What about videos and the new eBay Active Content rules?

No primary category set

Later in the year eBay will be putting to place a series of new rules that will restrict the use of Active Content in eBay listings. It’s banned already in new listings but must be removed from older listings by summer. Here’s the eBay page on the changes.

We’ve also written about it here: How to get your eBay listings mobile ready (and remove active content).

So we were surprised to receive an email from a Tamebay reader and eBay seller, who was informed: “We’re writing to let you know that as of 07 March 2017, at least 16 of your listings on the eBay.co.uk sites contain active content. From June 2017, active content (e.g. JavaScript, Plug-ins or Flash, iFrame and form actions) will no longer display in your eBay listings.”

Interestingly all of these are listings with video embedded, and as far as we were aware, video embedded from a reputable hosting site is permissible even under the new rules. You can find the video rules here.

Our seller contacted eBay support and was informed: “Unfortunately there is no way to maintain the embedded video. Its OK to generate a HTML link for the buyer to follow to You tube and view the view, but the Iframe and the plug ins least of all the flash content will not be displayed in future, or even at present given Apple software does not support Flash coding.”

We got in touch with eBay HQ and it would seem that this information is not correct. Apparently videos from approved sites are still allowed and should be embedded using the HTML5 <video> tag. Additionally, they are working with the key video hosters to ensure that vids can be used in eBay listings in a way that works well on mobile. So watch this space for developments.

Needless to say not a huge number of sellers utilise video in their listings. They are useful for big ticket items and listings that you’ll use again and again that benefit from an illustrative movie. They could make sense for a car, a drone, indeed anything with moving parts that can be shown off. And these days, with apps, you can transfer a video from phone to YouTube et al in a matter of moments. But vids certainly aren’t the norm.

So what is the best course of action for sellers who have had videos flagged as unsuitable? Or who use them and haven’t had them flagged. Assuming we’re talking a manageable number, it’s probably best to sit tight. You have a few more months until the rules mean such listings are ended and hopefully by this time eBay will have an unambiguous solution and will advise accordingly. But don’t start new listings with vids in the meantime.

19 Responses

  1. The big question is why, having imposed more changes without consultation, Ebay does not provide a tool for sellers to identify which listings require attention.

    We had an Ebay message telling us 3,321 of our listings had active content.

    Clearly, they know which ones need to be changed, as they can specify the exact number.

    So WHY don’t they provide THE SELLER with details of WHICH ONES need attention???

  2. Does anyone know a approved HTML 5 free site to use for videos which provides the html code to add into the listing?

  3. Yes, but I agree with Andy. The Ebay tool is rather useless. It is very slow, and can handle only 1 listing at a time. When you have hundreds or thousands of listings it simply isn’t practical from a time point of view. I’m inclined just to wait and see which ones are removed.

    i am not sure I trust the tool either. I can show 2 listings which are fundamentally identical in structure, wording, layout, everything. Apparently 1 doesn’t have active content, and 1 does. How can this be? And the tool doesn’t tell you what needs to be changed anyway. So it has very limited value.

  4. We got an email from ebay yesterday with the item numbers of some, maybe all of out listings with active content. This has helped us recognise the ones that need changing. Hopefully this will be their approach over the coming months.

  5. I can enter two item numbers into the tool both using the same template, one will fail, one will pass.

    I’m sure we will all survive.

  6. Videos help when selling used items as they can give more details that photographs and show the device working.

  7. I have a small eBay shop and it’s just taken me a couple of weeks to revise my 250+ listing to remove the active content and then I get a message from eBay to say 58 of them aren’t compliant but have only given me item numbers for 10!! I’ve used i-ways (one item at a time) which says they are OK for active content but not mobile or CSS whatever that is – I think that eBay could be more helpful and give us some basic codes to copy into our listings to make them compliant – do sellers need a degree in computer programming now?? Like many sellers, I’m retired so the last thing I need is to have to learn HTML. I’ve looked at the i-ways template but am not impressed.

  8. The only way we have been able to have our customers be able to embed videos into a listing is to self host the video then link it from your URL into the description, youtube currently will not work.

  9. I got the same e-mail from Ebay. Interestingly after checking the listings there was one without any active content on it all all. There was talk of a Youtube uploader for Ebay but I’m wondering if they are having difficulty integrating this into the site.

  10. Hi Folks,

    We can audit your listings for you and give you a comprehensive list of item numbers that do not comply (free and no strings attached), see here: https://www.esellersolutions.com/ebay_2017_active_coding_requirements.html

    Just a heads up on video, the HTML code that eBay provides works on desktop and mobile compatible software from a desktop, but does not seem to render correctly on actual mobile devices. We are looking into this and working on a solution.
    Please drop us a line if you have had the same issue.

  11. Am I nuts? For the last two days I have turned on Preview to view listings without active content and all of my YouTube videos still show and play.

  12. The current situation with this is a classic left/right hand discombobulated cluster flop…

    eBay still has its limitations on where video content is hosted from but the acceptable hosts do not support the HTML5 code as is…

    QED: There is no solution that will allow listings to survive past the June deadline…

    Promises of solutions in the Autumn quarter of last year have naturally failed to materialise so it’s going to be a case of remove and wait until someone in charge realises it’s a problem…


eBay Payments to ditch American Express from August

eBay Payments to ditch American Express from August

eBay for Business Awards 2024 – Win £10,000!

eBay for Business Awards 2024 – Win £10,000!

New eBay Explore AI shopping discovery experience

New eBay Explore AI shopping discovery experience

eBay Alhan Gençay sneakers and gaming collab

eBay Alhan Gençay sneakers and gaming collab

eBay Appoints Amy Bannerman as its in-house Pre-Loved Style Director

Step inside eBay’s Love Island shared wardrobe

ChannelX Guide...

Featured in this article from the ChannelX Guide – companies that can help you grow and manage your business.

Register for Newsletter

Receive 5 newsletters per week

Gain access to all research

Be notified of upcoming events and webinars