selling software/e-goods

 

Overview

This is the base page of the section of selling software/e-goods.

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It's difficult to get started selling software today. reasons are:

  • you can't just buy an e-commerce site and get going anymore. those days are over.
  • almost no web hosting vendor allows files over 2GB in size "large file hosting", instead, you must buy their hosting at $9-25/mo AND buy time+space+countryDistribution on a file sharing site that at your option, supports paypal or some sort of e-commerce also. plan this. this is probably because they want to host as many low-bandwidth web sites as possible on their server to make more money. so we suffer. and we pay for it too. read the TOS (terms of service agreement).
  • almost no web hosting company allows media files (video, audio) on their site due to DCMA. many times, even if you authored it. but some might if you get permission. this is because of people doing the wrong thing.
  • if your software does any hash coding or encryption (anything that is meant to obfuscate), it immediately falls under the US Department of Commerce's category of "Arms", and you have to get permission to distribute the software. one should wonder if the obfuscated C code contest would fall under this category. :-(

I did find that you can get file sharing that has paypal/google-->download through QUIXLY. note that if you are charging people's credit cards, (what date?) apparently it's against the merchant acocunt rules to charge the customer the transaction fees, at least in the USA.

there is good e-commerce hosting through

dedicated hosting

provides possibly large file hosting is available at dreamhost.com for $99/mo ($1,188/yr)+tax and you get 500GB or 1TB and unlimited bandwidth as of 8/12/2013. pcicomplianthosting.com charges $269.95/mo ($3,238.80/yr) you get 2x500GB drives and 800GB bandwidth, but you get "ironclad security" required for PCI (Payment Card Industry) Compliance.
you will probably be asked to be put on a dedicated server if you host files on your server. ask support if they allow video and audio files and large files with dedicated. this may solve the problem altogether. but be sure it has e-commerce on it before buying, ask support. also note that dedicated hosting you may get lower bandwidth than you would with virtual hosting which these days you are not allowed to use.

most file sharing places will force you to pay, even though they offer a free service supposedly (they are lying through their web sites). I see this over and over. moral of the story is you don't get something for nothing. you have to pay for any file sharing.

I once read that if you can sell paypal then you don't need PCI Compliant hosting. not sure if this is true or not. ask the PCI Compliance folk. I think it costs money to ask or go through their training. you would at least need SSL and a good certificate.

yola.com can provide CMS-based hosting with HP site design for fixed+monthly fees, reasonable cost.

avoid storing credit card numbers!

large file hosting

  • akamai.com's smallest http download package thru sola specifically sola sphere is 40GB/mo at $70/mo. the pricinsg is worlwide flat, includes full support and access to the Luna portal. you have to contact them to figure out which item it is, not enough details are given at the site.
  • file sharing that has paypal/google-->download through QUIXLY which may be more conduce to business
  • digital river? do they do this? have not contacted them.

e-commerce hosting

I don't know how software vendors do it! average hosting companies everywhere have cut off software folks in their TOS (Terms of Service agreements, read carefully, apparently it's a legal thing). here are some possibilities:

  • digital river
  • file sharing that has paypal/google-->download through QUIXLY which may be more conduce to business
  • pcicomplianthosting.com dedicated hosting? excellent support, but costs $269.95/mo. find out of that plan you arechoosing allows software hosting. the terms of service doesn't seem to. so you may not be able to go through them.
  • bluehost.com but not sure if their hosting is pci compliant or not, some states in USA require that. $6.99/mo