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Sellers on large sites like Amazon and Newegg need to provide names, descriptions, and images for their products to be displayed on the e-commerce sites.

These sellers could have 10000+ products to sell, each with their own unique name/descriptions/images. I can't imagine that e-commerce sites would have their sellers upload each product individually through some standard HTML form. Especially when a product can have multiple images, this method of uploading just seems too inefficient.

I'm guessing these sites allow sellers to upload via an API that the e-commerce site provides so that the uploading task may be automated with a script, but how exactly is this accomplished? Through JSON? JSON works great with text strings, but JSON doesn't allow for file uploads (so images can't be uploaded?).

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Large sellers like the one I work for generate feeds formatted a specific way for sites like amazon, ebay and so on. These feeds are text files on our website that have all of the information the company we're selling on need.

The sites, like amazon, will scrape our feeds about every our and update their catalog. Images are actually hosted on our site, they only get the url. Some places will follow the url and download the image, others simply hotlink to your site.

Formatting is a little different for each site, but they are all very simple. Just text with line breaks. Not JSON or XML. There are a variety of plugins that these companies offer to help facilitate the process. For example ebay has m2epro to allow a Magento based site generate feeds for listing on ebay.

The key is to keep things simple. No one likes for the listers. No one likes jumping through hoops to get their items listed.

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If you need to upload multiple items you can submit the form via a iframe or even jQuery as long as your site is developed with that in mind so the user can't just click "home" and the upload stops. Personally if it was a bother to the users I'd launch it into it's own window so the user can continue to use the site while the form continues to upload.

Also JSON can support files, you'd just have to read the contents into the JSON but that will not benefit you in any way as the files will still have to be uploaded.

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