Anyone who sells items that can be sent by email or delivered through eBay/Paypal’s download service has certainly had a rough week. eBay announced earlier this week that sellers of digital goods would no longer be able to list those items in auction format. Sellers of digital goods would be required to list their wares in the classified ad format that costs $9.95 per ad and doesn’t receive any on eBay feedback for the transactions (since they would all be completed off eBay).
The main reasoning for this rules change was stated as FEEDBACK MANIPULATION. Many of the digital downloads are easily replicated and any seller could quickly generate thousands of listings and pump up their feedback. Unfortunately all goods that can be “shipped” digitally do not fall in this category of items, eBay listing templates and store templates come to mind.
Yesterday, Brian Burke answered some of the biggest questions about the new requirements for digital downloads on the eBay Chatter blog. Probably the best news from this blog post was that Brian says that custom services like auction template designs and store designs do NOT fall under these new guidelines for digital downloads.
This is because website designs are considered custom services because the buyer and seller work together to design and implement the template. He did say that a Single template page even if you could customize the color or “insert your name here”, would not be considered custom services and would be required to be listed in the Classified Ads format.
The eBay template designers are not out of the woods yet! It remains to be seen if the automated software processes eBay has in place will recognize that the listing is for custom work and is ok to list. Not to mention if T&S would “automatically” cancel a legal listing should it be reported by an eBay user.