Because I’m not a coder, I have to dig around looking for tools and tweaks that are publicly available and then bend & twist them to my will.
Here’s an eBay workaround I’ve found that helps make affiliate life a little easier:
Install and activate the firstRSS WordPress Plugin. This will allow you to display RSS feeds within your WordPress posts.
- Tip #1: Open the firstRSS.php file and change the cache_time to something like 30 minutes so that your eBay listings will always be fresh. Also change the items_limit to a reasonable amount–eBay’s lowest search results option is 25. I don’t know about you, but a blog post with 25 auction items displayed isn’t all that appealing.
- Tip #2: You can choose to display both pictures & auction titles/information or just the auction titles.
eBay RSS Feed Generator: Generate the rss feed for the items you want to display within your WordPress posts.
- Tip: Because the feed isn’t going to refresh every second, set the listings to end in more than 1 hour (found in eBay’s advanced search area) so your visitors will always view live auctions from your blog.
When you’re wanting to display auction results within a post, simply insert [rsspara:URL] or [rsslist:URL] within your blog post where you want the ebay auction results to display. Replace the URL with the ebay rss feed url. To display all the auction info, use rsspara, rsslist displays the titles only.
Benefits: Highly targeted ebay items are displayed within your blog posts since you can get very specific with your search terms. This method also keeps your juicy data private since you’re not using a third party feed display setup.
Drawback: It takes time to go to eBay, make your search & create your rss feed. Not much time, but it still has a lot of room for more automation.
Solution: I created my own WordPress Quicktag for eBay RSS results (read here how to do that). Now all I have to do is click my eBay quicktag when writing a blog post and simply edit the search phrase to what I want.
If you’d like to grab my copy of the quicktag hack, here’s the file: eBay Quicktag. Just save it as quicktags.js and upload to wp-includes/js folder.
Important: Make sure to change the afcj=12345 to your Commission Junction affiliate PID to afcj=yournumber.
The eBay quicktag displays in front of the “more” quicktag. You can move that wherever you want.
When writing a post, simply click the eBay quicktag to insert the rss ebay code. Change “insert+keywords+here” to whatever auction search results you want displayed (remember to use + between each word).
Customization Tip: You can create a special div to wrap around the rss code. For example: Have an ad box that aligns to the right of the page within the post that just lists the auction headings. Have the background a different shade than the rest of the blog post. The sky’s the limit ;). Simply include the <div=xxx></div> in the quicktag info so that it’s automatically included and add the div to your CSS file.