Selling e-books on eBay offers a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity. Often, e-books 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 e-books on eBay for incredibly low prices. Sometimes it does not appear as if the price requested would even cover a listing fee! Considering e-books are generally digitally delivered, there is no room for profit via shipping, either. Why are e-book sellers doing this?
There are a few potential answers to why so many e-books 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’ e-book 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 e-books 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 e-book. This is particularly true in many cases where the subject of the e-book 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 e-book as a list of potential prospects to whom they can send future, more lucrative offers. This may involve sending a ‘miniaturized’ e-book 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 e-books via eBay.
Another potential rationale for cheap e-book sales stems from the actual contents of the e-books. One can author an e-book that includes affiliate links for products. An e-book 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 e-book provider generates a commission on the sale. This strategy has been used with some success by many e-book sellers.
Many of those who enter the eBay marketplace to sell e-books view the sale of e-books at a healthy margin as the recipe for success. However, as these three examples demonstrate, there are other ways of taking e-book sales and transforming them into moneymakers even when the per-sale profit margin is slim (or in some cases, nonexistent). By using e-books as a way to a financial end, a smart e-book seller can find a way to make cheap sales a profitable venture.