Which listings should you amend? Sellers confused about eBay active content

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It’s long been expected, and now the eBay active content ban is in place. Needless to say we’ve written about this before, so if you need to know more, check out previous posts.

And eBay has also been chasing sellers to comply. A fairly strident email has been sent to numerous sellers in the past few days telling them to amend listings. And the penalties are potentially stiff.

As they say in the email: “We’re writing to let you know, that as of November 8, 2017, some of your listings are in violation of eBay policies and require immediate update.

XXX of your listings contain(s) non-secure HTTP content. Starting in October 2017, Google Chrome – the browser used by almost half of all eBay buyers – will begin displaying the message “Not Secure” in the address bar when users visit standard HTTP pages or HTTPS pages that include non-secure HTTP content. We encourage you to immediately remove this content.”

But there are also mixed messages. A Tamebay reader has been in touch to say that she has received warning that over 100 of her listings are still not in compliance. That email came from eBay directly and said that listings could be removed if they don’t meet the new eBay active content standards.

Unhelpfully the email received cited fewer than half of the item numbers of listings that required amendment. A truly useful email from eBay would specify not just each and every listing that they considered non-compliant but also the reason why. Such detail was sadly lacking.

But then she has also reviewed her listings via the I-ways tool recommended by eBay in the Seller Centre.

And that recommended tool says that all her listings on eBay are compliant.

So which is correct? Our seller is seeking clarification from eBay customer support as I write and is concerned that eBay could pull her listings without warning, or recompense, at any moment.

It’s obvious that most sellers are keen to comply, play fair and abide by the rules. And most sellers will get behind any change that increases sales and conversion on eBay.

But eBay isn’t being a helpful partner here when it sends such mixed messages. What has your experience been?

42 Responses

  1. We get the Ebay compliance message. The number of items they say are not compliant varies between 65 and 30,477 depending on which system error is occurring at the time.

    Clicking on one of the “offending” items is interesting, as it usually has no issues to fix. If it does, however, the fix is duly applied and the list of items refreshed. Guess what, the item still shows as non-compliant.

    After 15 years of jumping through Ebay’s hoops, we’ve made a decision:


    If they want to end our items, GOOD! We’ll put them on one of our other sites, where they will actually sell.

  2. hi hope this helps,we had the same yday,even though we have 120 listings with exactly the same template design,only 40 of them came up as being none secure,even though ive previously checked them all of them on iways tool and all pass with flying colours.so i tried revising them all and still the same 40 are there,and they all have the secure padlock next to them as well when checking out the listings in question,but i noticed this morning the list has now gone down to 38 not 40,and it seems the 2 ones that have removed themselves are the two good till cancelled listings that renewed themselves last night.so in theory over the next week when my remaining listings renew themselves mine will be fine,but thats no good if ebay decide to remove them in the meantime,especially when theres nothing wrong with them!lol
    hope that helps and makes sense

  3. We’ve had a number of reports of this problem throughout the community, such as listings being non-secure. Yet when checking, all show the green padlock correctly and there’s no non-secure resource in sight.

    I think the automation monitor eBay have in place is extremely flawed and this worries me because they’re likely to be penalising sellers who are in fact compliant.

    With the run up to Christmas, eBay are really picking a bad time to start enforcing new policies.

  4. They couldn’t have chosen a better time to upset and distract sellers from concentrating and planning to get ready for peak period. Thats arrogance at its peak by ebay pen pushers. We have started work on our shopify store now as we will never be able to please this arrogant mob. Well done ebay you have successfully upset majority of the sellers.

  5. Apparently 27 of my listings are non compliant. Its slightly confusing though as they are all text based listings with no links or anything else embedded.

  6. I have been assured by a “specialist” at Ebay that Ebay will not be proactive in removing any listings until early next year. Thats what I have been told but you know that sometimes you can get contradictory info from Ebay (but this was a specialist so I am happy with this info).

    However I feel that the listing should be fixed now as Google Chrome will not display the secure padlock (if you have active content) that many people look for. This will effect your conversion rate and give your listing less visibility as a result. My advice is to make the time to fix listings now.

