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Is The CDBaby Cut of $4 Per CD Worth It?

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  • Is The CDBaby Cut of $4 Per CD Worth It?

    Hello all,

    I am going into final mix for my 7 song debut CD this week and will be mastering soon after. My biggest question at this time has to do with how to take orders and ship my physical CD's (am thinking BandCamp for downloads).

    Do I...
    A: Throw Up A PayPal link and ship myself?
    B: Cough up the $4 dollars per CD and let CDBaby handle it?
    C: None of the above because you have a better suggestion?

    $4 dollars seems a little high to me but then again I am new to the process. Understanding that my time and piece of mind does have a dollar amount, I am not afraid to pay the $4 if I can't do it for less - without the hassle - myself.

    Do any of you indie music veterans out there have have any insight you can share with me to help me make my decision?

    Thank you very much!
    Official Website (where to hear my stuff)...Planetcorey.com
    Thoughts on how I get fans and make a few bucks with music...Musicgoat.com

  • #2
    This is what it comes down to:

    Do you think the 'extra exposure' CDbaby offers (if people browse randomly) will result in enough sales to cover the expense?
    Do you think that although you may sell less CDs on your own, you will end up making more because you get to keep the extra $4 (or sell for cheaper, which may result in more sales, but probably not, since the people who buy from you at this level would probably purchase anything reasonable)?
    Is the time it would take to ship things worth paying someone $4 to cover?
    It takes me 5 minutes to package something and put it in the mailbox...that's $48 an hour if you look at it a certain way.
    -//()()

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    • #3
      The way that I've done it is this:
      Get your music into CDBaby and sign up for most of the Digital Distribution as possible. I get a check every month for music that is still selling online even though the band has been broken up for almost two years.
      We continued to sell CDs directly off our website without linking to CDBaby so that we didn't have to give them a cut, but still sold quite a few CDs all over the world from routes that could have only been due to having it in CDBaby's system/digital distribution.

      The CDs would sell out from CDBaby and they'd send a request for more; which I still send in when requested, but it was never the focus for our primary source.

      We were doing a LOT of live shows at the time and their physical credit card swiper was a great thing to have at shows, we made a LOT of money using that thing, so between that and the Digital Distribution alone; it's well worth it.
      I don't think I'd rely on them as a sole resource - I'd continue to sell on your own as the primary and take advantage of CDBaby for the DD and CC services they can help with.
      Jim Rodgers
      R3FX
      http://www.r3fx.com
      jim@r3fx.com
      Custom built pedals and mods. Ask me about Line 6 mods!

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      • #4
        Bandcamp now handles physical CDs. You have to ship them yourself but they handle the transaction, fees and store...
        If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.
        -- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot

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        • #5
          A

          :-)

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          • #6
            I've had CD Baby sell my CDs for a couple of years now. 4 bucks is standard for hard copy distributors. They've sold nearly 200 CDs for me to people all over the world. It's worth it to me. Every so often I send them 5 or 6 CDs and forget about it until they send me a check.
            http://www.patcoast.com"The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio."-Christhee68" the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep."- FitchFY

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone!

              I think what i will do is use a combination of services out of the box. Leverage the popularity and worldwide distribution of CDBaby along with the freeness of Bandcamp.

              BTW, great news on Bandcamp. I was hoping to avoid Paypal and I think this just may be the ticket!

              I am really starting to like this forum. Lots of good and helpful people like all of you on here.
              Official Website (where to hear my stuff)...Planetcorey.com
              Thoughts on how I get fans and make a few bucks with music...Musicgoat.com

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              • #8
                why avoid paypal, just curious?

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                • #9
                  CD baby is going to be shifting to more download sales just like all other indie artists are. It's just the way it is now and frankly the only reason I can see of having a CD is for something to sell at the gig. I like the Bandcamp Idea. Physical CD's are something that I only pretty much sell at gigs now so do I think CD baby is worth it? Only for their digital sales set hosting and set up for all the major distributers.

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                  • #10
                    why avoid paypal, just curious?


                    Other than it costing money - which i think Bandcamp doesn't (at this point anyway). I've heard horror stories in the internet marketing space about not being able to get your money. Stuff like that! To clarify, I'm not THAT against it just saying if I don't have to use them, I won't.
                    Official Website (where to hear my stuff)...Planetcorey.com
                    Thoughts on how I get fans and make a few bucks with music...Musicgoat.com

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                    • #11
                      Other than it costing money - which i think Bandcamp doesn't (at this point anyway). I've heard horror stories in the internet marketing space about not being able to get your money. Stuff like that! To clarify, I'm not THAT against it just saying if I don't have to use them, I won't.


                      bandcamp uses your paypal account for payment. There really is no way to avoid fees for changing money. I've looked for a way and have yet to find it.

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                      • #12
                        bandcamp uses your paypal account for payment. There really is no way to avoid fees for changing money. I've looked for a way and have yet to find it.


                        If they pay us using it, don't we at least sidestep the "per transaction fee"? Just wondering. But yeah, they are everywhere.

                        Oh well! Cost of doing business aye.

                        On a related note- I just heard Tim Ferris (4 Hour Word Week Author) just recommend an ecommerce site called http://www.shopify.com/.

                        Didn't really investigate a whole lot but it looks interesting. May be a little spendy though depending on how much you selling.
                        Official Website (where to hear my stuff)...Planetcorey.com
                        Thoughts on how I get fans and make a few bucks with music...Musicgoat.com

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