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Do you prefer to sell physical or digital goods?

Discussion in 'Monetizing' started by oldwriter, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. oldwriter New Member

    oldwriter

    I'm entirely sold on the idea of selling digital goods. I have tried both selling different physical and digital wares and it is always coming back to digital for me.

    It might be just because I seem to move myself better in a tech-oriented medium where digital is the main product; but every time I try to start a serious physical goods store, I end up realizing my time is better spent focusing on my digital-oriented businesses.

    The bright side of digital being there is no need of a physical inventory and delivery is instant, correct transfer can be proven by file hashing so it is prone to less delivery disputes. Yes, I know there's drop-shipping and affiliates for selling physical merchandise without keeping an inventory, but it isn't the same. With digital goods you create and keep only a single copy hosted which is then copied in an unlimited fashion. This eliminates virtually all distribution-related complexity from the equation.

    What are your experiences in this regard? Do you prefer to sell physical or digital goods online?

     
  2. xTinx New Member

    xTinx

    I've only ever sold physical goods online. I am yet to venture out to selling digital goods such as software programs, website or blog themes and SEO services. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to spare for developing that venture. Perhaps in the future I'd be able to work things out. I think between the two, especially if you're working on a limited budget, there's more return on investments with digital goods.

     
  3. SimplySidy Member

    SimplySidy

    On the internet, I have only been delivering my skills - which result in websites, marketing strategies and teaching. I have no idea or planning as of now, to sell physical goods as I do not have a place to store them. My Goal for 2015 too doesn't have a place for physical goods though it has place for becoming a publisher on Amazon - so again, it is digital.

     
  4. Rainman New Member

    Rainman

    I'd choose to sell digital products anytime. All you provide is a download link once you've got your payment and the transaction is completed. While I do prefer selling digital products, I'd rather be a middle man earning a commission for whatever the customer buys from another site. Most people won't buy from a site they don't trust which means they could try to find similar products elsewhere on reputable sites like Amazon. But you deserve to earn a little bit for convincing them to buy the said product.

    Because of that [the possibility of losing customers to sites like Amazon, and others like them] I prefer selling digital goods but as an affiliate.

     
  5. jblogger New Member

    jblogger

    @Rainman you are right. People will buy easier from a reputable site like Amazon and not so much from an unknown store at some shady site. The bright side of that is that Amazon has an affiliate program. It's not one of the best paying programs (I mean commissions are as low as 4%) but from my experience people don't buy just one thing there so the commission add up.

    I'm all into selling digital goods. The advantages are obvious: they are delivered instantly no matter the time of the day and there's no need to have a physical stock. The disadvantage may be that people could value less a digital product and so it's harder to set a higher price on them.

     
    Rainman likes this.
  6. Rainman New Member

    Rainman

    The reason why I'd rather not sell physical products is because of scammers. I've read sad tales of people selling products to others and though the buyer receives the product, they claim it's defective or something was missing. Should the seller demand that the product be sent back, the buyer gets keep what they claimed was missing. For someone selling a lot of stuff then fraudsters wouldn't concern you that much because you make a lot of money anyway. However for small site that may sell a product or two a day, it can drive the owner out of business really fast.

     
  7. SimplySidy Member

    SimplySidy

    Yes, I have been a victim way back in 2008 when I had ordered a cell phone after getting my first payment after the long 8-month illness and what I received was a cell phone without the camera and a damaged keypad. I recall, lodging complaints at Ebay (from where I purchased the set) and a long long wait (over 6 months) and end result - nothing happened.

    Not that scams do not happen with the digital products. But then, chances of being scammed are lesser.

     
    Rainman likes this.
  8. jblogger New Member

    jblogger

    @SimplySidy the trick when buying things at Ebay is checking if the item has buyer's protection. Most things have that protection because whenever you buy something using PayPal (which is from Ebay) you can request your money back in case you got scammed. It's a long and tedious process but if you make open a resolution request on time then you'll get your money back.

    The trick there is that "on time" part. I've bought things from China and it always takes more than a month for my items to arrive. Ebay and PayPal give you a period of 45 days to open a dispute but some times those 45 days is the time the items take to arrive. So it's hard to open a dispute when buying items from China.

     
  9. SimplySidy Member

    SimplySidy

    @jblogger Over time, I learned better about ebay, amazon. The item I purchased at ebay - I did not know about the buyer protection thing back then. The interactions with the customer support made things clearer. I never will purchase anything online except the things needed and related to my work - as that experience has made me skeptical.

     
  10. Scorp Member

    Scorp

    I prefer digital, of course.

    It's just so much easier to sell digital products, whether they're your own or whether you're selling as an affiliate for someone else.

    And the main thing is, for example, say I write a book. I have a choice to turn it into a physical book, which will result in me having to get oof my ass, find a publisher (I guess), find some company to print 1000s of copies, get my book into bookstores and whatnot... that's all so tiring for me.

    On the other hand, with digital... turn it into a PDF, share it around, market yourself, promote yourself, and all you need is a download link for people and a Paypal account to receive your money... never even getting off your ass :D

    But at the end of the day, I believe that if one has a good book, one should try to combine and sell it in both Physical and Digital forms. I mean, a lot of people don't buy digital products at all, so to reach those, you gotta go Physical, you gotta go offline...

     
  11. danielle davidson New Member

    danielle davidson

    I mean digital goods are always good because then you don't have to pay for shipping it out to that person that bought it. Plus, I feel like there is a lot of stress with selling something physical. You have to make sure that it's good packaging, then you have to pay for it and make sure that person get's it. To me, it just seems like a ton of work and something that I wouldn't want to be stressing about. That's why I don't sell physical things. I would have to agree with you that digital is the best way to sell. Then you don't have to worry about those things.

     
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