This is just a quick update from my last post.

I want to calm the fears that some people think you can’t sell your digital items via other mediums such as CD Rom.

This segment of eBay radio from Today clarifies the CD issue.

The information you need is just over nineteen minutes into the show. The call came from a graphic designer who was worried about her business. So now it’s official. You can sell your digital items in physical form.

Now you may think this is not an option. Well let me tell you if you do this right you can make this work in your favor.

First of all I know the automation side of things disappear, I know you can use fulfillment services but for me personally I wouldn’t do it. I need to be in full control of my eBay business.

If you’re a small time seller you can do this yourself and if your a big seller you can employ someone to do this task for you and that is my plan.

But let’s forget that side of things for now and think about what we can do to make this work in our favor.

I want you to think about the big product launches over the last few years.

You know, Butterfly Marketing, Traffic Secrets, Product Launch Formula, The 7 Figure Code, and many many more.

What do they all have in common?

They are all physical products.

Now I’m not saying you have to stop selling digital items. I mean most of my income comes from ClickBank, but there is going to be a massive gap in the market on eBay come next week and the demand for physical products will be huge.

You may not know this but I actually got started on eBay selling information CD’s. I used to make good money but I knew nothing about viral marketing and backend strategies.

That was back in 2003 and how times have changed. If I put into practice back then what I know now I think I would be a multi millionaire.

But as I discovered automation and became lazy I stopped selling physical products. Well this new policy change could just be the wake up call I needed.

I plan to show you over the coming days how to make this policy change work in your favor.

I am in the process of writing a short report and I will make this available very soon. It will definitely be ready before the 31st when the policy change comes into effect.

I will show you:

  • How you can charge more than your competition and still make more sales.
  • The biggest mistake you can make when selling physical items.
  • How this will provide a massive opportunity to sell other products.
  • What you definitely don’t want to be doing on eBay.
  • How you will generally see an increase in sales.
  • How you can still make immediate upsells after a sale.
  • How you can turn a $1.00 eBook into a $10.00 product.
  • How eBay’s policy change could be the best thing that has happened if you do things right.

And I am going to let you have this free. Just keep watching the blog this week.

As you can see the last blog post brought out some excellent comments so please keep sharing your thoughts. But please let’s try and look at the positives. It’s not all doom and gloom.

    58 replies to "eBay Policy Changes Not All Doom And Gloom"

    • Ryan

      I sure am glad it’s not all doom and gloom. And until you prove otherwise, I’ll trust that’s it’s all going to be okay. I guess I’ll just wait for that report…

    • Kirk Turner

      Thanks, John
      I have been a lurker but was ready to get started with my own digital products when this all happened. I can’t wait to hear your suggestions.
      I would also like to offer my services for duplicating other folk’s products onto CDs as well as shipping from a US address.
      I am Kirk and you can reach me at
      This could come in handy for all those in other countries who would feel a crunch from shipping fees and hassles manually doing it themselves.

    • Carol Smith

      As usual, great advice. I think there will be small businesses and beginners that don’t want to or can’t tackle the technical (although not hard maybe intimidating) stuff and don’t like the clerical stuff.

      I am putting together a simple setup that will provide services to these people on a personal basis. Although providing this service would definitely not be for everyone, I think it is right on target for “compulsive organization freaks” like me.

      Looking forward to your report. You can’t imagine how much I have learned from you by filtering “gold nuggets” from your e-courses, emails, blogs, etc.


    • Easy Stem Cells

      Hi John,

      I am little bit exited, but concerned about payment side of thing.

      I would prefer to receive payment first, before I post physical Product.

      What would You recommend?

      Many thanks

      Books 999

    • Avril Harper

      Thanks for more excellent information John. I wrote an article yesterday for people reading a magazine I work for and I am in the same frame of mind as yourself, namely that the news is probably much better than most people currently realise.

      I hope you don’t mind me reprinting the article here, it might help someone.


      The news emerged recently that eBay will no longer be allowing digital download goods of any type on auction, fixed price or shop listings as from 31st March 2008.

      They gave less than 7 days warning for a change in eBay policy that has tremendous impact on thousands of hitherto successful eBay sellers.

      That means you can not:

      – sell instant download items through the digital delivery system eBay introduced just a few years back where, immediately someone paid using PayPal, eBay itself told your buyers exactly where to go to download their goods.

      – take payment and send products as email attachments.

      – take payment and send download details directly through eBay’s message system.

      It was all so easy, it took just a few minutes to load each digital product on to eBay, then the whole thing worked on autopilot, even while you slept.


      That’s the bad news!

      The good news is:

      Actually that was also the good news! This new policy is potentially a blessing in disguise for many sellers of eBooks and other digital items such as software and resell rights packages.

      The changes are only bad news for people who can’t or won’t adapt to whatever options remain for selling digital items on eBay; it’s also bad news for the few rogue sellers who used digital products as a means of getting a bad name for themselves and anyone else selling those items on eBay.

      You see, the reason eBay says they have banned digital download items is to prevent people offering digital download products with intention to manipulate feedback points. It sometimes happened that people would buy, or sell, hundreds of digital items, literally for pennies apiece, and grow feedback of hundreds or even thousands of points within days. That high positive feedback score was used by a tiny few to fool other buyers into considering them trustworthy individuals, whereupon they’d use all this credibility to sell high price items on eBay with no intention ever to fulfil orders received before their crimes were discovered and they were finally expelled from eBay.

      So it follows, once the rogue element is gone from eBay, the vast majority of eBook sellers can now get the respect they rightly deserve and probably see their profits grow as a result of these short notice changes.

      So I don’t quite fully understand why so many people are worried on and off the Internet about how these new changes will kill their information publishing ventures. They’d soon change their minds had they listened in on conversations in a PowerSeller forum yesterday whose members came to the conclusion that these changes are actually hugely beneficial for most information sellers.

      Let’s face it, most people selling cheap eBooks weren’t in it for the money, they were using cheap eBooks to grow a list of buyers with intent to sell again to those people outside the eBay system. It worked like a charm and it went like this: someone bought, you added that person to your mailing list, then you mailed those people every week or so and you’d almost certainly turn one in five buyers into regular buyers (Pareto’s theory aka the 80:20 / 20:80 rule).

