Anyone Sick of Selling Downloadable Digital Products?

by momo3
25 replies
When I first learned about selling digital produts, I was quite turned on.

In the last few years I've made 100's of thousands of dollars selling nothing but digital ebooks and other doo dads.

But sometimes I get sick of it, and sometimes I feel its hard to sell something that isn't tangible.

The advantages is that its instant gratification to the customer, and it costs us nothing really to provide.

However, I feel that people searching for certain things on the net, such as E-Cig, back brace, electic toothbrush, etc. is maybe a higher OCI type thing -- and that people are far more apt to buy these things..... becauise they're eager to buy even before searching for the term.

Sales pages for ebooks and stuff are usually shown to someone who is researching..

What are your thoughts on selling tangible goods? For tangible goods, the adwords ads are always loaded on the sides, meaning that stuff is being sold.

I was thinking of just going to Alibaba.com and picking out hot products i'd like to sell, and then get my SEO guys to rank me in the top 5 for hot terms for hot products, and also doing a little adwords. I'd then like to get the physical goods shipped over here and placed in a warehouse...

That leads to another question -- are there companies that will ship out the goods from a warehouse? I realize a "Fulfillment center" is the name of this for booklets, etc, but do they do it for larger goods also?

Thanks
#digital #downloadable #products #selling #sick
  • Profile picture of the author GameVoid
    Amazon has a fulfillment service now. You ship them your inventory, they warehouse it and sell it through their site and you keep the profits.

    They charge for storage, shipping and handling, etc. It looked like something you would have to have a good margin for to be profitable. You couldn't buy used DVD's for 1.00 and sell them for 2.00 on Amazon and make a profit using their fulfillment service I think, but if you had items you paid 5.00 for and were selling for 20.00 it might work out.
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    • Profile picture of the author robinporter
      Be wary of Amazon . I've had a couple of customers who have gone down this road, only to find that if they hit upon something that sells, Amazon notices and sources the product themselves and then offers it directly, undercutting you.
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  • Profile picture of the author momo3
    But is the term "Fulfillment Center" mainly for printed products, or can it be for larger products?
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
    To answer your question, yes, I'm also getting sick of selling digital products.

    I think when it comes to Google - Adwords and SEO - selling digital products is only going to get harder, at least ebooks. (I know there are a lot more to digital products than just ebooks.)

    I'm looking to pursue ecommerce sites in a big way in the coming months, probably not too disimilar to what you're thinking... although I intend to go the dropshipping route.
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  • Profile picture of the author momo3
    Dropshipping is kinda spendy if you're shipping from China.

    But, that is just what i've concluded from my little bit of research.
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
      Originally Posted by momo3 View Post

      Dropshipping is kinda spendy if you're shipping from China.

      But, that is just what i've concluded from my little bit of research.
      Yeh, I'm still doing my research. However, I'd rather have a lower profit margin if it means I don't have to store, fulfil and ship orders myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author momo3
    I hear ya buddy but what if you could pony up a few K, get a load of stuff shipped to a warehouse, and then had them ship it. Might be cheaper than dropshipping.

    Anyone else have any input?
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt.Lake
      Originally Posted by momo3 View Post

      I hear ya buddy but what if you could pony up a few K, get a load of stuff shipped to a warehouse, and then had them ship it. Might be cheaper than dropshipping.

      Anyone else have any input?
      I'll look into it :-)

      Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author JDArchitecture
      There are tons of tangible product fulfilment centers. They were around long before the internet.

      - Google Search
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Brighton
    I'm actually surprised by how few people are selling "real" products in this forum. 90% of every conversation revolves around intangibles.

    The irony is, most beginners are told that eBooks are the "best" product to start selling online to get into the game because they're practically FREE to create and there's no inventory.

    What they're not told is that selling information requires an insane amount of persuasion, credibility and trust to convert.

    I'm not saying it's not lucrative, but it's not always the easiest way for most people... and that's one of many reasons why I think people struggle in this business.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Oilman
      Yeah I hear you buddy, Im kind of thinking of going tangible.
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      • Profile picture of the author shazam
        I guess that would make me the opposite of most people here then. I started earning from the internet via dropshipping, and still do - however I'm now trying my hand at promoting CB products aswell.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    Product fulfillment and sales taxes are a Grade-A PITA...

    If you want to deal with those two items, then by all means, jump...

    Your marketplace really is much larger if you break away from the shackles of digital goods... But the work involved in the process and the cost of doing business are both increased...
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    • Profile picture of the author David-JP
      Are your customers getting sick of it?

