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Josh Kulp’s new strategy
Mar 31st, 2008 by estreet

Josh Kulp (eBay ID jjfjq) is shipping his eBook on a CD. He says his eBook contains over 100 pages of information and includes video so CD is the best format for shipping.

Josh’s new listing has a shipping charge of $2.49 and the eBook price is unchanged at $19.97.

Josh Kulp jjfjq

By shipping his eBook, he is free to sell his product and use any eBay category. eBay prohibits digital delivery sales starting today. This listing is listed in category:
Everything Else > Education & Learning > Adult & Career Education > Business > Entrepreneurship

Auction-promotion goes NARU
Mar 31st, 2008 by estreet

Another eBay pulser went “Not a Registered User” in the past few days.

Auction-promotion goes NARU

Auction-promotion used the “make track” trick as I described in this blog post.

Caleb confirms that his Auction-promotion account went NARU due to eBay’s claim of copyright infringement. However, the items were sold some time ago and he is working on getting his account reinstated.

Kekoa64 got his eBay account reinstated this week after being NARUed for about 30 days (since Feb 27).

eBay is really clamping down on copyright infringement. Skip McGrath says this about the recent ban on digital delivery items,

This is another case of eBay dropping a 2000 pound bomb on a target that could have been taken out with a rifle. And in the process they destroyed the market for thousands of people selling real products that deliver value. This includes a lot of software designers, store designers, visual artists, musicians and writers who use eBay as a primary market for their products.

It’s March 31.
Mar 31st, 2008 by estreet

What’s the eBay Pulse going to look like at the end of today?

Today is supposed to be the last day that you can have digital delivery auction, fixed price or store eBay listings. On Mar 27, eBay disabled the ability to list new digital delivery items except in the Classified Ad format.

If I were a Pulser, I would just use first class mail delivery for $1. Kekoa64’s eBook is only 20 pages which would be 10 pages double sided.

Here’s what it looks like this morning (6:20 am PT).

ebay pulse

eBay Pulser wanna be
Mar 30th, 2008 by estreet

Someone wants to get on the Pulse in a major way. http://www.getafreelancer.com/projects/Perl-CGI-C-C/eBay-Pulse-Cron-Script.html

4 bids at an average of $1138.

Digital Delivery Auctions on eBay already disabled
Mar 29th, 2008 by estreet

It’s impossible to list Digitally delivered auctions now. eBay disabled it on March 27, 4 days early. It will be an empty eBay pulse next week.
:-(

Goodbye to eBook Auctions on eBay
Mar 28th, 2008 by estreet

Everyone is buzzing about eBay’s decision to restrict the sales of digitally downloaded items to the Classified Ad format. On March 31, the eBay pulser “make money” eBook auctions will be gone. Currently, the eBay Pulse in the Everything Else category is filled with Auction, Fixed price and a few Store listings.

http://www.esellerstreet.com/search.php5?catID=99

Why did eBay do this? The official answer is,

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.

http://www.ebaychatter.com/the_chatter/2008/03/digital-downloa.html

I’m surprised by the change and by the official reason. First, there are a lot of sales of eBooks and eBay will lose the revenue. (note to self: get the sales figures for part 2) Second, padded feedback isn’t that big a deal, is it?

The new Best Match search results incorporate shipping price and feedback. That makes feedback a bigger deal than in the past when search results were simply based on price, end time, and location.

There are comments from eBay experts like this from Janelle Elms,

Classified Ads on eBay As mentioned in the eBay announcements yesterday, eBay is removing all digital downloads (read e-books) from the site by the end of this month. This is awesome!! Bye-bye all you ridiculous e-book scammers who are driving our good customers away from eBay…and HELLO to Classified Ads for the seller’s with legitimate products…one of the best kept secrets of the online marketing crowd. You can learn more on the eBay site about Classified ads at: http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/buyer-ads.html and you can read the recent eBay ‘digital download’ announcement at: http://www2.ebay.com/aw/core/200803.shtml#2008-03-24125416

Skip McGrath is a noteworthy eBook seller who writes,

Feedback Farms were 99-cent listings where a seller was essentially selling an eBook at no profit in order to quickly build up their feedback rating. Most of the eBooks were pure junk –bought from other sellers for 99-cents with full resale rights.

http://blog.skipmcgrath.com/public/item/200270

Janelle (http://osirockstars.com/) and Lisa Suttora (http://www.WhatDoISell.com) have tips on how to recover if you are an eBook seller: Blog

I just love watching the antics of eBook sellers. I bet this will stimulate some pretty inventive marketing techniques to write about next week.

