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Active Content

From June 2017, you’ll no longer be able to use active content when creating your listings. Find out how it affects your listings.

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What's Changing?

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From June 2017, you’ll no longer be able to use active content when creating your listings. This is to help make sure your listings perform optimally on mobile devices, improving the shopping experience and helping you sell more. 

By acting now you can make sure that you’re fully prepared for June, ensuring that your buyers will be able to see all the content displayed in your item descriptions.
Active content is a broad term which covers any type of non-standard text that can be included in item descriptions, usually used to provide additional functionality. Examples of active content include JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions. Listings which contain the following will most likely use active content:
  • Image galleries or carousels
  • Videos
  • Parts compatibility
  • Embedded buyer feedback
  • Freight calculator
  • Tabbed panes
  • Store search field
If you use any of the above features in your listings, we have outlined a few alternatives below.
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Why Are We Making These Changes and What's The Benefit?

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We’re making these changes to improve the overall buyer experience on eBay. By removing active content from your item descriptions, your buyers will benefit from faster load times, listings that are easy to navigate from mobile devices and a more secure marketplace.

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Active content can cause: the benefits when removing active content:
Longer page load times Faster page load times
Possible security risks A more secure marketplace
Prevention of purchases on mobile Optimisation for mobile devices


What You Need To Do

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1. Check to see if your item description contains active content

Use the free i-ways tool, built in collaboration with us. This tool lets you see exactly whether your listing contains active content, the type of active content and if it’s compatible with mobile. It also suggests how you can optimise your listing for mobile as over half of all sales on eBay happen on mobile devices.


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  1. Enter your eBay item ID (this is the unique code assigned to each listing, example 112060745235).
  2. Click “check now” and wait a minute or two.
  3. Receive an overview detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the listing, including advice around what to do to make sure the listing works well on both mobile and desktop.
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You can also use the preview tool that will appear in your item description, to see how your listing will display.
Simply go to: View your item page > item description tab > preview  
2. Use active content alternatives

If you’re using active content in your listings, we’ve developed some alternatives for you as well as provided some example code which will let you include similar features in your descriptions without the use of active content. 


Image Galleries or Photos 

Use our standard gallery feature to upload up to 12 photos and order them as you like. Our gallery includes handy buyer features such as zoom, so make sure your pictures are of good quality and contain no watermarks. Click here for more information on this tool.


Product Videos

You can include videos in your listing by using the appropriate HTML5 tags in the item description. 

Example HTML5 code for embedding videos within your item description:

<video width="320" height="240" autoplay>

  <source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4">

  <p>Here is a video of the product</p>


Read our Links policy for more information on what video content is allowed in an eBay listing.


Parts Compatibility

You can specify compatibility for Vehicle Parts & Accessories using the existing eBay parts compatibility feature in the listing flow or alternatively, embed a simple HTML table to give the complete list of compatible products.

Note: Using an HTML table will not make it possible for buyers to find your specific product through the standard search functions. Click here for more information on how the compatibility feature works. 


Freight Shipping Calculator

Calculators built with active content won’t display properly after June 2017.  Instead, you can include a link to a separate off-eBay shipping page, such as from your preferred carrier, containing the costs for shipping, or a small rate table can be pasted into the listing using HTML code.


Tabbed Panes

It is possible to used tabbed panes through the use of HTML and CSS code. 

However, this is not recommended due to sizing issues on mobile. Instead of creating tabbed panes to organise information over multiple pages, such as postage, payment methods, returns and contact information, we recommend using the options available in the listing flow to create the most complete listings which work best across all devices.  

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Features That Shouldn't be Included in Item Descriptions

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We recommend sellers don’t include the following features in their item description as they often use active content:
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  • Page view Counters: The number of page views is shown in the seller view of the item description on each listing. On Seller Hub, the listing page can also be customised to show the number of page views and watchers per listing.
  • Embedded buyer Feedback: Feedback is already included in the Seller information box of each listing. Buyers can click on the seller's Feedback score in that box and the Feedback page will load. Click here for more information.
  • Currency conversion widgets: We'll automatically display currency conversion for buyers and sellers when necessary.
  • Social sharing icons: Including links in your listing to social media sites isn't allowed. View our Links policy for more information. All listings include icons to share via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email.
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Active Content Alternatives for eBay Store Subscribers

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If you have a Store subscription, we offer easy alternatives.
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  • Cross-promoting items: Use Promotions Manager to cross-sell related items. This tool lets you show related items to your buyers. Click here for more information on this tool.
  • Newsletter sign-up: Direct buyers to your eBay Store where they can subscribe to your Store newsletter.. Click here for more information on this tool.
  • eBay Store search: Once the active content changes come into effect, buyers will be able to search your Store only by using search in your eBay Store header. You can use the listing frame feature to include a version of your store’s header in your listings. To set up a custom listing frame, head to My eBay > Account > Manage my Store > Marketing Tools > Listing Frame.
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Seller Hub is a free tool for all store subscribers. It shows you traffic on your listings, number of views and watchers and other analytics insights that will help you to make informed decisions and grow your eBay sales. Click here to access Seller Hub.

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