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Tue Mar 25 2008 09:12:23

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is banning sales of digital downloads from its site, restricting them instead to the Classified Ad format, which costs $9.95 for a 30-day listing. Letters are starting to come in from sellers who make some or all of their income from sales of auction templates, ecards, music animations, ebook guides, etc.

Said one seller, "I cannot afford $9.95 to list each template, or listing unless I'm allowed to list them all in one classified ad. And then if I'm not actually selling through ebay I will lose my powerseller status. eBay will be losing a lot of money by doing this. They need to rethink what they are doing just out of the blue, without notifying even their own employees."

Can't eBay differentiate between sellers who are listing legitimately versus those who are manipulating the system or defrauding buyers? Why not throw the people who are committing feedback manipulation off the site permanently, and let sellers who are listing auction templates, etc., continue to run their businesses? What do you think of the new policy?

 




Comments (139) | Permalink

Readers Comments

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: SierraFaith

Tue Mar 25 09:38:28 2008

That decision will put me completely out of business, as I'm sure it will many others.

I'm a Silver Powerseller with 100% FB and perfect DSR. I donate $100s of dollars to charities through ebay givingworks, and have an upstanding record with eBay.

Everything I sell, is digital delivery. 8 ebooks (mostly html and ebay help) I can delete those listings and give away free. But I sell auction templates, store fronts, ecards (not many), musical animations for templates (not many), and especially advertising, as that is my main source of income. I dont keep stock on hand and there is nothing I sell that requires a stamp.

I cannot afford $9.95 to list each template, or listing unless I'm allowed to list them all in one classified ad. And then if I'm not actually selling through ebay I will lose my powerseller status. eBay will be losing a lot of money by doing this. They need to rethink what they are doing just out of the blue, without notifying even their own employees.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: SB55

Tue Mar 25 09:46:21 2008

I am a template maker and I also do digital pictures. I agree that eBay should let the ones that are making a living by making templates, ecards, etc. continue to do so. eBay should go after the eBook get rich quick scams and the one cent feedback related auctions.  Let the ones that do good work stay!

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Kristina

Tue Mar 25 10:04:07 2008

Thats completly insane,Im amazed how ebay shows little to no respect at all to their sellers,Im not paying $9.95 for a class ad that maybe no one will see!I agree with SB55 get rid of their get rich ebooks and mistery phonney auctions and stuff like that,This is what Ebay says

''Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller''

And who tell them that? I spend money on graphics and programs to create my templates,Hours,long hours to make only one design,Ebay should let Ebay designers keep doing what we do,we work hard as anyone to make our products and we deserve some respect here!!!!!!!

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Charles

Tue Mar 25 10:14:27 2008

I've always thought that the eBooks were kind of cheesy, and a feedback manipulation tool.

HOWEVER, that being said, I don't believe that banning them from eBay (and sending them to the eBay "Classified-Ad" dungeon) is the right thing to do either.

If eBay has the ability to determine that something is a digital download, then they can surely allow the transaction and EXEMPT it from feedback for both the buyer and seller.

Everyone wins!! (almost) eBay wins because it's eliminated a source of potential feedback abuse. eBay wins again because whatever sales are generated, they'll get the FVF and listing fees. The seller wins because he can continue to list things and make a profit (assuming that people are still willing to purchase sans feedback) and the buyer wins (assuming that they were TRULY interested in having the 25-cent wallpaper image, and weren't just buying the feedback).

eBay sucks.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: EZas123

Tue Mar 25 10:26:27 2008

I still don't understand, "WHY?"

The eBook market is still g-r-o-w-i-n-g! None of this makes sense!? It's preposterous. I rely heavily on my side monthly income as well as many others thru eBay's Automated/Digital Delivery. '
The new feedback policy was understandable and workable. But after 8+ years of being an avid user and huge fan, this is icing on the cake! I've finally and truly found a sole reason to use an alternative! Amazon and Kindle here we come!

One of the most searched terms on eBay and on the WWW...Doesn't eBay realize their traffic ranking is going to plummet!?? Who is going to want to list ONE eBook in a classified ad for $9.95 over a 30 day span. I think digital items should be allowed as long as they're sold for over a $1.00.