  7. I have nearly 1000 listings which are non-compliant – all because of eBay’s own Turbo Lister logo. I’m having to go through each one individually to remove the offending hyperlink. It’ll take me weeks. Seriously unamused.

  8. gosh thats strange,how can they say that on a text only ad!lol.thanks for that alan,gives us a little more peace of mind.i cant understand though, on the .com site it states they wont remove any listings for http,and then it says the ones that are secure they will create a small ‘see full item description’ button which you click on instead to prevent this,but the email we received seemed a lot more threatening.

  9. I have around 20,000 with the turbo lister logo. Surely ebay can remove it?? I have had no emails to say I am not compliant with the active content issue.

  10. Ebay told me on the phone recently that an email I received from them regarding Active Content was potentially a Spam email and they asked me to forward it to their Spoof department, which I did. Spoof replied confirming that this received email was in fact not from Ebay and was Spam, but very cleverly written to think it was from Ebay. They also told me to always double check my messages from within my Ebay account if worried. A copy of all official messages sent by Ebay are shown in messages.

    They also told me that the Active Content Deadline had been postponed to March 2018

  11. A few weeks ago ebay started putting tasks in the task section of my seller hub, all of which were content removal tasks. That was great, I just worked my way down the list and fixed them all. The task list was a great idea. Well done ebay. Hurrah!! BUT yesterday ebay sent me a message with a list of item numbers that needed fixing so I have to go backwards and forwards pasting them in. Why didn’t they use the task list THEY put there for this very eventuality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If it made them feel better they could have sent me a threatening message as well. What a bunch of wozzacks.

  12. I had the same message about HTTP protocols and when i rang ebay i explained that the pictures in the description used to be a link to photobucket i had since changed that. But when you go into your description in HTML mode the wording is still all there with http.
    I rang them explaining that a customer cannot access or see this area and they said not to panic the issue raised is a google thing not ebay and items would not be removed however i have corrected them all (600 listings) in just 5 minutes.

    They just need to get their stories straight one email says one thing and a rep says another but its their threatening tone that grates.

  13. How did you fo it Mark?

    Additionally I spent time, monry and effort uodating all of my lstings to find some had reverted to older versions!

    I think Amazon and EBay forget we’re the ones who pay their wages and if they keep peeing us off then we will go. Not the first time an Empire has collapsed.l

  14. The issue is the Google blog post that they refer to as starting the HTTPS issue states that it is an “Eventually” not a from X date… Its also dated April but the email for HTTPS issues only hit us yesterday (8th November)


    Looks like ebay are either running scared of google after the EAN / UPC google shopping issues and over reacting to anything google posts or just didn’t look into the situation properly and are creating un-needed (at this time) work for sellers.

    We are updating our listings – but I’m sure most would rather have a firm date that google are going to start the change for all http pages rather than put a lot of work into something that might not come.

  15. I did all my listings in bulk 2000 took about 5 min as it is the ebay / turbo lister logo

    bulk edit and use the find and replace function in item description

    find listing that is not compliant click on the HTP warning this brings up the link that’s the problem

    I copied this in to the find box left the replace box empty and then update all done and now compliant

  16. None of this works properly and we are sick of this. The tool that is supposed to show listings with problems doesn’t work. Sometimes we click on the link and it brings up hundreds of listings, saying that we need to edit out phone numbers and email addresses. Sometimes it is just a few. When we try and use the bulk edit and replace tool, most of the time it doesn’t work and, when it does, these edited listings are note removed from the overall list. Most of the time, listings that are supposed to contain phone numbers and email addresses are absolutely fine when you go to edit them!

    How does ebay expect us to change thousands of listings without a working bulk-editing tool? I have talked to customer services on numerous occasions and have been told outright that this will not be fixed. Our only option apparently is to change them all one at a time. With over 5,500 listings, I can tell you now that this will not happen so eBay needs to sort itself out.

    And whilst I am nicely warmed up, by telling us to remove phone numbers and email addresses from listings, eBay has effectively accused all sellers of being thieves. When I asked customer services why they did this I was told that customers had been trying to chase up sales via eBay that had been performed off the platform. Therefore, they reasoned, sellers have been encouraging their customers to operate outside of eBay, doing them out of business.

