Thousands of honest eBay sellers and small business owners made additional income on eBay by utilizing the service eBay created called “Digital Delivery” – Until…
Last month when Brian Burke, Director Global Feedback Policy, made an abrupt statement. On March 24th, 2008, Brian Burke announced digital delivery and information products would forever be banned on eBay core listings by March 31st, 2008. This was explained as a “Feedback Manipulation” issue by Brian Burke. Later Stephanie Tilenius, GM of eBay North America, made a statement indicating the problem was an issue of fraud.
No matter the issue (and we all think neither fraud or feedback are the real reasons), ending Digital Delivery on eBay has effected many honest eBay members in a very negative way. These eBay members have not manipulated feedback or perpetrated fraud, they simply developed information or intellectual products and delivered them in a fast and convenient way. The sellers did this with eBay’s express encouragement for many years.
One such seller is a Disney fanatic and expert. His name is Tim and he has a website and eBay store:
You can see Tim’s eBay Store Here: Magical Mouse Books & More
Tim and his wife started selling Disney merchandise on eBay several years ago. But as I said, they are both Disney fanatics and go to the Disney World theme parks as often as possible.
Tim learned about digital delivery from eBay. He researched how it worked and he thought it was a great idea. He just needed something to sell that could be delivered digitally. Tim studied and thought and then one day it came to him…Disney!
Tim and his wife produce, write and edit guides to the Disney Theme parks. This information is not available from Disney and covers topics such as where to stay, what to see and how to avoid the crowds.
These guides sold well and people found the guides to be a good deal. Tim and his wife became big fans of eBay Digital Delivery and are loyal and honest sellers on eBay. Magical Mouse Books & More sells Disney merchandise as well as the downloadable guides, and Tim & his wife also have a Disney World Travel Business. They did not think of themselves as people who were manipulating anything…nor did their customers. Tim was simply offering his customers something they wanted – information they needed – and he delivered it in a modern and efficient manner. In fact, it is the same manner in which airline tickets are delivered across the world in today’s travel industry.
Then it all came crashing down.
Brian Burke made his announcement and eBay ended Tim’s and his customers’ mutually beneficial relationship. Tim had invested a great deal of time and effort into these guides. He and his wife had checked the details, updated the location information and written the guides all on their own. They had an investment in all of these materials. No matter if they were printed on paper or delivered in bits and bytes, the information still took time and a real concentrated effort to assemble and organize.
Tim was not just going to forget all of that work and leave the guides on his hard drive. He found a way to get the information transferred to DVDs or CDs, printed the labels, found the Jewel cases and the special media shipping packaging…
Magical Mouse relaunched the Disney Travel guides on eBay.
To make life more convenient for his customers, Tim decided that in addition to delivering a real hard copy of his Disney Guides, he would also offer the a downloadable guide at no extra charge to anyone who bought the hard copy.
Tim had heard from many experts that this would not be a problem. In fact, Griff had said on his radio show that this would be an acceptable solution as long as the hard copy of the product was offered and delivered.
Below you can read what happened to Tim on eBay.
Do you think he broke the rules? Are the words “Digital Delivery” banned on eBay even if the hard copy is sold and delivered as well?
I thought you’d want to hear about my latest experience withand the digital delivery policy.
We finally got a physical product provider and listed three.
canceled all three, saying it violated the DD policy. They cited a specific line of our listing where we stated that in addition to the physical data CD, we would provide a digital copy immediately upon payment.
When we contactedsupport, they responded that they canceled the listings due to a link violation in one of the three listings and did not address the DD issue at all. It seemed like a canned response. We have since relisted the items and removed as many references as possible to “digital” anything and they’ve stayed up.
Here’s a link to the current listing: eBay Listing
Just thought this might be an experience you might be interested in. Take care.