      So, although you might be making little or nothing selling digital products on eBay, you could very easily generate hundreds or thousands of pounds in easy profits every time you remailed those people outside the eBay system.

      But wait, there’s even better news to come, because eBay has not actually banned digital products from their entire system as most people think.

      As eBay was quick to point out after many hours of answering thousands of complaints from eBook sellers, you can still use eBay Classified Ads to sell your digital items or fulfil them on CD or convert them to print format instead.

      Physical products, on CD or paper, have higher perceived value than digital downloads so profit margins can be greatly increased for the same titles that have so far proved popular on eBay.

      Plus, there are still many ways to grow a list on eBay that don’t involve selling at a loss to get a person’s name on your mailing list.

      Let’s cut to the chase right now, let me tell you why you can still grow a profitable list on eBay; why you can still make a fortune selling digital and other information products on eBay; why this unexpected ban might actually be a blessing in disguise.

      The old system was easy, definitely, you set up the system and left it to make money for you 24/7, even while you slept. It was so easy that few people even noticed eBay had introduced a great new system called Classified Ads until the old system was threatened. The fact is classified ads., on and off the Internet, have for centuries been an effective and inexpensive way to promote products of all types, including information. Classified Ads work outside the traditional eBay system, you don’t actually have to sell direct from a Classified Ad., their main purpose is to generate leads for products you are allowed to sell outside the eBay system.

      One reason I gave up selling downloadable products on eBay a few years back was the sheer nastiness that sometimes ensues if an individual has trouble accessing their product and wants someone to blame fast. That someone is you, the seller, and instant download eBook sellers often found their feedback packed with undeserved and downright nasty negative comments.

      Here’s the best news of all: feedback does not apply to eBay Classified Ads., there are no final selling fees of any kind to pay, and a Classified Ad. can run for 30 days for just a few pennies a day.

      – Classified Ads. are less problematic and less expensive than most other eBay listing types and they are just as effective at selling.

      – You’ll get banned from eBay for promoting affiliate products through traditional auction, fixed price and shop listings, but you can list affiliate products all day long in Classified Ads. which, incidentally, also respond to eBay searches, unlike some shop listings.

      – There are many ways to grow a profitable mailing list on eBay, selling cheap digital products was just one way and arguably not the most effective way to grow a mailing list. You can, for example, write and link eBay Guides and Reviews to your About Me page where you are allowed to promote affiliate products. You can write articles or post in blogs and forums and again draw traffic to your About Me page to join your list and generate regular buyers for outside eBay sales. You can …

      ….. oh, I can think of so many great ways to turn this ban on digital products entirely to your advantage …. but I can’t tell you about it here, or I’ll probably be writing this article forever.

      Those two free reports mentioned a few days back, possibly three, will be ready very soon and they include, working titles only right now:

      * How to Sell Wads of Information Products Using eBay Classified Ads.

      * How to Grow a Mammoth Mailing List, Free of Charge, Entirely on eBay

      If you’d like a copy, it should be ready in a few days, please email me and I’ll let you have them as soon as they are ready.

      I’m hoping to add another report called ‘100 Places to Promote Your Information Products Free of Charge That Don’t Involve eBay.’ This one will be ready very soon, it’s very comprehensive, and it includes the exact system I use each day to promote my own information business.

    • Derek

      Hi John

      How will this effect the selling of adsense sites with hosting as I am struggling to see how these can be made physical


    • Cybamart

      I agree with John, in fact as I said when this first came acout, all you need is a website. The fact that eBay has done this has its great advantages – we no longer are confined to “everything else > information products” and a huge hole means we can still deliver the products digitally as described below.

      Ebay still allow free postage and still allow local pick-up – it is therefore for the buyer to decide whether they have a CD with the details on or “pick up” from your site. This allows you to use Adsense on your site for extra income traffic and of course you get more exposure.

      I panicked at first as I am just about to branch into lucrative domain names – but even they DON’T have to be delivered digitally, all it takes if eBay insist as such is a printed letter showing all of the new owner’s rights to the domain, which can, too, be “picked up” on your site – for each digital item I ever sold I did it this way, set up a secure page for the buyer to sign in and then they got their product link hosted on my server and related Adsense ads and affiliate freebies all the while – think outside of the box on this one and it is actuallly genuinely an exciting (and incredibly stupid for eBay’s benefit) move on eBay’s part.

      Don’t worry if you do not have a site, I can build you one, as basic or as much as you like for as much as you can afford. My site is, I sell the sites on but contact me at as I will build one for you catered to your budget just so long as you promise me – you’ll NEVER give in no matter what life (and eBay) throws at you!!

      Stay defiant. Merril

    • Cybamart

      Derek, Hi, I know you addressed that to John but I too sell sites and to make them physical all you need to do is print off a “Whois” page (go to or other such documentation and send it as a courtesy through the post. You can give the buyer the option of having this but if eBay insist on sending physical items, then there it is!!!!

    • Dave Ovenden

      Hi Books 999,

      I’ve sold quite a few physical items in the past and you are absolutely right to be concerned about ensuring that you have received payment up front before you send out your item.

      You can do this quite easily by, first of all, making it clear in your auction listing that you require cleared funds before you will post the item. Then, after the item sells, simply hold on to it until whatever payment option you have given your buyers has gone through, whether that’s Paypal (recommended), cheque or whatever.

      You can also make this clear in your post-sale emails and you can set up payment reminders to help as well. At the end of the day it’s quite simple – no payment – no sale!

      Ebay also have a process for dealing with buyers that don’t pay that gradually escalates. If they don’t pay after this you get a refund of your final valuation selling fee and you can re-list the item for free.

      I personally still don’t believe selling digital products on eBay is dead and I am going to try both the classified ads route and the CD option. I believe that there must also be a way to link the two methods via your ‘About Me’ page using links off of your auction listings.

      I’ve also summarised much of the comment and feedback on this issue at my newsletter site. There seem to be 4 main options and you can read more about the pros and cons of each of them here:

      Best regards,
      Dave Ovenden

    • Home-Based Business


      Thanks for the continued inspiration! Seems like whenever something gets “too good,” ebay or google changes the rules on us.

      I do believe I’ve seen some fulfillment services available for those who have large shipping volumes. You might “google” the term “book fulfillment” or “self publishing” for more ideas on this.

