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Why Selling EBooks Cheap May not be a Bad Idea


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Selling eBooks on eBay offers a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity. Often, eBooks can be purchased inexpensively with resell rights intact and then re-sold the eBay buying public at a price that generates a significant profit.

There are, however, those who are selling eBooks on eBay for incredibly low prices. Sometimes it does not appear as if the price requested would even cover a listing fee! Considering eBooks are generally digitally delivered, there is no room for profit via shipping, either. Why are eBook sellers doing this?

There are a few potential answers to why so many eBooks are available on eBay at very low prices. First, many sellers are generating profit simply through volume. Though it may look like the cost of the auction approximates that amount of money generated by the sale, some sellers are actually operating in a way that provides them with a slight profit margin on these sales. These people are often working with digital delivery systems and other automated tools and have discovered that a “robotic” eBook selling presence on eBay is a nice way to earn some extra revenue with very little personal attention required.

The second reason for low-priced eBooks on eBay has nothing to do with making a profit on the book sales. Instead, marketers are attempting to build a list of people interested in the topic matter of the eBook. This is particularly true in many cases where the subject matter of the eBook is related to online moneymaking strategies. Successful internet marketers will tell you that “the money is in the list.” They use the emails gathered from the sales of the cheap eBook as a list of potential prospects to whom they can send future, more lucrative offers. This may involve sending a “miniaturized” eBook for a few pennies from an eBay sale and then following up with an offer for a more comprehensive look at the subject (which is more lucrative for the seller). Others may simply “pitch” future offerings at those who have bought the cheap eBooks via eBay.

Another potential rationale for cheap eBook sales stems from the actual contents of the eBooks. One can author an eBook that includes affiliate links for products. An eBook seller may sell a title for a few pennies that includes a series of links to sites where supporting products may be purchased. If anyone makes a purchase from one of these links, the eBook provider generates a commission on the sale. This strategy has been used with some success by many eBook sellers.

Many of those who enter the eBay marketplace to sell eBooks view the sale of eBooks at a healthy margin as the recipe for success. However, as these three examples demonstrate, there are other ways of taking eBook sales and transforming them into moneymakers even when the per-sale profit margin is slim (or in some cases, nonexistent). By using eBooks as a way to a financial end, a smart eBook seller can find a way to make cheap sales a profitable venture.

Copyright 2006 John Thornhill

John Thornhill is an eBay powerseller and trades on eBay under the username planetsms. For more advice on how to succeed on eBay visit http://www.planetsms.co.uk.

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  • Posted On October 27, 2006
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