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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. Use eBay tools or third-party partners to replace any active content in your listings.

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. This policy will extend to eBay Store pages in 2018.
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

eBay has a built in preview tool where you can see what your listing looks like with and without active content. You can find this tool at the top of the description on your item page. 

Simply go to: View your item page > item description tab > preview  


To understand what needs changing in your listing you can use the free i-ways tool to find details on the types of active content contained in the listing as well as other recommendations to make the listing more mobile-friendly 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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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 (up to 24 pictures if you're listing in the Vehicle Parts & Accessories category). Adding more images can help increase your sales. 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 from certain video hosting sites in your listing by using the appropriate HTML5 tags in the item description. 
The allowable video hosting sites are:
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Screencast
  • Kizoa
  • Brightcove
  • Ustream

Example HTML5 code for embedding videos within your item description:

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

  <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 via API. 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.  We suggest you provide flat rate freight shipping so these charges are clear to your buyers while they’re browsing. Another option is to include a link to your preferred carrier’s website, where they can view shipping costs (make sure this link complies with eBay's link policy.), or add a small rate table into the listing using HTML code.
In late 2017, we'll upgrade the Seller Rate Tables. Up to 20 cards will be available to provide even more accurate shipping and freight charges to your buyers based on their location.  

Tabbed Panes

It is possible to used tabbed panes through the use of HTML and CSS code. This is not recommended as they're not mobile compatible and create an undesirable buyer experience. Our tests have shown that tabs have less than a 3% click through rate by buyers. 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.  

If you still have reason to create custom tabbed panes, create them by using only HTML and CSS. Below you'll find an example code to create a four-tabbed pane. You can cut and paste this code into the HTML tab in your item description when you list.

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Template Creator

eBay and iWays offer a free tool to create simple listing templates. The Free Template Creator lets you either update all your listings at once or you can download the HTML code to use in your templates.

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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. If you're a store subscriber, you can find all this information on Seller Hub. Go to the listing page to see 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.
  • iframes: The iframes tag is not allowed in accordance with the eBay HTML and Javascript policy
  • HTML4 Elements: The following HTML4 elements have been removed in HTML5. Don't use them in your item descriptions.
Removed Element Use Instead
<acronym> <abbr>
<applet> <object>
<basefont> CSS
<big> CSS
<center> CSS
<dir> <ul>
<font> CSS
<strike> CSS, <st> or <del>
<tt> CSS
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Links must open in a new window or tab
You can include links in your item descriptions as long as they comply with eBay's link policy.
If your item descriptions contain links, they will need to open in a new tab or window.  To achieve this, you must include the target=”_blank” attribute in the html code in your links. If you don’t include this attribute, the link may not work. 
Here’s an example of a link which is defined properly:
<a href="" target="_blank">visit ebay</a>
To make sure your links include this attribute, and to add the attribute if required, go to revise your listing and click the HTML tab in your item description. 
Most likely you will see a larger line of code appear.  
1. Find the code which refers to a link, it will look like this <a href="">Your Link</a>
2. Leave a blank space after the last quotation mark (“)  and copy in : target="_blank"
3. Return to the Standard view and save the listing.
Everything will look the same, but once you set the listing live this link will now open up in a new tab or window.
Here's an example to help you out:
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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 to manage their business! It combines all of eBay’s seller tools in one location - from creating your listings to managing the returns process. It shows you valuable analytical information including traffic to your listings, number of views or watchers and provides recommendations to help you make informed decisions and grow your eBay sales. Click here to access Seller Hub.

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