      We have a tendency to get bored of our stuff- website design, ads, etc.. well before customers notice.

      Not to say you shouldnt' be looking for new opportunities or moving to where the puck is going to be.

      David
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    With physical products, you can do a little pre sell with only 300-400 words and then say "Click here to buy".

    With digital products the sales page is often 10 pages long and in most cases you would have to hire a copywriter.

    To be honest, I get more thrill out of making random sales then my digital products.
    Weird isn't it?
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    • Profile picture of the author zombiewarrior
      hmm I'm definitely not sick of selling downloadable products... No inventory to deal with, no shipping to mess with (or pay others to handle for you), and a global marketplace allowing you to deliver your product instantly to pretty much anyone in the world, at any time.

      I am kind of getting sick of selling digital information... but software/automated service sells? That's where the real gold is at!
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      • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
        To answer your question directly - NO, there is nothing better IMHO than selling digital downloadable products, quick, easy and taps into the emotional desparation of your target market.

        That said - I also offer a few sites where tangible products work, that started as an experiment and grew after building a site where the demand for affiliate tangible products proved to me there was a market.

        I also moved many of my digital products into physical product alternatives - books, courses, manuals, CD's and DVD's - another good way to go tangible, but still market information.

        Lots of options..., but I would never give up on digital products.

        Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author taylorwinfield4
    Tangible goods are definitely something that internet marketers are not taking as much advantage of as they should. Even if you get ebooks etc printed in physical format and ship them out, I think customers would react well to it.

    I suppose the instant delivery factor is erased, however if someone buys a physical item from you and they have to wait for it to get shipped etc, they would treat it more seriously than an ebook? I suppose its a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Bainbridge
    In my experience the profit margin will never be as good on simple tangible goods - always cost of the item, shipping cost, maybe production costs. Then refunds are more complicated and cost more... a refund on an ebook brings you back to even, a refund on a physical product either requires time for you to get the product shipped back, more time lost in customer service, emailing back and forth, or just writing off the product and making a loss... a lot of extra work in other ways, and I dont think it converts any better really, like everything some things convert better than others, but like you suggest I think the key is in outsourcing and getting the fulfillment done for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author USGTMauthor
    I am not sick of it yet, quite the opposite, I view ebooks as pretty much pure profit if you do not pay for traffic. In my niche which is self improvement, it is a pretty good way to go, since you can provide valuable content and deliver it immediately versus having to go to a book store or wait for Amazon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Winlin
    For anyone thinking of switching to tangibles. Sell a few hundred items on e-bay to get a taste of the greener side and see what you really think.

    IMHO, if you are doing well in electronic information why would you want the PITA that goes along with selling physical products?
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  • Profile picture of the author macchiavelli
    My best friend sells nothing BUT tangible goods online and he makes about $10k in profit a day.
    But he is established and did major SEO and barely touches paid advertising.

    Me personally I do a combination of both but Ebooks pay the bills and made me wealthy beyond my dreams.

    With new technology like the ipad and the kindle, people prefer digital books over hard copies especially when travelling.

    But e-commerce still tops ebook sales overall.
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    • Profile picture of the author kevin jackson
      I guess this may signal some of the growing pains in the digital industries. This industry is still in it's infancy since the dot com boom of the late 90's. Traditional businesses with physical products or perhaps the service industries have been around for decades if not centuries. They know the headaches and the higher overhead. The demand for physical products dwarfs that of the digital demand but there is a tradeoff to get a piece of that huge worldwide market.

      It's something to think about, research and discuss with successful entrepreneurs in e-commerce.
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  • Profile picture of the author thesweetspot
    Well being in both fields and beyond..
    I say that ecommerce is very good and only growing and honestly will never stop growing because people want phyiscal products bc they need for whatever. The thing about ecommerce is that you want something that is not being dominated. Like trying to get into a amazon type of site is out of the loop unless you have lots of marketing, beliefs, and persitents. But a mirco niche into something like Amazon..now you are speaking my level.

    But also people want information ...they want it...they long for it..and they demand it...i do both and they are great...I like digital bc of the hands free and like ecommerce bc you can create relationships with real people and build a brand.

    I think you should always do as many things possible after you have one thing up and running. And then have an exit plan after you make the money you want..like selling it off for a millions/billion dollars or whatever.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    The problem with digital downloads is the high return rate and calls for service. Calls for physical products are few if any. Also, people like something tangible they can hold in their own hands because it feels more real to em.

    Yes, you need a warehouse to store physical products, but they tend to attract a different group. Return sales are great with consumers. Think shampoo, perfume, soap.
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