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Guide: How to stop others from copying your eBay description

Discussion in 'eBay, Amazon & Online Marketplaces' started by UKbuyer1, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Messages:
    8,314
    I have read a couple of threads recently (on here and elsewhere) about people crafting out great product descriptions for their eBay listings, only to find a couple of weeks later that another seller has simply gone onto their listing, highlighted the text and copied and pasted the description into their own listing.

    Some say a listing description is just a listing description, and who cares if it is copied (some feel quite honoured that someone else has copied it!). I, and am sure others, see this differently. I try to be unique and create my own blurbs or descriptions from scratch. A product description is so much more than just a product description. A potential buyer has clicked on your listing, and is now reading the description.

    The first job of a product description (and the most basic job) is to tell a customer all about a certain product. Make, model, what it does, size, colour, shape, dimensions etc. You will see a lot of listings like this that does this very basic job, and there is nothing at all wrong with this - usually the product details are copied direct from a manufacturers listing etc.

    The second job of a product description is to ACTIVELY ENCOURAGE a potential customer to click that Buy button, or bid button. This converts a potential customer to a paying customer. And this is a job that experienced sellers will spend a little extra time on, as it is as much about telling the customer all about the product, as it is CONVERTING that customer into a sale.

    So it comes as no surprise that eBayers who have spent time on crafting a good, solid product description which converts successfully, annoyed and upset when they see a competitor or other seller has blatantly copied their listing description. Of course, you can report the seller to eBay, however I am a keen believer that you should be PRO-ACTIVE in securing your listings rather than RE-ACTIVE (i.e stop people doing something from the start instead of waiting for them to do it and then doing something about it).

    The solution is very, very simple, for those interested. Here is the solution:

    Instructions:
    1. Open up your ebay listing, and click the HTML view.
    2. Copy and Paste the following code at the very start of the HTML (Yes you may copy this below :) !):

    <script language=”javascript”>
    var message=”DELETE THESE WORDS AND PUT YOUR MESSAGE HERE”;
    function clickIE4(){
    if (event.button==2){
    alert(message);
    return false;
    }
    }
    function clickNS4(e){
    if (document.layers||document.getElementById&&!document.all){
    if (e.which==2||e.which==3){
    alert(message);
    return false;
    }
    }
    }
    if (document.layers){
    document.captureEvents(Event.MOUSEDOWN);
    document.onmousedown=clickNS4;
    }
    else if (document.all&&!document.getElementById){
    document.onmousedown=clickIE4;
    }
    document.oncontextmenu=new Function(“alert(message);return false;”)
    </script>

    Tip - Be sure to only replace the words in the message field, do not delete anything else, not even the " " !

    And there you have it. Now go and look at your listing. Try and copy it by highlighting and right clicking. A box should appear, with your warning message that you have typed into the message field, and potential copycats will not be able to simply copy and paste! Be creative with this text, maybe put in 'Copywrited - Copying this is Against eBay Rules' - or whatever you want!

    Of course, if they were really determined, and your sales copy/patter is really good, they may well copy it by typing it word by word, but at least this simple script makes things a little more difficult for a computer novice to copy your content!

    I hope this may help some. Good luck! :)

    Writen by Rick, of www.InstantStartBusiness.com
  2. brywalker

    brywalker

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    Apr 25, 2011
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    Nice one Rick. Thanks. :)
  3. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

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    Oct 30, 2009
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    8,314
    Cheers Brian, hope it helps! :)
  4. planner

    planner

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    Dec 28, 2008
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    6,793
    Very helpful Rick.
    UKbuyer1 likes this.
  5. redspell

    redspell Banned Member

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,407
    Great post Rick,

    Your snippet of code can be used on websites as well as ebay listings to deter copying content.
    UKbuyer1 likes this.
  6. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    2,057
    Superb code Rick, thanks for sharing :)

    Pushing this out on our socials today and also made it sticky. I think we regularly see threads about listing descriptions being copied by other sellers and this is just what we need.

    Is there a similar code but for images?

    @Redspell thanks for that information, should be useful for blogs too! ^_^
  7. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
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    8,314
    Yes it certainly can be used on websites etc. For Wordpress blogs, there is actually a free plugin that does it all for you which is very handy.

    Lace, usually a watermark with the name of my shop strategically placed deters picture thieves - I would hope. There is a simialr code for images, but images are harder - a simple print screen command then cropping it out would get the images.

    Thanks for making it a stick Lace!
  8. norts

    norts

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    192
    Think I must be doing something wrong, I tried it right after and before <html> tag but it doesnt seem to work for me, any ideas?

    Norts
  9. lukus001

    lukus001

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    I actually find right click protections more annoying than anything else.

