Microsoft Excel provides a number of interesting features that can help you manipulate the data you receive from eBay Web Services. Sometimes you have to gather this data over time. For example, you might collect the current bid for an item every hour during the auction to chart the times of highest activity. After some time, you can chart the information for several auctions to see the general direction of sales for your product—at least on eBay.
Some types of statistical analysis for eBay Web Services are very time sensitive. Consequently, you'll want to use something like Task Scheduler to ensure the system gathers the data at the specified interval. You can perform this task in a number of ways, including relying on the automatic document execution feature of Excel. Simply opening the document ensures the macro runs.
The following sections demonstrate some ways to use Microsoft Excel with eBay Web Services. It's important to remember that these sections are just examples—you can use eBay Web Services in other ways. All you really need is an idea of how the data you can obtain from eBay works into your company's use of the Web site. For an in-depth treatment of the topic, see Mastering Excel 2003 Programming with VBA by Steven M. Hansen (Sybex, 2004).
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