CreateSpace - Amazon DVD Sales

CreateSpace will kick out DVDs on demand to sell at or in their own store (or heck, mailed to you to sell yourself) for you for $4.95 each as the base creation price. If you read my page on Creating your Own DVDs, you could make the same product for $1.70 each. However, that means you're sitting there burning and printing and building DVDs, and then having to deal with shipping them. In essence you're paying CreateSpace the extra money so they take care of all that hassle for you.

Really the main advantage is that they are creating these DVDs on demand and they are doing all the promotions and sales traffic for you.

Selling the DVD

When you sell via the CreateSpace site - which gets a fair amount of traffic - you are hoping that random visitors to their site will find and buy your DVD. CreateSpace charges you 15% commission (which is rather low for a sales site) and they create the DVDs there for you and ship them. So it's zero stress, zero hassle and you get the checks.

If you charge $12.99, that means they get $1.95 as their commission - plus the $4.95 as the DVD creation fee. So you get $6.05 per sale. Less than the $9 or so profit you'd make doing it yourself, but they are doing all the work for you. You're not out buying DVDs, buying cases, and sitting at your computer all afternoon burning DVDs. You also aren't dealing with grumpy buyers when you are away for a long weekend and come back to pending orders.

On the down side, few people "roam CreateSpace" looking for things to buy. So you probably won't get more buyers than you did on your own site.

The best solution is to get your DVD into Amazon's system so that the entire Amazon world can search for and find your DVDs to buy them. A key advantage of CreateSpace is that they are owned by Amazon so DVDs made by CreateSpace automatically appear in the Amazon system. Let's see what the pricing looks like there.

Amazon takes a 45% commission. Most bookstores take a 50% commission - heck most *stores* take a 50% commission - so that might seem high to the uninitiated but is actually quite normal. So back to our $12.99 model, that means they take $5.85 as their share. Then you pay the $4.95 as the creation fee. So for the sale, you get $2.19 in your share. Realize that when real books sell, the average author only gets maybe 50 cents or a dollar from the publisher. So this range of price isn't unreasonable. On the other hand, publishers usually do promotions for you - and in this case you are doing your own promotions. You can hike the price, but how much will people really pay for your DVD? You can do research and try to boost the price higher, if you think it can sell for that level.

Another option is to have Amazon sell DVDs that YOU make, rather than having them make them on demand. This is back to the pain of you stocking items in your home, burning DVDs and shipping them off to Amazon to store in their warehouse. So while you wouldn't pay them $4.95, if we start with that $1.70, you have to add in your shipping cost to get the DVD *to* Amazon. If you send them 10 at a time it might work out to a low per-unit price. If you send them one at a time, the benefit goes down quickly. Still, in my case, CreateSpace only offers pretty boring paper and case. I can make a much nicer product available by making it myself, which might generate more sales and generate a higher purchase price that people were willing to pay.

Here's another thought. You can create a free Amazon marketplace account. The DVD must be in their system in the first place, which will happen if you create it via CreateSpace. So you create one in CreateSpace. List it at a high price. Then you offer a lower price version via Marketplace, which shows up in the Amazon listing. You now only pay 15% commission on it - so that is the $1.95 - and you get the rest, including money for shipping. You now are responsible again for creating and shipping the suckers from your home but you have the benefit of the huge Amazon marketing system promoting your DVD. And you can make much prettier DVDs than they can. So for a $12.99 starting price, you're getting in a profit of about $9 again, all told. With the DVD in a much, much larger system hopefully generating far more sales. The only real downside is that you are showing up in the "also in used and new" category to the right of the main listing. So your pretty version isn't the main listing - it's something people have to click on to see.

Note that CreateSpace will "give you a free UPC" but you can only use it through them. They retain ownership of it. I really recommend getting your own UPC so that you control it. That can run you $100 for the first one and $85 for subsequent ones, if you go through most online services. Read up my page on UPC Numbers and DVDs. I myself got one cheaper by signing up with FilmBaby.

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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