My Steps for my Origami DVD Sales

I took a multi tier approach with my origami DVD. First, I created the individual videos of how to do a variety of origami steps and loaded each one onto YouTube. I created pages on my Lisa Shea origami site and linked to all those youtube videos. I created a TON of pages on my site talking about origami and offering free origami information. The key here is I had to become a "resource" for people interested in origami. If they didn't find my site, they would never find anything I sold on my site. If you have a DVD and nobody knows about it, nobody will buy it.

Second, I created the DVD with Adobe Elements. I created a lovely cover in PhotoShop. I bought plastic DVD cases and assembled DVDs manually in my home. I offered them for sale from my website - which now had high traffic and Google rankings for origami searches. I sold them for $9.99 each plus shipping. I did get an order or two each month directly.

Third, I went to FilmBaby and set up an account there. I send them a box of my pre-made origami DVDs. FilmBaby only sells via their site, but they offer cheap UPCs that you own yourself and can use anywhere. That alone is worth the price of setting up a FilmBaby account. I only sold maybe 4 DVDs total through them across 8 months. Still, it wasn't about the sales - it was about the UPC.

Fourth, I went to CreateSpace and set up an account there. They make DVDs "on demand" and even better they auto list you in Amazon. So you are now listed in Amazon and you don't have to do ANYTHING. If someone orders a DVD from Amazon, CreateSpace gets that order, they instantly make a DVD and send it out for you. You make a smaller cut of the profits - but it's all "effortless" on your end. You do no work. You just get checks. You don't worry about shipping costs or anything else.

Amazon is really the key. Even while listed in CreateSpace I sold NO DVDs at all through their website. Nobody goes to CreateSpace saying "I want to buy a DVD, let's see what they have". Just like pretty much nobody goes to FilmBaby and says that. They DO however go to Amazon and say that. I get 4-6 sales a month in Amazon without any work and without any marketing. Now that the concept has been proved and I'm ready to ramp up to a better version of my DVD - and to market it - sales should go up to match.

Why Not Just Sell with a Non-Amazon Store?

I've sold books for many years with Amazon and own BellaOnline which gets over 20 million pageviews a month. We have done a ton of experimenting with using different vendors, different buy style buttons, and so on. I definitely appreciate the better "cut" offered by non-Amazon stores, and I want to support small business. However, we have seen overwhelmingly that if we provide a link to an unknown shop vs a link to Amazon that people buy in droves from Amazon and they rarely if ever buy from the unknown shop. The number difference is phenomenal.

There are all sorts of reasons for why of course. The visitors have an account already in Amazon perhaps. Maybe they feel Amazon looks more professional. Maybe they have friends who have used Amazon so when they see the name they trust it. Maybe they were going to buy other things at the same time and Amazon had the other things too. But for whatever reason (or perhaps for all of those reasons plus many more) if the link is to Amazon, sales go through the roof. If the link is to a non-Amazon store, it is a struggle to get people to buy even one. These experiments were done for the exact same item, many times, so it was definitely an equitable situation.

I wouldn't get a Marketplace account if I wanted to sell through Amazon, I'd just create the DVD via CreateSpace which is the Amazon-affiliated DVD system and they would get it into Amazon's system automatically. However I really dislike the DVDs that CreateSpace creates. I have the same problem with the books they create; the size is wrong on the books. Amazon is doing a cool thing by offering this print-on-demand option incorporated right in their system but their options are rather poor. On the up side, CreateSpace is free to set up and gets you into Amazon for free.

So to summarize, I do have my DVD listed in THREE different non-Amazon stores. I have it on FilmBaby, CreateSpace and my own website. Even the combined sales of all three sites doesn't match what Amazon does in sales of my DVD.

Creating a DVD
Selling DVDs on your Own Website
CreateSpace - Amazon DVD Sales
FilmBaby - DVD Sales
My Steps for my Origami DVD Sales

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