New Photobucket Policy Makes a Mess of eCommerce
A new Photobucket policy has made a mess of many eCommerce sellers listings on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other marketplaces.
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A typical little notice about a change in the Terms of Service (TOS) that most people don’t read created a huge problem today.
Effective June 20, 2017, Photobucket no longer allowed free accounts to use the service as an image hosting site for marketplaces, eCommerce stores, or any other website.
Third party linking now requires the Photobucket Plus 500 plan which is $399.99 per year. This plan is the only plan that allows for unlimited linking and third party image hosting.
MANY USERS ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT NO WARNING
While this TOS was communicated to all users by email, most people just don’t read them. Often they include minor legal changes when they do occur and mostly do not have a significant impact on users.
This one was different. Not only did Photobucket sneak this into a simple TOS update, but the timing of it could not have been any worse.
On the surface, it looks like they allowed for a two-week grace period, but to implement this on July 4th, when many people are celebrating a holiday was just adding insult to injury.
SOCIAL MEDIA BLOWS UP ON PHOTOBUCKET
The backlash on social media has been tremendous with many people threatening to quit Photobucket. Some users have accused the service of blackmail as the time to change to another solution can be time-consuming.
There has been no official statement by the company on this issue, and one has to wonder if they care?
While third-party linking is a strain on hosting, the fact they forced this on users with little warning is a bit disconcerting. The remedy seems steep, and the company could have done a better job communicating the policy change to its users.
This sudden change should serve as a reminder to all eCommerce merchants that rely on free services. Such services can make changes in an instant with disastrous results to your sales.
Were you impacted by this sudden change in policy? Let us know in the comments below.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.