      Keep up with the good motivation! Seth

    • Peter

      G’day John,

      Thanks for the update. I appreciate your help as I am keen to keep my site forging ahead despite ebays digital ban!


    • Dave

      I am half way through John’s coaching programme and have just finished my first e-book and website. I am in the process of getting approval to sell it on Clickbank.

      When I saw the news about ebay I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Having spent the time putting the ebook together I was now looking at what I reckoned would be the main source of sales disappearing in front of my eyes.

      Thankfully I backed a good horse! I have faith in John’s approach and his honesty and I believe with his experience he will be able to see the positive’s in this change. I look forward to his next couple of blog post’s.

      Change is what makes us stronger!

    • Joe Kerrigan

      One concern about selling CD versions of ebooks is what is to stop someone selling-on the CD they have bought in much the same way as someone can sell a secondhand book. This would get round the copyright advantage normally posessed by an ebook without resell rights.

    • thelma

      Hi John,

      It’s good to be positive about this. You did great just to jump in there and deliver some goods. I think there is too many dependancy on one form of selling and in one Venue.

      It might be just downright dangerous! The way things are today,
      anything can happen. We all should be having a website to alter
      any emergency. This is one for some people because they did not have much lead way on what was to happen. Maybe there could be
      an extension of the time limit. Otherwise, people need to start ending their listing now so there won’t be any problems unless you
      have tried to make the Cd’s to send.

      How hard would it be to set up a Just Ebooks selling Meca where
      individuals can still sell their digital goods.

      Just a thought.
      Thelma Harcum

    • Fred

      The gurus have always advised to build lists and move into joint ventures with other list owners anyway. Now is the perfect time to do just that.

    • Charles


      Thanks for the updates on eBay policy. Am looking forward to what you have to say in the future.

      I am presently recieving your ebook marketing course but have not yet tried to sell any on eBay. What I have sold thus far have been physical products.


      Thanks to you also for your comments concerning eBay and list building. This aspect of the eBay business is something that I haven’t given a lot of thought to.

    • John

      Thanks for keeping us updated with the latest news and how to continue to use eBay to keep selling.

    • Christopher Phillips

      Hi John
      Just a quick thought.
      Ebay are stopping digital product selling and your solution is great
      but surely there is nothing to stop you selling your physical product and offering the digital item as well so as your customer can have immediate access while awaiting the CD.
      This way you are not selling the digital item this is a free bonus if the customer wants it.
      Surely Ebay cannot object to this as you are not selling the digital item.
      Just a thought because you could then carry on using whatever digital dispatch software you have purchased.
      I am surprised Ebay has chosen this path, if they wanted to stop the rubbish trading that has been going on why did they not just do us all a favour and make the minimum price for digital products say $1 or $5 or even better $10. Whatever their opposition to e-products at any time there are at least 10,000 of these items for sale in Ebay.
      Surely by ditching this revenue, however small, they will without doubt lose members who would also purchase other more expensive items.
      Could it be that there is one big opportunity here for someone like yourself to start a new website buying and selling digital products only and carrying on where Ebay finished, it only requires a good software program and the knowledge of how it all works…it would not take long for all those Ebay buyers and sellers to find out where the new site was. And of course there is nothing to stop you still using Paypal. Even in this department there is some oppostion brewing I recently had an email from a competitive Paypal type company offering $25 in your account just for joining and $10 per referal up to 10 new clients.
      I hope for Ebays sake they are not making the same mistake that a lot of the big corporations have made in the past by thinking that they can do whatever they want.
      History shows that when the worm turns customers are quite capable of voting with their feet.

    • Jim Parsons

      Good Morning:

      These comments are most revealing. The entrepeneurs, of all sizes, will not be stopped.

      EBay is only one site. Big, yes – but not the only frog in the pond. Without that competition, one or more of the many other smaller auction sites will energe and take up that segment of the market.

      You could buy a script, set up a site, and be the new big dog on the market.

      I am going Thelma’s route. Started planning some weeks ago.

      Why be locked into a position where your entire success or failure depends on companies like EBay, or Adsense – where you can be blown out of the water with a single shot by decisions over which you have no input or control.

      Here is a plan for a one person mimi mecca.

      Pick your niche and set up a blog. While promoting it, write a good ebook on one aspect of the subject. Put it in a sub domain and direct readers there. Offer an affiliate program through Clickbank, etc.

      Write a second book on another aspect of your passion and repeat steps above. Most hosting accounts allow for unlimited sub domains, so your mecca only needs one domain name. A lot less than EBay fees for a year of service.

      Make some lesser versions – viral marketing, and give them away by the truck full.

      If your book is a good one, it could be still selling ten years from now, and you will have added 20 or 30 more to your mecca and have become an established and respected author. You own mecca.

      Repeat the above as many times as you like in as many subject areas as you want. If you have a flair for whimsy and imagination, then the world of children’s books is a never ending market place. It just keeps growing and growing and …… Think about it.

      A disaster, guys, is only a disaster if you let it become one. A tornado tearing down your house is a heavy duty disaster, hard to recover from, but you don’t quit. This one is not nearly so nasty and, in fact, can lead to independence and empire building – – if you are not careful.

      Thanks for your good work over the years, John. Most appreciated.

      Jim Parsons

    • John Davies

      Thanks for your information John and your short report which I am eagerly awaiting as I was about to start placing ebook ads on ebay.
      Various commentaters have mentioned Classified Adds at about 20 pence daily but what if 20 ebooks were advertised in this manner.

      It would cost a lot of money each month. Am I right here or am I missing something?

