Removal of off-eBay links, listings security, product identifier expansion, image guidelines, and eBay Catalog update.
Remove contact info and links that take buyers off eBay
Earlier this summer, we announced that sellers will no longer be allowed to include contact information, such as email, phone numbers, and social media links in item descriptions, titles, and other eBay pages. We also announced that links directing customers to sites other than eBay are only permitted from approved domains and for product videos (reviews, product demonstration, or installation), freight shipping services, and legally-required information. For permitted links, please follow these guidelines to ensure they open correctly.
Since our announcement last summer, we have added exceptions to our policy. You can include links to terms and conditions (T&Cs) pages in Gift Cards, Digital Gift Cards and eBay Gift Card categories. Links to domain names or websites for sale are also permitted in Domain Names and Internet Business & Websites for Sale categories. You are not permitted to include links to the warranty T&Cs within your listing. However, you may create an item specific about the existence of a warranty and include a link to T&Cs.
If you wish to provide your customer service phone number for post-transaction support, you can use a new eBay feature that makes your customer service phone number available when a buyer uses "Contact seller." You can opt in to the feature within "Manage communication with buyers" in your account settings.
No other off-eBay contact information or links are permitted.
If your listings are noncompliant, you will receive a warning via email to remove contact information or links. You will also receive notifications in Seller Hub and My eBay if you have listings that require your attention. Listings that are not corrected by October 15, 2017 may be subject to the following actions:
- Removal from search results
- Unsuccessful submission of new or revised listings containing contact details
- Modification or removal of noncompliant content
- Other account-level action
In addition, we don't allow our members to use eBay to contact each other to make offers to buy or sell items outside of eBay. Violations of this policy can result in a range of actions, including your messages being blocked, limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account. Sellers are liable for final value fees if they offer or reference their contact information, or ask for a buyer's contact information, in the context of buying or selling outside of eBay, even if the item does not sell.
Secure your listings
Beginning October 2017, Google Chrome-the browser used by almost half of all eBay buyers-will begin displaying the message "Not secure" in the browser's address bar when users visit HTTP pages or HTTPS pages that include non-secure HTTP content. In order to protect your sales, your buyer will now see a snippet of the item description and a link that they can click to see the full item description if your listing contains non-secure HTTP content and your buyer is using a desktop computer to view your listing. If you want your listing to show the complete item description, you will need to update the HTTP content. The mobile experience will not change. We're providing you with an eBay-approved tool to check your listings for HTTP content.
Sellers who have non-secure content in their listings should reference this page for detailed guidance on how to update their listings. eBay is also working with third-party providers to prepare for this change. Many of them will be able to provide bulk editing options to update non-secure HTTP content in your listings.
Expanded requirement for product identifiers
Product identifiers for New and Manufacturer Refurbished items, and now the Seller Refurbished condition, are required in certain categories. We are also expanding the requirement to Used condition to some of these categories. Learn more about where identifiers will be required for the Used condition.
Effective October 19, 2017, you will be required to provide product identifiers for newly created or revised listings. Product identifiers include:
- Manufacturer Part Number
- Global trade item numbers (e.g., UPC or ISBN codes)
This requirement will be expanded to include Good 'Til Cancelled listings for Seller Refurbished and Used conditions in 2018.
Inclusion of product identifiers in your listings improves visibility and creates a more consistent buyer experience on eBay. Listings that have valid product identifiers are eligible for increased exposure in search engines, such as Google and Bing, and product reviews, as well as insight into trending prices. Listings that do not have valid product identifiers may not submit successfully. Learn more about using product identifiers in listings.
Product identifiers are required for certain important functions on eBay. However, if your item is manufacturer-unbranded or custom made, product identifiers may not be available. In those situations, select "Does not apply" in place of an identifier.
Image policy changes
Watermarks are no longer permitted on images uploaded with eBay listings. We will monitor images for watermarks and notify you when we identify images that do not comply with our updated image policy.
Sellers who continue to include watermarks in images will have their listings removed from search if not corrected by March 1, 2018.
Images play an important role in the shopping experience. We recommend that you review your images and start removing watermarks immediately. Ensure that your images are compliant by using photo best practices on eBay.
