Physical & Digital, Together at Last!

 

 

Once more into the Bandcamp mailbag:

“I like your service but want to add some physical copies, and it would be really nice to use your interface to sell these items so I don’t have two different payment UIs (I worry my customers may be nervous about that). Obviously I would ship the items myself.”

“Does Bandcamp allow us to sell physical items? So, allow the user to select quantity and give us their postal address? If you do, can we do stock control via Bandcamp?”

“Can you guys take payment for physical product via the same route as for downloads and simply forward the delivery details to your bands?”

It pleases us greatly to finally be able to reply, “Agreed, implemented,” “Yes yes yes” and “We can and do.” Starting today, you can sell both your physical merchandise and your digital music from Bandcamp, and better yet, you can sell them together. So, for example, you can easily create a vinyl, poster and download package, give your fans the digital files immediately, and then ship out their merchandise. It looks like this:

arf1

arf2

Notice that we provide a simple, clear way to show your fans what you’re selling. They just click the thumbnails, and those expand into nice, large product images. Seems obvious, yet we constantly run across online music shops that rely on nothing but a 75 square pixel cover shot and a few brief sentences to help make the sale. For online physical sales, where customers can’t evaluate the product by holding it in their hands, it’s especially critical to give them as much detail as possible, and now you can do that quickly and easily.

Below the images is a package title and description that you can of course customize, mentioning things like any bonus items (such as videos, or PDF liner note booklets) or hidden tracks that are included in the download. You’ll also see that you can specify the shipping details, and even call out when a package is a limited edition.

checkoutdlog

When the fan clicks “Buy Now,” we display a dialog from which they can adjust quantity, view shipping costs, and pick the format for their download. They then check out, we start up their download, and send you an email with their shipping info and the details of what they purchased (for those who prefer to let someone else do the shipping, we’ll be launching fulfillment house support shortly).

All of this is easy to set up — you just click the edit button on your album page, click the “add” link in the new physical package section, and go to town:

arf3

arf4

Note you can specify shipping and handling costs for different destinations and quantities, adjust the shipping time to give yourself some leeway or take pre-orders, and also manually adjust the quantity remaining of limited edition releases. We automatically update the quantity for orders that happen through Bandcamp, but if you’re selling at shows or elsewhere, it’s great to be able to change the quantity yourself.

Now, as anyone who has ever sold physical goods online is painfully aware, charging the proper tax is typically a colossal pain in the ass. In California, for example, there are literally hundreds of different tax rates, and if you’re in say, Los Angeles, and shipping to an in-state fan, the tax is determined by the buyer’s location, not yours. The usual solution to this issue is to allow a seller to set up a bunch of tax profiles, but with so many rates, and increases happening all the time, expecting the seller to create and maintain those profiles is just ludicrous. Many people end up throwing in the towel, and make the risky decision to not charge anyone tax, or charge all in-state buyers a single, flat tax rate and hope things just work out. Fortunately, there is a better way.

In Bandcamp, you go to your Profile page and tell us your location, right here:

taxloc

Then, when a fan enters their shipping address, we take a look at your location, compare it to the buyer’s location, and if taxes apply, we dynamically pull in the current and proper rate.* It’s practically invisible to you, just as it should be.

OK, that about covers it. We’re tremendously excited about this feature, and think that bundling physical and downloadable versions of your music will help drive sales from folks who might a) never pay for a digital download alone, or b) be reluctant to buy a physical copy because of the hassle of ripping or the added expense of a separate transaction. Looking forward to seeing the sorts of packages you guys put together!

*Dynamic tax lookup currently applies to U.S. sellers only – if you’re outside the U.S., you have a choice between charging a single tax rate, or none at all. We hope to improve upon this as we learn more about what’s desired/required (and continue working towards our advanced degree at the EU VAT eLearning center).

71 Comments

  1. Posted November 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Freakin’ awesome..awesome..Im forget’bout itunes and all that stuff..bandcamp is number 1…forever..i love you

  2. Posted November 15, 2009 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this feature! Awesome. Is there going to be support for multiple physical formats though? My album is in two- a standard CD and a USB Wristband.

  3. Posted November 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Max, yep — we plan to support multiple packages per album in the pretty soonish future.

  4. Posted November 15, 2009 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    This is incredible, I love you guys!

  5. T. McGoats
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Fantastic! You guys are amazing! Any chance of making the maximum track length equal to CD length? I thought your comments in the FAQ were funny, but I have some (just over an) hour long ambient tracks that I’d love to be able to sell here and can’t. :(

  6. Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    Bandcamp is undoubtedly the greatest thing to happen to the independent artist/label in ages. Thank you for all that you do!

  7. Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Great work, as usual.

  8. Posted November 16, 2009 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Sounds amazing guys. Well done, can’t wait to start working with this…

  9. Rich Dale
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Excellent news! Bandcamp can now be my music page AND my shop page! Nice work guys :-)

  10. Posted November 16, 2009 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    this is amazing my whole goal today was to set-up a digital shopping cart on my website so i could sell my physicaly cd with a digital download now this comes out. Its as if bandcamp was reading my mind today!

    this is super sweet!

