I had to say goodbye to my trusted partner "eBay"…

ebay-digital-delivery.jpgI thought eBay had the looks of a mover and shaker in the digital download trend. That is… until March 31, 2008. This is when eBay decided that due to fraudulent feedback on cheap e-products they needed to require ALL digital products be mailed on a CD or advertised in the classified ads section of their site instead of instant downloads and free shipping. “No exceptions!”, they scolded the shocked digital sellers.

“Okay, I’ll try it,” I mused. So I did go into the CD fulfillment business for a while, but here’s the problem– it took too much time away from the best part of EasyDigitals.com– creating and launching products and tutorials for you. AND more importantly my customers, who had grown accustomed to the convenience and speed of digital delivery, were disappointed that they had to wait for snail mail AND they had to spend extra on shipping.

I then researched the idea of using a fulfillment company to do all the CD making and mailing work but it had it’s own set of problems including expensive shipping and handling cost to customers and loads of extra set up and paperwork to make it professional.

EBay is a big company and I’m guessing they can recover from the loss of digital sells for now by selling more, hmmmm… cars or widgets? My question is this…considering that we are in the technology age… aren’t they taking a step back? Cutting off the wave of the continuing trend to digital instant downloads and a huge stream of future income? Not to mention the movement of the booming small business owners of the world?

To me it’s like a big business proclaiming this to their employees, “New company policy: We will now use snail mail only because we have gotten too much spam with email.” In other words, throwing out the baby with the bath water.

I also would like to address this comment on eBay’s site, “Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller.” Yes, the cost to reproduce and email products is low, however, the initial cost of time and resources to produce e-products can be just as high or higher than other products. Sometimes my products take months to get just right and during that time I’m not making any money. Not to mention business expenses such as software and education. Just like a person that writes a book can spend a year or more writing a book and then sell it and finally be reimburse for the year spent writing–and that is only if the book is successful, sometimes products flop and sometimes they take off. And it’s the same for many companies like Microsoft, Adobe, and what about the iTunes store? People spend years working on software, books, music and then they sell them to the public as a digital download and hopefully recover and profit from the investment of their time.

So, did eBay throw out the baby with the bath water? Did they really TRY to find a viable solution before calling it quits? You tell me, what do you think?

  • Cindy

    My husband just got us Royals Baseball tickets off eBay a week ago. They were digital delivery and print out tickets. I guess eBay can’t catch everyone and I wouldn’t want them too because it’s a great service to many customers.

  • Kim,
    Glad to see ebay’s changes didn’t slow you down! And no I don’t think they tried at all. I think they will be back downloads in the future, it’s just too big of an opportunity to walk away from.