BONUS! Or Bogus? eBooks, Software, Movies, Music, Video Games, Digital, Electronic, Informational, and Downloadable Products
“The world is changing Marty. And it’s not about who has the most bullets, it’s about who controls the information!”
This memorable quote* is from the hit 1992 movie Sneakers, staring Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley (as well as Dan Akroyd, River Phoenix, James Earl Jones and others). Since the movie was released in 1992, three years before even eBay was founded and just before the popularity explosion of the internet, this quote had a slightly prophetic edge- Its all about who controls the information.
All forms of multimedia, including but not limited to music, movies, books, magazines, software and video games have been made available for immediate download since the creation of the internet. This is one of the reasons why the internet is called the “Information Super Highway”. Each form of media is way of transporting information, and when transported on the internet it becomes available immediately! When downloaded off the internet, these products are usually given the name “electronic” or “digital”. Some even take the prefix “e” for electronic. For example eBook means electronic book and eZine means electronic magazine, just like email means electronic mail.
There are only two setbacks to these products. The first setback is that when these products are downloaded on the internet, they are simply computer files in a certain format that can be lost when the person’s computer crashes or gets replaced. This can be avoided by making backups regularly, which is highly suggested for any computer user, whether they download digital products from the internet or not. The second setback is that since they are stored on a computer, there is nothing material to display for others to see, unless the file is accessed. For example, if someone wanted to build their own library in their home, they would want hardcopy books, DVDs, and CDs to fill their shelves so that other people could see the library and perhaps take one off the shelf to start reading, watching or listening respectively. With books in particular, some find that it is easier to read a hardcopy because there is something about being able to see the entire page at once without having to scroll down.
The world’s market allows for a great variation on any product, meaning the customers who are looking for a hard copy will surely find it, especially since the electronic versions are still a new idea when compared to the hundreds of years that hard copy books have been available, or compared to the decades that some form of hard copy video and music have been made available. This same variation in the world's market also caters to a new and growing group of consumers who shop on the internet. For reasons that are about to be explained, digital products, or digital versions of many of the same products sold in stores provide an excellent option for internet shoppers.
Digital products literally surround us. A common requirement for Masters and Doctorate students is to buy a new laptop computer that they will use for studies in their program. This is demonstrated by Dental students at UNLV, who have the option of purchasing all of their textbooks electronically for download on their laptop. This eliminates the hassel of carrying a lot of books around, and the special search features that are included allow them to write reports for their classes with plenty of sources in a matter of hours, when it would have taken them days to do the same research in the library. And this is only the precursor to the Dental profession (as well as many other health professions) in which much of the field is becoming entirely paperless. X-rays, charts, and records are all becoming digital. Also, the movie, music and video game industries, all of which create digital wonderlands, bring in billions of dollars of revenue every year. And perhaps the greatest success story is Bill Gates, who is one of the richest men in the world because he knows how to market his software-- a digital product. In fact, digital products have burrowed their way into the market enough so that digital delivery has even become a feature on eBay. At first the feature was provided when selling in the Everything Else category; and the Music category on eBay has its own Digital Muisc Download subcategory. Now eBay is offering digital delivery in most categories including Books, Movies and Art just to name a few. (sellers info here, buyers info here)
For buyers, the first concern to overcome when considering a product that can be downloaded on the internet is the mindset that the consumer is getting more if they purchase a hardcopy. Is the consumer really getting more when they purchase the hardcopy? If that is really the case, then why does Microsoft or Adobe software (items purchased on a CD-ROM) cost hundreds of dollars when a blank CD is only about one dollar. When considering what is really being purchased, the CONTENT that is contained on these CDs (and DVDs, books, etc.), consumers are not getting less by downloading the same product on their computer. In fact, they actually help to conserve natural resources that way.
Electronic books, viewed on a computer screen or palm reader instead of on paper, can be beneficial because an alternate light source isn’t needed, which means the book can be read in the dark while traveling or when sharing a room with someone else at night.
Probably the best feature about digital delivery items is that consumers can get what they pay for on the internet NOW! After payment, the download is available immediately. Consumers can get what they want right after paying for it without having to leave their home, without having to wait for it to be shipped in 3-5 business days, and without having to pay extra for shipping. They can take a ride on the Information Super Highway and arrive at the destination fast!
Digital and Electronic Products gain particular interest for sellers. The top five uses of the internet are pornography (see other guide ), email, genealogy, dating and SHOPPING! The internet, with the accompanying opportunities found on sites such as eBay, have made it possible for any person to sell anything, even if it is not his or her own product (provided that the legal steps are taken). People who want to open their own stores and start their own small businesses can do it on the internet with fewer startup costs than before. And so it is evident that when the business person becomes the consumer (end user of a product), and a place for their business is the product, the location of his or her store can even be electrionic!
Many of these potential online entrepreneurs have asked themselves what the best product to sell online is. The answer is digital products available for immediate download. There is no shipping involved, inventory consists entirely of file management on a computer, there are no warehousing fees, and you have an unlimited amount of the product since it is copied from a server to the consumer's computer when purchased. The immediate shipping and delivery, as well as automated emails allow for instant customer service and satisfaction.
Since selling music and movies require special licensing, the most common digital products available for immediate download on eBay are eBooks, or electronic books. Many of which were written by successful online business people who have offered reselling agreements within the eBooks. When the eBooks are resold it becomes a viral marketing tool for the business of the person that wrote the eBook. So while this is important to remember when purchasing eBooks on eBay, it does not decrease the value of these eBooks, since the writers know that the eBook will only sell if the information it contains is valuable and helpful. It is also the responsibility of those who sell these products to review the content and offer a return policy that allows consumers to buy with little or no risk involved. Many of these eBooks can be found by doing a search on eBay with the keywords "eBook", "eBooks", "free shipping", "resell", "resell rights", "resale", "how-to guide" and others. For buyers, most products sold electronically on eBay will have the link to download that product in the email that eBay sends you after you purchase the item. For sellers, sales for eBooks can be automated by using a file host and an automated email reply system. For more detailed instructions on how to set this up, and how to get an automated email system for FREE, check out my listings for an eBook titled "Automate eBay eBook Sales" (How To Automate Digital Delivery & Customer Service Emails For FREE!).
The answer to the question presented in the title of this guide (Bonus or Bogus?) is that digital products, available for immediate download, are a BONUS for buyers and sellers! The buyer can receive the product and benefit from it immediately after paying for it, and the same ease of delivery allows the seller to sell with less fees and costs.
For more information on internet business and digital products feel free to check out my listings as well as the links at the bottom of my About Me page.
*The actual quote from the Sneakers movie is, "There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information". In a different scene in the movie Ben Kingsley's character tells Robert Redford's character (Marty or Martin Bishop) that the world is changing.