Selling a CD on
April 29, 2010 10:48 AM   Subscribe

I have a self-produced CD I am looking to sell on Anybody have any experience with this?

It looks like the simplest thing is to create a product page for the item, and then sign myself up as a seller of that product. In the meanwhile, you have to be a Prop Merchant, which would not be worthwhile to me, as I am not likely to sell more than a few of the CDs per month.

Am I misreading this? Anybody know what the best way to go about doing this is?
posted by Astro Zombie to Work & Money (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
No, you have it right. To add new items to their inventory you need to set yourself up as a high-level Merchant, which will probably cost you more than you make.

If you are looking to do music, Amazon is set up to allow you to sell original music MP3s to which you own the copyright. Then you would sell digitally at a fixed cost. But for physical CDs (so software, etc) that would not be an option given Amazon's current structure for sales.
posted by arniec at 11:07 AM on April 29, 2010

I know people who have used Tunecore in the past to get there music on amazon as well as itunes (and other digital music retailers). It's only a digital copy, but I believe they now offer a service where they'll put a physical copy on Amazon as well. Might be something worth checking out...
posted by phelixshu at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2010

You can also use CreateSpace. That's what I use for my little label (such that it is) these days.

They'll not only get your CD listed on Amazon, they'll collect payment, press the CDs for you on-demand, and ship them whenever there's an order, so you don't have to worry about managing inventory. And the quality of the CDs is excellent (if you can live with a barcode on the face of the disc).

The only downside is that because Amazon takes such a massive cut from sales, you have to charge at least $10.00 to make a return of even just a couple of bucks for each CD sold through Amazon via CreateSpace. On the plus side, you get listed as a regular music CD product, and can provide your own content for the product description.

Also you don't have to pay up front to press a bunch of CDs, if you haven't already (I think there's a small fee for proofing the finished product but not much), and you don't have to worry about restocking, or pretty much anything else other than getting paid. You can also buy your own CDs at a discounted rate (but of course, it still costs more per unit than doing a run of 500 to 1000 with a traditional CD manufacturer).

Your take home from any sales through your own individual CreateSpace storefront (rather than through Amazon's site) is actually pretty generous, approaching 50 percent of the retail price. And you can integrate the CreateSpace storefront into an online store of your own if you get really ambitious.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:14 AM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

But for physical CDs (so software, etc) that would not be an option given Amazon's current structure for sales.

See my comments above about CreateSpace.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:17 AM on April 29, 2010 is a great way to get distribution for your CD into all kinds of places, including Amazon and iTunes. They've been around a while and are very reputable. We've used their service for a number of albums and couldn't be more pleased.
posted by platinum at 11:38 AM on April 29, 2010

If you want to sell physical CDs, CDBaby seems to be a popular option.
posted by schmod at 11:38 AM on April 29, 2010

I'd recommend bandcamp above any of the other options. You get a nice-looking site where users can stream your music and buy physical goods or digital downloads, and they don't take any of your money. You can also let users name their own price. It's a great setup. They don't print CDs for you, though.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:53 AM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

What about Amazon Advantage?
posted by NemesisVex at 1:27 PM on April 29, 2010

I sell my CDs at Amazon through their Advantage program. It costs $30 a year, and they take a 55% cut of the price. (It's not a great deal, but you get the exposure of being on amazon for those people who don't want to buy through CDbaby or your website, etc. ) You send them the CD's, they create the product page, sound clips, etc. and handle the fulfillment. You get a check once a month for sales.
posted by snowymorninblues at 1:31 PM on April 29, 2010

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