Active Content and eBay – debunking the myths

ebay active content compliant design

Ebay’s fall seller release in 2016 announced that active content would be taken out of eBay. Seller forums were set alight with questions and speculation. Frooition customers have been supported through the changes, but there has been a wealth of misinformation spread about this topic, and so as eBay official certified partners, we are taking the top myths, and debunking them with the truth.

Myth 1:

Active content ban means a ban on design

Ebay have not said that they want to remove design. Ebay themselves had us create them a listing design for their packaging supplies store. At eBay open in July 2016, Shan Vosseller, eBay’s senior director of product, pointed out that it was still important for sellers to brand and merchandise themselves well. Alternatives to active content can create stunning designs. All of our eBay designs for the past six months have been created active content free. This includes feature rich designs.

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Myth 2:

Listings are ok as long as they don’t have video

Active content is not just videos. In fact, moving images are not necessarily active content. Active content consists of scripts and plugins that add functionality to a page. Sellers who use listing services or custom listing templates may have Active Content. In terms of content, active does not specifically refer to movement on screen.  In eBay’s context, it refers to the ability to change page content after the page has finished loading. Animated GIF images do not fall under that classification and will still be allowed in eBay listings under the current guidelines. While some video formats will no longer function, eBay is currently allowing videos that use the MP4 format and the <video> tag. Moving animation that can be created using pure CSS will still be allowed.

Myth 3:

No active content means a return to hard coded HTML

Many content policy compliant designs are made up of cut and paste html with hard coded categories and cross promotion features. These are time consuming to maintain, unscalable and potentialy harmful to an eBay business. The Frooition development team have put a lot of time in, alongside eBay, to create software that supports dynamic catagories and cross promotions that automaticaly update and can be edited by sellers with just a click of a button.

Myth 4:

Ebay will clear listings for sellers

Ebay worked closely with Frooition, as their their official certified third party design provider, to find active content free solutions for sellers. But it is the responsibility of every seller to make the decision on what is the best course of action for their own business, and to have those changes implemented. Content can be removed either manually, or with the automated listing rescue service, listings can be left plain, an active content free template can be applied, or a full bespoke active content free design can be put into place. There are many options, but it is up to each seller to decide on action for themselves. Ebay will not be fixing listings.

Active content can inhibit mobile purchasing, creating longer load times, increase security vulnerabilities, and have a negative impact on the overall user experience. For these reasons, eBay are stopping its use in listings from June 2017. JavaScript, Flash, Plug-ins and form actions will all be blocked. These changes to active content are to enhance customer experience and encourage people to buy on eBay. Ultimately, these changes will help eBay sellers to make more money from eBay.

If you are unsure about active content and your eBay store, contact us for your free listing review. 

Active Content and eBay – debunking the myths was last modified: February 10th, 2017 by Jessica McDonald