Hey all of you public domain treasure hunters... (you know you are), I sent Logan an email today. It was regarding this last article: Can you sell public domain on ebay?
This was all I said:
"so... I'm downloading stuff from archive.org in PDF format and dumping them in related niche files on my computer.
I remember feeling like this a few years ago... "this is tooo darn easy". I never completed my ideas - I know it was in the back of my head that I was working on something that was toooo easy and not going to amount to a hill of beans.
You have me back in this download everything mode again. LOL. I'm still not convinced that archive.org is where I should be getting these books from... again it just feels too darn easy."
I have been downloading like a madwoman - not really knowing what I should really be doing with these downloads. But download "stuff" is what I think he will be telling us to do in his new business plan. I believe that I should be "compiling" these downloads into specific niche topic files - so that's what I'm doing. (For lack of better direction)
Logan hasn't shared many details with me yet. Details like What The Heck Should I Really Be Doing? would be nice. I'm on him - pounding him with emails and asking all sort's of crazy questions.
You know me... I hate to be in the dark. You would think after all these years of working with public domain content that I would have a clue.
Nope - I feel like I am a total newbie again.
After a day of waiting for an answer from Logan - he finally responded with a "Yep" - meaning I should be downloading the PDF files.
I started to create a spread sheet for each niche file. I included four columns:
- Name of the book
- url of the archive.org location
- Publisher location
- Date of publication
This should help me keep track of where and what I have in the file... this will be important when I start gathering books from other locations or ones I scan myself.
I Asked About Profit and Margins
I've been getting a good education (actually it's a call back from my business school days) about margins and profits. My Amazon FBA business has been teaching me over the last "almost a year" (hard to believe) what works (and what stinks) regarding my profits and margins.
I'm having a hard time "getting over" the idea that each sale of a public domain compiled CD would not bring me huge buckets of cash. I had to "Ask Logan" what his theory is:
"I tell you what my "problem" is ... it looks like most of the products in your examples sell for under $10. After fees, (ebay and paypal) shipping and getting the product produced... how much are they really making?"
"It's just like having a retail store...you have costs involved. And each product has a margin. These guys keep their margins high by charging for shipping and manufacturing product themselves. Compared to the retail world where a 30% margin is often considered pretty darn good, these guys are operating at much higher margins that that.
For instance - on a $9.99 cd, someone might charge$2.99 shipping.
ebay fees = .20 listing fee plus 11% final value fee (and actually that .20 is only counts against the first copy sold every month) = $1.30
paypal fee = 2.9% + .30 on domestic transactions = .68
self manufacturing = 1.00 approximately (easy to do when working in bulk)
shipping = 1.76 for first class mail to anywhere in the country (and that's if you use the post office, using ebay postage center is a lot cheaper).
profit = 8.24
That's excellent on a 9.99 cd especially when you consider that you're keeping no inventory and just burning off the product as soon as the order comes in.
This is a business full of systems and processes like any other business...master the system and maximize profitability through focus and effort and it becomes a nice little money making machine.
Well... I think this was a good answer! I'm sure I will need to pick his brain about this a bit more before I'm convinced.
I would have to sell a boat load (Titanic Size) of product to make a living doing just this. Wouldn't I?
Actually - If I could sell 4 CD's a day - at $8.33 Profit (after ever single tiny expense) - I would make about $1000 profit every month. Month after Month.
In doing some research on eBay - it looks like I would need about 40 different products that each sold on average 3 per day.
Of course - I know that those 40 products are probably not going to each sell at 3 per day.
I would need a much larger "choice" of products in my "line" - to make those number work. Buyers are fickle - you never know when (or if) you are going to make sales.
This business really does look like a "nose to the grindstone" type of plan. When you look on eBay - some are making it work and some are not. It would be great to know what "works" and not have to suffer through the "That Didn't Work" part of the plan. *giggle*
Seriously... How long would it take to build a business like this that worked?
p.s. Make sure to leave your comments here and also be sure to read the comments left on yesterday's article Can you sell public domain on ebay?