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Old August 17th, 2007, 02:54 PM   #1
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Anyone have experience selling DVD's through Amazon.com?

Has anyone successfully marketed a DVD via Amazon.com sales?
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Old August 17th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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A buddy sells a belly-dancing instructional video through Amazon. He went the CustomFlix route-sent them the master/files, they burn, print, package, handle all fulfillment, take a fee per disk, report/pay monthly or quarterly. Rates slide vs quantity.

CustomFlix is now owned by Amazon, so you also get a priority listing when browsers look for a specific category.

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Old August 17th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #3
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Paul; thanks very much for this info, this is perfect, exactly the solution I was hoping for. CustomFlix is now called CreateSpace, and their tie-in with Amazon couldn't be more convenient.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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I have 8 videos listed through Amazon, and have 10 through Customflix/Createspace.
I've been dealing with them for almost a year now, and my company (so they tell me) is one of their most profitable clients.
I'm currently extremely unhappy with them and am actively looking to replace them with disc.com (Hey Customflix, I hope you are reading this!)
My reasons for dumping Customflix are:
* No tracking
* No affiliate sale program (they had a terrible one and dumped it)
* No split testing
* No Paypal
* Currently next to no client service (used to be A+)
* Just raised their rates (nearly double) without informing me, until I noticed on my own about a month after the fact.
* Forces you to list on Amazon (this can be a bad thing, read below!)
* Poor customer service for my clients.
* no refund/return sytem

Customflix is not worth the money unless you are doing very small volumes. My company had sales through Customflix last year in the low 6 figures. For the comission that Customflix took, I could have hired a full time employee for a year to do the same job, and with the left over money, taken the entire DVinfo moderator crew to Las Vegas for NAB, strippers included.


Let me rant a little bit about Amazon now:
Because the two companies are the same, Amazon automatically lists your product. Let's say I sell my DVD set (these are actual figures by the way) for $250 on Customflix, and I spend $100 a month to market and sell that set. Amazon lists it for whatever they choose (to give their clients a discount so they look good), so they put it online for $200. Now, the commission between Amazon and Customflix IS NOT THE SAME!!!!! I only make about $90 from that sale when it happens through Amazon.
Now... I've spent $100 in advertising in order to make a $250 sale through my site.
My customer thinks "I'll check Amazon to see if it is cheaper."
They find it for $50 less...
I actually lose $10 on that sale.
And there is nothing i can do about it.

There you go. The only benefit to Customflix/Createspace is that it is delivery on demand, so you don't have to spend a dime to preorder 1000 discs like you might with disc.com They've been 100% in terms of fulfillment though, although I've had a few people email me with quality issues after 8 months (they only offer a 30 day quality guarantee).

I'm not saying don't go with them, they will be great for a lot of people. I have another low volume product that I will use with them, they just aren't great for high volume, high dollar products.

Any questions?
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Old August 17th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
I have a half dozen videos listed through Amazon, and have multiple account through Customflix/Createspace.

What do you want to know?
Dylan, thanks. Are you selling your videos through some kind of Amazon store front, or are they listed as shipping directly from Amazon? Are they burned on demand or do you have a stock of them? I've never tried to distribute a DVD, but it looks like I'm going to have to for at least one project I'm working on.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn View Post
Dylan, thanks. Are you selling your videos through some kind of Amazon store front, or are they listed as shipping directly from Amazon? Are they burned on demand or do you have a stock of them? I've never tried to distribute a DVD, but it looks like I'm going to have to for at least one project I'm working on.
Hey, I just wrote a whole lot more about my experience in the above post, check it out. :)

My videos are listed directly on Amazon.com, no storefront.
They are burned on demand through Customflix... err... Createspace. No stockpile at all (which is why we mistakenly went with them in the first place).

Distributing DVDs is great. Royalties kick ass. Nothing like a monthly check for sitting on your ass. ;)
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Old August 17th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #7
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Thanks Dylan - your post expanded significantly after I posted..!

A few more questions:
- So if I have this correct, Amazon can list your product for whatever price they like?
- What is the ballpark range that Amazon charges in commission per unit sale?
- Is there a way to feed your product into Amazon sites in other parts of the world (Europe for example) using the CreateSpace/Amazon connection?
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Old August 17th, 2007, 10:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn View Post
Thanks Dylan - your post expanded significantly after I posted..!

A few more questions:
- So if I have this correct, Amazon can list your product for whatever price they like?
- What is the ballpark range that Amazon charges in commission per unit sale?
- Is there a way to feed your product into Amazon sites in other parts of the world (Europe for example) using the CreateSpace/Amazon connection?
1) I guess they have a formula. I don't know what it is, maybe it works out better for some, but it's basically the 800lb gorilla rule.
2) All our sales through Amazon are handled by Customflix. I don't know what they take if you go solo.
3) Good question. I never looked into it as I didn't want to be on Amazon at all. :)
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Old August 18th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #9
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Dylan, thanks for the replies.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 07:30 PM   #10
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I'm starting the process of working with Createspace and I too had some of those concerns (Amazon stealing sales, amazon setting whatever prices, etc...) but this is what I found out.
You can set up so they don't automatically list on Amazon, which is nice if you don't want Amazon. (http://www.createspace.com/Help/DVD/FAQ.jsp#5.7)
BUT if you do list on Amazon and people find your site, you can offer them a discount code to give them the incentive to buy through your site and not through Amazon.
AND if amazon sells your product for less then your list price they still pay from your list price, in other words their discounts come from their cut not yours. (http://www.createspace.com/Help/DVD/FAQ.jsp#5.8)

While some things are less than ideal (Amazon's percentage take), it's still the only convenient on demand source that I could find.
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Old September 12th, 2007, 11:57 PM   #11
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We're currently using Vervante.com for on-demand dvd replication, packaging, shipping, etc. They charge a flat fee per packaged dvd plus whatever shipping charges are incurred. They bill for these monthly bill.

You can set up any shopping cart to copy them on orders and they will ship directly to customers. While this is similar to createspace, it lacks both the upside (exposure) and downside (price changes) of coordinating with Amazon. I have friends who are using them in conjunction with 1shoppingcart.com.

We're selling to couple of distributors instead of directly to consumers at this point. The only complaint we've had with Vervante so far is that initial orders were pretty large and there were some quality issues with a few of the entrapments (covers). I doubt they have this kind of problem when producing small quantities on demand but over 100 discs on a short turnaround was a challenge for them. They made good on the problem covers after we pointed out the problems.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 08:03 AM   #12
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Anyone had any experience selling directly through Amazon?

How do the numbers work then? BTW, this is a really interesting thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #13
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I sold a book I wrote through Amazon, and know of at least one person who bought it on Amazon. I haven't seen a penny.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #14
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Pretty sure that Dylan meant www.disk.com (with a k, instead of a c, in his first post).
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:50 PM   #15
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Has anyone ever used Discmakers (www.discmakers.com?)

Last edited by Phil Anderson; October 5th, 2007 at 09:52 PM. Reason: URL Break
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