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    Does anybody know how sites like this one are able to get data from eBay? Does eBay give them privilege to the data, or did they write incredible code and programming to automate the extracting of the data. Do sites like eBay give access to feeds that make creating things to use the data easy?


    This phenomenon is what we call an API… or Application Programming Interface. It’s essentially a very bare-bones tool for building applications around. Often times, it will be raw JSON data that developers are basically free to do whatever with… assuming they follow terms and conditions/various copyrights.

    Remember the old iPhone slogan? “There’s an app for that!” Well, in the modern webdev world, I like to say “There’s an API for that.” There is literally an API for ever major service out there.

    What’s the benefit for the companies? Wider exposure and a richer more vibrant community. When you work with APIs, you get a useful tool on your site… but you also bolter their usership. It’s a really interesting thing.

    Here is a good crash course that will at the very least help you understand:

    This should probably be in Other Discussions. Hey @Paulie_D, can you migrate this to Other Discussions? It’s not really a Design topic.


    For what it’s worth, I know a guy whose brother works for Google. He runs a used video game website. He and his brother used the eBay API to build a sniper bot in Google’s Go language. It’s pretty effective, as they always get the best price on used gaming equipment, which he then resells for a nice profit.

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