Selling Ebooks & Other Digital Goods on eBay
By Niki Rodino
The sale of ebooks on eBay is a large market and it is a venture that can be filled with great opportunity and success for the seller, as well as the buyer. The great thing about ebooks is that many of them come with Master Resell Rights. What does this mean and how can it help the buyer and reseller?
Master Resell Rights are granted by the publisher of an ebook (or other digital product) to the sellers of their product. In turn, the buyer can turn around and sell it to other ebook buyers, keeping 100% of the profits they generate from their sales. No commissions or royalties need to be paid to the original publisher. (Please note that the copyright remains the property of the original publisher. Copyrights are not transferred, just the right to distribute the products.)
So, everyone profits from these Master Resell Rights.
Digital products, like ebooks, are easy to sell. Here are some examples why selling ebooks can be to your benefit:
1. Oftentimes, the publisher of the ebook provides cover graphics and a sales letter in web page format so that you can easily customize it with your own information and upload it to your own server for people to download after purchase.
2. No trips are required to the post office if you send via internet only. Some sellers opt to burn the ebooks onto a CD and mail it out via snail mail to their buyers. (By doing it this way, the seller rakes in more profits by charging for Shipping & Handling.) It is important to note at this point that if you are selling ebooks delivered via internet download on eBay that it is AGAINST eBay rules to charge Shipping and Handling for this transaction. Many ebook sellers charge S&H anyway, but I find it is best to follow all of eBay's rules. Keeping your nose clean is the best way to develop your reputation on eBay.
3. Selling digital products is not that time consuming. In the beginning, the set up is a bit time consuming, as the seller must upload all their ebooks to their server, as well as customize the sales letters and create eBay listings for the eproducts. When you have most of your digital deliveries on autopilot, you can spend a few hours a day developing your relationships with your buyers and potential buyers. By this, I mean following up on items purchased, developing new digital products for your buyers, and marketing your e-products on the internet as well as other sources.
eBay's new Digital Delivery System has really simplified and broadened the ability to sell digital goods on eBay. Although it does have its drawbacks, I find that it is really the best way to get your product to your buyer. To learn more about eBay's Digital Delivery System, please consult this informational area provided by eBay:
With this new ability to provide the download location immediately to eBay buyers, sellers are able to free up much of their time because it cuts down on manually sending emails. When the download URL is made readily available to the buyer, you do not have to worry about the buyers' email spam filters or even their correct email address. As soon as the PayPal payment is processed, the location is disclosed on their receipt. In addition, buyers can access the download location again at any time by doing the following:
1. Sign in to the eBay account name under which the item was purchased.
2. Go to "My eBay."
3. View the "Items I've Won."
4. Select the item and view the ad listing again.
5. Click on the hyperlink provided: "View digital delivery information for this item."
eBay's Digital Delivery System does have some drawbacks of which you may want to be aware:
1. You must qualify to sell digital goods according to eBay's seller requirements as described in the hyperlink above.
2. The buyers MUST use PayPal and MUST pay immediately. No money orders, checks, or echecks!
3. Each digital item must be purchased individually, so invoices cannot be combined. This means the seller must pay the credit card processing fee for each transaction.
4. Digital goods can no longer be sold in Auction format. You are forced to use only Fixed Price or Buy it Now. In addition, you are restricted to list the item in only certain categories.
To sell ready-made ebooks, you will not need to know much about copyright law. However, if you create your own ebooks, you may want to read up on copyright law and make sure that if you quote or use an extensive amount of someone else's text that you know how to give proper credit for this, or if you need to give credit at all.
Now, on to the competition. Many people ask me about the nature of ebooks with Master Resell Rights. "Aren't you just feeding your competition, since they will be selling the same exact thing?" Yes, most definitely you will be. And that is what you want to do. There are reasons for this, and they all have to do with branding, affiliate programs, advertising, and joint ventures, among other things.
Major idea to keep in mind: Ebooks are considered "viral" marketing tools, because they spread like wildfire.
The ebook market is big enough for all of us. What a seller brings to the market is what makes this a wonderful industry to be a part of. Each seller and ebook publisher is different. Each has a different niche, a different sales perspective, varying philosophies, and a different level of experience. It is best to see each ebook seller as a partner rather than competition. If you view them in this way, you will profit from your relationships much more than if you try to sabotage or bring them down.
It's all about helping one another to make some extra money. :)
So, keep offering new, quality products in subjects people are interested in and present them well. Equip your buyers with things they will need to sell these products. Develop relationships with other serious ebook sellers.
Unfortunately, as in every industry, there exists scam artists and those who do not deliver on their claims, or try to deceive you into thinking you will make zillions of dollars from just selling ebooks. Selling ebooks is work and one must put time into researching the market, and the best ways to get your products to your buyers. This is another reason why you should develop relationships with other ebook sellers. They can help you immensely in overcoming obstacles that are common in the business.
I spend hours and hours on this every day. Not every ebook seller needs to do this. I am just the type of person who is always looking to grow and expand my business. You CAN make money on selling ebooks, even as a nice little side income. Like everything else in life, what you get out of it is what you put into it. :-)
And, to be fair, there are some downsides to selling ebooks you should be aware of.
1. You will have to spend money before you earn money. Invest in a quality web hosting service and buy an inventory of newer and operational ebooks. If you are interested in creating your own ebooks, you may want to invest in a digital ebook compiler of some sort (to make PDFs and/or executable files) and graphics templates.
2. Ebay's rules can be confusing, but try to follow them to the best of your understanding and ability.
3. You must keep track of your ebooks. Once you start collecting them, I recommend creating various folders on your hard drive to house your ebooks in a system that you will be able to revisit again easily. Perhaps by resell rights permissions, then by topic, for example. Whatever works best for you.
Please keep in mind, I do not claim to be an ebook expert. I learn something new about ebooks every day. But I have been selling ebooks on eBay since early 2005, and have gained some knowledge on the business, especially how to do it in the eBay environment.
I hope this guide has helped you and has provided you with some insight into the every day world of selling ebooks on eBay.
If you are interested in learning more about creating, selling, or distributing infoproducts, please feel free to contact me at http://www.distinctivedownloads.com.
Wishing you the best of success!
[Article Copyright 2006 Niki Rodino. Reprint Guidelines: You may use this article as you see fit, as long as the content and author information remains exactly intact.]
About the Author
Niki Rodino is currently an ebook author and active seller of digital products on eBay. To purchase quality original ebooks with Master Resell Rights, visit http://www.distinctivedownloads.com
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