      Thanks again John

    • The Watcher UK

      Hi John, Many thanks for your time and efforts. It seems that many of your Newsletter subscribers are being abit naive and lazy about all these new forth-coming changes regarding Ebay. Whilst waiting for you (John) to come up with an answer why not brain storm individually. Why not see how you can capitalize on the new changes and see how it will affect your personal business tomorrow. You have to see the business opportunity in all of this. If you personally are not keen on sending out physical products team with another seller and offer this as a partnership. Of course there is always the professional and trust factor but the problem with self-employed people is the lack of delegation and trust that kills their business and potential growth. Before Viral products as John in the previous blog mentioned we all sent things via traditional Snail mail.
      Yes I know we are in the 21 Century and email and electronic delivery is next to none but new changes are nothing new to the world. The unfortunate outcome I personally feel is for those of our fellow brothers and sisters in the Third World whose postal system is pretty much none existent. Please spare a thought for them, as this news will not sit comfortably with them. Can we all try and create or come up with a service or solution that helps those marketers in the Third world and less fortunate countries.
      We all love to be successful but we are in this together!! I feel very strongly about this. Fortunate for me I reside in the UK and have access to all the riches and resources available from most of the world. I am in the Entertainment industry and was researching and reading Internet Marketing material for the past 6 months. I have a digital and physical product the intent to launch very soon. I am not quite there where most of you are but I soon will be. I will definitely consider setting up the physical delivery side to this much-needed service now. I think we should stop thinking Micro and start thinking Macro not ‘Me but us’ when you think of your world globally wonderful things become opened to you from the universe. Try it see what happens. I personally am thinking of my own answers I will welcome John’s but no disrespect you all have your own brains use them and aid John and others. Become Marketing Leaders not followers. If there are any Third World or unfortunate post delivery Marketers worried about the new changes please get in touch with me and send our concerns maybe we can provide a good, quality reliable delivery service for you at a reasonable cost your clients can pay for. My email is please do not send me pointless emails as we are all busy trying to make a living please make your emails relevant to post. Subject Ebay changes. On that note. Many thanks if you post this out John. Keep up the splendid work I hope we can add to the solution and not the problem!!
      Take all marketers, to all your success and greatness. The Watcher!!!

    • Karen


      I agree that this is a blessing in disguise. This unexpected move by ebay forced me to re-evaluate my products. I sell a line of home sewing small business related products to a tiny niche. My products have sold well for $9.95 for an instant download ebook. Often a buyer would buy one of my products, then come back and purchase one or two more as they are closely related.

      By putting my ebooks on CD (thank you I am able to create combo packages And add bonuses that double or triple the value of my offering. I have increased my sale price to $14.95 for one ebook (with bonuses) 2 ebooks and bonuses are $24.95 and 3 ebooks with bonuses are $29.95. Shipping charges in the USA and Canada are $5.00 and International $7.50. Shipping discounts for multiple items sent at same time to same address. For instance 2 or even 3 CD/DVD’s sent in USA are only $8.00 for shipping.

      I tell in my listing that my buyers will receive a ‘professionally manufactured, beautifully packaged, cellophane sealed’ DVD. I also explain that I am charging exactly the same shipping amount as is charged to me by my fulfillment company.

      With the professional packaging that Kunaki provides my ‘Instructional DVD’s’ now make a lovely gift to give — a service that was somewhat awkward to provide in the past with instant download.

      I offer the added incentive for buyers to subscribe to my list by offering another topic specific freebie that they must go to my website to pick up. I make it easy for them to do by having the subscribe link on the DVD.

      My buyers are getting triple value and my profit will actually increase a bit. It is a little extra work right now updating my ebooks and getting it all nicely placed on CD, but I will have that completed this weekend and ready to launch once the instant download restriction is in effect.

      I have received many great leads and ideas from the folks posting on this blog. Thank you all very much. This is a great community.

      My next step is to get proactive and enthusiastically market my new products. I am going to try the classified ad as one step of the process. I have never used them before, but I am excited to see how it will all play out.

      Wishing us all great ‘good management’ (luck does not come into play here)


    • Marc Timberlake

      For those of you selling non-informational digital products, it seems the ebay announcement was slightly misleading…

      After a long conversation with three reps over live chat last night it was confirmed that items such as ebay user tools (sniper software, fee calculators, templates and such) can be listed within the ‘ebay user tools’ category as before, but as a classified ad. A little positive news for those, like me, that were facing the prospect of forced miscategorization (is that a word?). This will probably be good news for general software sellers as well.

      Next step though is to find out exactly what can and can’t be done with a classified ad, such as linking to external sites, or adding a payment button (off-ebay)… the current help page is near enough useless as I’m sure many have seen!

    • David Grace

      I knew John would be quickly working up something new. I am even sending my readers here to get different perspectives of the issue.

      I think Avril’s article is on the money. Classified ads will tremendously help those who are creating products and using clickbank because you can link to you squeeze page from the ad, which is an ad that gets 30 days of exposure! No more eBay final fees. You can also still use PayLoadz and link to your product there.

      You will also benefit from others who are seeking affiliate income who may also link to your product with their clickbank link in a classified ad.

      It can become a win-win situation. I look forward to the report John.

    • Jeff

      This go right along with what I’ve been telling my customers and lists. My biggest question for you, John, is what does this do for your 90-day challenge, and when can we expect a new version?

    • Raksha

      I’m sorry, but I don’t see this as a “positive” in any sense of the word – not for sellers and not for buyers. From the buyer’s perspective, when you buy an e-book, you want an instant download, instant gratification – you don’t want to have to pay shipping and then wait up to a week to get your item, then have to mess with the CD, etc. etc. Nothing simpler than simply downloading a file and having it right there for you! But if you know you have to wait, that lowers the impulse to buy. It’s far easier to say “Eh, I guess I don’t really need this after all.” As a result, the seller loses a sale and the buyer doesn’t get a product that might have been helpful to them. Ebay thinks its doing buyers a favor, I guess, but they’re not.

      And it’s even worse for sellers. Sure, we can “live with” the policy change and still make it work for us in a convoluted way, but it’s by no means a good thing. Classified ads? Last I checked, they run about $10 a month. Compare that to a few cents per listing in my store, which I ALREADY pay for. Just another way for Ebay to gouge us for fees – because they can. Because they have no viable competition. Yeah, there are other auction sites out there, but has anyone ever made a sale there? I haven’t. I’ve tried.

      And another thing – I simply don’t see the harm in a new buyer snapping up a few e-books for quick positive feedback so they can get started selling. MOST such people are honest and legit. To punish everyone because of the unscrupulous actions of a few, just seems way out of proportion to me. No matter WHAT Ebay does, there will always be scammers – they’ll just find new ways to achieve their ends. Meanwhile the rest of us get painted further and further into a corner.