Cornflake sells the 2nd time around
Mar 22nd, 2008 by estreet

cornflake on eBay pulse

This cornflake didn’t fetch $200K like the previous auction listing did before it was terminated early. But we have a happy ending. Melissabyu left positive feedback for the buyer just 30 minutes after it ended.

cornflakefeedback.jpg

The media buzz died down and they only got 6000 watchers the second time around.

cornflakewatchers2.jpg

Cornflake Auction gets on the eBay Pulse
Mar 19th, 2008 by estreet

Here’s a noteworthy eBay Pulse item:
cornflake on eBay

Worth $200,000? The seller states that this item was pulled by eBay as a violation of selling an unpackaged food item.

Q: I’M CONFUSED ABOUT YOUR AUCTION. THE AUCTION I SAW HAD A BID OF OVER $200,000.00. IS THIS THE SAME AUCTION? JANICE Mar-18-08
A: We are the same sellers of that auction, which did reach over $200,000.00 before eBay pulled it off because we were selling unpackaged “food.” This auction is only selling a paper, not food. The coupon can be redeemed after the auction for the Great Illinois Cornflake.

Let’s look at the watchers.
corn flake watchers on eBay

The price of the original listing hit $200,444 with a peak of 8,975 watchers last night at 6:15 pm eBay time. It was relisted at 10:30 pm yesterday, just 4 hours later.

cornflake on eBay compared to Illinois

I’ve lived in Illinois for the past 17 years but I’m no authority on the state. I turned to Photoshop to see if it really looked like Illinois. Hmmm…. What do you think?

eBay affiliate link changes
Mar 18th, 2008 by estreet

Prepare to take action in April.  All of your eBay affiliate links must be changed, but there is nothing you can do right now.  You have to wait until April 1 to get your new links.   http://affiliates.ebay.com 

 Commission Junction used to run all of eBay’s affiliate program. Then just a year ago we changed our eBay affiliate links to eBay’s “rover” servers. That put eBay in charge of the tracking clicks, purchases and redirects to the proper eBay pages. CJ.com was still responsible for reporting and payments to the affiliate.

Now the eBay Partner Network will run all of the affiliate program functions starting April 1, 2008. I hope eBay improves the consistency of the program. Some of the weaknesses of the current program are:

1. errors in reporting purchases

2. variable reporting times each day

3. having to download a spreadsheet to view the actual items purchased

4. inability to log into CJ.com

From April 1 to May 1, the CJ and eBay programs will overlap. Switch early to get a 5% bonus for April sales.

You can receive an additional 5% bonus for all traffic tracked through eBay Partner Network in April 2008 (bonus applicable to traffic sent to Half.com and US, UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, India and Spain eBay sites). The sooner you migrate, the more you’ll earn! Just:

Register with eBay Partner Network on April 1, 2008

Confirm your registration, and obtain your new identifiers

Update your links with your new identifiers.

Reminder: Please plan to complete migration by May 1, 2008.

http://affiliates.ebay.com

Security hole on eBay
Mar 13th, 2008 by estreet

Ina Steiner of AuctionBytes.com writes an excellent piece about a huge security hole on eBay. In the article, a German watchdog group reports that criminals in Romania are exploiting a weakness within eBay listings to direct eBayers to a spoof site. When an eBayer views a malicious listing, the criminals retrieve the user’s email address, eBay user name, partial credit card info and watched item list.

Once they get this information, what do they do with it? I can see two ways to defraud victims:

1. The malicious listing includes links to a spoof eBay site. The user is prompted to log into a fake eBay page which supplies the criminals with the eBay username and password.

Now they can hijack the user’s account. They change the password, list lots of 1 day listings for Western Union or cash payment only, collect the money and run.

2. Once the exploiters know which items the eBayer is watching, they send fake Second Chance Offers for those items. Victims are lead to spoof sites or instructed to pay with Western Union or cash. Again, they run away with the money.

How do they do it? Using Javascript, you can send any information contained in a webpage to another site. The normal usage of Javascript in listings is to embed objects such as flash. Think of Auctiva’s showcase. They legitimately embed your Auctiva account info into your listings and send it to their server at load time so they can properly display your showcase content. I don’t know how, but the article clearly shows that there is a way to obtain an eBayer’s personal information from an eBay listing.

I assess that this is a complex operation that involves expert technical knowledge, money laundering and coordination of people. The technical expertise is not in the scripting, but how to not get caught. They have to design a system that keeps them untraceable or moves their IP addresses every few hours.

Why don’t people who are this intelligent just create a legitimate business? I suppose the governments and business climate in Eastern Europe and Africa don’t support small businesses and financial success. Or perhaps they do support small businesses that specialize in international crime. {Shrug} In either case, you have some super smart people creating opportunities for themselves.

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