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Ebay’s New Digital Policy

Over the past few days, I received a number of e-mails asking what I thought about eBay’s new policy change concerning digital download products, so I created a mini-report to share my take on the matter. In the report, I share my opinions on the pros and cons of eBay’s decision, as well as some teriffic, simple strategies you can use to make the leap into the world of physical products. You can download this free mini-report HERE.


11 Responses to “Ebay’s New Digital Policy”

  • As always Tony… you have given a positive spin on a topic that is running rampant across the web with negativity.

    The links you provided are quality sites that provide excellent products at reasonable prices… something all marketers are happy to add to their arsenal of tools.

    One note: Lulu is one of my favorites for publishing “real” books. Amazon however is taking LuLu out of their loop for published books. Now if you want to sell through Amazon you will have to jump through many more hoops. :(

    Always having products available through our own websites is the key for longevity. This way we can shift to new avenues of marketing products.

    If eBay isn’t available for digital style products, we all need to be nimble enough to find new avenues for keeping those products alive.

    Turning digital products into hard products is a great idea to keep a position on eBay. But shouldn’t we all have been producing hard products in the first place?

    Never leave your business open to the whims of giant marketplaces… as we can all see… they can change their minds on short notice… putting businesses that depend on those giant marketplaces at risk.

    Multiple streams of income includes multiple streams of marketplace… I’m just saying… 😉

  • Larry:

    I didn’t have the same reaction as you did Tony when hearing about eBay’s policy change. I thought my questions were being answered in a very finalized way.

    For some time I’m been torn between whether I should deliver digital products over the Internet or physical products via the mail. Being a former printer and academic, I have always been partial to paper-based products. As I grow older, I really don’t want to stare at a computer screen to read some great information nor do I want to print out everything using my printer which makes the cost of gas look like tossing pennies in a well.

    Delivering physical products, even CDs or DVDs, can only help us all as you have said because it will raise our product’s perceived value in the eyes of potential customers and force us to make better products. So what if it takes a little more work. It will weed out the “scammers” and opportunists leaving the field to the serious business builder.

    Thank you eBay for being there and reminding us of the big picture; in spite of ourselves.

  • Ed Brooke:

    Good Morning Tony – thanks for the positive approach on this beautiful Saturday morning. Your words have my mental juices flowing – it’s going to be a great day for ideas and actions.
    Also, I enjoyed hearing about your “R and R” day. Made me want to go out and find a used bookstore to explore. Keep awritin’ for us….ed….

  • Robert:

    Have to say that its about time too many people have been getting away with underhand methods selling digital products.
    Yes it means more work,but the extra work should be worth it for those who are serious about selling information products.

    Hats off to Ebay for making a good decision which will probably create a very lucrative market for those willing to put the effort in.

    Thanks for the info Tony

  • Jeanette:

    For once, I think eBay has made a good decision to stop the digital delivery system. I guess I’m from the “old school” and I like having a cd, dvd or book in hand over a digital product anytime. I know I could print these off myself, but with the time that’s needed and also having to own the products to do this, I prefer paying a little extra and waiting for one to be delivered to my mailbox.

    Thanks Tony for always being on top of things and giving an alternate solution. Out of all the many marketers online, I trust you more than the others combined. It seems like you truly want everyone to exceed and you always give more than 100%. Thanks again, :)

  • Dear Tony,

    Thank you so much for this valuable information! You are so right. A physical book is much more enjoyable than reading from a screen. There is something special about curling up with a good book.

    With Love,


  • Karl:

    Thanks Tony for being the first IM’er to actually look at this change as a good thing. I’ve been looking at selling ebooks on ebay and was always disheartened by all the crap there too.

    Moving to CD or DVD, as you say, gives the author the chance to better the product. Now an ebook can be delivered with instructional videos or an audio version quite easily.

    Thanks again for “looking on the bright side” instead of spewing doom and gloom messages like so many others.

  • Thanks Tony for this report, and for the tips on sources for turning digital stuff into ‘physical’ products.

    I’ve been selling my own Public Domain ‘physical products’ on eBay for several years with good results.
    I’ve also sold a few ‘digital’ PD products for the last couple of years.

    In terms of net profit margins and ease of delivery, digital goods win over physical goods almost every time. But, in terms of customer service issues, I’d rather sell a real book than an E-book any day of the week.

    I don’t know if it’s just eBay buyers, or if it’s all buyers of digital goods, but I’m amazed at the percentage of ‘digital’ customers who contact me, sometimes weeks after a sale, asking when their ‘book’ was mailed. Despite the fact that my eBay listings clearly state (in several places, in RED letters) that they are buying a ‘digital, downloadable, E-book’ and that ‘nothing will be mailed to you’.

    For the customer service issues alone, I am happy that eBay is forcing me to rethink my sale of digital goods.

    That said, I still plan to try out the eBay classified ad format to see if it’s worth offering eBooks that way. Heck, it might turn out to be cheaper than paying listing fees every week and final value fees on every sale.

    Thanks again. Keep those PD cards and letters coming.

    John R. Cumbow
    Out-of-print and hard-to-find books and
    information for glass artists and collectors

  • Thanks so much Tony,

    I suppose I am fortunate because I have only 50 or so digital items and I know some have hundreds. I also sell other this and that. But I have been really trying to determine……what is the easiest way to move these items over to another delivery method?
    You have given some fabulous options, thanks. However, I am still confused a bit. Many of my resell items came in one big package. Some are garbage and I have never bothered to list them. Some have some good content and so have been moving. My question is, should these products from others that have value, be combined into one hard product. ie I could sort and make a collection of simular themed ebooks for sale, such as recipes….

    Another thought I had which would perhaps bend the new rule is…..I sell a item as a CD, but I offer bonuses that will be available immediately (via emailed link). Another variation on this is….I ship their product, but while they wait they can download it via a link I email.

    What do you think of these ideas??? Do you suppose it is a push too much on eBAy?

    Time to start ending listings and restructure.
    Good luck all and Tony…glad I found you.



  • Tony,

    Your absolutely right. This is a huge opportunity!

    The truth is you now have the opportunity to integrate online marketing with off-line strategies. It allows you to reach out to people in new creative ways, as opposed to that overcrowded email inbox everyone has.

    People are very reluctant to give their name and address on opt-in boxes, so how much is that name and address worth?

    Thanks for the great information you give us.

    Chris Swain

  • Hi Tony, thank you for your excellent advice and helping all of us understand this change. I run a membership site called which is digital and we do sell on ebay. I’m not sure how I would turn this into a physical hard product. How ebay will handle membership sites I guess remains to be seen. Keep us all updated. Many thanks!

    Warm Regards,

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