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 To sell DVDs at wholesale price or not? 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 5:36 am
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Post To sell DVDs at wholesale price or not?
Last year, a short film of mine was selected for screening at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. More recently, I had the idea of selling copies of the film on DVD. So far, I have sold a few copies at a local market which I'm happy about. The film features Australian wildlife and landscapes (and lots of time lapse) so I figured it might be of interest to international tourists. It was mainly foreign tourists who bought the DVD at my market stall so perhaps no surprise there.

Anyhow, recently I contacted a store via e-mail that sells mainly tourism related merchandise and asked if they would be interested in selling copies of my DVD. I forwarded a private online link to my film to the manager and she seemed to like what she saw.

Now usually, when local artists supply their craft products (cards etc) to stores and outlets, I notice that generally they hand them over for free and if some copies are sold, the store takes a commission and the artist receives the rest of the amount. And that's what I assumed would happen in my case too with the DVDs.

To my surprise, the manager of the tourism store got back to me recently and asked how much I was planning to sell the DVDs to her at wholesale price. This is certainly not what I expected. Normally, I would jump at the chance of selling them outright like this but I'm a little hesitant in this situation. Let's remember that it is a short film that I'm selling here – running at 8 minutes. Although there is also over half an hour's bonus content contained on the disc, it is essentially an 8 minute film that is the main feature (and it's not even 'feature' length.)

In order for me to make a decent profit from the production of the DVDs, I price them at $12 each and that's what Ive been selling them at the markets for. If I was to sell them to this store at $12 for wholesale price, I assume that the retail price would be at least double that – so at least $24. Now I could be wrong but I can't visualise many people spending $24 or more on an 8 minute film. Also consider that these days, you can buy a blockbuster movie on DVD for considerably less than that. Although selling the DVD at wholesale price would be better for me from a short term perspective, Ive got a feeling that handing them over to the store for free and accepting commissions on a lower retail price would lead to greater sales potential over the long term and may even result in the manager asking for more copies of the DVD in the future if sales are exceptionally good.

The other thing is she seemed a little hesitant about buying the DVDs because it's not the type of product she normally sells there. She said she was going to check her stats on similar products she has stocked before.

So what's everyone's opinion – hand them over for free and accept a commission on sales or sell them outright as wholesale? I admit I'm totally new to this as Ive never been asked to provide a wholesale price for a product before. Obviously, companies who do sell at wholesale prices have their products mass produced in the thousands or millions so they would get a much greater profit margin than me when selling wholesale. Whereas my packaged DVDs are not mass produced – there's only a very small number of them.


Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:05 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 1673
Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: To sell DVDs at wholesale price or not?
It sounds like your preference is to sell them on consignment instead of a wholesale price which would drive up the retail price. Have you asked the storekeeper if she would do a consignment deal instead? If asked, she might say yes. You then have the problem of whether or not your consignment payment would arrive.

The other option not mentioned would be to put a bunch of your other material on the discs so they run longer, and would have value worthy of the higher retail price. You could then offer wholesale deals to other shops in different tourist sites which are not in direct competition with your first shopkeeper. Some of them might want a consignment deal while others may opt for wholesale purchases. A longer collection might be sold through other places such as ebay or amazon. I see Anthony's film is even on Netflix now. You definitely have enough material for a much longer disk, even if it is divided up into several short films. A collection of closely related films (such as films about Australia) might sell pretty well in many different places. Once you have your distribution system, selling subsequent films should be easy, assuming your retailers have had success with this first disc.


Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:22 am
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