Is eBay Blocking your listings because of “Active Content”?

Is eBay is banning Active Content in your listings?

For the last several months, we’ve all been getting the annoying e-mails from eBay that they are banning active content and to remove your active content.  Although eBay isn’t blocking your listings from showing up in the eBay search, you may want to understand why they are doing it and how to fix it asap.

What is active content?

Active content is basically coding that many 3rd party listing services used to make your listing “pretty”.  They used apps like Flash, JavaScript and other plugins to embed galleries of your other listings, chat widgets, search functions, direct links to off-site galleries and a ton more.  If you were or are using a 3rd party listing or inventory program, then most likely you ‘ve got active content on your site.  If you do, don’t worry, your listing is still live on eBay, only the active content is not working.

Why did they remove it?

Active content is basically a security nightmare.  If you’ve seen the news anytime in the last few years, there is always a breach or hack on some company or software.  Flash is probably the most notorious and that’s why it’s basically going away for good.

Here’s what eBay has to say about it: “The use of active content in listings, including JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins and form actions, can negatively impact the user experience by inhibiting mobile purchasing, increasing page load times, and increasing security vulnerabilities.”

The other main reason why they are no longer using it is the customer experience.  For one, it slows down the speed of the page loading.  They say that if a page doesn’t load in 3 seconds, the average customer will just abandon it (I hope this page loaded within 3 seconds so you can read this article). So if you are like me and your livelihood is dependent on customers buying your items on eBay, you want to make sure they see your page.  That is also why they are removing it.  Almost 60% of eBay sales start on a cell phone.  3rd party apps like Flash don’t load on cell phones.

How do I fix Active Content in my listings?

If you are like many sellers, you have hundreds or thousands of listings and it can be a huge pain to edit each individual listing.  There are several services that will do that for you, but be prepared to spend some money.  Here is a link from eBay with a list of all their trusted partners http://pages.ebay.com/sell/itemdescription/bestpractices.html#helpmanaging

I personally like and use InkFrog for many reasons but because it’s cheap, effective, and has great search features, but feel free to check out any of the others. If you want to check out which listings have active content, just visit http://www.isdntek.com/ebaytools/ActiveContentScanner.htm, it’s free and they also have a free bulk edit feature (but it’s not the most user friendly).

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