Start preparing for eBay’s ditching of active content

To create a better mobile experience, make pages load faster, and reduce security risks, eBay has decided to phase out ‘Active Content’ in all item description pages by June, 2017. Active content includes JavaScript, plugins, Flash, and form actions. After June, 2017, if active content is still in your item descriptions, they will not show properly and will cause a poor buyer experience – or worse –  prevent buyers from making a purchase. eBay will also be ditching active content in eBay Store Pages later on in 2017. eBay wants all its sellers to be prepared for this coming change.

Preview disabled active content

If you are an eBay seller, eBay has put a notification over each item description with a link allowing you to preview how your item description would look with active content disabled (‘view your item page > item description tab > preview’):

eBay Ditches Active Content

Advanced users and third party partners can also use the free i-ways tool to find out which elements in their listings are not compatible with mobile and which active content are used (like JavaScript, CSS media queries, HTML forms, mobile incompatible plugins, and HTML links found in source codes).

Item description no-nos
These items are unnecessary or prohibited in the item description:

  • Page view counters.
  • Embedded buyer feedback – Seller feedback is already in the Seller Information box.
  • Currency converters – conversion is done automatically for buyers and sellers
  • Social sharing icons – ones that violate eBay’s listing policy.
  • iframes – these violate eBay’s HTML and JavaScript policy.

Active content alternatives
As replacements for active content, sellers and eBay Store Subscribers can avail of these alternatives:
Alternatives for all sellers

  • For all sellers, eBay lists these simple alternatives to active content:
    Standard listing fields – Should be used to replace tabbed panes which are commonly used to organise information like postage, payment methods, returns and contact information. The advantage of standard listing fields is that they work best across devices. While eBay discourages the use of tabbed panes, if you must absolutely use tabs, eBay recommends using only HTML and CSS for this.
  • Standard eBay gallery
    Active content image galleries can be replaced by standard eBay’s standard gallery feature.
  • HTML 5 Video tag
    Instead of active content methods of presenting videos in your item descriptions, eBay recommends using HTML5 <video> tags for now, while eBay is still ‘working on compatibility with popular video hosting sites’.

Vehicle parts and accessories

  • eBay provides a parts compatibility feature for specifying compatibility for vehicle parts and accessories. Or you can just use an HTML table to list compatible vehicles.

Alternatives for eBay Store Subscribers

  • Promotions Manager – This can be used to cross-promote related items.
  • eBay Store newsletter module – This can be used to sign up users for newsletter subscription
  • eBay Store header search – The eBay Store header search would be the only way to search your store once eBay starts ditching active content. If you wish to have the store header search available on your listings, eBay recommends putting a custom listing frame, which can be set up by heading to ‘My eBay > Account > Manage my Store > Marketing Tools > Listing Frame.’

For more details, see eBay’s best practices for replacing active content.