How to scrape eBay without API for personal research?

Scraping eBay without using their API should be approached with caution, as it may violate their terms of service. Always ensure that your activities are legally compliant and respectful of eBay's rules. However, for educational purposes or personal research with no commercial intent, one might use web scraping tools to extract data from the website.

Here's a basic example of how you might scrape a page from eBay using Python with libraries such as requests and BeautifulSoup.

Python Example with BeautifulSoup:

import requests
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

# The URL of the eBay page you want to scrape
url = ''

# Make a request to the website
headers = {
    'User-Agent': 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/58.0.3029.110 Safari/537.3'}
response = requests.get(url, headers=headers)

# Check if the request was successful
if response.status_code == 200:
    # Parse the HTML content
    soup = BeautifulSoup(response.text, 'html.parser')

    # Find the items you're interested in. The class names are specific to eBay and can change.
    items = soup.find_all('div', class_='s-item__info clearfix')

    # Loop over the items and extract the data you need
    for item in items:
        title = item.find('h3', class_='s-item__title').text
        price = item.find('span', class_='s-item__price').text
        # Print or process the data as you see fit
        print(f'Title: {title}, Price: {price}')
    print(f'Failed to retrieve contents, status code: {response.status_code}')

Important considerations:

  1. User-Agent: eBay might check the User-Agent to block non-browser requests. Using a common browser User-Agent can help mimic a regular browser request.
  2. Classes and IDs: The HTML classes (s-item__title, s-item__price, etc.) are specific to eBay's page structure at the time of writing. They can change, so you'll need to update them accordingly.
  3. Rate Limiting: Sending too many requests in a short period can lead to your IP being temporarily blocked. Implement delays between requests.
  4. Robots.txt: Respect eBay's robots.txt file, which defines the areas of the site that should not be accessed by crawlers.

JavaScript Example with Puppeteer (Node.js):

For dynamic content that requires JavaScript execution, you might use a headless browser like Puppeteer. Here's a basic example in JavaScript:

const puppeteer = require('puppeteer');

async function scrapeEbay() {
    const browser = await puppeteer.launch();
    const page = await browser.newPage();
    const url = '';

    await page.goto(url, { waitUntil: 'domcontentloaded' });

    // Extracting items from the page
    const items = await page.evaluate(() => {
        let results = [];
        let items = document.querySelectorAll('.s-item__info.clearfix');
        items.forEach((item) => {
            let title = item.querySelector('.s-item__title')?.innerText;
            let price = item.querySelector('.s-item__price')?.innerText;
            results.push({ title, price });
        return results;

    await browser.close();


Final Notes:

  • Automated web scraping of eBay can lead to legal issues if not done in accordance with their terms of service.
  • Always retrieve data at a reasonable pace to avoid overloading the servers.
  • Use the official API whenever possible to avoid these issues and to get data in a more structured and reliable way.

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