    I now instantly leave websites that have them even if their content is useful or, if they sell a product, happily spend that little bit more going with their competitor.

    I'm a person who uses right clicks a lot to open new tabs, I also copy portions of text to search and check up on things, sometimes which is done via highlighting + rightclick > search on google (firefox)

    The question is, is your right click protection necessary? Crtl+C instead of right clicking and their selection is copied.

    I very rarely right-click to copy and, while I do use right click to open a new tab that is mostly because of these web designers who feel the need to put everything through javascript and crtl+click (which also opens a link in a new tab) gives me void on those javascript enabled links.

    This is what ebay does with thier listing images, they never used to do it and my ebay use has dramatically decreased just by them doing that... Forgetting and crtl+clicking ebay images because clicking an image is more convenient than the text, opening up loads of tabs only to find they all are blank pages with javascript viod :rolleyes:

    I would weigh down the fact of annoying your customer over that of having your text stolen. I cosntantly google my unique text and names - if you have unique text, copy a line that is unlikely to be edited out or modified, put it in google between quotes i.e. "sample text" and find every exact match. Send out your cease and desist letters for copyright infringment.

    right click protection is a lazy way out at the cost of annoying your customers. Finding copycats and taking down their websites or listing requires more effort, but will be much more rewarding and reduces your competition anyway.

    the otherday for example i did my usualy domain name check "exampledomain.ext" in google - found someone posting adverts using my domain name in the title "exampleDomain.ext" when they had the cyber squatted hyphenated "Example-Domain.Ext" version that they linked to later in the listing

    I told him to stop using my domain name and to make sure he distinguishes both our domain names from each other, if he doesn't (which appears that will be the case) then I should be fully capable of taking possession of his domain name for passing-off (which, him being a web host will ruin his business instantly since he's likely to have his domain as the DNS name servers for all his clients.).

    if you value your business and content, punish the people who copy, not the ones who use your site.
  10. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

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    Oct 30, 2009
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    Hey Norts,

    Are you in the HTML view?

    All you are doing is placing your cursor before the very first character of the HTML code on the first line.

    Tap enter a couple of times if you want to move the existing HTML down a line or two. Now go back and click to place your cursor on the empty line you have, and paste the script in.
  11. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

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    8,314
    Sorry, I am just not sure what relevance your reply has to this thread, which gives advice on a basic method of how to stop people copying and pasting your listing descriptions for use on their own listings.
  12. lukus001

    lukus001

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    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
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    I'm saying as a customer, if I came across your listing and got warnings about copying your text pop up, you'll be losing my custom, not gaining it. Not everyone comes to your listing to copy your text into their own listings and I certainly dont want to be annoyed with messages just because I wanted to copy a line a google it and check what you just said wasn't false..

    Anti right clicks used to be on 99% of websites about 7 years ago, now their on less than 1%, and those 1% are still annoying as they were 7 years ago, if not more so.

    When you implement features like that, you should consider how it impacts your customer, not just look at how well it will obviously annoy you competitors, competitors who make up 0% of your business. The rule of thumb being, if it's not improving your visitors experience, then you probably do not need it.
  13. UKbuyer1

    UKbuyer1

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    Oct 30, 2009
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    Disagree completely. The warning will only pop up if you right click on the text. I never copied a line from an eBay listing just to 'see if what they were saying was false', in fact it has never even crossed my mind. It simply doesn't make sense? Why would an eBay listing contain false information?

    If a customer wants to research a product, they can still copy & paste the title - which is what most people would do when researching a product - they wouldn't want to copy a line of my sales patter - what would they achieve by doing that?

    Sorry, I just don't think your argument here stacks up in any meaningful manner.
  14. redspell

    redspell Banned Member

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    I would love to know where you got this statistic from.
  15. lukus001

    lukus001

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    That's highly subjective on what you sell and may not apply to those you are promoting anti-right clicking to; who may sell something completely different..

    If a customer is supposed to have done Prior research in the product they want, please clarify how anything you write in the description is going to be of any use to them? They'll likely be focused on filtering listings by lowest price first and just check that the product is the same, new or otherwise not paired with any catches.

    That is what doesn't make sense...

    Anti Right clicking has been around for years yet no big ecommerce has it. Why? Because they rely a lot on repeat custom and those features piss people off. Ebay is a come and go system, often quite faceless which is why scammers love it. It would be a feature more damaging to ebay if all it's users adopted it; fortunately for me, I have yet to see one person use it.

    I would say a lot of ebay users like anywhere else, use generic terms (mp3 player, mobile phone, computer) and rely on the information in listing to find more information. If you know what you're after, ebay, like anywhere else, you're just interested in stock availability, price and delivery times.

