Sell digital products on eBay safely and easily without the hassle of manual distribution, open other revenue streams using ZeroOne's automated digital delivery and fraud screening.
Amid the COVID inspired digital boom, more business owners and creatives are looking to sell digital products on eBay. However, eBay’s rules for selling digital goods differ from their physical item guidelines.
We will take you through what you need to consider before selling digital products on eBay, the tools that exist to automate and increase sales and how to protect yourself from card-not-present fraud.
First, it is important to familiarize yourself with what constitutes a ‘digital product’ on eBay.
Anything which is ‘delivered’ to the buyer via the internet – whether this is sent directly to them by email or downloaded via a private link – is digital goods. This can include:
• Domain names
• Digital textbooks
• Digital trading cards
• Online gaming virtual items
• NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) may be sold only when they follow certain requirements including
These are just a few of the digital goods that can be listed and sold on eBay, though there are some exceptions regarding which of these items you can sell.
The main policy that you must follow when selling digital goods on eBay is that the digital goods you are selling must have been legally acquired by you or be your own intellectual property.
This means that you must have legally purchased the product and have ownership rights or hold the copyright to the item. Otherwise selling the item is classified as copyright infringement – this is prohibited by eBay and can, of course, get you into legal trouble with the copyright owner. Due to piracy issues in the past, eBay prohibits digital copies of movies or codes that were included as part of purchasing the physical disk.
There are also exceptions depending on the nature of the content you are listing. The most strictly-enforced rule here is that the nature of the digital product cannot be pornographic in any way – attempting to sell explicit photos or videos via eBay will likely result in a removed listing and account suspension.
You also cannot sell anything that carries the risk of infecting the buyer’s computer with any harmful viruses or malware, such as bootleg software or third-party programs which may contain spyware. Put simply, if anything about your digital product could damage the buyer’s computer in any way, you cannot list it on eBay.
If your item falls into any of the above categories, it is worth connecting with eBay support to clarify their rules or find a more fitting platform for the sale of these products.
If you have familiarized yourself with the guidelines for digital goods and have made sure that your item is eligible for sale on eBay, then you are ready to post your listing.
1) Make sure you know exactly how you are going to deliver your item to the buyer. For some, it may make sense to ship physically, as you will avoid fraud risk. For others who would like to streamline their efforts and create an excellent guest experience, you will want to ship digitally using ZeroOne for automated distribution and fraud screening.
2) Make sure that you state this method of delivery in the description of your item.
3) While using the ‘classified’ ad format, you cannot use the ‘fixed price’ or ‘auction’ selling format when selling digital goods on eBay. You will be asked to select this category when you first go to list your item. When listing your item, you will be charged $9.95 by eBay and the listing will stay live on the site for a fixed term of 30 days.
4) In the description for your item, clearly state that you are the owner or intellectual owner of the item that you are trying to sell or, if this is not the case, that you have permission to sell the item from the copyright holder.
If you have proof of this that you can show in your listing without giving out any personal details, then it would not hurt to include this in your listing – eBay might come across the item and question whether you really do have the authority to sell it, so including evidence of this will protect you from having your item wrongfully removed.
Overall, you must be clear in your description to potential buyers. Ensure that you clearly state the nature of the item, the method of delivery and that you own the content you are selling. Being direct and clear in your description will protect you from being flagged for investigation by eBay.
While it is true that there are a lot of guidelines and things to consider when selling digital products on eBay, there is a market that exists and is growing, particularly as solutions like ZeroOne works to automate distribution, guest and vendor experience, and safety.
ZeroOne integrates with many of the leading ecommerce platforms to help vendors distribute digital products instantly, affordably, and safely, so you may want to see all the integrations we have to offer if eBay is not a fit. However, in the digital boom we are experiencing, eBay is still a great site to use to reach new customers and add to your existing revenue streams.
Just be sure that you follow the terms of service, adhere to the guidelines, and pay close attention to regulations when listing your item – you could find that eBay changes the way that you sell your digital products in the long run.
Etsy provides great options for the modern digital goods entrepreneur, giving access to an active buyer count of 96 million - a 37.8% increase year over year. ZeroOne eCommerce is proud to help automate and secure Etsy digital product sellers
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