Matching new listings to the eBay catalog
Beginning in Spring 2018, when you create new listings or manage those that are already active on the site, your items will automatically be matched to products like yours in the eBay catalog. We will use the product identifiers you provide in your listings to find product matches for the item you are selling.
Off-eBay links FAQs
Why is eBay making these changes?
We are making listings enhancements to ensure a safe and reliable shopping experience for buyers.
Will eBay help me identify my listings that include business or personal contact information?
Yes. If you have listings that include business or personal contact information, you will receive guidance via Seller Hub and My eBay to help you identify and update your listings. Please remember that you are responsible for reviewing and updating your listings in order to comply with the policy.
How do I update my listings?
Use the bulk editing tool to update your listings.
What will my listings look like if eBay automatically removes my contact information?
We may automatically identify contact information within the listing and remove text that is identified as noncompliant. All remaining information within the listing will remain as is.
If eBay automatically removes my contact information from my listings, do I still need to update listings on my own?
Yes. You are responsible for reviewing and updating your listings in order to comply with the policy. Failure to comply with the policies could result in account-level action.
How do I share my customer service phone number post-transaction?
From the home page, go to "Account Settings," followed by "Manage your Q&A for buyers." Enter your customer service phone number in the provided field and check or don't check the box to show or hide the number.
My third-party cross-promotion tool is no longer allowed because of the links policy change. Are there any alternatives to cross-selling my products?
Promotions Manager allows you to set up promotion types that support a carousel-like placement below the main listing, which allows you to feature additional items.
I would like to include the terms and conditions (T&Cs) of the manufacturer's warranty offered in my listing, which currently includes a link to the manufacturer's warranty page. What should I do?
We recommend that you either include the text of the T&Cs within your listing or provide a link to the manufacturer's warranty page in the item specific field labelled "Warranty Information." Please note that item specific fields currently only support a maximum of 50 characters. If the link you wish to add is longer than 50 characters, you may want to consider using an external service such as Bitly to shorten the T&Cs URL.
Secure your listings FAQs
Why is eBay making these changes?
Starting in mid-October 2017, Google Chrome will begin displaying the message "Not secure" in the address bar when users visit any page with HTTP content. To ensure that buyers don't see this message when they visit your listings, eBay is changing how desktop users can view listings with noncompliant content. Starting this October, listings with HTTP content will feature key snippets of the item description followed by a button to "See full item description," putting the complete item description just one click away. This experience is similar to how buyers already view listings on mobile.
Will this change affect all eBay listings?
No. The majority of eBay listings are already secure and will be unchanged. Only listings with nonsecure content will feature the button to "See full item description."
What can I do to make sure my full item description displays on the main page and does not require the buyer to click a button to read the full description?
Make sure your listings do not contain any nonsecure HTTP content by following the steps we've provided. If your listings are HTTPS compliant, they won't be impacted by this change and your item descriptions will fully display on the main page.
Where do I need to make these updates?
Update all active listings, scheduled listings, saved listing templates, description templates, and inventory you have not yet listed.
Will any HTTP links in my listing or store affect how buyers can view item descriptions?
Only HTTP URLs in tags pulling content onto your listing or store will trigger these changes. Such content would include images, videos, audio, CSS URLs, and other content as described in "How browser security is changing."
Links to external sites are governed by the eBay links policy, but will not trigger any change.
Will eBay notify me of listings that contain HTTP content?
eBay does plan to notify sellers whose listings feature nonsecure content, but you should take steps now to make your listings compliant ahead of the change in October.
Will the mobile experience change?
No, there will be no change to the mobile experience.
I use a third-party provider to design and manage my listings, and they assure me that their tools and features are compliant. Do my listings still need attention?
If you created Good 'Til Cancelled (GTC) listings or created your storefront before your provider updated their security protocol, your listings or storefront could still contain noncompliant content. Third-party providers list GTC listings the first time, and eBay automatically relists them, unchanged. Contact your provider to learn how they can help you update older GTC listings, draft listings, listing templates, and storefronts.
Is this the same as the requirement to remove active content?
What will happen if I change my content to HTTPS, but my domain is not HTTPS compliant?
Your content will likely show up as a broken image or video. Contact your domain to make sure they are HTTPS compliant or remove HTTP content altogether.
Will eBay block my listings if they contain HTTP content?
No, we do not plan to block listings with noncompliant content.
