eBay Deadline

UPDATE: eBAY officially announced starting Monday June 26, 2017 all remaining active content in listings across all devices will be turned off. 

eBay in their 2016 Fall Seller Update mandated that active content will no longer be allowed in listings starting in June 2017. We are only days away from the enforcement of this policy.

WHAT IS ACTIVE CONTENT?

Just in case you took a sabbatical in Tibet for the last year, let’s quickly review the most common active content types that eBay wants you to remove:

  • Javascript
  • Flash
  • Any plugin that does not state today they are active content compliant
  • Form actions such as drop down menus
  • Video embeds unless explicitly stated as eBay active content compliant by your design company or listing service

In short, your listing may only contain HTML and CSS elements. Any function that calls a third party to perform an action, including many of the popular 3rd party suggested sell galleries, must be removed.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T REMOVE ACTIVE CONTENT?

Your listings right now will continue to stay on eBay as eBay will just turn off the active content. However, this will impact your listing visibility and sales:

  • Lower search position as eBay will favor quicker loading listings
  • Inconsistent or damaged display of your listing depending on the function your active content provids to your listing
  • Listings with active content will not relist as listings will be blocked from being re-listed on eBay. The same algorithm that prevents new listings with active content will prevent re-listing of expired or sold listings.
  • Restrictions on live listing revisions

There was no announcement yet that stated any listings would be removed. Just implementing the above restrictions will force most active content off the site quickly.

You can check how your listing will display without active content by clicking on this section in your live listings:

eBay Active Content Warning

Again, even if it still displays correctly, there are performance issues for your listing that will impact your sales. Do not ignore removing the active content just because it displays good.

BEWARE OF HIDDEN ACTIVE CONTENT FROM OLD PLUGINS

Less talked about but crucial to research in your listings is active content that has been dormant or orphaned for a long time.

You may have GTC listings that are years old and have gone through various templates. Alternatively, you may keep using an older template on newer products that at one time included active content that you thought is removed.

Many galleries and plug-ins that could be included in your listings automatically may left orphan pieces of their existence in your listings even after you used a the same automatic removal process.

You need to do a little homework on finding these orphans if you suspect they exist. You can use this free Active Content Scanner Tool by ISDNTEK to find visible and hidden active content in your listings.

Some services offer to strip your listings of active content by brute force. However, we suggest you do not use them as that may create other problems.

Instead, you should fix your listings with bulk editing tools provided by your listing tool. Of course, you can also edit directly on eBay on a per item or bulk basis.

IS THE NEW LINKS POLICY PART OF THIS ACTIVE CONTENT POLICY?

No, that is a separate policy and fortunately for this one you have until September to fix your listings. There are also some open questions on allowable links and domains for links, and we will update you on that during the Summer.

Don’t worry about doing too much now. Fix the active content problem first.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING SO TAKE ACTION NOW

If you procrastinated on this issue, you need to act now.

For many sellers, the Summer months are weak points in their season. Ignoring this policy change will only compound the problem of lower sales.

Assume that many of your competitors have refreshed listings and made the required fixes. You do not want to lose your search position because their listings comply with the new policy.

Even if your initial fixes are mostly removing the content, you can add active content compliant rich functionality later. There are new options available for suggested selling galleries and video embeds.

Most listing services, such as our eBay template partner WidgetChimp, have updated their templates to comply with the new policy. They also have added new replacement rich functionality that previously required active content.

However, you may have to create new templates from scratch as often changes to existing templates will not work. Third party listing templates cannot fix this issue for you as core elements of their functionality are based on active content.

That is why a new template is the typical required change. Check with your third-party template designer how to implement their fixes.

DO I HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OTHER EBAY HOSTED PAGES?

If you are using a store, you may have custom pages that use active content. For now those are excluded from this ban, but eBay already announced that in 2018 that will change.

See source link below for eBay’s Active Content information page. It includes additional tips and information that provides additional tips and details to make your listings active content free.

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