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forsandifs

Getting down to buisness

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forsandifs    154
Dear forum,

Let's imagine I have a software product that is interesting and let's imagine that I have arrived at the point of Release.

And now I want to try to sell this product. How do I do this?

My naive anser might be "well, just advertise it and get people to pay cash into a bank account or paypal account if they want a copy".

But I have a strong suspicion that's not all there is to it.

What other considerations are there, if any?

What should I do to get from Release to Sell?

How much capital, if any, would I need to get from Release to Sell?

What if this product is not a game, but rather a piece of Engineering or CAD software, and I want to sell that to companies as well as individuals? Any special considerations for that?

Do I have to register as a company?

What about taxation on income? How does that work?

What if I live in country X in Europe and sell all over the world?


[EDIT] Specifics:

- Country X == Spain
- Type of product == PC game || PC CAD software
- Distribution and sales method == Digital online

[Edited by - forsandifs on December 1, 2010 4:30:39 AM]

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Katie    2244
So is it a game or not? Because quite a few people round here have experience of selling games but probably fewer have experience of selling CAD software. Not that we can't answer the latter question, but it IS a different question.


"I have a strong suspicion that's not all there is to it."

Seems to have worked for Minecraft... that's pretty much all he did.


"What if I live in country X in Europe and sell all over the world?"

I dunno. I don't know where X is. There's all sorts of things you'll need to consider. Or not have to consider at all. Depending on where X is, really.


Could you be a bit more specific about what you want to do?

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forsandifs    154
Thanks for the reply.

If the answers are different for a game than for CAD softare I would very much like to recieve two sets of answers if possible, one set for the case where the product is a game, and another for the case where its CAD software. But if you know the answers for one case and not for the other case then the answers for the case you know will be most welcome.

To be specific, country X = Spain.

[Edited by - forsandifs on November 30, 2010 1:05:50 PM]

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monalaw    1367
Your biggest consideration from the "set up a bank account, link it to a paypal account, and sell it that way" is making sure you stay on top of your taxes, which varies based on your country. You will also need to comply with sales tax laws, and import/export tariffs, etc. if you decide to ship physical copies.

Best,

[Edited by - monalaw on November 30, 2010 4:44:14 PM]

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kdog77    229
I agree with sooner, you need to be more specific defining the market:

Operating system? PC, console, mobile...

Physical or digital distribution?

Online direct to consumer or retail sales?

I think you need to consider where your product fits in the competitive landscape first and how you intend to introduce customers to the product. You can't just walk into Best Buy, Target or Staples and ask them to sell you CDs without some sophisticated sales and distribution operations in place. You can however start selling on Ebay. The answer to how you reach potential customers really depends on what is it you want to sell them.

Starting off with cryptic forum requests tells me you don't have a clue and that is probably why it won't sell. Because you don't know who you should be selling it to.

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forsandifs    154
Thank you for the replies.

I'm sorry I wasn't more specific. As kdog77 suggests I just don't know enough about this buisness, (or buisness in general for that matter), to know what I need to be more specific about.

To answer your questions:

"Operating system? PC, console, mobile..." PC only.

"Physical or digital distribution?" Digital only. (I was going to say both for the case of CAD software, but then started thinking about the upfront costs of setting up physical distribution and decided not to).

"Online direct to consumer or retail sales?" Online sales only.

---

Quote:
Starting off with cryptic forum requests tells me you don't have a clue and that is probably why it won't sell. Because you don't know who you should be selling it to.


Well, the reason it won't actually sell yet is because these are hypothetical questions and I don't actually have a product. But please don't think these are idle questions or that I'm wasting your time. What I have is a good start on a product, but before I embark on the massive journey of developing and trying to sell the interesting product, and decide exactly what product I'm going to make, I need to have a decent idea about where I'd be heading to after Release. Hence this forum request.


EDIT: for clarity I will summarise the specifics given throughout this thread at the top of the post.

[Edited by - forsandifs on December 1, 2010 4:18:56 AM]

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JDX_John    292
I think there's two sides to this:

a)What do you need before people will BUY your software
b)What do you have to do with the payments

As for a), with anything people buy as individuals all you need is a way to accept payments and let them download the game, in a way which they don't get suspicious of. For instance you can just tell people to send via PayPal, and you manually email them a link/code. But quite a few will likely not like this... an automated system is really needed but it can be pretty simple.

Bit selling to companies, they may well want to vet your ability to support the product and not disappear overnight. They may likely want to pay using purchase orders, negotiate site licenses, and companies with purchasing departments might have rules about how they can make payments. From what I've heard, selling in this way is quite hard because
- Companies typically pay slowly
- They want custom changes
- They may only pay bank-to-bank
- They might want to check out your company

As for 2) I'd see if your country has government bodies that can advise you, for free. Or find other small companies based in your country doing software... look on LinkedIn and so on, you might also find local networking groups.

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markm    98
I suspect my main question would be what percent of the sale price do I get if I manage to get someone to purchase your game or CAD package and what is the actual sales price that I will be getting that percentage on.

Then I would of course be interested in statistics on conversion rates and, if applicable (e.g. if my commission is recurring on a subscription type memberships) retention rates.

That is, if I sent a million gaming-niche vistors to your "tour" or "sales letter" page, what percentage of them are you able to convert into sales?

Or is converting them into sales my job? As in your sales page sucks so I have to maybe use a long autoresponder sequence to gradually over time convert each potential buyer into a buyer despite the low conversion rate of the "tour", salesletter, or signup page that you provide?

If you are able to offer good commission rate and your sales process does not outright discourage visitors from buying (and does not steal the visitors we send into free signups that you instead of us do followup with to convert into sales, not crediting us for any resulting sales, in effect "stealing" the referrals we send you) then maybe a surprising amount of traffic could be sent your way. In fact maybe enough to blow your servers out of the water, some attention probably would need to be paid to ensuring "we" (we the online marketers of the world ;)) do not slashdoteffect you to death...


I actually came to this section of these forums thinking of posting something about how crappy most online games are from online marketers' viewpoint, for example offhand the only one I can think of that pays at all really is EVE Online and it pays pretty poorly, so poorly I really am not tempted to promote it. Its a recurring membership but they offer no sharing of the ongoing amount? Yet their oneshot payment for a paid signup is less than one month's subscription price? Sheesh! On the Adult Site genre one used to get $60 for selling a $40/month subscription if one opted for a oneshot payment instead of 50% or 60% (sometimes more) of the ongoing monthly membership fees...

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