If you sell on eBay, you know eBay occasionally makes changes that can potentially disrupt your business. If you don’t have a plan of action, these disruptions could really hurt. Big changes are coming to eBay this June, and there’s a good chance they will affect you. This is particularly true if you use a customized eBay Template to create your Listings. It is important that you understand the June 2017 changes to Active Content. More importantly, you need to know what you can do to prepare for these changes before it’s too late.
What is eBay changing in June 2017?
Starting this June, eBay will block all Active Content from your Listings. If your eBay Templates create Listings that contain Active Content, any Listings you create will be crudely stripped of all elements and functionality that require it. This will leave you with thousands of unprofessional-looking, chaotic, and potentially-broken Listings.
What is Active Content?
Rather than bombard you with every possible instance of content that will be blocked starting in June, I urge you to use the Active Content Preview link that eBay has inserted at the top of all Listing Pages. Clicking Preview (circled below) will show you what will happen to your Listing if you don’t update that Listing by June 2017.
Note: Log into your eBay Seller Account to access this Active Content preview function.
Alternatively, you can try this Bulk Active-Content Scanner by ISDNtek if you’re using a variety of different Templates to create your eBay Listings, or you don’t want to log in.
Why is eBay blocking all Active Content from Listings?
There are 3 primary reasons that eBay has provided to both Sellers and Designers for blocking Active Content, and these reasons make some sense. [Speculating about the unstated reasons behind blocking Active Content is another story, and shall be investigated at another time.] Here are the 3 official reasons we’ve been given:
Active Content is a “Security Threat”
- Hackers target web elements containing Active Content for exploitation.
- eBay can’t control the safety of externally-hosted Active Content.
- Sellers understand [or accept] giving up functional and attractive content for the sake of safety.
Slow Page-Load Times
- Active Content can require very large amounts of data, which can slow down page load.
- Many eBay Sellers include huge files in their design that are too big for optimal use on the Internet.
- Loading elements from external locations can slow down page-load.
Mobile-Responsive Shopping is the New Normal
- Almost everyone now shops on Mobile Devices
- A lot of Active Content doesn’t display or function correctly on Mobile Devices.
- Mobile Bandwidth and Processing Power are slower and lower, increasing the need for clean, simple, CSS-based designs instead of complex animations.
I heard that Active Content is (now or eventually) being blocked from Store Designs, too. Is the sky falling?
Not yet. Contrary to popular hysteria, the same blocking will not be happening to your actual eBay Store Design.
Blocking Active Content on the Store Page itself would strip too much functionality and branding, fatally limiting the advantages of selling on eBay, and creating a mass-exodus of fed-up sellers. This doesn’t mean eBay won’t eventually do it. It just means that it isn’t happening in June 2017.
eBay has not announced any plan or timeline to block Active Content from Store Pages, and has confided in both designers and sellers that they have no intentions of doing so.
If eBay did decide to block Active Content from Store Designs in the future, could I still be a successful eBay Seller?
Yes. NinjaTemplates is aware that eBay may eventually strip eBay Store Designs of Active Content.
While we are confident that they will not do this, as it is overwhelmingly against their best interests, we are prepared to create Store Designs that also comply with any such changes.
No matter what changes eBay makes, NinjaTemplates will offer customization for your Store Designs. This customization will increase the functionality for eBay Sellers to the maximum degree that is physically possible. If you are an existing NinjaTemplates client in such a case, we will offer a full recode of your Store Design to ensure compliance.
We would never let our clients suffer such indignities without providing a comprehensive solution at an incredibly-fair price. Can you say the same for the designer that sold you Active-Content plug-ins after they found out that those plug-ins were going to be blocked? Chances are they’ve made the $350 “recode-fee” sound like a bargain. If you ask us, we can think of at least one better course of action.