      What Ebay doesn’t seem to realize, as it’s creating this supposedly sweet-and-friendly environment for buyers at sellers’ expense (can only leave positive feedback for a buyer, comes to mind), is if they run off the good sellers like those of us commenting here – then the buyers too will leave, because there’s nothing good left to buy. I speak as mostly a seller but also a buyer, who has relied on Ebay for necessary and frivolous items that you just can’t get anywhere else at such good prices – but I fear a lot of those sellers will dwindle away now. Personally, I’m thinking how I can shift the bulk of my business back to my own web sites and give up on Ebay altogether.

    • Scott Prock

      I agree mostly with what John is saying and trying to do just as he has. I used to always look at the brighter side of eBay’s stupidity but something I don’t see anyone talking about is the customers of the sellers that will have to change and adapt to survive.

      John states there will be a huge gap and suddenly everyone will want to buy physical products. That I have to disagree with. Just because eBay is taking an axe to the digital items on their site doesn’t mean that people will automatically start foaming at the mouth for physical products.

      There will be a gap that is for sure but that gap will be in digital products, and whoever can figure out a way to continue to deliver their products digitally will be the one who gets all the business from this fall out.

      Don’t get me wrong, I believe in what John is saying, and I’m sure many sellers will improve their sales because they will be improving their offerings, but there will still remain a market for digitally delivered goods because you will never get rid of the customers NEED to get their products NOW, not three days from now, but right after they click the buy button they want their product.

      Like I said, those who figure out how to continue to sell around eBay’s policy will reap the true money.

      Enjoy … Scott

    • John Tomlinson

      Thank you John for upbeat take on this news, I have in the past sold digital products on CD/DVD and it can work so I don’t have a problem there. What I am now having to consider is whether I trust Ebay enough to continue using there site at least for business. I appreciate that they have the right to change there terms of business but there are thousands of genuine sellers of these products on Ebay who have now effectively lost there business in 7 days. I believe they could have given more notice if they had wished to. As this is the 2nd time I have had to deal with this type of situation the decision that has to be made now is do I still want to build a business with a Company that could then destroy it without notice. Sorry No.

    • gourmet coffee snob

      I think that all of the moaners and whiners are just big babies and refuse to get their head in the game.

      Work is not easy but you don’t need to work if you work smart…read…think about what you’re doing and come up with a way to make your work less labor intensive.

      Maybe it’s time to refocus and rethink your plan. If you’re helping people…you’re helping yourself…’pay it foreard’…so who are you helping?

      You’re not livin unless you’re learnin. Learn to write classified ads on ebay…wanna see a lead-in for anything your can think of… look at this…use that in your ebay classified ad

      Do something like that in your ebay classified ad. There’s always the old standby…squeezepage.

      C’mon…this is the greatest opportunity that ebay has offered since it’s beginning…jus do it.

      ~~gourmet coffee snob~~
      Always Drink Better Coffee

    • Phill Hopkins

      John says look for the positives so ………

      here’s one nobody has mentioned yet.

      Get your broker to find you some shares in the companies that make Jewel Cases.

      Just a thought.


    • Carol Irwin

      I for one welcome the change in policy, as the first thing I do when I purchase a e-book digital is burn it to CD myself, that way I have a backup copy if my computer has a hissy fit.

      It will also show me the way to sell digital items on our own Auction site here in New Zealand Trade Me, as the have always had a policy of no digital items.

      Good Luck to all you ebookers.

    • Johanna

      I don’t have a problem with the new policy, in fact, it’s just a small change of plans.

      I also sell on other auction sites, so I know I’ll be just fine, even though I was a bit of a huge questionmark after the news reached me.

      Thanks for pointing some great facts out!

    • Socrates Socratous

      Hello John and everyone else,

      John, you are absolutely right about the opportunity
      that opens up with this policy change. Every change is
      difficult to adjust at first because we all got too
      comfortable doing something over and over again.

      As you know I am the creator of the Ebay automation
      System “MyDD” which automatically delivers digital
      items DIGITALLY after the purchase. At first glance,
      you would think that I would be devastated with this change.

      In fact I got many emails wishing me good luck with this.
      The reality is, I welcome this change with open arms.
      As a digital product seller AND as the MyDD creator.
      The way I see it, MyDD will become a more necessary
      tool than before now that to cost of doing business
      rises, people need to get smarter and use good marketing
      (such as upsels, list building, automation etc)

      This is part of doing business. Sooner or later, the
      low hanging fruit will be gone. Good business people
      go on to great success, where all the rest disappear.

      I strongly believe that AUTOMATION IS and WILL
      continue to be a top priority for the digital seller.
      Buring CDs manually takes TIME, and TIME comes at
      a premium.

      In order to have the TIME to invest in growing a
      business, you need to automate as much as possible
      and delegate certain tasks

      My team and I are working hard on adding a brand
      new feature into MyDD that will enable sellers
      to AUTOMATE the Shipping of Physical CDs and DVDs
      on complete autopilot (hands free).

      We expect to release this feature on April 1st
      and will be FREE for all MyDD owners.

      I look forward to playing ball in the new
      clean field of eBay.

      -Socrates Socratous

    • David

      Hi, John! Hello to everyone!

      I just wanted to mention that selling digital items on ebay is not completely dead, at all. In fact, I am sure that there will be strategies developed that improve sales rather than diminish them in the near future.

      It may come in the form of having a two step strategy between regular ebay listings for physical products and the Classifieds where digital downloads are still possible.

      In a Classified Ad it is possbile to put a PAYPAL Button on your page fullfilling the automated delivery feature. This is being done right now. Here is an example: (Not an affil link! But the url is HUGE!)

      You will see that the seller has an active clickable Paypal Button on his sales page for a single ebook! If you have say, 30-40 ebook covers with short descriptions and a Paypal Button for each item (linked to a download page or to your delivery script/system via the Paypal Button) in a SINGLE classifieds Ad you are getting a lot of exposure out of that one ad, I would say!

      You can edit the Classified Ad at any time during the run of the Ad (thirty days), a nice feature.

      Suppose you have an ebook that sells for $27 on your minisite out on the WWW – and you are driving traffic to it in various ways. You can sell this same higher priced item on ebay through a Classified Ad and also drive traffic to it the same as you would a mini-site but have the advantage of your Classified Ad coming up in EBAY SEARCHES as well…

      I know what you are saying! At the end of the 30 days the url you have been promoting changes! Yes, but the TITLE of the product doesn’t and this is what comes up in natural searches on ebay.

