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Web Scraping

Scraping Ebay with Froxy Scraper

Learn how to easily scrape product listings from eBay with Froxy Scraper - a powerful web scraping tool. This tutorial will show you how to use Froxy Scraper.

Team Froxy 27 Mar 2024 4 min read
Scraping Ebay with Froxy Scraper

You can write a parser from scratch or using ready-made libraries (Python libraries, parsing libraries for Golang). Likewise, you can buy special software or use a specialized cloud service. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

Below, we'll talk about the simplest and the most convenient approach for beginners – scraping eBay using Froxy Scraper. Let's review the process using the example of collecting data from the popular trading platform – eBay.

The Value of eBay Scraping

eBay is one of the largest trading platforms in the world. Here you can find not only goods or services but also a huge array of data for analysis: prices and offers from competitors, activity of potential audience, trends etc. This has a great business value.

However, getting this data isn't easy. Interestingly, eBay provides ready-made API interfaces, which significantly simplifies the process for some user categories, but does not solve the problem completely as there are strict limits for API usage (the number of calls) and they do not always cover current needs.

Classical eBay scraping has its own problems and peculiarities we’ll discuss below.

The Value of eBay Scraping

This is what data collection from eBay sites may be required:

  • Competitor analysis. Parsing data from target pages (category pages, sellers etc.) allows tracking price levels, product assortment, coverage (sales volumes) and multiple other business indicators, including parameters and interests of the audience. This analysis allows studying the competitors better and developing more effective sales strategies;
  • Market research. The use of the up-to-date data allows choosing a more profitable niche or analyzing growth potential, test hypotheses etc.;
  • Product development. These can be your own physical products or services that will enjoy special demand on eBay as well as digital services – for partners, for yourself, for mass consumers. If you learn to parse eBay, the processed data and analytics can be resold to others.

Challenges with Scraping eBay

Since eBay serves billions of users worldwide, any parasitic load here can lead to notable extra expenses (primarily an increase in hosting costs).

To prevent abuse, eBay actively fights against all clients who attempt to gather data from the platform's pages using automated means - parsers (what parsing is and how scraping differs from web crawling). Businesses are also proactive and invent various ways to circumvent this. For example, we have already discussed stealth accounts for eBay.

This battle will never end. For instance, eBay may analyze authentication attempts in one account through different IP addresses in vastly different locations (a client physically cannot move at such speed). It may also track timings between requests and their frequency. As a result, parsers have learned to create random delays between requests and wait longer, employ special "headless browsers" to emulate the behavior of real clients etc. Learn more details on the best practices for web scraping without getting blocked.

Challenges with Scraping eBay

The most effective and truly efficient means, underlying the bypass of most blocks, however, is the use of rotating proxies.

It's worth noting that eBay clients may resort to using special API interfaces. However, separate load limits apply to them (official documentation). For example, you can access analytics tools no more than 400 times a day from a seller's account. This is very limited. To upgrade your status, you need to undergo a special verification process, which will help eBay ensure the actual growth of your business.

Moreover, for many countries, mandatory security checks using separate digital signatures are required when using the API.

The conclusion is that it is simpler and faster to use a ready-made eBay scraping tool. Our own product - Froxy eBay Scraper - belongs to this very category. We will discuss it below.

Setting Up the Froxy eBay Scraper

Setting Up the Froxy eBay Scraper

The eBay Froxy Scraper - is a ready-made online tool for collecting data from product cards on the eBay website. You don’t have to install anything. What you need is to formulate a query, configure scanning options, wait for the results and download them for subsequent analysis. That’s a real profit!

This is how the eBay data scraping procedure looks like when using Froxy Scraper:

  • Step 1. Register an account or log in to an existing one.
  • Step 2. Top up your balance or use the free limit for testing.
  • Step 3. Create a new parsing task in the web interface:
  • Select the target eBay site from the dropdown list;
  • Formulate and enter a search query (up to 200 characters);
  • Specify the country/region from which eBay web scraping will be done (this option will automatically filter proxies and set up their rotation);
  • Define the scanning depth (up to 120 items per page, maximum of 10 pages for one query).
  • Step 4. Launch the parsing task (simply click the save button).
  • Step 5. Wait for the process to finish.
  • Step 6. View the results online in your personal account or download the data in a convenient format (JSON/CSV).

If the task requires periodic repetition, you can use the scheduler. It allows setting the frequency of request completion (data collection): every hour, every three, six or 12 hours, or daily.

If the task starts with an error, the parser will attempt to restart it after a minute. If all 10 attempts fail, the task will be marked as erroneous.

Why Froxy Scrapers?

Why Froxy Scrapers?

  • This is an online solution. There's no need to install anything on your PC or server, keep track of updates. All you need to access the parser is a modern browser, nothing more.
  • Our parser is already configured for the structure of eBay pages. Thus, a client doesn't need to delve into technical nuances - study HTML code and selectors, search for repeating patterns. Even non-specialists can configure the parsing task (without any specific knowledge).
  • Extremely simple interface.
  • Quick retrieval of results in a tabular form + the option to view them directly in the personal account.
  • Regular task completion by timer (convenient for continuous monitoring).
  • Provision of webhooks for automatic result downloading (you can configure fetching information from the parser into your own program or script).
  • Calculation based on tokens (one token equals one scanning request).
  • No need to separately rent proxies (all-inclusive format).
  • The ability to choose the region for parsing - any country in the world, due to Froxy's extensive network coverage.
  • The larger the prepaid package is, the more cost-effective each individual request becomes.

Conclusion and Recommendations

conclusion

You can go the traditional way: use specialized software for web scraping eBay or write your own script, purchase proxies and parse eBay as much as you need. However, practice shows that only specialized experts or true programmers can handle such a format.

We offer a simpler and more accessible solution - the online Froxy Scraper. Calculation is based on tokens (the number of parsing requests), there is no need to connect or install anything etc. There will be minimal settings and the parser will take care of all the work. Anyone can handle it.

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