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With Discounts Manager, sellers create discounts that draw attention to a set of items by offering discounts on the item's regular sales price.

The Marketing API works with listings that have been created with the Trading API as well as items that are managed with the Inventory API.

Perhaps the best thing about discounts is that eBay lets sellers create item discounts for free. There is no fee associated with creating item discounts and there is no fee associated with selling discounted items.

Note: The Marketing API is available to any seller who has an active eBay Store subscription. For details on the Discounts Manager requirements and restrictions, see the Marketing API Overview.

Note: As of July 8th 2024, promotions are now being referred to as discounts on Seller Hub and eBay help pages. Sell Marketing API documentation has been updated to reflect this product name change, but note that no API interface changes have been made.

Discount types

Discounts can be a either a percentage off the standard price of an item, or a monetary amount that's subtracted off the standard price. With Discounts Manager, discounts can apply to either one item, a set of items, or an entire order.

You can configure two types of discounts using Discounts Manager:

  • Item price markdown discounts – A straight-forward monetary or percentage discount off the standard price of a listing. Sellers "markdown" the price of a selected set of listings.
  • Item discounts – Known as "threshold discounts," these are more nuanced than markdown discounts because the buyer needs to meet an established "threshold" before the discount triggers. By configuring threshold discounts, you can create discounts such as:
    • By 1 Get 1 Free
    • Spend $60, Get 20% off
    • Buy 2, get 10% off, Buy 3 get 15% off (Volume Pricing)

This rich set of operations lets you create client-side dashboards where you can use getPromotions to populate a seller's dashboard, then offer management actions on any of their currently-configured discounts.

Highlighting discounts in Buyer experience

Listings in active discounts are highlighted with teasers that draw attention to the discounted items. Teasers are placed in all eBay buyer flows and they can display on Search Result pages, the View Item pages of discounted listings, and within cart and checkout flows.

Linking to your discounts

eBay helps you promote your discounted items by creating an Offer page for each discount you run.

The URL for the Offer page is static, so the link you use doesn't change if you modify the discount. eBay also creates an All Offers page for every seller who runs discounts, giving sellers a way to publicize all their discounts at once.

Because the Offer and All Offers pages are hosted by eBay using static URLs, sellers can advertise their discounts by publishing those URLs on their social networks, websites, and other marketing collateral. With static links, sellers don't need to worry about their links becoming stale as they update and modify their discounts.

Creating effective discounts

You can use the Marketing API to:

  • Merchandise and cross promote seller items
    Cross-promote items by featuring them in a related-items module on the discounted item's page. This works best when you highlight other eligible items that are related to, or complement, the other items being discounted.

    While a Buy 2 or Spend $50 discount encourages interest in the items you list, being able to view related items in your inventory encourages positive buyer behavior. Even if a buyer doesn't purchase the discounted item, seeing related items has its own appeal and it’s a great way to encourage buyers to explore what else you have on offer.

  • Manage margins
    The Marketing API lets you choose the discount strategy that is right for your business. If you don't think a flat discount is the best option for your target audience, then you can implement a 25% off if you spend over $75, or perhaps a 15% discount if you buy 3 or more. The wide variety of discount types means you can craft appealing discounts while managing your margins in the process.

  • Combine Promoted Listings with discounts
    Use a Promoted Listings campaign to raise the visibility and showcase your discounted items. Here, when buyers view your discounted item's View Item page, you can promote the other listings in your store using cross promotions. By combining promotion types, buyers can be exposed to the other items in your store each time they click through to a View Item page via a Promoted Listing.

For more information on how to create effective discounts, see the Seller Center.

Reporting on discount performance

Sellers can track the performance of their discounts with two types of reports. Call getPromotionSummaryReport and getPromotionReports to get statistics that can help you gauge your discount activity and effectiveness, which can help you target future discounts.

Discounts Manager on Seller Hub

While sellers can take advantage of the Marketing API to create and manage their item discounts, they can also create and manage discounts using Discounts Manager (an app that's hosted by eBay on Seller Hub).

While the Discounts Manager application offers a nice GUI to set up and manage discounts, if you're creating sets of discounts, then the Discounts Manager interfaces in the Marketing API provide a powerful way to automate the creation and management of seller discounts.