      The downside here is that there is no Feedback gained. But there is no feedback from your minisite, either! Only cash!

      I have sold digital products on ebay successfully to a niche (digital scrapbooks and rare radio shows priced from $9.95 to $24.95)) on CD to buyers in Japan, Germany, Australia, England, and Italy. Great Feedback, too! It works well…

      If the item is desirable enough people will pay the shipping to get the item. In time, I made some of these same products available as instant downloads and this worked out well, too. I did not change my prices in these cases but the buyer didn’t have shipping charges or the wait for the item. I thought it was perfect!

      If you look at ebay you will see Powersellers who sell a lot of things on CD and DVD and SHIP them physically or through a fulfilment company and this new rule will not affect them negatively, at all. In fact, they may be cheering because the playing field is now leveled quite a bit!

      If you have an html editor such a the free one called NVU – you can created Classified Ads with Paypal buttons quite easily. Or learn a bit of basic html coding. It’s not that hard to insert a Paypal Button or an image, links, ect., with bit of simple code you can learn on the web!

      Best always, David~

    • James Stewart

      HI JOHN
      I’m just getting started on the internet,eBooks and just joined
      Planets MS.I’m just a newbie but after reading all the post from
      today and monday i’ve picked up on a lot of useful information
      thanks everyone for the tips and motivation to succeed.

      As always Grasshopper

    • DataWorkZ

      Thanks for the info again, it will take the thinkers to get everyone who wants to sell eBooks to move forward, just like you are doing here and the comments from others! Kudos to you all!

      However, I have a question. What is to stop those CD and DVD sellers of digital items on eBay, selling them at the penny auctions and under a dollar auctions? Feedback manipulation can still be done and I don’t see how this will even address that feedback problem. Perhaps I missed something from eBay stating no more penny auctions? It used to be that a penny auctions was a circumvention of eBay fees, BUT there still are penny auctions. So, that is my question of the day.

      Thanks again for your positive look on things. I hope it helps the many stay in business and I suppose over the next few months we will see if the classified ads really work or selling it by CD or DVD will work to make enough sales to keep a store.

      Kris Williams,

    • Franck Silvestre

      Awesome John,

      I am looking forward to your report.

      Internet is crazy, I was just going to start again selling digital product and everything changed!

    • Stephen Spry

      Following on from the example provided above by David (the classified ad with paypal button one) I’m just wondering…

      Since you seem to be allowed to include HTML in your classified listing, then is it ALSO possible to include an i-frame? (I haven’t checked ebay’s TOS on this – yet)

      If so, your i-frame can be a page that is served from YOUR server, and you have 100% (and easier) control over the content of the classified.

      In fact… since you could almost serve up “anything” using that technique… maybe they have that banned too.

      Anyone know for sure?

    • Paul

      Hi John,

      Although I agree that there are many ways to look at the current situation the fact remains; eBay is penalizing thousands of people because of the actions of a few. I agree that the selling of a physical item does have its advantages but the decision to sell a physical item should be one that I myself can make. Now that decision has been made for me and I am forced to completely revamp my business in 6 days.

      I spoke with Silver Power Seller support and the rep was extremely helpful. He understood my concerns and for the life of himself he could not understand why eBay was doing what it was doing (these were his own words). His one recommendation was to send emails expressing your concerns to He said it might not make any difference, but it would definitely not make any difference if the messages are not sent.

      I have just sent the following message to I would encourage others on this blog to do the same. eBay has made changes and revisions to its policies in the 11th hour and it is never too late to try. Please be sure that your messages are polite and professional so we have a change of being heard.


      In one fell swoop, eBay has eliminated an entire sector of evolving and cutting edge commerce because of a few bad apples. Instead of imposing bans on particular sellers who have obviously manipulated the system or raise the minimum purchase price of said items, eBay has destroyed the businesses of hundreds if not thousands of honest, hard working sellers.
      I myself am disabled and the ability to sell legitimate digital delivery items through eBay has allowed our family of 5 to weather the recent economic storms that have impacted our nation and our family. By removing the sale of Digital Delivery items on eBay the economic future of my family and I have come into serious doubt. I am a Silver Power Seller and have been an active participant in keeping eBay a fair marketplace over the years. I actively report other sellers or items that are not abiding by the rules and do everything in my power to stand by those same rules.
      And what do I get for my years of loyalty and 10’s of thousands of dollars in fees; 6 days to change my entire business model. I have spoken with dozens of other people within my business community who are feeling the same pinch.
      eBay’s solution of using Classified Ads as a solution is short sighted and honestly ludicrous. Ask 100 eBay buyers or sellers what Classified Ads are on eBay and how to use them and perhaps 2 or 3 of them will have a firm grasp of what they are. The rest, like myself, have no idea about what they are. Previous of this week, I had never seen them on eBay or had used a Classified Ad.
      This is also reflected in the amount of education and support eBay itself gives to Classified Ads. To the best of my knowledge there are 2 pages devoted to the use of Classified Ads in eBay’s help system. However, there are numerous questions that go unanswered. eBay itself has made no effort to position Classified Ads to the eBay community at large and they are somewhat viewed as an afterthought.
      I would seriously hope that eBay would reconsider their position and not make such a knee-jerk reaction in dealing with a category of sales that is truly the next generation of the marketplace.

      Name and eBay account

    • Paul

      To David

      You cannot put individual Paypal links on classified ads. Nor can you place links to pages outside of eBay that encourage the buying and selling of items. Although Classified Ads are a somewhat different medium to selling on eBay, they are still regulated by the standard eBay TOS. Those pages that you see currently violating those policies will be removed from eBay. This information comes directly from eBay customer service, eBay trust and safety, and the eBay message boards. Please be careful in giving out information that may cause the suspension of people’s accounts.


    • Stephen Spry

      My earlier thought on including i-frames – just checked and that is in violation of standard ebay TOS

    • Harjit Irani

      Thanks a lot to John and Avril harper who are doing their best to keep us informed. More than that they are trying to create an oppurtinity in this. Bless you.

    • Rich Boy

      To PAUL
      I was told by ebay Platinum Powerseller Support that it is not a violation to put direct paypal payment links inside classified ads. I was told that the ONLY way to sell digital items is to sell via classified ads, which means automatically there has to be some form of payment button inside the website.