    If a shop i'm likely to be buying from is stopping me from researching the products that im looking into buying, simply put, Im not buying from them even if it is something silly like right clicking to copy a piece of text.

    I often search generic terms "AMD motherboard" to find out whats currently on the market, in my budget range and then lookup the fine details and specifications which i expect to be on the product pages!! If you lack details, I'm leaving that page for another listing with better details or just a totally different product if no one is giving details.

    I can google "amd motherboard" find 100s of out dated ones, reviews and spend hours on brand websites who never EVER list the RRP which you only end up wasting your time with, since you go searching for a specific product of their that you like to find it's over priced, too cheap or simply not for sale in your country yet.

    The sellers that just list an item and go tell people to lookup on google to find more details are never the power sellers. Adding as much info does 1 thing - keep people on your site and stops them from wanting to go elsewhere.

    If i know i want an ipod, clearly ill search for an ipod + model number, then ill click filter by price, lowest first and buy the first one. I wont even read your listing.

    I can even use a recent example of myself. I've recently been looking at buying a pair of Sugar Gliders as pets, if you do you homework, you'll find out what food is or isn't poisonous, what cage materials are and are not poisonous - if you're reading an ebay listing with that information, not only is the seller going to get +1 in my books for being informative, I'm going to want to google what they said and be sure that they didn't just say "all other cages are poisonous" to scare people into buying theirs. If they claim its been done to xyz standard, i'll probably quickly google that standard too.

    if you dont you are likely an impulse buyer and I see little relevance how anything contained in a listing other than face value would be of importance? - you're just after a cage, and a cage is a cage. Such people would happily buy it even if it said "is poisonous to sugar gliders" because they are buying by looks and price alone.

    So, because a company was informative and that information was true, they've just created a bond of TRUST with their customer that'll be hard to break. They might ask you questions, so customer services is just as important, but when you're ticking all the boxes your customers are going to love you.

    on that subject, because there are only a few people with information on whats good and bad products for sugar gliders, they will get my custom for that information even if it's more expensive. The shops that just sell cages, potentially unsafe and are a faceless businesses *will not*.

    One of the forums im a member of, someone has had to have their glider leg amputated because of a lose thread in a sleeping pouch! Very few glider owners even know about that risk - If a ebay listing selling a pouch says this, not only is it a great selling point over those who do not, people are likely to google and check up on it but, as lazy as people are, if i can copy and paste a term, or several instead of typing, i will negativity look upon a company for trying to stop me for being nothing more than paranoid of having their descriptions stolen compared to one who is not paranoid.

    anti right clicking is annoying, will put some customers, especially repeat ones off. Presenting people with both sides of the story and letting them make an educated decision is fine - they can weight out both sides to what is best for them and their business and customers. Promoting an outdated feature and being biased while doing so?

    You can go blue in the face on the matter if you like, I'm only letting others actually decide for themselves instead of looking at the feature for it face value only. You can search and find 1000s of scripts to use on websites, shops or ebay listings... Doesnt mean you should use it, and this is just one of many "cool" scripts ebay users can use...

    Why would I do that? You're in the business of eCommerce. Name me an eCommerce that comes with right clicking restrictions built in? The majority of eCommerce must have this if it's a good feature surely? Otherwise it's a niche appreciated only by a small few whom are paranoid websites owners.

    Content protection is important. I rather have a compeitor's site shut down for copyright infringement than to annoy my users,
  16. norts

    norts

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    Hi Rick,

    I am testing it with some basic HTML using notepad, I pasted your code before the first <html> so in my page it starts normal like:

    <html>
    <head>
    </head>
    <body>

    then the rest of the photo/text/etc

    Seems no matter where I place it I can still copy text without issue, sure I am doing something wrong here?

    Norts
  17. shaununo

    shaununo

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    I have never added right click protection routines to any ebay templates but can see how it is useful in some ways to help protect or to annoy / slow down copy cat's pinching your listing details.
    I personally don't find right click protection annoying, as would never right click on the likes of ebay anyway, they have plenty of link buttons to take you exactly where you want to go to on ebay, I don't think many people or sites use right click protection as much now because you can simply CTRL+C and use keyboard shortcuts to get around such features, but not many people would know keyboard shortcuts to be able to do this.
  18. Ackles

    Ackles

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    May 2, 2011
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    It doesn't work for me either I'm pressing enter at the start of the html screen and putting it in there? I use Auctiva templates and am on Chrome if that makes a difference?
  19. shaununo

    shaununo

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    A lot of these scripts only work on Internet explorer and not on chrome or firefox.
    Ackles likes this.
  20. Ackles

    Ackles

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    Ahh thanks. Just tried on IE and doesn't work on that either for me?
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