This is just a reminder. To receive adds of people offering linux mail-order
There are several international adds, and in a few weeks, I'll setup my European
email address to handle requests on the other side of the ocean.
Quote:> I'm unhappy because I just made three copies of SLS which I updated
>on the 15th, and before I send them out they are out-dated. I make them
>pretty fast though, I have the SLS on my V.4 machine, exporting the
>directory to my Linux and SCO machines.
I wish I knew how you get the business. I have been offering SLS at
cheaper rates, only the latest version with a money back guarantee, but
never received more than two orders in the same week. Anyway it is a little
late for your tips business tips to help me since, I'm moving at the
end of the month, but maybe you would like to share your advertising
tips with some the others on the net.
Yes, I too had one order on hand that was made obsolete... I made the
mistake of updating to 1.01 and sending it out right away without trying
1.01 myself first. So today I had to mail out the two disks that I downloaded
incorrectly. I think it would be much smarter for others entering in
this field to just get a CD-NEWS, and consider that the current version
until the next issue comes out... Oh well, live and learn.
Anyways as tips for future Linux distributors:
1. Don't expect more than one or two orders a week if you only advertise
in comp.os.linux and comp.os.linux.announce.
2. Don't be afraid to offer a guarantee. None of my orders came back.
3. Disks are cheap, at most you'll pay $0.80 for 3.5" and $0.40 for
5.25" preformatted, so don't charge more than this as a disk charge.
4. It only takes at most 1 minute to copy and verify a disk from hard-
drive, but you'll spend lots of time if you want to provide the most
up-to-date version, so don't be afraid to charge for this extra time.
Also, if you are like me, you never want a customer to feel dissatisfied.
So, no matter how many ways you state that you won't take special orders
(i.e. could you get a copy of seyon for me) you'll find people will still
ask, and you'll feel obligated to do so. On a typical order I spent
maybe 45 minutes copying, 10 minutes packaging, 10 minutes mailing,
and an evening hunting down compiling and testing software. A good
distributor will provide at least part of this support, so plan on this
when you set your rates.
So anyways, how did my business venture go?
Well to start with I didn't really plan to make a profit, I just choose
my rates so that I could cover fixed costs and have a little left over
to cover unexpected costs. Then if I accidently made a profit I figured
I could donate it to the Free Software foundation. OK, the plan pretty
much worked, except my profit is all in the form of extra bulk disks I
ordered... Maybe if there are a couple of more orders still in the mail,
I'll end-up with about $70 to donate for about 60-80 hours of my time.
OK, not a big success financially, but I did meet my major goal which
was to get linux into the hands of more users. Why? Because we users
write linux software. The more users, the more free software!