We don’t actually need a lot of the junk that eBay put in your feed link, but it doesn’t hurt to send it to us; we’ll extract the info we need.  Remember that for Free users, your “campid” parameter (if any) will not be returned in the results we generate.
Our format follows the format that eBay established for their RSS queries.  In addition to those, you’ll need to send us your UserID as “uid=”.  For Premium users, you can also specify “cloak=0” to turn off Link Cloaking, and “geo=0” to turn off Geotargeting.  Remember, Geotargeting requires Cloaking, but not vice-versa.  If you do not send Link Cloaking / Geotargeting parameters, your links will default to the preferences you have set in your Profile.
The preview pane on this website only shows you up to the first ten results, so you can see how it looks.  Rest assured that your RSS feed will display all the results (up to 100 per search link) when put into your plugin.  They’ll look nicer there too.
When searching through the API, it takes each of your search terms exactly.  When searching on eBay, it uses a “fuzzy” search that will try and figure out what you want.  In many cases, the “fuzzy” search will introduce a bunch of results completely unrelated to what you were searching for.  For example, searching for Kaypro computers on eBay.com will give you such things as a signed photo of Pro Fitness model Kay.

To give your searches the best possible results, use the parentheses OR syntax like so:  rural (carrier, carriers) (sign, signs) to cover different possible pluralization of terms.
Very little.  You want to make sure your eBay Region and (for Premium users) your Campaign are set properly.  You must enter either a keyword, category, or seller in every search.  Minimum and Maximum price are optional; if you omit one or both fields, the system assumes you don’t want any limitation on minimum and/or maximum price.
Nope; knock yourself out!  And for Premium tier users, there’s also no limit on the number of eBay Partner Network Campaign IDs you can add to your Profile here.
We do have a limit in mind, but rest assured it is very high.  We haven’t had any users hit the limit yet, and we’ve witnessed some pretty heavy-duty usage cases so far, involving websites with thousands of individual pages.  Note that as we mentioned above, there is a caching system in place to reduce calls to the eBay API, and calls to the cache don’t impact your call limit.  Via the cache, free users’ results will update every 30 minutes, while Premium users’ results every 5 minutes.  Utilizing this cache system, along with extensive error checking (to prevent an API call being made until it’s “valid”) and bot-filtering algorithms, we feel it is extremely unlikely anyone will manage to get close to the call limit.  For Premium users, you can monitor your own real-time API usage via the Your Stats screen off the main page.
If you just enter keywords, separated by a space, the system will treat that as if you put the word “and” between each keyword:  Great AND Smoky AND Mountains.  Each of those keywords would need to be present somewhere in the auction title or description for you to find the item.

Using syntax, you have a much more granular control of what you’re searching for.  Hopefully this little chart explains it simply, along with the symbols to use:

           AND:   great smoky mountains
              OR:   (great, smoky, mountains)
     AND/OR:   great (smoky, mountains)
     EXCEPT:   great smoky mountains
       EXACT:   “great smoky mountains”

If you enter a seller name on the Sellers to Include or Exclude fields, the Top-Rated Sellers option becomes unavailable (it would lead to confusion on why a seller’s items weren’t appearing).  Similarly, if you select Top-Rated Sellers, the Seller fields disappear.  Also, due to API limitations, the Top-Rated Sellers option is only available for eBay regions US, Ireland, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK.
Yes!  Although from several test searches we did, you may wish to limit your searches to “Auction Only” when using this Sort.  Many of the “most watched” fixed-price items tend to be those where dozens or hundreds of the item are in the seller’s inventory, making us question the accuracy of the “Most Watched” count in these cases.  Your mileage may vary.
We do!  Obviously we’re first concentrating on getting everything up and running smoothly.  Once we’re there, some of the things on our wishlist include:

•  Providing larger pictures in results and/or a picture-size selector (will require plugin/reader support)

•  Additional advanced statistics on click-thrus, such as originating IP address, date & time of click, eBay region routed to, etc – downloadable as a CSV text file

•  We can possibly display more search results than the current limit of 100, but this would require plugin pagination support, as well as a good sense of how many people this would benefit (honestly, 100 seems to be enough, but if you’re itching for more, please let us know!)

•  Additional sort option Most Bids

•  Importing your ePN campaign IDs to your profile (for those with many campaigns!) via text file

•  Language localization for the website here

•  “IP Intel” for Premium users, to attempt to identify VPN / Tor users and un-geotarget them.  This would be a paid service that we’d have to subscribe to, so we’d have to weigh the benefits of this

We’d love to hear your suggestions on how we could improve, complaints, or praise, at our contact form.  We can’t promise the moon, but we’ll certainly endeavor to give you the best possible product as time and finances allow.

We recommend you cancel directly with Paypal. A guide on how to do this is available here.

Once cancelled you’ll be on the paid tier until the subscription ends.