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Brian Burke, eBay's Director in Trust & Safety who manages the Feedback system, recently announced that Digital Downloadable Goods must be listed using the Classified Ad listing format effective March 31st. This policy affects items like eBooks, MP3 files, content in PDF format, recipes, etc. -- anything that is "shipped" to a customer via email or download link. These items cannot be listed any longer as auction-style or fixed price listings.
They will get next to zero traffic in the classified section.
I don’t think it is thought of as being “cool” by the single mother who was making ends meet by selling copies of her grandmothers pecan pie recipe.
I sure did, I think 10 new ebay competitors just srpung up after than announcement.
Don't worry about pecan pie recipes, they'll sell just fine anyway, but ebay won't be getting a slice anymore. Thats the reality of it.
It would have been more prudent to beef up their feedback and monitoring capabilities instead of axing an entire segment imo.
I think 10 new ebay competitors just srpung up after than announcement.
Yeah, me hunting for an opportunity here…
Digital download on demand in the legitimate world is huge.
However, the opportunities lost from the lack of an eBay exposure are hard to overcome; I would think anyhow that they are for most small outfits.
I can market anything with a demand and an audience, but remove my venue for an audience and all comes to a halt.
Actually yes... at least in my downloadable product niche.
So.. your products, legitimate or illegitimate? either way that’s 1 for its prospective side.
My personal opinion is that EBay has done this because of the inability to fight chargbacks (PayPal) NOT because of the sale of fraudulent items. Chargebacks have been a huge problem in the digital items industry, it's always been he said, she said, no way to prove delivery (yet) and the merchant usually ends up losing. I have to imagine that EBay (PayPal) has taken a pretty big hit in this area which led to this decision. Let’s face it, if EBay was truly concerned about the item being fraudulent, they wouldn’t allow classified ads either.
I sell digital products by email and had a problem with charge backs, claims of non receipt etc. So I started sending all emails "returned receipt" and sent copies to PayPal complete with full headers as "shipping information" to prove the item had been shipped and received.
In most cases where the customer didn't receive their purchase they had their anti spam/email filters set to "Kill" , or used someone else's PayPal account and didn't list a secondary contact email.
All Ebay/PayPal would have to do would be to set up a verification process for emailed/digital goods that shows proof of delivery
However, the opportunities lost from the lack of an eBay exposure are hard to overcome;
- kamikaze Optimizer
I agree. A competitor could spring up and fill this niche, but it'd have to be someone big... like Amazon, Google or someone else with lots and lots of eyeballs. Preferably people looking for physical stuff. Often times people don't know they want a digital good until they see it. They'd never go searching for it (in digital format) in some cases.
I could see this being a opportunity for amazon.
So.. your products, legitimate or illegitimate?
If eBay was smart, they would have taken care of the pirated software problem a long time ago. It hurts eBay’s reputation more than the fees that they collect are worth. Most people don’t want to buy something only to later find out that it was stolen merchandise. There are people who avoid eBay just because of that perception, even though in most categories the vast majority of items sold are completely legitimate.
Lovejoy, Something that will help is to put download links on the "Thank You for Shopping Here" page as well as emailing your customers the download links. Email just isn't dependable enough alone. We made this change a few years ago and have had lots fewer delivery headachs since.
I suspect paypal chargebacks are a larger issue. Credit card companies "could" tank ebay by refusing to allow their use on paypal. I imagine that eBay causes credit card companies a lot of headaches (which means costs as well).
The move doesn't affect me personaly, I had a feeling it would eventually happen when eBay phased out virtual game items. Loads of alternatives sprung up for game items, I suspect the same will happen with ebooks.