      Why would powerseller support tell me this, if its a violation of ebay policy? They are not banning digital items, they are just forcing people to use classified ads and avoid the ebay feedback system entirely.

    • Glen McNiel

      You’ll probably hear this same basic message throughout the forums, however I’ve yet to find anyone who really has a solid plan of how they’re going to deal with this slap in the face by eBay.

      Basically, I understand why eBay made this move. I just think the way they sprung it on us was, well… infuriating.

      We can do what we can to persuade them to repeal the decision, but I doubt they will. But what I think we really need to focus on is evolving.

      I’ve got very specific plans on how we can (all of us digital retailers) actually turn this problem into an opportunity. I’ve written about it in a little more depth on my website

      I’m an Internet Marketing Coach and I have a soft spot for everybody who is busting their butts to sell stuff on eBay. I started a lot of my newbie students out on eBay. And have since taught them to build a more solid business model, and work on multiple revenue streams.

      Probably the most important takeaway I can give you right now, is that if you’ve been selling on eBay for a while, you’ve already got one of your greatest assets.

      A LIST OF BUYERS. As we all know, a list of buyers is exponentially more valuable than a list of prospects.

      I propose that we all extract the names, emails, and product purchase details out to our bulk mailers. Then, setup a “coming soon” page website with an optin form. Work on making the new site a respectable looking shopping cart behind the scenes. While building a buzz with our list about our upcoming website launch.

      I’ve got a killer viral promotion that I’m going to run for a new website launch that’s going to grow the list tremendously. I expect to have a nice big pay day in a few weeks when I relaunch the information products part of my business on a new site.

      If you’re really feel stuck in the mud, and aren’t 100% sure how you should proceed from here. You might want to subscribe to my newsletter. In each email I’m going to spell out, step by step what me and my friends are going to do. I won’t be hiding any secrets from you guys, because I truly want us all to be successful.

      In case you need it again, here’s that address, it’s the easiest way to get in touch with me:

    • Richard

      You cannot list different items in one classified ad. This is the text from Ebays webpage here:

      “Listing multiple items, properties or specific services in one Classified Ad is not permitted, unless the items, services, or properties are being sold as a bundle or lot, or as a multiple quantity listing.”

      so bang goes that idea, it also says . . .

      “Classified Ad listings must comply with all existing eBay Marketplace policies including eBay’s Listing Practices policies (including but not limited to Accepted Payments, Keyword Spam, Miscategorisation, No Item, and Links policies) Prohibited and Restricted Items Policy, and rules pertaining to Intellectual Property (How eBay Protects Intellectual Property (VeRO)).”

      So Pauls message to David could be correct depending on the Ebay staff member dealing with it at the time, no matter what Powerseller support has told Rich Boy. After all it does say ‘policies including . . . . . . Links policies’.

      You can view the links policies here:

      I think many Ebay staff are as confused as we are!

      I think cds and dvds are the way to go. I found some software that create autorun cds and created a small guide to show you how to do it. You can download it from here:

      I’m sure it will come in handy for many of you especially as the software is free.


    • Jad

      It seems the policy is moving to ebay UK too! I was just trying to list an item on ebay UK and i got the same message that was on ebay US saying that as of March 31 i am not allowed to list digital items. I thought ebay UK was not affected but it seems it is. Any idea?

      I wanted to put a snap picture of the error message but it seems i cannot here.

    • Ray Johnson

      Hey John

      Hope your’e well mate.

      As you know I DON’T GURU bash – but I have a educational audio on my blog made by a member of my team – that I am sure will benefit YOUR readers.

      *** Play The Audio NOW ***




    • David

      Hallo, Guys!

      Thanks to Paul, Richboy and Richard for their thoughts re my post. Remember, we are all in a state of flux here and it may be that the link policies read by Paul do not now apply to digital items sold in Classifieds? We can only hope!

      However, a lot of information is being flung about – a lot of ideas that won’t hold up under scrutiny and I was offering what I heard elsewhere on this subject and tossing out some IDEAS not necessarily FACTS!

      It did not occur to me that I might be throwing anybody under a passing bus when I gave an example of what was being done by a Classifieds seller at this very moment. I just figured this seller knew what the rules were and I was sharing an example of what can be done to automate sales for everyone. No good deed goes unpunished as they say!

      The current links policy says exactly what both Paul and Richard point out. However, perhaps Richboy’s talk with Platinum Powerseller Support trumps what the pages currently say about links? If you look at the info still on eBay’s pages concerning how to sell digital products – you still see how to use eBay’s automated delivery system!

      Ebay has a lot of pages to update, too!

      If the Paypal Button completes the transaction but doesn’t leave eBay’s control to do it since they own Paypal perhaps it will be okay to use them. I HOPE! If Paypal is owned by eBay but is considered a seperate business then we are out of luck entirely unless this link rule has been changed as per Richboy’s conversation with PPSupport. Time will tell, I guess.

      If you cannot direct people to outside pages where other items are for sale from your Classified Ad that is understandable. If you can only use a form or email client link so that buyer’s can ask questions about your items “ensuring the buyer is not encouraged to complete the transaction outside of eBay which circumvents eBay fees” – I understand this point of view, as well, if this was an Auction.

      But if the transaction can be completed via a Paypal Button (which earns EBay a fee) and if there are no listing and FVF’s (Final Value Fee’s) involved – how is eBay being circumvented from fees it is NOT CHARGING?

      The method of payment is supposedly left to the Seller and the Buyer to agree on, correct?

      By offering a Paypal Button in the Ad it seems to me that you are communicating your preference right there. After all, it is not an Auction. And digital downloads are supposedly allowed in Classifieds. I think it is a perfect solution and eBay should have no problem allowing Paypal Buttons in Classifieds since they make money from whenever they are used!

      It is sad that we can’t list different items in a Classified Ad as Richard points out. There is another great idea floating down the River of NO Returns!

      Regards to all, David~

    • David

      Hallo, Again!

      I just went to eBay to check out how folks are using Classifieds and let me tell you – it is WILD! Some Ads sell directly to the reader with a Paypal Button. Some link to “more information” which is their off-eBay website sales page (mini-site) where there is a Paypal Button or Clickbank link. Some link to their own eBay store. Some others have html-ed their entire STORE into the ad so that on the left side of the page you have all of their store links. Some link to opt-in pages. Prices vary from one cent to thousands of dollars for ebooks and physical products in these ads.