  11. Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Looks great!

    Just one minor point/query though? Any chance of allowing fans to name their price (over a certain threshold) for the physical thing too? Or does the maths just get too complicated by the time you add shipping and tax calculations?

    Jo

  12. Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    On our to-do Jo.

  13. Posted November 16, 2009 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    This is a very welcome addition to your service. Question: are you set up handle Canadian transactions?

  14. Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Yes, see: http://blog.bandcamp.com/2009/04/10/if-we-had-an-icelandic-krona-for-every-juan-diederik-and-henri-requesting-this-feature/

  15. Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!!

  16. Posted November 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Awesome addition!

    From a fan perspective, I really like that you can see how many copies of a limited release are left.

    Keep up the great work!

  17. Joey
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Wow Guys! You have totally outdone yourselves – THIS HERE JUST TOTALLY MAKES ME EVEN MORE EXCITED ABOUT RELEASING MY ALBUM NEXT YEAR. This will empower so many artists. You guys flippin rock! 3 THUMBS UP lol

  18. Bob Arctor
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ethan! So, a question re Paypal 5 & 5 – I’m assuming that we would need to switch back over to the regular Paypal deal for this to make sense (that is if we charge over $20 bucks for a bundle./

  19. Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Right, if you expect most of your transactions to be over $12, a normal PayPal account will incur less fees than a micropayments account.

  20. Posted November 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    This is incredibly impressive!

    So, you’ve got the best online help/how-to guides I’ve yet seen, you’ve made it possible to sell virtually anything…any chance you could slip me the winning lottery numbers for next Saturday? :-)

    Time to get working on those snazzy, “Andy Gilmour”-brand biodegradable Yak-combs. For all your Yak-grooming needs…

  21. Posted November 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Fully, totally ace. One small piece of nit-picking is that the “Buy Now” text button might scare away freebie hunters. Maybe it should say “Download Now” instead. Pretty minor thang though, forgive me…

    Totally looking forward to the in-house CD order fulfillment, that sounds 100% ace. Is it going to include POD as well?

    And I have some scales I really should be practicing – can you guys do that for me too? ;-P

  22. leo cavallo
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    totally awesome…
    you guys are already legend!

  23. Posted November 17, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Just to clarify, is this similar to paid downloads in that Bandcamp currently does not take a percentage of the sales?

  24. Posted November 17, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    That’s correct.

  25. Posted November 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Yay! Props for the physical copies :) I hope shipping to Poland works fine.

  26. robeyclark
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    yes.

  27. Posted November 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    thank you again. please, think about doing on-demand fullfillment down the road. i truly believe it could bethe bandcamp killer app in that it give something to you without having to change your core feature set.

    thankyou again,

    onyx

  28. Posted November 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m with onyx ashanti about the print-on-demand thing, it would be awesome!

  29. Jason Brand
    Posted November 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    So Cool! I love it when things – just make sense.

  30. Posted November 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful addition guys, very happy.

    But I think the option of selling T-shirts/variable size items is missing. Adding a drop-down menu to select would be good.

    Or how about the option of selecting between multiple t-shirt/button etc designs within a ‘fan pack’. So, for example, click ‘buy fan pack’, then select from a drop-down a men’s or women’s shirt size, then select a button design. That way, multiple items could be bundled under one price, and then the fan selects what items they want to choose.

    Otherwise, you’d need to set up 10 different products to allow for these options.

    p.s. have my babies

  31. Posted November 17, 2009 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    > I think the option of selling T-shirts/variable size items is missing. Adding a drop-down menu to select would be good.

    Yes it is! But it’s coming soon. In the meantime, fans can specify their sizing by clicking “leave a comment for the seller” on the checkout page.

  32. Posted November 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Ethan you did not address the baby request. Shall I file a bug?

  33. Posted November 18, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Wow. And, thanks.

  34. Posted November 18, 2009 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    On my own website Paypal shop I have a field where purchasers can specify if they’d like the CD signed to their name or someone else’s, and any particular message they’d like included in the signature (if they’re buying it as a birthday gift, for example). Is it possible for this to be included in the Bandcamp sales setup? Many thanks! You’re great!
    Sarah

  35. Posted November 18, 2009 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Yes Sarah, there’s a “Leave comment for the seller” link on the checkout page.

  36. Posted November 18, 2009 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Excellent.. we’ll definitely be using this option in the future.. been waiting for a solution like this for ages..

    One minor thing, and it’s so minor as to almost be a non-issue.. but I’m curious: is it possible to choose to offer a physical item for sale seperately? As far as I can see, it looks like when someone buys, say, a CD, the download is included. Any way of selling an album as *either* a download *or* a physical thing?

  37. Posted November 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Hi Dan, you just uncheck the box that says “include immediate download of album with purchase of this package.”

