Advantages like zero postage costs and immediate delivery mean its no surprise that so many eBooks and ePatterns are being sold on eBay today. So if you've no idea what an ePattern is read on...
What is an ePattern?
ePatterns are electronic documents that Sellers can distribute in one of two ways:
- via a link to the Web
ePatterns are stored on a website and Sellers email Buyers a link to the document. Buyers then visit the link to print the document or download it to their own computer.
- via email as an Attachment
Sellers (like myself) send the ePattern as an attachment to an email which the Buyer can save to their own pc and print themselves. A paperclip beside an email means it has an attachment.
How good are ePatterns compared to the ‘real thing’?
Many ePatterns distributed via email are scanned copies of the original paper pattern (hopefully not copyrighted!) so when printed should look similar to a colour photocopy. Some Sellers (again like myself) produce their own ePatterns from their own designs. The quality of instructions will vary wildly from Seller to Seller, as not everyone has the computer skills necessary to produce a professional looking document. If their feedback looks good then you've no reason to doubt the instructions will be presented to the best of their ability, and that they probably know what they're talking about when it comes to their chosen craft.
The same applies when buying a Link. Feedback and listing text give a good indication of what you will be getting.
I’ve never done it before…what do I do?
When buying a Link the Seller should explain the process in the listing. If you're unsure then contact the Seller before placing a bid.
For attachments the process will vary depending on your email program. If you do not see a prompt to 'Save Attachment(s)' when you open the email, try looking for this option in the 'File' menu if you have one, or in all the menus if you don't. When you've found it save the attachment in the same way you would any document.
Are there any disadvantages?
You may be disappointed to find that the eBook or ePattern you bought is available for free on the internet, particularly if this was not explained clearly in the listing. Don't be too dis-illusioned though, because the time you've saved not searching for it should justify the (hopefully) small price you paid.
"please avoid Sellers who infringe copyright"
The most obvious disadvantage with ePatterns sent as attachments is that of computer viruses. But, provided you a) have the latest version of your virus checker installed and b) you use it, then there's no reason why you should worry about this method of distribution.
When buying a Link there is no way of telling where that link will actually take you, and unless your pc is adequately protected by a Firewall this could leave it open to attack. Again, read the Seller's feedback and if they sell links regularly the chances are it is safe to buy.
How do I create my own ePatterns?
If you would like to contact me via any of my listings I'll be happy to give you a tip or two. Or you can come and find me and my crafting friends in the CRAFT SHOP, an eBay Group.