Export Amazon Wish List items using Web Services

I was experimenting with Amazon’s Web Services API a little while ago and I was able to pull out my Wish List items in a halfway decent XML format. And, I didn’t actually have to write any code to make this work, so you don’t have to be too much of a geek to try this on your own. (Of course, you probably have to be a geek to want your Wish List items in XML format. Anyway…)

In broad strokes, you need to get an Amazon Web Services account, get the ID of your Wish List, and then access the URL that will spit out the Wish List as XML. It will only spit out ten Wish List items at a time, so you may need to do that step a handful of times. Here are the steps in more detail:

  1. Sign up for an Amazon Web Services account. They will send you an e-mail that contains your Subscription ID…you’ll need this in a later step.
  2. Open your Wish List and click “Compact view”.
  3. Copy/paste the URL of the Compact view page to a text editor…it will look like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/registry.html/ref=↵

    The ID of your Wish List is after the “id=” and before the next “&”. So, in the example above, it would be 2GFXLK8KWD6N9.

  4. Now it’s time to formulate the URL to actually extract the items…you’ll probably want to do this in some kind of text editor to copy/paste and move things around. Start with this: http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml?Service=↵

    Substitute “aaa” with the Subscription ID you got from the first step and “bbb” with the list ID you got in the previous step.

  5. Copy/paste your badass URL into a web browser and see what you get. When I did this, I got the first ten items in my list in an XML format. A little bit of Save As action in the browser and I had my file.
  6. Assuming you have more than ten items in your list, hit the URL again but change the ProductPage=1 to ProductPage=2 and you’ll get items 11-20 from your list. Hit the URL again with ProductPage=3 to get items 21-30 and so on.

You may notice that the XML contains the name of the item but not the author/artist, which is a little disappointing. But, each Item element contains an ASIN, which is the Amazon Standard Identification Number. Using that you could construct other calls to pull up all kinds of data about the actual item.

Will I ever actually use these files? Who knows. If someday I feel like messing with some programming stuff this is good fodder for that. Off the top of my head I’m thinking I’d want a piece of code to read the XML data and spit it out in some nicer format, or perhaps post each item somewhere else. (Backpack, maybe?)