Nevertheless, I'm sure we'll see new methods soon...The info publisher and reseller world will find a way!

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Tue Mar 25 10:29:07 2008

''Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller''

What a load of crap: yet another example of how eBay doesn't know their customer.

I don't sell that many digital download items, but for the ones I do I have invested significant time and effort into its creation.  For example, one of my latest efforts took about 60 hours to complete start to finish, and I sell about $400 of that item per month.  60 hours of work for $400 is not that great of an hourly rate, but I look at it as an annuity that will keep paying off over time - I just need to make periodic updates and tweaks to the file as things change over time.  With the latest round of fee increases, eBay was receiving a greater annuity off of my efforts - looks like they will be missing that with this change. Who looks at the classifed section anyway?  i certainly don't, and I don't know of anyone else who does.

In today's "want it now" society vs. waiting on the mail, they can have it now and with ZERO shipping costs to them.  I certainly don't want to pay $9.95 to list in an area where there is no traffic.

To echo many others, it sure is time for eBay to have some legitimate competition.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: alex

Tue Mar 25 10:32:01 2008

The solution is so simple to anyone that has a brain.

If it is $0.01 and those types of feedback manipulation that is the problem, what is wrong with setting the minimum digital item price to something like $4.99?

Do you think that would stop feedback abusers?  OBVIOUSLY!  Would someone pay $50 for 10 feedback?  Thats a little steep, compared to the old $0.10.

Just like they made their change that BUY IT NOW items must start at $1.00, they could have made DIGITAL DELIVERY items must start at $4.99 or $5.00 or whatever, and still keep everyone happy.

I personally sell software, templates, ebooks, spreadsheets for accounting, etc... legitimate stuff, and my prices start at $5.99.

Good job eBay.  I wish you a "Victorious" spiral down the toilet.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Elizabeth

Tue Mar 25 10:39:12 2008

well this is the first day that I heard of it and Now I don't know what to do. This is my grocery $. I make and sell digital delivery sewing patterns for a living. it's only about $250-350 per week, but that covers all of our groceries as well as extra things we need.....
I don't know what to do now. can you email things or is that banned to?

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Kristina

Tue Mar 25 10:48:13 2008

Elizabeth,email delivery is a digital delivery as well........

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Laura

Tue Mar 25 10:58:33 2008

You have got to be kidding!

I don’t understand the logic behind this decision. Why target goods that can be electronically downloaded or transferred? Does it really have to do with preserving the feedback system?  

The only way I can think of that it would “preserve the feedback system” would be that it REMOVES these items or from getting DSR ratings (feedback) that would qualify them to receive eBay discounts.

But really, why not just have these…or any goods… that sells for say less then $5.00 ineligible for feedback that affects the DSR rating. You can still leave feedback for the seller, but only counts in DSR rating if over the minimum.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Pipster

Tue Mar 25 11:00:29 2008

''Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller''

WTH does that have to do with anything? My cost for the items I sell is none of eBay's concern. As long as I pay my listing and FV fees, my profit margin is my business.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Anne

Tue Mar 25 11:01:06 2008

This is yet another nail in the coffin of small time ebay sellers,  I have been a seller on eBay since 2002, due to health reasons i had to give up selling physical goods so ebooks was perfect to give me a bit of extra income, but that has now all gone in one swoop,  eBay should have stepped in ages ago and stopped the 01 cent sellers then not allowed ebooks to be sold for less than $2..none of this needs to have been done unless it is part of a bigger plan by eBay which i beleive it is. I wonder who they will put out of business next. There wont be an eBay left soon ebcause they will have no sellers on there selling.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Charles

Tue Mar 25 11:15:07 2008

So, the seller who provides cross-stitch patterns and dress patterns can no longer sell those items for "digital delivery".

Will the be prohibited from selling the same items on CD? (Obviously more cost and effort is involved... the cost of blank media, time spent creating the CD, envelopes, postage).

Or will this ALSO be too much like a "flea market" to eBay?

eBay sucks.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Charles

Tue Mar 25 11:19:21 2008

As per usual, eBay uses a nuclear bomb to kill a fly.

Certainly this solves the "problem" of feedback manipulators, but many innocent and legitimate sellers are harmed in the process.

