eBay Gives The Green Light To SMART Marketers

As eBays arcane rules and regulations make things ever more complicated for buyers and sellers alike, isn’t it funny to hear when they do something that actually hurts them, not the sellers?

This is the announcement in case you’ve missed it:-

“Digital goods are often reproduced at little to no cost to the seller. On eBay, this creates the potential for Feedback Manipulation (both real and perceived). To preserve the integrity of the Feedback system, effective March 31 all goods that can be digitally downloaded or transferred electronically must be listed using the Classified Ads format.”

I think that’s fantastic news for digital goods sellers certainly.

Now all you have to do is run one carefully worded classified ad to get any amount of traffic and email subscribers.

It also means that eBay will lose a small fortune on listing fees.

I think that maybe what they’ve done is add 2 and 2 together and got to 4 without understanding the motivation of many sharp minded ebook sellers.

According to that announcement, eBay are saying they believe that they need to do something about the feedback system being manipulated.  Well this move won’t achieve that.

It’s just as easy for anyone to open a hundred dummy eBay accounts and “sell” non-existent physical goods for a dollar to any of the other accounts without going through PayPal.

I’ve seen scammers do this.  Hundreds of feedback from clearly made up accounts all owned by the same person.

No.  That’s not the reason.

eBay are trying to clean up again.

They did it a couple of years ago with the diet pills et al, stopping certain goods from being listed as a home page item.

They believe that all the ebooks are giving eBay a bad name, and so they’re cleaning up shop without having thought it through.

Because of the high price of listing fees for classified items, they believe that ebook sellers will steer clear of listing in that way.

I predict that the sharper ebook sellers will use classifieds and save money.

And are you ready for a flood of ads for ClickBank products?

How about this?

A classified listing for a quit smoking report for free.  Just enter your name and email address to get your special report.  Don’t forget to confirm.

Once you’ve subscribed, you get your report which has affiliate links inside it, and then each day for the next week you get information on various ClickBank promoted products in the form of a review.

After the first week, you get another product each week related to quitting smoking, again in the form of a review.  They’re all set up as autoresponder messages.

If one classified listing generates 100 leads, you’re going to get at least one sale for something sooner or later, and your listing fee is paid for.

Even if it only generates 10 leads, you’re still going to get a sale eventually.

As soon as all those ebooks disappear, the smart eBay marketer is in the money.

Here’s the eBay announcement if you want a laugh.


Watch this blog for an announcement coming soon that will make you VERY happy indeed if you’re a digital download seller.


-Frank Haywood

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  1. Amin says:

    Frank, you should start writing novels because you’re the master of the cliffhanger.

    “Watch this blog for an announcement coming soon that will make you VERY happy indeed if you’re a digital download seller.”

    I shall watch this blog indeed. And I agree with you about the ebay thing. I’ve read some very scared comments on another forum related to ebay. Most of the people on there had been told this will give them new opportunity, but nearly all of them are scared witless.

    I think getting rid of the part-timer wannabes is a good thing.

    Time for some smart marketing.


  2. Ken Trueman says:

    Yes Frank, Classifieds are worth a try.
    I have listed Classified before but mainly for affiliate sales.
    As long as you can achieve the correct title words you will get visits (and clicks).
    Like any other eBay listing you, need to carefully consider the keywords and wording of the Classified Ad you are using.
    There are other benefits too i.e. the listing upgrades are better than Auctions,
    (Be careful here though, you can pay up to £55.00 a listing).
    I will be giving it a shot–Anything is better than writing CDs and posting them.
    If it comes to that as the only choice I will pack it all in.
    Ken Trueman.

  3. Frank Haywood says:


    If I can get something sorted with my developer in the next few days, I GUARANTEE eBay digital goods sellers are going to be very happy with me.

    We’ve been talking about it for a while, and we were going to add this feature in the next release of SmartDD, but I intend to bring it forward as a special release.

    I’ll be discussing it in depth with my SmartDD developer tomorrow night.

    Ken: Don’t throw the towel in just yet. That new development and announcement I just mentioned will sort you out.



  4. Joe says:

    I agree… they also banned magazine subscription sales for similar reasons…

    I got a double whammy yesterday…


  5. Ken Trueman says:

    I look forward to your “New Development”.
    Meanwhile I will start writing and listing Classifieds.

  6. I have to agree with above comment that you are the master of cliff hanger.

    First thing that came to mind was to stop and open a CD writing service since I am here in America and could burn cd’s and mail them out Faster and for a Fraction of the cost of over seas.

