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July 31, 2008

bravosixx stuffs eBay affiliate cookies in eBay listings

Filed under: eBay pulse — estreet @ 8:02 pm
Tags: , ,

eBay seller bravosixx has multiple eBay listings that stuff eBay Partner Network affiliate cookies. Here’s one:

Bravosixx is using the HTML object tag to force the cookie. Tracing the header info when the eBay listing loads, you can clearly see this http header roll by:

eBay’s response to this junk is to ban all active content starting in 2009. No Javascript or flash. Only a subset of html tags will be allowed. I imagine the object and iframe tags will be blacklisted. See eBay’s active content plans.

Bravosixx is also a pulser. This listing for a “Real live ghost! Trapped in a box!” has 1,135 watchers.

You can see the latest watcher count on this page:

Cookie stuffers on eBay are annoyingly short-sighted. The trick never lasts. They will get caught soon and it makes my job of complying with eBay rules more difficult.


  1. Ugh.

    Does eBay do any internal automated scans of all listings to search for rover links? Seems like it would be easy enough.

    They could even forbid ’em from the get-go when the seller lists.


    Comment by Jake — July 31, 2008 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  2. eBay has at least two automated checks for policy violations. One runs when you submit your listing, the other runs before your new listing gets indexed.

    I recently submitted a listing just to verify the eBay policy violation message on our listing tool, but it actually passed the first check. Then I got notice within an hour that the listing was removed due to a policy violation.

    It was titled, “Chanel counterfeit”.

    All kinds of words are blocked, like “.cookie”.

    Back to your question on “rover.ebay”. There is currently only one listing that contains this phase in the description. What bravosixx is doing would not appear in the description. They would have to run the object and check the HTTP headers to detect it.

    eBay says they are not trying to catch affiliate T&C violations with the new active content policy. They are trying to stop identify theft.


    Comment by estreet — August 1, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for all the juicy details, Michelle. As usual, you’re full of helpful information in these regards!

    Comment by Jake — August 2, 2008 @ 12:47 am | Reply

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