My Take On The eBay Digital Item Restrictions

My Take On The eBay Digital Item Restrictions

So, the end of the world is nigh, from March 31st eBay are to ban you from listing any digital item that is sent to the buyer in the form of a download link.

As you can imagine there has been an immense amount of backlash towards eBay from hundreds, if not thousands of eBay sellers and I’ve been lurking around taking in all sides of the coin. I also came across this on my travels which I couldn’t resist posting – full credit to “krazzykats” on the eBay forum who originally posted the image below:

eBay Dress Code

I’m not going to be giving you a rant on the rights and wrongs of the decision, but what I am going to do with you today is to show you how you can continue to sell your eBooks on eBay, and how it could open the door to an endless amount of new income streams and opportunities.

For my first piece of advice, I’m going to do something that I haven’t done before:

(now imagine some spooky music has just been played)

I’d imagine that 99% of you will know who John is, but for those who don’t – John is the ultimate eBay eBook seller and to work within the new rules, John is advising you to ship the eBooks on a CD – which I agree with. What I don’t agree with is this comment on Johns blog he posted today: (Click here to see what i’m disagreeing with)

“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.”

The first thing John mentions is that the automation side of things disappears, but I don’t agree, and here’s why.

It’s now (or will be on March 31st) illegal to send buyers any download link for the product they purchased via email, but it’s not illegal to use your digital delivery scripts to send notification to the buyer once they have paid – all it takes is a quick edit of the email template that gets sent out and you are in business.

How does something like this sound:

“Dear Bob Smith,

Many thanks for purchasing Dan’s Guide On Taming Shrews With Attitude Problems, your CD is currently making it’s way towards the comfy cardboard delivery sleeve and will be waiting for you on your door mat within the next 5 days.

We appreciate that these 5 days will be a tough wait for you. So in the meantime, how would you like to get your hands on 5 free eBooks as a thankyou for your custom:

We would love to deal with you again, we couldn’t have asked for a nicer customer!

Many Thanks,
Dan The Friendly eBay Seller”

With your CD’s taking around 5 days to arrive, there is a window of opportunity there waiting for you to use to your advantage. The email above is slightly tongue in cheek, but think about it, how many other sellers of physical goods can offer the buyer added bonuses that they can check out BEFORE they get there hands on the item they purchased.

You can use those 5 days to build up a relationship with the buyer, and that’s BEFORE they even receive the eBook they purchased from you, by the time it comes through their door in some cool looking cardboard sleeve they will already be loving your service as you’ve gone the extra mile and delivered something of added value to them that they weren’t expecting – can you imagine the sort of feedback you could receive if you put this into place?

Now more on the lovely cardboard sleeve…

John recommends that you do the burning, packaging and shipping of the CD yourself. Let’s look at the costs involved with that:

1.  Jiffy bags/CD wallets to post in
2.  Blank CD’s to burn the items on to
3.  Machine to print labels on the blank CD’s
4.  Ink for the CD labels
5.  A label printer for the addresses
6.  The price to ship the CD
7.  The endless queues at the post office!

This aint good for my back!

The above would give you total control over the shipping process, but how much time would all of that take if you were to do it day to day, and if you had a full time job as well, would you be able to find time for the daily trip to the post office?

Now let’s compare that with my solution –

Use an on-demand CD printing and shipping service!

I’ve used in the past for a number of different projects, you simply upload the “Master” CD to them via their website, and then each time someone purchases your item, you just log onto the website, fill out the delivery form with the buyers name and address, and hey-presto, SwiftCD burn, print and ship your CD to the end user.

Not only will it take a lot less time than doing all of this yourself, I think that the end product would also look a lot more professional. Take a look at an example CD I had shipped by Swift:

A CD of mine for a project that has never seen the light of day

I also think that when you look at the cost of shipping and burning the CD’s yourself, SwiftCD could actually work out cheaper – especially if you are in the UK!

For the basic mailing package (which is all you’ll need), the cost of burning the CD and printing your artwork (or just a text label) on the CD is just $3.69, you then have the shipping costs which are currently $0.41 to a US address and $0.90 to a non-US address.

So in total you are looking at less than $5, or £2.50 per CD. When you work out how much it would cost you to do this manually, and the amount of time you would waste queueing at the post office is it really going to be cheaper to do it yourself?

I should also point out that the pricing mentioned above was correct at the time of writing, for an upto date pricing guide check out the links below:

CD Creation:
Shipping Prices:

I will also point out that any links in this post are NOT affiliate links, I have no affiliation with SwiftCD other than being a happy customer for a number of years. There are of course other companies out there and you may be able to find better deals if you dig around!

I’d love to hear your comments on what seems to be a very poignant subject to a lot of you.

As always thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it,

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