    The reality is that buyers will use eBay but will also sometimes seek out a seller to deal directly. There are plenty of big brand names selling on Ebay that also have high street shops and websites of their own. So when a customer gets confused about where they bought something just accept that the customer has got confused about where they bought something, rather than go off half cocked and ban all phone numbers and email addresses from listings!

    A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with a competitor about something of mutual interest and suggested we have a chat. I had removed phone numbers from our address months ago but included my mobile number in the message. eBay immediately banned me from sending any messages for 7 days, including customers! We were receiving 20-30 emails a day from customers and could not reply! Customer services even said they could see the message and confirmed it wasn’t an attempt to deal off-site but still couldn’t do anything to lift the ban. Which lunatic is responsible for coming up with these rules?

    In the end we had to go into the paypal records, pull out the email addresses and make contact directly. The irony is that when we explained to customers why we had to do this, they reacted with such disgust that several offered to deal directly!!

    If you had asked me 2 years ago if I would recommend eBay as an avenue to new businesses I would have said yes but lately this has just become a farce with more and more ridiculous hoops to jump through and no regard for the implications.

    I started another business 18 months ago and I can tell you now I have absolutely no intentions of using eBay.

    Come on Messrs Branson, Musk, Bezos and Gates – eBay is ripe for the plucking. All it needs is a company with the resources to create what eBay should be and you would have sellers and buyers falling over themselves to come over!

  17. We had an email from Ebay saying we had 102 non compliant listings, we went into all of them, which was time consuming, and found that non had any issues. After carrying out this check, making no revisions, 95 of them left the list! We are stuck with 7 which pass all eBay tests, but for some unknown reason are still flagged

  18. We had the same message- I immediately withdrew the “offending” item and placed it on another sales website. I sold the item this morning. I’m talking about an item selling in the thousands of pounds- not pennies. Still, no eBay fee for eBay. The site is a joke, the support is appalling and the arrogance of the company beggars belief.

  19. I had the same email last night, these were all checked by the I-ways tool and everyone of the listings were correct.

    18 weren’t supposedly, one had even eBay’s own variation question mark on mine. I had to work out why it wouldn’t except it.

    Everyday there appears in my inbox an email telling me to do this and change that. In the end there will be only the bigger companies on there such as currys or Argos.

  20. I’m constantly being reminded that 500+ of my listings are non https compliant.

    I know that all my listings are fully compliant. They all use exactly the same template and style sheets so God knows how only some of them can be dodgy.

    Hopped on live chat this morning to be told that all my listings are, surprise surprise, fully compliant.

    That being the case, I did ask why all my listing pages are still being flagged by chrome as not secure.

    Not a scooby was the answer.

    On closer inspection the non-https content on the pages seems to all be advertising bumpf.

    I remain none-the-wiser and awaiting a response from the relevant fleabay “experts” ha.

  21. And now this, whenever you try to edit a listing:

    “The requested data is currently not available due to an eBay system error. Please try again later.”

    Sellers pay milions in fees to Ebay and they don’t even keep their ****ing site running.

    They must take showers in champagne at Ebay towers with all that money, because they don’t spend a bean on their I.T.

  22. How do you sort the problem out? I just list straight onto ebay, I don’t use a 3rd party anything yet 82 of my 130 listings are non-compliant. I am a basic computer user and have no idea how et around this. Everything I read about this violation is so confusing,

  23. Hi how to do it simply is as follows.

    Go to bulk edit and select edit item description then in html mode select the middle option edit listings in bulk -find and replace.

    Then in the top write http and in the bottom write https

    update that and its job done. It finds each one in the listings and corrects it.


  24. Hi Mark

    As far as I know, that will only solve the problem if the server where your images/templates are stored upgrades to become https compliant so people need to check first before doing this, otherwise it could break the links.

    Also, from our own personal experience, the bulk search and replace is not reliable. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. Ebay knows about this and won’t fix it.

  25. I got my 27 listings down to 3 by removing the Ebay “Powered by Seller Manager” (or close enough) badge from the listings. 3 are still non compliant. On one of them I removed everything, including the background HTML and rewrote it as text only, and its still non compliant!!!!

    EDIT – Checked again 5 mins ago and its now clear.


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