Digital Downloadable Goods must be listed using the Classified Ad listing format effective March 31st.I had heard about eBay's changes in the digital download space, but it did not really appear on my radar screen because I do not sell or buy digital downloads. I am still too steeped in the media of the past to purchase digital downloads.
However the clatter on the internet from some bloggers and fans of digital downloads caused me to take a closer look at the situation.
Brian Burke the manager of eBays feedback system had a question and answer session in the Chatter Blog. Why is eBay doing this?
The reason for this change is the concern about Feedback manipulation (or artificially padding a member's feedback score). Since Classified Ad format listings are not transactional, no feedback is exchanged between buyers and sellers and no feedback manipulation can occur.I personally find this reason hard to believe. I think that eBay knows that the quality of most of these types of products are substandard and just wanted to reduce the number of sellers who offer these types of items. And if those sellers start listing their items in the want ads that will help kick that format off.
According to the Chatter Blog a special online workshop will be given on Friday April 11 at 2pm Pacific time. Brian Burke and the host of eBay Radio, Jim "Griff" Griffith will answer questions on how to use the Classified Ad format to maximize your digital goods business. We should all stay tuned, I'm sure more details are to follow.
I'm just not too sure that this will work out the way that eBay wants it to. Here is a golden opportunity for anyone who could build an auction site just for digital downloads. Who knows that could end up being the start of a real competitor for eBay.