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eBay Active Content Ban in 2017 – What It Means For Sellers

What is “Active Content”

Active content is found on eBay listings and store designs to provide enhanced functionality compared with simple listings and stores. Active content includes JavaScript, Flash, and dynamic form actions such as buttons, tabs and search boxes. Examples of items typically using active content are:

  • Feedback Widgets
  • Custom search boxes
  • Dynamic drop down menus
  • Cross promoting widgets
  • Freight quotes/Shipping calculators
  • Image galleries/Carousels
  • Embedded YouTube videos

Example of eBay Active Content – Auctiva scrolling gallery

Why is eBay banning active content?

Two reasons:

  1. Security – Active content allows the injection of element that pose a security risk
  2. Mobile experience – eBay know mobile is incredibly important to marketplace success and had to banning active content ensured a solid mobile performance.

When did eBay announce the active content ban and when will it take effect?

eBay’s Fall 2016 seller update (read here) announced ban will be in place after June 2017.

How can you tell if you have active content in your eBay listings?

eBay refers sellers to this checking tool by i-ways that was developed in conjunction with eBay.

Note - hyperlinks in eBay descriptions are fine to be included but are restricted to certain policies (the i-ways tool will show a warning). For example you can’t link to your own website in the eBay listing.

What are alternatives to active content?

It’s still possible to get the majority of functionality that your current listings and stores have – they just have to be created using different technology – most likely CSS and HTML.

That’s because eBay are not banning the features and widgets that have typically been created by Active Content. Instead they are only banning certain technologies they are describing as Active Content.

What do you need to do?

eBay has given sellers till June 2017 to adjust to the new changes and ensure all active content is removed from listings by then.

After that, if there is Active Content in your listings it will just not show on eBay or stop functioning which will look unprofessional and likely impact sales.

If you are using 3rd party listing solutions such as Auctiva, CrazyLister, Codisto, etc. make sure they are Active Content compliant before June 2017.

If you have edited your own templates using Active Content, either use eBay’s guide (here) to make them compliant or look for a 3rd party company who can provide eBay active content compliant listings.

What does this mean for Codisto users?

Codisto’s solutions – both Codisto LINQ and Xpress Lister contain a default template that is 100% eBay Active Content compliant. So, if you are using the default Codisto template, there is nothing for you to do – your listings are already 100% compliant.

If you have edited the default template or created/imported your own template – this may not be compliant and should be checked using the i-ways tool. If they’re not compliant, either use eBay’s guide (here) to make them compliant or look for a 3rd party company who can provide eBay active content compliant listings.

Is there an easy way to fix the Active Content problem?

There are two issues to solve:

  1. Ensuring the eBay listing template code is Active Content compliant
  2. Applying the compliant code to all your listings

As mentioned above, getting the code to be compliant can be achieved via a 3rd party listing solution, 3rd party design service or self-editing.

But only a listing solution that is database driven like Codisto’s Codisto LINQ or Xpress Lister can apply that template code to all your listings in bulk. The alternative is to copy/paste the code into every single listing (and it won’t be updated if your description changes later).

So if you are determined to stick not using a 3rd party listing solution, don’t leave template updating until the last minute – knock off a few listings every week. But there’s no doubt a listing solution is the easiest way to go.