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As a company I don't want to be responsible for offering paid downloads or virtual gaming goods and access to services eternally.

How can I tell my customers that virtual goods expire? That they lose value after certain time?

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What are you currently doing, and/or how do users typically interact with your site (e.g. ongoing visits, only when they buy something, etc)? –  jcmeloni Mar 22 '12 at 16:09
    
How you are showing virtual goods? Is it in image form or text? If it is in image form, you can show "Expired" watermark over the image. Like a groupon goods. –  user13354 Mar 22 '12 at 16:51
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3 Answers

On the page they use or launch the product, have a countdown timer. It will be more effective than an expiration date, because it will keep changing, and create an increasing sense of urgency.

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Most sites that serve up digital goods give you X amount of download links OR if it's a subscription / access based purchase they should know up front that their offer is only valid for "1 year from the purchase date". Once they activate their account you should send them an e-mail that thanks them for activating and lets them know how long it lasts.

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How many automatic emails do you read from a to z? –  dnbrv Mar 22 '12 at 21:32
    
Hmm, around a bajillion :) –  Kenny Saunders Apr 24 '12 at 6:01
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I think this will best be solved through a combination of text based time remaining warnings - i.e.

My Download files ( Link will expire on 01/01/20013)

And appropriately designed warnings as the user gets close to this date. For example when returning to your platform a portion of the UI could display a red/orange/green background behind each available asset depending on when they expire and how close the current date is to that point

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