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Edit your listings to meet eBay secure HTTPS content requirements

By Chris Dawson August 29, 2017 - 10:15 am

We wrote earlier this month that stronger browser standards are coming and that eBay.com advised removing HTTP content from your listings or replacing it with HTTPS content (content stored on a secure server). eBay UK and other sites across the EU will be making changes to eBay.com which will impact how your listings are displayed if you don’t edit them in the near future.

From October 2017, any externally hosted content such as cascading style sheets (CSS), images, or HTML5 that don’t use the HTTPS communications protocol will display with a not secure icon depending on your buyer’s web browser. Frankly this is likely to put off buyers.

To avoid any negative impact on your sales, you should contact your hosting provider or third-party partner before October 2017 to find out whether they support HTTPS. As long as they support HTTPS, your item descriptions and images should display properly. You may need a little extra to have your images stored on a secure server.

It’s very likely that if you host your own images these will be on an insecure server. Whilst we’re well aware of all the arguments in favour of hosting your own image (more than 12 images, larger images etc), this could well be the time to consider scrapping your own hosting in favour of eBay Gallery Images. You get 12 free eBay Gallery images, they’re fully optimised for mobile and browser size and eBay will ensure they’re hosted on a secure URL for you.

The US announcement said “To avoid any negative impact on your sales, you should contact your hosting provider or third-party partner before October 2017 to find out whether they support HTTPS. As long as they support HTTPS, your item descriptions and images should display properly”. We don’t know if this will be the same in the UK, or if your listings will simply have a big notice stating that the page is insecure to put buyers off.

Regardless how eBay handle your listings, the only sensible thing to do is to move to a secure server (Check out Tamebay’s URL and notice the secure padlock item in the browser bar and the https://tamebay.com URL format).

To help you identify insecure content, eBay have developed a tool with iWays which is available for eBay.co.uk, eBay.com and eBay.ie.

  • ifellow
    6 months ago

    Great news, especially when most sellers have not even removed active content.

    Would have made sense to add this in with the active content update.

  • Ian A
    6 months ago

    Hopefully won’t be a problem as my website which hosts my images already uses https:// – I’m actually up to date with technology unlike a certain company worth 38 billion

    Wish they’d invest in improving / future proofing the platform. It would give me more confidence as a seller. If I can make my website HTTPS over a year ago.. whys it taken them so long – new browser standards have hardly come out of nowhere

    • 6 months ago

      There was no urgency for eBay to adopt HTTPS until Google started to penalise anyone who did not.

  • Simon Everett
    6 months ago

    I wonder if anyone can help me.
    We host our images on a server which is currently http so hasn’t got a SSL certificate.

    If I buy a SSL certificate and the server suddenly becomes secure, will I have to change the URL of the image in the ebay HTML from http:// to https://
    or will the customer’s browser automatically know that even though the address is http:// behind is a secure SSL.

    The html is currently coded as http://etcetc/picture1.jpg

    • Simon Everett
      6 months ago

      Oh dear just discovered the answer!!

      ====

      Secure listings (HTTPS)

      Contact the domains hosting your content (e.g. photobucket.com) to ensure they are HTTPS compliant. eBay is working with domain hosts to ensure as many as possible are ready for the stronger browser security standards.
      When you’ve confirmed with domain hosts that they support HTTPS, find all uses of “HTTP” in your listings and replace them with “HTTPS.” eBay’s bulk edit tool can make this quick and easy. In Seller Hub’s “Listings” tab, select noncompliant listings, click Edit, then Edit fields, and select Item description. In the “Item description” field, click the drop down to select Edit listings in bulk – find and replace.
      Active content

      Remove Active content from your listing description. Active content is a broad term that covers any type of non-standard text in item descriptions to provide additional functionality. It can negatively affect the user experience by preventing sales on mobile devices, increasing page load times, and raising security risks.

      Visit Replacing Active Content for examples of what to remove from your listing descriptions.

  • 6 months ago

    Yeah, a couple of simple search and replaces should do the trick in most contexts with regards to SSL proofing.

    Even if your listings are in a state you can code together an API based solution to run through your listings and replace HTML description strings such as

    src=”http://
    vocab=”http://

    , etc with their https:// equivalents.

    best to check your CSS image references also 🙂

    Then update the associated description and you’re sorted.

    Or update your descriptions using a similar but manual, time-consuming way with ebays bulk listing tool. Again, the time this takes depends on your total number of listings.

    If you’re going through a third party for your descriptions then I’d hope they have already sorted your listings out by now, otherwise best get on the blower to them and remind them what you’re paying for 🙂

  • Gareth
    6 months ago

    I use self-hosting for style sheets and images. I’m happy to switch to https, but eBay need to make everything more explicit to users so they understand the consequences. In the forums some people have been talking about eBay trials being run on their accounts, whereby their entire description is hidden, and only viewable by a button that the potential buyer has to click in order to view it. Some were told by eBay staff that it was testing in preparation for the https changes coming with Google. I don’t see how that makes any sense, but there you go.

    eBay ought to recommend everyone switch to https for self-hosting, or they should allow people to upload a series of pictures with each listing for free, on their own secure servers.

    • 6 months ago

      Yeah, running a trial that way doesn’t make any sense to me either. It would be better to simply message the seller via the ebay messaging system regarding the listings concerned, with a set deadline, simply to raise awareness to the issue and give sellers and actionable target.

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