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Not eBay Compliant

A review of WidgetChimp by Hector85
United States United States
Kudos: 23
Joined: Sep 28, 2015
starstardim stardim stardim star
Not eBay Compliant
28 Sep 2015
I signed up for WidgetChimp and was pretty excited at what they offered. It actually works like advertised. Problem is I looked over the HTML code they have you insert into your listings and see that its completely in violation of eBay's listing policies.

What widgetchimp uses is a known workaround of calling in a remote script using a VAR tag. Calling in remote scripts is completely against eBay's listing policies. To quote eBay;

"Calls remote scripts and pages automatically, such as JavaScript "includes" or "iframes.""

eBay also states;

"Any attempt to disguise the intention or function of a listing's source code when using either HTML or JavaScript is a violation of eBay policy."

You can see eBay's policy for yourself here:

So not only do they call in a remote script, but they use a known method of attempting to disguise it in order to circumvent eBay's filters.

I only write this to warn widgetchimp users that this is not a compliant app and its bound to land eBay accounts in hot water at some point. You've been warned so use at your own risk!
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Matthew Ogborne
Kudos: 85
Joined: Sep 9, 2013
Re: Not eBay Compliant
29 Sep 2015
Howdy @Hector85,

Thanks for your query, I appreciate it.

The method being used to provide the finished listing template is inline with the approaches of the other, older eBay certified design companies.

I do appreciate this may feel like a grey area for you, however if the first line of their policy was strictly enforced word for word "Calls remote scripts", out of the appx 95M eBay listings across the globe, a good 35-50% of them would be directly impacted, most of which from the largest sellers.

Also note the source code of the templates are not obfuscated or include any hidden functions that disguise the purpose of them.

Nor do we use includes (the "include" statement to be precise), the replace function (which can redirect a browser to another location), the dropping or reading of cookies from eBay pages or iframes, all of which can be readily abused in the wrong hands or with miss-intent.

Note: The use of iframes is useless now thanks to updated cross-site scripting restrictions on all modern web browsers (this was the most dangerous one of them all).

It's the reason why we have to use the old YouTube and Vimeo embed code to stay compliant with eBay and actually make them work for desktop browsers and why these widgets don't show in the eBay Mobile apps, they don't support the object/flash tags.

Hope that helps,


[Last edited: 29 Sep 2015]
UnderstandingE - Sell on eBay, Amazon & Magento the Smart Way
United States United States
Kudos: 23
Joined: Sep 28, 2015
Re: Not eBay Compliant
29 Sep 2015
@Matthew Ogborne

Your quick and respectful reply is admirable Matthew but the issue still remains at large.

Simply because you can point to a group of sellers that are in violation of an eBay policy does not mean that it's "okay" and there will never be any consequences for them. My point is not to bash WidgetChimp. I just believe Your users should be well informed of the risk of using something that puts their eBay listings in a state of non compliance. I see nowhere on your website any disclosures to your users of this issue.

You may feel comfortable using this method based on your personal observance of some larger eBay sellers doing something similar but nonetheless, your users deserve to be informed and understand this issue.

I never implied that you have malicious intents for your users, only that you've used the VAR tag to disguise your source code from eBay's filters.

The bottom line is that this is not in any way compliant with eBay's policy and what fuels my concern, for widgetchimp users this information is never openly disclosed. You're putting your users at risk on a mere 'hope' eBay never enforces their policy. eBay has made many changes and enforced various rules against popular opinion many times, you can't possibly assume they will never enforce this one...

Anyone who has used eBay for any decent amount of time knows that it can take eBay a while to address issues but eventually they always get around to doing it.

