eBay Disabling Active Content - Meeting Their New Requirements

You've probably seen the announcements from eBay. They've been getting the word out that they're disabling active content in June 2017.

But what is active content? Do you have active content in your listings? How do you update your listings if you do?


This article addresses these questions:

  1. What Is Active Content?
  2. Do I Have Active Content in My Listings?
  3. How Do I Remove Active Content From My HTML?
  4. How Do I Update My Listings and Listing Templates?
  5. What Do I Have to Do Differently to Update Imported Listings?
  6. Related Articles


What Is Active Content?

Active Content is a term used to describe JavaScript, Flash, plug-ins, and form actions. eBay wants to remove active content from listing descriptions in order to decrease load times and streamline viewing for mobile shopping. Active content is only found in the eBay Description HTML, not in the title, item specifics, or other listing details.

eBay's idea to streamline listings is a good one. However, it does have implications for sellers.

For more info, see eBay's article on Replacing Active Content: http://pages.ebay.com/sell/itemdescription/bestpractices.html.


Do I Have Active Content in My Listings?

Not all sellers use HTML, and not all HTML contains active content, so you may not be affected by eBay's new policy.

If you are using older HTML templates, professionally designed eBay templates, or never updated previously imported listings, you may have active content. Here are three options for determining whether or not your listings contain active content:


eBay's Built-In Previewer

To use eBay's preview feature, log into your eBay seller account and view any of your item pages. The preview option is located at the top of the Description.

As a note, we have heard some sellers mention that the previewer didn't accurately preview their listing.


Third Party Previewer

eBay has also been referring sellers to a third party tool that screens for active content, this Mobile-Friendliness Test.


Inside Solid Commerce

1. In your eBay Market List, click on the gear icon and expand the eBay Listing Details section.


  • If the only text visible is an HTML tag for the eBay Description field (<main:description />), close the eBay Listing Details pop-up and click on the pencil icon for your product. Select your eBay Description and proceed with Steps 2 and 3.

2. Press Ctrl+F on your keyboard to open your browser's find bar.

3. Search for the following active content tags and keywords:

  • <script
  • /vbscript
  • javascript:
  • <object
  • <embed
  • .swf
  • <applet
  • <form action=
  • iframe

4. If you find any of the tags or keywords, your HTML contains active content. You need to have the active content removed.

If you don't find any of the tags or keywords, but you have listings with different eBay HTML, you should check version of the HTML. If you don't find any tags or keywords in any of your HTML, you don't have active content in your listings and you don't need to take further action.


How Do I Remove Active Content From My HTML?

If you find active content in your eBay template HTML, you need to have it removed.

If you update HTML that already contains tags for Solid Commerce, it should still contain the tags that allow it to automatically populate with information (product name, main image, etc.).

If you get a new design, or your HTML doesn't automatically populate with the correct details when it posts to eBay, you or your designer need to add the Solid Commerce tags. To learn how to add the tags, see Adding eBay Descriptions to Your Listings and Automatically Populating eBay Templates.

Here are three ways to have the active content removed from your HTML:


Create a New Template Through CrazyLister

CrazyLister makes creating a new eBay HTML template fast and easy. You can choose from over 200 designs and quickly modify them through CrazyLister's user interface. All of their templates are 100% eBay compliant.

CrazyLister has a Solid Commerce integration, so you can simply copy their HTML code into your Solid Commerce account. It already contains the Solid Commerce tags that will allow it to automatically populate with product details.

Here is some info about fees and service cancellation:

  • CrazyLister charges a monthly fee for their service. They are offering Solid Commerce clients a flat fee of $45/month. That fee includes unlimited listings. You may also be able to receive a discount if you prepay for an annual agreement.
  • If you cancel service with CrazyLister at any point, please note that a banner will be placed over your eBay Descriptions on your live listings.

To learn more, please see CrazyLister's Solid Commerce Integration Partners page.


Contact Your Designer

If you had a designer create your eBay HTML template, you can contact them about removing the active content.


Contact Frooition

Frooition is a well regarded and respected eBay HTML template design company. They have been helping their clients remove active content from older designs. They have also volunteered to talk to Solid Commerce clients about their HTML.

  • Andrew Evans, one of their Senior Design Consultants, has offered to be the primary contact for Solid Commerce clients. You can email him at andrew.evans@froo.com.
  • You can also find general info on frooition.com.



How Do I Update My Listings and Listing Templates?

The easiest methods for updating your listings depends on which version of the eBay Listing Templates you are using in Solid Commerce.

If your eBay Listing Templates page looks like this screen capture, you are using the latest eBay Listing Templates. Please see New UI - Removing Active Content From eBay Listings and Listing Templates.


If your eBay Listing Templates page looks like this screen capture, you are using the original eBay Listing Templates. Please see Legacy UI - Removing Active Content from eBay Listings and Listing Templates.



What Do I Have to Do Differently to Update Imported Listings?

When you create new listings through Solid Commerce, the eBay Description field is used for a short product description.

When external systems like ours import eBay listings, eBay provides all of the HTML in the description field. There is no way to extract the product description text from the rest of the HTML.

That means that when you want to update imported listings through Solid Commerce, you need to overwrite the imported HTML with simplified product descriptions. For recommendations on the best ways to extract your product descriptions, see Removing HTML from Imported eBay Descriptions.


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