How can I get a DVD to customers without maintaining an inventory
August 31, 2009 9:31 PM   Subscribe

How can I get a DVD to customers without maintaining an inventory?

I want to setup a site where customers can visit, choose to buy a DVD, pay for the DVD, enter their shipping address and an order is sent off to get the DVD created and it is shipped directly to the customer form the DVD duplication service.

The goal would be to manage zero inventory.

So what i'm looking for is the name of any company that would provide this service. (I think this is "drop shipping"?)

The content of the DVD would be provided by me, and I would want them to basically "keep it on file" to burn as orders come in.

I would also want a very legit way to take payment.

Any suggestions?
posted by jseven to Technology (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
createspace does this
posted by merocet at 9:45 PM on August 31, 2009


As far as I know, most mass-produced discs are pressed, not burned. Back in '02 I coordinated the production of a school yearbook CD as part of my graduation project. If I remember correctly, the minimum order was ~100 units, and the setup fee (before duping any units) was nontrivial.

I'm not sure how expensive it would be to keep a duplication house "on retainer" to press 1x DVDs on demand, and I'm pretty sure most aren't prepared to handle shipping single units. Then again, some new business plan may have evolved around serving this need, and I just don't know about it.
posted by Alterscape at 9:45 PM on August 31, 2009


it also depends on how professional you want it to look, you could get it looking good doing it yourself.. and if orders come flying in you can just buy yourself a dub rack.
posted by mattsweaters at 10:31 PM on August 31, 2009


Optically burned DVDs are less stable than stamped DVDs, simply because the optical dye layers in recordable/rewriteable DVD are thinner and made of less stable material than the metallized layer of a stamped DVD. So, if you go with a service supplying short run recordable DVD copies, be prepared for a higher than normal customer return rate, and the flack that goes with that.

There are still some firmware incompatiblies with early DVD players that prevent them from properly reading recordable DVD media created on other units, too. So, your short run service may be sending out good copies on recordable media, but some customers will have problems reading them, due to problems with their own DVD player. This will cause you some good will headaches, too.
posted by paulsc at 11:46 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


it also depends on how professional you want it to look, you could get it looking good doing it yourself.. and if orders come flying in you can just buy yourself a dub rack.

Keep in mind that some/many people can trivially see the difference between pressed and burned DVDs. Burned DVDs appear inherently less professional to us.

...but some customers will have problems reading them, due to problems with their own DVD player. This will cause you some good will headaches, too.

This is a big deal. I've actually experienced very low success rates with burned DVDs on regular DVD players.

So, basically, what I'm saying is that you should really try to find a solution that uses pressed DVDs.
posted by Netzapper at 3:11 AM on September 1, 2009


Seconding createspace - I've authored a book with them and were very satisfied with the results. I suspect a stroll through their FAQ's would answer your questions about pressing vs. burning.
posted by chrisinseoul at 4:02 AM on September 1, 2009


can't speak for the quality of DVDs from Lulu.com, but I can say I was satisfied with the quality of a printed book I purchased from a self-published author. They seem to be a legit organization with a strong community, and offering exactly the service you describe.
posted by qbxk at 9:59 AM on September 1, 2009


Createspace is owned by Amazon, and sales are handled through them. At least the first run of 'Dr. Horrible' was processed through them - my copy is indeed burned rather than physically pressed, but I have had no issues playing it anywhere. Createspace makes it easy to set up your content as a digital download as well.
posted by pupdog at 7:31 AM on September 2, 2009


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