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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Tue May 15 2012 11:42:56

More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?

By: Reader
Sponsored Link
Dear Ina,
The TurboLister programmers have done it again! Pure incompetence.

The software is designed to automatically detect whether a listing contains any JavaScript (or "iframes" or "includes" or "cookies", etc.) and if found, the software prohibits the listing from being uploaded.

I completely agree with this policy. eBay should not allow listings that contain any type of code that's designed to deceive, or load additional content, redirect off-site, or touch the buyer's computer in any way.

Sadly, it appears that the programmers use the lazy-man's approach at detecting these prohibited web page elements. Specifically, the word "cookie" is now prohibited... even when the word appears as ordinary visible text (NOT embedded as JavaScript code) and even when it legitimately describes the item being sold, or when it describes suggested uses for the item being sold.

Cookie cutters, cookie recipe book, holiday cookie tins, cookie sheet, cookie labels, gingerbread cookie ornaments... all prohibited! Astounding.

True, it's a bit more difficult for a programmer to use complex pattern-matching to determine whether or not the word "cookie" is contained within JavaScript tags (bad!) or whether the word "cookie" is just plain ordinary visible text (harmless!) ... but it's not an impossible task.

Who ARE these programmers? And from where did eBay hire them?

It appears that my only option is to insert a small inline graphic (with the word "cookie" written on it) in every location where the prohibited word appears in my product description.

If it wasn't so frustrating, it would be hysterical. eBay should be embarrassed.
Sincerely,
Anonymous Annie

Editor's note: Has anyone else found it impossible to use the word "cookie" when listing on eBay using its TurboLister tool? Try it and let us know!



Comments (13) | Permalink
Readers Comments

More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 15 12:27:11 2012
I suspect most of those banned html tags are banned in more than just turbolister.  I have cut and pasted specs from IBM.com's site and not been able to submit it. I have to go in the html and find the offending tag.  I didn't need it so no real problem.

But with ebay inc's ever changing and unstable company policies I  sometimes have to edit 150 descriptions.  

We badly do need to use iframes on ebay.  That ebay is telling us we can't is more and more of a problem.

That's what it's for, things that are the same and need to be changed in a lot of places.

But because someone might use iframes to change things ebay doesn't like, we can't.  
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ric
       
Tue May 15 13:26:20 2012
And the announcement of this seller facing listing policy change was made when?

This is another example of eBay's culture of one size fits all policy that simply does not fit all.

eBay wants sellers to provide first class business like service, yet continually fails to afford their sellers the same  standards of service they demand from sellers.

With all the executives eBay has that receive multi million dollar compensation packages, I continue to be astonished that such poorly conceived policy is imposed with such frequency.

More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 15 13:27:11 2012
Course what anonymous annie was saying was they banned the word cookie, not the html tag cookie.

That is ridiculous.  I wonder what cookie jar depot is going to do?  

Har.  
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Tue May 15 14:09:11 2012
Well... I found an inconvenient work-around solution. It's only *slightly* less inconvenient than pasting a small image of the word ''cookie'' within the body of the image.

It appears that using HTML codes for the individual ASCII values is a way to sneak-through the filters.

Anyone who's looked at HTML source code has probably seen them. For example: the HTML code for the ampersand character ''&'' will appear in the document source-code as ''&-amp;'' (Not including the dash. I added the dash so that this blog would not automatically convert it into an actual ampersand.)

In any case, by editing the source-code and spelling-out the word ''cookie'' as:

&-#99;&-#111;&-#111;&-#107;&-#105;&-#101;

Again... not including the dash. And this must be done when editing the HTML ''source code'' of the item description. If you type these special characters into TurboLister's editing window, that's exactly how they'll appear in the listing.

c = &-#99;
o = &-#111;
o = &-#111;
k = &-#107;
i = &-#105;
e = &-#101;

Thanks for printing my letter, Ina. ~ For many small sellers, the TurboLister program is a valuable tool. Even with its clunky shortcomings... for me, it's easier (and faster) than listing items with eBay's web interface.

