EBay’s Sweeps Up Digital Product Listings
Last week, eBay instituted a new policy for digital goods. Effective March 31, sellers of digital goods will no longer be able to list them in the regular fixed-price or auction format. They will have to use the Classified Ad format instead.
EBay Director Global Feedback Policy Brian Burke says the policy is intended to curb feedback manipulation, spurred largely by sellers creating multiple listings for goods that are inherently infinite in supply.
EBay has designated its "The Chatter" blog as a type of FAQ page about the change:
Question: Why is eBay requiring sellers of digitally downloaded goods to list their items in the Classified Ads format?
Answer: Most items that require digital delivery, once created, can be very easily replicated. This ease of replication creates the opportunity for sellers to list thousands of the same item in an attempt to manipulate the Feedback system. It also creates a perception that even legitimate sellers of Digital Goods are manipulating the Feedback system. This dynamic — real and perceived — undermines trust across the entire marketplace.
We understand that digital goods, by themselves, are not the cause of Feedback Manipulation, but clarity of policy and ease of enforcement require all digitally downloaded items to be offered via the Classified Ads format.
The policy change will not affect CD or DVD sales, but only goods and services transmitted electronically via email or download.