      There are a ton of income systems, and more than a few ebooks. I tried to find some of the item titles with an eBay search and found them all coming up in the results.

      Go check them out.

      I have emailed Paypal to ask if their Buttons are allowed in eBay Classifieds. No word, yet.

      Best, David~

    • Dave Ovenden

      Clearly there is a lot of confusion over the classified ads and what can be included in them and what can’t. With regards to links, there are also 2 slightly different policies between and You can view them both here:

      You will see in both that they do not explicitly state that PayPal buttons or opt in buttons cannot be used. However, as both of these types of links clearly take potential buyers outside of the eBay system they are probably covered by the general policy on doing business outside of eBay which is what the links policy is designed to prevent.

      Having said that, these policies were designed for the situation prior to the digital products ban and so surely need to be updated to reflect the new policy.

      Classified ads are regarded as a lead generation mechanism by eBay and from 31st March they will be the only way to sell downloadable digital products on eBay so, if you can’t include any external links on the advert, I can’t see the point of using them at all! Perhaps that is eBays intention.

      Hopefully things will become clearer in the next few days. I think eBay themselves are playing catch up with this and it demonstrates to me that they really didn’t think this thing all the way through.

      I’m currently running a classified ad with an opt in form on it. All the other links go to pages within eBay such as my About Me page. So far, so good! You can get the link to view the ad from my blog (address is in the header of this post).

      Good luck to everyone with this. In the meantime I’m off to burn some CDs!

      Best regards,
      Dave Ovenden

    • Jad

      You cannot put any links in your classified ad… even paypal payment buttons!!!!!! To sell, the buyer has to contact you through the ebay system or you put a phone number and the buyer calls you. After that, and if he agrees to buy, you send him an invoice!!!!

      What a stupid mind behind all of this!!

      Below is a paste of Brian Burke (The Smart Guy!) answers to this question of adding links to your Ad:

      Posted by shipscript post #696:

      • Users need to know if there is a links limitation in Classified Ads.

      • If the products are for sale on the member’s website, can the Ad include links to ALL the selling pages?

      • Can the Classified Ad link to any other websites for additional info on the item?


      Regarding links; members can’t link off eBay to a site that directly offers items for sale.

      So, they can’t use the classified ads format as a way to redirect people to their store. It’s not a sign post for their website.

      They can use the classified ad to directly offer items, and offer the buyer the ability to contact them directly, or purchase an item. For example, if a seller has 10 templates, the seller could list all 10 with a code (e.g. template 1), offer PayPal and tell the buyer to identify which template they are buying when they pay via PayPal.



      Brian Burke
      Director, Marketplace & Feedback Policy

      You can read this post from the source below:

      Johnnnnnnnnnn, please comment 🙂 Save Us!

    • Bcobber

      Just thought I would inform any Aussies here that Ebay Australia has already made a start in changing the digital items policy.
      I discovered today that they have already removed the ability to list a digital item. I went to live chat to find out what was going on and was told that I would have to manually inform buyers of the digital download “for now”, and to watch out for an official announcement next week that will stop digital items being listed.

      I knew it was coming after everything that has happened in the US, but the thing that really annoys me the most is that they really don’t seem to care about how much notice they give you!!

      Luckily for me, they are refunding my listing fees!

    • Jad

      Yes, ebay AU will stop it and do the same as ebay US.. i posted few days ago about it.. i contacted them and they said so..

      The same is for ebay UK.. i was unable to list items in the everything else category few days ago… i got a message saying thet may not allow listings as well.

    • Jad

      A question to John or any other member here.. when we convert our items to CD’s.. will we be allowed to list them under any category or we are still restricted to the “Everything Else” category?

    • Peter Jacobs

      E-books are dead . . .

      A bold Statement I know, but true…………… Well as far as Ebay are concerned.

      If your interested in discovering how you can produce Multimedia Information Products that make you money……… For FREE…. From someone who has done just that for over 26 years, you need to get this FREE VIDEO COURSE today.

      Now it’s a shame that eBay has come to this decision, but like many people have already stated. Look for the positives and not dwell too much on the negatives, as this will surely drag you down into a deep feeling of despair and confusion.

      Move on, and look for other more lucrative ways that you can make money online. There are a number of discussions on hundreds if not thousands of blogs and websites looking for ways around this current situation. Some I feel will look towards trying to manipulate and deceive eBay and continue to try and sell their e-book and digital products on their site.

      Over the last few days, I have listened to audio discussions as well as reading debates on this subject, by very successful e-book marketers and the one thing that is common amongst all of them is they are running scared. Very very scared of the possibilities of losing their current income and the success they have built up over the years.

      Now many of these successful e-book marketers have come to a number of conclusions, and one avenue is to convert their current business activities of digital e-books/software into a physical item, and as a successful producer of physical multimedia information products (I had to laugh when I heard an audio discussion describing Multimedia Information Products as something NEW !, or atleast the term Multimedai Information Products )

      I invited many of the Ebay Ebook top Sellers to contribute to the show. But have realised, that a more indepth discussion or help package would be better.

    • Issam

      Ebay UK bans Digital Delivery Items

      Items delivered digitally will be banned from ebay UK on April 29. There is no classified ad option too.

      ***Change to downloadable media policy ***

      01 April, 2008 | 02:09PM BST

      From 29th April, we’ll be banning all goods that can be digitally downloaded or transferred electronically from being listed in any format on and We’re doing this to prevent bad experiences and preserve the integrity of the Feedback system.

      While they are a small portion of the marketplace, listings for digital goods often lead to bad experiences for our buyers and contribute to a perception that eBay allows unauthorised or illegitimate items to be sold on the marketplace, such as electronic copies of books.

      Unfortunately, these goods also create the potential for Feedback manipulation as they are often reproduced and then bought and sold at little or no cost to the seller and buyer.

      This new policy will come into effect on 29th April 2008. We encourage any sellers who think they will be affected to read the Downloadable Media policy and review their listings accordingly.


      The eBay Team

    • TomC


      One thing that has been missed here.. is that do not have an “Everything Else” catagory for classified ads!


    • satellital internet

      Hey, for reasons uknown when I place your RSS feed into google reader, it does not function. Can you give me the RSS page just to make certain I’m using the right one?

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