Sadly, its a MUCH NEGLECTED tool that needs a LOT of updates, bug-fixes, and modernization. I suspect it was written in MS-VisualBasic... which would explain why it's so slow to load/read/write the database file, and why it's so sluggish when ''repainting'' the screen images.

It's truly outdated, and WE DESERVE BETTER. Others may point out that it's ''free''... and we shouldn't expect much for ''free''. Still, it IS a tool that earns money for eBay every time an item is listed (or at the very least, when the item sells) and they should be willing to invest a little more time and effort into making it a modern, mature, robust and highly functional program.

As it is right now, it does put a crimp in my ability to list. It slows me down, and sometimes I'll just give up after listing just a few items, when I might have listed many more if only it had been easier.

More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser
       
Tue May 15 14:10:51 2012
@Steevo - iframes are banned almost everywhere because they essentially call a remote website and insert whatever is there with no checks.  Some of your buyers browsers will reject pages with iframes where ever they appear, so it's never a good idea, and I believe it's been banned on ebay for quite some time.

If you need repeating text, the best method is to use a template-based listing service or program.  I only run about 4 templates, and that's all I have to edit when there is a fundamental change (like to a policy).

As for the cookie problem...try replacing ''cookie'' with this:

& # 99; & # 111; & # 111; k & # 105; & # 101;

Just remove all the spaces from the above expression, which are the ASCII code equivalents, and browsers will show as ''cookie'' (and is why I had to put in spaces or you would just see ''cookie''..lol).
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser
       
Tue May 15 14:11:28 2012
Haha...Annie beat me to it
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: Another Coin This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 15 15:51:01 2012
Several years ago when trying to list through a third party listing service, eBay wouldn't allow the word Cookie. I remember trying over and over to no avail. As I recall I had a listing removed due to the word cookie. To this day I have a ton of cookie cutters and also jewelry from a designer Cookie Lee. I could be wrong but I also think items will be hidden in searches. With the Cassini project who knows what will happen. All I know is items that are handpainted and shortened to HP will likely be shown as a product of Hewlett Packard.  
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit
       
Tue May 15 15:58:17 2012
What will the Girl Scouts do?
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: stinkylitter This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 15 18:08:02 2012
I have had a couple of issues like this. A few months ago I tried listing an item and I called it ivory colored and the listing kept getting rejected. I finally figured out it was because of the word ivory. I changed it to off white and it listed fine. I also had a problem listing a diamond cut rope chain. An Ebay message popped up and said if I was selling diamonds (which I wasn't) I had to put in the weight and clarity or something like that. I put a hyphen between diamond and cut and that fixed the issue.
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Tue May 15 23:33:42 2012
That is indeed lazy programming. It's not that hard to set a flag to determine when one is inside a script tag or not and only trigger the word match when it's set to true. These programmers must be from the "every problem is a nail so use a big hammer" school of software design. Stuff like this gives us software developers a bad rep. And eBay seriously needs help with their pattern matching algorithms, given the examples being posted by others. It's ridiculous to have such ham-fisted parsing on what's supposed to be a professional site.
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: justpassinthru This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 16 00:11:13 2012
If Ebay ever fixes Turbo you can be sure they'll start charging for it.  I'm offended by Ebay management's frequent reminders that TL is free.  It'd be like Walmart boasting that shopping carts are free, and parking lots, and doors!  I feel sorry for the folks who work in the TL department.  As poorly as Ebay management treats its customers, can you imagine how they treat employees in a division designated as a non revenue producer?
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
This user has validated their user name. by: Tula
       
Wed May 16 08:13:48 2012
Is it just TurboLister that has this issue or does it happen with the SYI or other tools, as well?
More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?   More TurboLister Fun - Word Cookie Not Allowed?
by: Theresa This user has validated their user name.
       
Wed May 16 08:36:45 2012
I use Blackthorne and the only word I can recall it rejecting is "ivory".  I listed several cookie cutters and cookie jars a few months ago and did not have any problems.


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