Their "compromise" solution is to send those legitimate sellers to the Classified-Ad-Dungeon while trying to convince the doomed sellers that they should be happy about it.

It's called OVERKILL. eBay is earning a well deserved reputation for all of their OVERKILL "solutions" that cause more harm and consternation than what was being caused by the original problem.

eBay sucks. Big time.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: dimes

Tue Mar 25 11:30:50 2008

How hard would it be for eBay to identify one-cent recipes, if it wants to eliminate them from the feedback pool?

For a company that exists only on the internet, it doesn't seem to 'get' how its customers can create thriving businesses using that same platform.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: rose777

Tue Mar 25 11:31:16 2008

Elizabeth,
I would love to check out your patterns if you don't mind sharing your eBayID or an item number. If you prefer not to I understand.
Thanks!

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: rose777

Tue Mar 25 11:38:52 2008

Here we go again with eBay micro-managing this company to death!

If buyers want to buy a product and sellers want to sell a product (and eBay and PayPal both make money) then why in the world are they trying to control that?  

If all eBay wanted to do was control 1 cent sells all they had to do was make the lowest starting price $1.00 for anything sold on eBay.  

Apparently, that is not all they are trying to do.  It appears eBay wants to elimiate small sellers and just do business with larger sellers.  

If anyone is thinking about giving eBay a run for their money NOW IS THE TIME!

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: thebrewsnews

Tue Mar 25 11:40:18 2008

There are many reasons why eBay would halt the sale of digitally delivered items.  Here are just a few:

1. Feedback manipulation DOES occur because of the sale of SOME digitally delivered items.  However, eBay has been taking action against this kind of feedback abuse for many months already.  Many sellers (including us) have received notifications that their feedback is being reduced because a new buyer has inflated their feedback with the purchase of multiple ebooks.  

Note that feedback manipulation exists because of the eBay policies.  Sellers need a certain level of feedback to be "rewarded" by eBay -- must have at least 10 feedback to list fixed price items, must have at least 100 feedback to receive paypal benefits of higher buyer coverages if paypal is accepted or to be exempted from having to take paypal.  Again, eBay does not know who their sellers are; they instead create artificial requirements that relate to feedback which, of course, leads to feedback manipulation.  You do not see feedback manipulation on Amazon because it is totally unnecessary for a seller to have feedback.  Amazon knows who its sellers are and they remove any seller who is not good for the community.

2. Software companies are suing eBay sellers directly as well as eBay for the sale of pirated software.  eBay obviously does not want to be liable for the illegal sale of software (or any other digital item for that matter).  Again, it goes back to the fact that eBay does not know who its sellers are.

3. There is a great deal of sexually explicit material being sold through eBooks.

4. Amazon Kindle is taking the digital marketplace by storm which has all sorts of implications for eBay.  I could spend hours writing about this topic... but enough said for the purpose of this discussion.


eBay obviously feels that they need to halt the sale of digitally delivered items for the betterment of the eBay community and to decrease their huge liability.  I won't debate whether eBay is right because my opinion of their business decision doesn't matter -- it is their "playground".

What I will say is that the manner in which eBay "informed" the community was wrong.  Dead wrong.  No doubt it wrong.   And irresponsible to the thousands of legitimate eBay sellers whose livelihood depends on selling digitally delivered items.

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: Richard

Tue Mar 25 11:46:19 2008

Yeah I am fed up with eBay as well, 1st they increase the fees for us digital product sellers, 2nd they're changing affiliate platforms (killing millions of links im sure) 3rd, they slap us with this  garbage classified listings policy. I've been looking for ebay alternatives this morning, and recently signed up for a free email with ebaysucks.com haha, burn in hell ebay :(

New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers   New eBay Digital-Download Policy Affects Auction Template Sellers

by: dimes

Tue Mar 25 11:48:13 2008

eBay is running a promotion for goods that start at 99 cents.

Why not just set a minimum 99-cent price for items that are digitally downloaded?  

It's not as if the company is on the hook for them, since its paypal subsidiary doesn't cover them in protection policies.

Instead of controlling them better, it's decided to simply leave that revenue on the table.  

Maybe it laid off the people who managed that side of the marketplace.

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