    By the Way – There are services that already do this and have a system down but now is the time to stick your neck out and make some money. Honestly all these ebay sellers are scared guess they are going to learn internet marketing.

    Ebay is a great tool but they are not the only tool never put your eggs in one basket I think is the phrase…

    sorry this is such a ramble I’m typing fast

  7. Ken Edwards says:

    Hi Frank

    although i agree we your comments, i will be glad to see the back of 1 cent ebooks

    i see 2 major issues with the classified ads

    listing for 30 days $9.99 as we all know most sales are done as the auction ends, and as listings are displayed ending soonest
    it will only be the last couple of days that your add appears

    secondly we are encouraging transactions outside of ebay, and that puts some people off, they are there to buy off ebay, and some are reluctant to make a transaction outside of ebay protection

    what we need is some smart cookie that that can develop ads with such good keyword placement, they will get seen often

    warm regards


  8. Judi says:

    Thanks for something upbeat.

    I finally got all my systems down, checklists (especially for SmartDD functions), etc., and was starting to see some eBay sales. The eBay idiots seem to have no idea of what it takes to be a responsible ebook seller!

    Unfortunately, most of my book sales have to do with how to sell ebooks on eBay. Obviously, diversification is now a top priority!

    After spending way too much time looking at all the IM methods out there and finally choosing the ‘ebooks on eBay’ model, eBay’s decision is more than a little disturbing/depressing. I look forward to hearing about what you have up your sleeve that will save me from having to start at square one!


  9. Dave Ovenden says:

    One of the potential solutions to this change in eBay policy is to transfer digital content to CD and then sell it as a physical item.

    The downsides of this are the potential for a lot of additional cost and time involved in producing the CDs but I have found a great resource that will do all of the hard work for you at a very reasonable price.

    Given that many people seem interested in going this route, I’ve put together a couple of Camtasia videos which walk you through the whole process. You can view them at my blog here:


    Please note – no affilate links – this is just useful information (I hope) and nothing more.

    Let me know what you think!

    Dave Ovenden

  10. Deen says:

    I looked at it your way also. I haven’t listed anything for months now (maybe a year). I just didn’t want to get into the 99­¢ “feedback buying arena”. But I’m considering putting up some ads (you can advertise more than one item on a page). I figured I’d get a few subscribers that way and eventually make some sales.

    Dean Of Info

  11. Mike Russen says:

    Thanks for the headsup Frank.

    The funny thing is I closed my eBay shop earlier on before reading your blog. I have used the classified for a while and it works if you keep bumping the ads.

    Waiting for the “cliffhanger” you mentioned,

    All the best


  12. Hmmmm ….

    … So I think its time to be one step ahead of eBay and show people how to clean up shop … (in $$$ respect)

    EPA will have to change !!! – more work for AJ huh …

  13. Clive Praed says:

    Frank, You wiley old fox you!

    You’ve really given me a couple of ideas.

    Necessity being the mother of invention, I think eBay is going to give me more money than it ever did before.

    The Grumpy Old Chef

  14. Amin says:

    Frank, an addon to SmartDD to send the XML file to Kunaki, or similar, would be a MASSIVE addition. Count me in, even if I have to buy the upgrade with real cash. :)

    Hey, if I guessed right do I get an extra 15 minutes to purchase it before everyone else?


  15. Steve P. says:

    I’ve been getting excited by the prospect of selling digitally-downloaded products (website templates, mainly) via Ebay, I’ve followed the guides to e-selling on the E-sources website (who recommended SmartDD, btw) and all this is now giving me pause.

    Does this mean that NO downloadable items at all will be able to be sold on Ebay? A complete waste of my time and money if that is the case. I’ve paid for hosting, I’ve carefully created my own goods for download, and now this.


  16. Mike says:

    I’m always amazed at some of the decisions ebay makes. How much money will they lose with listing fees, plus subscriptions like Selling Manager. I’m off to cancel my Selling Manager now.

    I guess they’ll clean up some digital products, but I think many digital product sellers will just stop doing ebay and that could affect ebays bottom line.

    The classified ads will be worth testing. If it works – great. If not, screw ebay, I will be gone.


  17. Frank Haywood says:

    Okay, I’ve just made another post that will help.

    The important thing when something like this happens is, DON’T PANIC!

    There will be several new solutions arise when people put their thinking caps on, and 3 months from now you’ll be wondering what all the fuss was about.

    Go and read my latest post.

    -Frank Haywood

  18. Edson says:

    Sup Frank

    I signed up for your newsletter for this exact reason. you can light the path when it get dark.

    I know you will come up with something and I await next to my computer wanting to know more.


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