Will only Google Chrome users see the new snippet item descriptions for listings with HTTP content?
Buyers will see the same item description snippet and "See full item description" button regardless of which browser they use. There will be no changes to the mobile experience, which already features key snippets of item descriptions regardless of mobile browser.
Product identifiers requirement FAQs
What are product identifiers?
Most items have unique identifiers that help buyers recognize and find the items. Unique product identifiers include the brand, when combined with the manufacturer part number (MPN), and the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN). GTINs can include an item's Universal Product Code (UPC), European Article Number (EAN), or International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
What if I don't have a product identifier?
In cases where a manufacturer of a product did not assign a product identifier to the item you are listing, you may specify "Does not apply." It is your responsibility to verify that a manufacturer did not issue an identifier for the product. Using "Does not apply" when a product identifier is available violates eBay policy and could result in listing removal. In addition, an improper "Does not apply" designation will render your listing ineligible for traffic and merchandising opportunities that accompany the use of valid product identifiers.
In what categories will product identifiers for Seller Refurbished condition be required?
There is no difference between Seller Refurbished, Manufacturer Refurbished, and New items, in terms of which categories require product identifiers. For a full list of categories that require product identifiers, please visit our Structured Data - Product Identifiers page for details.
How will I know which listings need to be updated?
To find the listings you need to update:
- Go to My eBay or Seller Hub
- Select all of your active listings
- Click "edit" to go to the eBay bulk editing tool
- Click on the filter(s) for "Required field" (UPC, brand, MPN) to display only the listings that need to be updated with product identifiersClick "edit" to go to the eBay bulk editing tool
Image policy changes FAQs
Why is eBay making this change?
Product photos play a key role in the shopping experience on eBay and help boost your sales. Removing watermarks ensures a consistent experience for buyers. By providing clean, watermark-free images, your listings are eligible for increased promotion on Google and Bing.
How do I differentiate my products if I can't use watermarks on my images?
Images are only one component of the buyer experience. By developing strong branding, high quality product information, and best shipping and returns practices, your listings will stand out to buyers.
How is removing watermarks going to improve the buyer experience?
Images that focus solely on the product offered for sale, without distracting text or images, help buyers better understand what is being sold.
How will I be notified that I have a watermark in my listing?
You will be notified via email that a watermark is detected in your listings.
How do I remove watermarks from my images?
A number of common design programs, such as Photoshop, can be used to remove watermarks.
How to remove watermarks using Photoshop:
- Open the watermarked image
- Select the "Clone Stamp" tool
- Use your mouse to Alt-click (Options-click for Mac users) on the area surrounding the watermark
- Click and drag the cursor over the watermark, blending the cloned area with the rest of the image
Depending on the watermark's location, it may be easier to use the original photograph or take another photograph of the product you are selling.
How can I drive brand awareness within my listings without a watermark?
You can brand the products and experiences you sell a couple ways:
- Use your logo or eBay User ID to clearly identify your business, and incorporate it into a listing template. This will also ensure that your listings are optimized for mobile.
- Consider signing up for an eBay Stores subscription to manage your eBay storefront, create email marketing campaigns, and drive promotions.
Matching new listings to the eBay catalog FAQs
Why is eBay making this change?
Buyers discover listings in many different ways including search, browse, and on product pages. By matching your listings to the eBay catalog, buyers will have more opportunities to find your items.
What if the information in my listing doesn't agree with a matched item in your catalog?
When a match is found, we validate the information you provided in your listing against the information we have for the matched product in our catalog. If the information you provided doesn't match our information, we will block your listing. You can either adjust your listing to remove the conflict, or, if you think the information in the eBay catalog is incorrect, you can inform eBay with the correct information from within your listing tool. eBay will quickly review your suggestion and, if approved, update the information.
When will the listing blocks begin?
Listing blocks for noncompliant new and relisted items will begin in early Spring 2018.
Will I be able to customize my listing when a product in the eBay catalog is matched to my listing?
Yes. We encourage you to include additional images and item information to help buyers with their purchasing decisions and build your personal brand.
What if I discover inaccurate information in the eBay catalog?
You will be able to inform us and we'll take steps to verify and make relevant changes. In early 2018, we will provide you with tools to alert us to incorrect product information in our catalog. These tools will be available when you list your items on eBay.