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:

  • Security – Active content allows the injection of elements that pose a security risk
  • Mobile experience – eBay know mobile is incredibly important to marketplace success and 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.

When is the deadline?

eBay has given sellers until 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.

What does this mean for Xpress Lister users?

If you created your listings using Xpress Lister there is nothing to do - your templates are automatically Active Content compliant.

However, if you originally created your listings on eBay or have edited the Xpress Lister template in any way then your listings may not be Active Content compliant.  They can be checked using the i-ways tool

If you need to make your listings Active Content compliant use our guide here



<< See all Channel Cloud articles