There needs to be full disclosure here.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Kudos: 20
Joined: Nov 5, 2015
Re: Not eBay Compliant
5 Nov 2015
If you have any concerns here, why not simply contact the eBay technical support team and ask them if this product meets their requirements?
Then, once you have their reply, let us all know by posting it here so that we can buy WidgetChimp and know that it is fully compliant.
United States United States
Kudos: 15
Joined: Dec 13, 2015
Re: Not eBay Compliant
13 Dec 2015
dude eBay is a massive marketplace, impossible to manage 100% at any given time. Ebays primary concern when it comes to web coding inside of ads is that it doesn't contain remotely executing code that gives its users a virus or even worse creates a pop up. You cannot use javascript on ebay, it is not a grey area they are very clear on this. I am not trying to knock matts hustle but I can't stand the idea of someone not getting a clear answer on this and as a result pushing the limits on ebay and getting banned.. The reason people like matt can say this is a grey area is because most people don't understand code enough to debate that statement.. fact is if you take a WidgetChimp script and put it in the ebay editor exactly how it is intended to be called, what happens? Ebay says this "Your listing cannot contain javascript (".cookie", "cookie(", "replace(", IFRAME, META, or includes), cookies or base href."

Still seem like a grey area? But wait, there is more. See ebay preventing you from using javascript is 99% of the defense here. Ebay doesn't allow you to use it, but Widget Chimp made it past ebay and here is where this gets very dangerous. WidgetChimp deliberately obfuscates the code to get past ebays filtering system. I know what you are saying how would they do that? It's simple, ebay has a billion poeple trying to list on there, their filters cannot be overly aggressive and a great majority of people would put in a javascript, see the filter denied them and move on. In order for widgetchimp to get past ebay they use what matt calls here a loader - (still think he believes this is a grey area after reading that btw?) This loader gets widgetchimp past the ebay filters and now when ebay eventually finds your ad they are going to assume you deliberately modified your javascript code with the intention of tricking their system.. how do you think they will take that?

[Last edited: 13 Dec 2015]
Newcastle Upon Tyne United Kingdom
Kudos: 90
Joined: Mar 30, 2016
Re: Not eBay Compliant
3 Apr 2016
So What is the conclusion of this.

Is Widget Chimp a useful legal tool for eBay or not.

Please has the issues discussed been rectified.

I would like to know

Nottingham United Kingdom
Kudos: 3,676
Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Re: Not eBay Compliant
5 Apr 2016

WidgetChimp templates work for us on our listings, and we have had no listings removed or suspensions due to using their templates. In fact our listings increased in sales once we started using WidgetChimp.

Furthermore Hector85 has only left this review and not come back to this forum since 29/9/15 . A bit suspect me thinks, or you could just call me cynical. Although the wife calls me worse.
E-commerce , love it or hate it, that's why we are here
Australia Australia
Kudos: 15
Joined: Apr 8, 2016
Re: Not eBay Compliant
8 Apr 2016
WidgetChimp looks a great product, but would not like to risk putting my clients eBay stores in jeopardy.
Would like to know others opinions regarding widgetchimp and being compliant.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Kudos: 15
Joined: Jul 19, 2016
Re: Not eBay Compliant
19 Jul 2016
I know few people who use this WidgetChimp and recommended. My wife recently started using it. Yes it great but it has alot of glitches. I read a post earlier where someone send. If you click once everyting is gone and click again all widgets come back. My wife seems to be experiencing exactly same.

Basically first time your buyer comes he cant find anything so leaves. second time if he comes he can view but hang on. He already left so wont be back unless he runs into your listing again. This will kill the sale.

In my onion it fantastic but has huge risk of kiling your business. I dont think its stable. These are the things which have been spoted:

- Click once, no widget. Leave, come back again in few mins later. Widge appears. I tried clearing history but sometimes it comes in first click while others on second click or few mins later.

- Once you are revising live eBay listing, after revising it whill go back to start itself without confirming. usually a green banner comes with a linnk directly to new ebay page but sometimes this doesnt come. Also Related product sometimes doesnt show up. You have to go back and revise it again to show up.

My wife loves it, strongly recommends but these things must be resolved!! Even though she loves it, really really want to use it but.. well.. i let widgetchimp to comment on it.
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Kudos: 15
Joined: Aug 24, 2016
Re: Not eBay Compliant
24 Aug 2016
Hi, it would be reassuring to hear from Matt@WidgetChimp that this serious issue has been resolved. One simple question: Can we legally use this on eBay UK or not?
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