How do I sell something limited-edition online?
March 22, 2011 1:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to sell 100 copies of a poster, is there web software, or a web service that will help me do so. I'd consider building the system myself, but "cutting off" sales after 100 is important. Any tips or suggestions?
posted by ejfox to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can do this on ebay by doing a dutch auction with 100 copies, can't you? I'm not sure if there's a maximum # for those auctions, though, or if so if it's below 100.
posted by brainmouse at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2011

I don't understand. What's preventing you from printing 100 copies of the poster, then selling it to 100 people on Etsy?

You're the producer for a physical commodity, you are able to limit the supply on your end without any fancy web apps.
posted by Think_Long at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2011

wait, you did mean poster as in something you hang from a wall, right? OR am I totally missing the point?
posted by Think_Long at 1:59 PM on March 22, 2011

You're the producer for a physical commodity, you are able to limit the supply on your end without any fancy web apps.

OP just needs a web app that keeps track of physical stock.

I'd 2nd etsy. While I haven't sold, I have bought similar items there, and it was pretty easy for me. Also, based on their selling guide, it looks like they handle stock tracking, so you shouldn't have any problems in that regard.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:16 PM on March 22, 2011

When you list an item on Etsy, you can specify the quantity, and the listing stays active until that quantity of items is sold (or for three months, whichever happens first). You'll have to pay $.20 per item listed (so $20) up front.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:32 PM on March 22, 2011

Response by poster: Hey all, thanks so much for the answers. Sorry that I was vague.

Think_Long: You're correct, I mean hang-from-a-wall posters.

I'd thought about Etsy, but I recently deleted my account there because of some privacy issues that I disagreed with them about.

Ideally I'd like something that allowed me to control the web page that it was sold from, that's why I was thinking a webapp. That's also why I wasn't leaning towards eBay (though that's definitely a thought).

Thanks so much for your suggestions so far.
posted by ejfox at 3:43 PM on March 22, 2011

Have you looked at Big Cartel? You can definitely set up quantities, and it looks like it can be integrated with your website somehow (check the examples).
posted by grapesaresour at 4:14 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

You could submit your design to Tiny Showcase -- limited edition runs are what they do. I assume you wouldn't mind donating part of the profits to a charity.
posted by emyd at 6:06 PM on March 22, 2011

If you want a "buy" link on a page you control (site/blog/etc) with some kind of shopping cart and rudimentary stock tracking, Zen Cart, Magneto, and osCommerce are your best options in order of preference. However if you're only planning on selling 100 of a single product they're probably more trouble than they're worth. PayPal has a basic shopping cart that's easier to implement, but last time I looked they didn't let you track stock.

Then there are a ton of Etsy alternatives.
posted by Ookseer at 6:59 PM on March 22, 2011

Best answer: Paypal does this. Create a Paypal button for your item, specify 100 in the inventory, tell it to email you when you're down to the last n posters, copy the button's code to your web site, profit! I sell n slots in improv classes like this all the time. You can also edit the amount of your item's inventory at any time.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 12:04 AM on March 23, 2011

Best answer: Just to throw another option into the mix - I've heard good things about Shopify. But yeah, probably not worth it for such a small run. I like the Paypal idea ImproviseOrDie mentioned.
posted by Magnakai at 4:48 AM on March 23, 2011

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