  38. Posted November 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Aha! Thanks Ethan.. I didn’t notice that bit. Will have a proper play around with it tomorrow.. looks pretty much like the answer to my shop-related woes :)

    x

  39. Posted November 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    This is amazing. No more faffing with paypal and buttons. I hate that shit.

  40. Anaki
    Posted November 18, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    We can be our own distributor? Hells yeah. We were gonna do it anyway, but Bandcamp just made it seem WAY easier. Thanks.

  41. Posted November 18, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Hey Guys,

    Thank you very much for this giant step feature, one more request, is there a way people could purchase multiple items in a single check out process?
    Like buying one physical record, plus two downloads from this album, another tshirt here and a pair of pants there all that without having to take the credit card out each time.

    Best,
    Keep it moving
    Peace…

  42. Posted November 18, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    On the to-do, optimizing for just pants first though.

  43. Posted November 18, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    great additional features!

  44. Posted November 19, 2009 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    So we just switched our physical sales to your direct system. First
    sale just came in. SILKY SMOOTH.

    You lovely people. I love you like the brothers I never had.

  45. Jules
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    What do I say to that? I just spent a WEEK setting up an online store, registering an account at 2checkout to enable customers to pay by credit card and what-not…. and now THIS? :-)

    Thanks, anyway. This is a great feature! I guess we will just flood the web with shops everywhere. :-)

  46. Posted November 19, 2009 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    BANDCAMP WINS

  47. Russell Jewell
    Posted November 19, 2009 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Is it weird that I almost feel guilty using something so innovative and easy to use made just for my convenience?

  48. Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I love it! Great way to market ‘package’ options, but… (I know we musician’s are never happy!)

    Is there any way we can sell ‘just’ merch/CDs without tying it to a download? I don’t see any option for that as yet?

  49. Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi Grae, you just uncheck the box that says “include immediate download of album with purchase of this package.”

  50. Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Ethan, does that mean we can set up a t-shirt or hoodie on a page of its own then?
    Off to try it now :)

  51. Posted November 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    No, packages are still tied to a given release. It’s including the download that’s optional.

  52. Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Awesome feature. Thank you. People are mentioning adding T-Shirts and other merch here… but I can’t seem to figure out how to add a physical product which is not an album. How can I add a T-Shirt, a DVD (A video player would be nice), or other physical merch not associated directly with an album? All I see is the “add track” button. Also will bandcamp integrate hosting video as well.. so people can purchase video content and download or at least view a sample and purchase a physical DVD? Thanks for your hard work.

    Jon

  53. Posted November 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    > I can’t seem to figure out how to add a physical product which is not an album

    Hi Jon, right now packages have to be associated with an album. So you make an album first, then add a package to it.

  54. Amit
    Posted November 20, 2009 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Myspace 0 Bandcamp 7862137462378642378946

  55. Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    This is fantastic – you really do get better and better. But I can’t see how to edit and add the physical item for the digital downloads I am already selling. At the moment I’ve got it linked to buy physical CDs from another site, but obviously I’d like to change that to your good selves and can’t see how to. Forgive me if I am being a chump…

  56. Posted November 20, 2009 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Sounds great. Just click the Edit button on any *album* page (you can’t create packages for just tracks). Then, about halfway down the edit page you’ll see text that says “physical package,” and next to that an “add” link.

  57. Posted November 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    This is super impressive! How come Bandcamp doesn’t get much coverage from the music biz community? Is Lefsez aware of this greatness + stylish design + independent empowerment + superior functionality?

  58. Posted November 21, 2009 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    May I suggest testing other wording for “leave a comment for the seller”

    to me comments imply kibitzing.(great job… love your music you rock…etc.) I don’t immediately associate comments with special instructions.

  59. Posted November 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    We hope to eliminate the need for that field entirely very soon Michael (by moving package options, like sizing, into the checkout dialog).

  60. Jared Carmona
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Does Bandcamp.com have a pressing plant or would we need to supply the product ourselves?

  61. Posted November 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    No, manufacturing is up to you.

  62. Anderson
    Posted November 25, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I am now officially 100% sold on Bandcamp. I signed up a while ago but never started utilizing the system since I was trying to figure out this exact problem. I almost went through the headache of setting up a Zencart shopping system to address the very issue of selling downloads, selling CDs, and selling CDs that come with an immediate ‘while you wait’ download option with a variety of digital formats to choose from, so needless to say this is a HUGE relief.

    The only thing I’m still hoping to see (eventually) is a more customizable interface for website integration and a better laid out dropdown menu screen… and maybe some other store options that allow sales of shirts, posters, etc.

    That said, I’m not holding out to wait :) Great job guys!

  63. Posted November 26, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Great job and very exiting!

    I am a producer and have several series of CDs. Stores and boutiques are part of my buyers.
    I wish we could add a structure for vendors with wholesale prices for high volume CDs orders.
    Also the possibility to display special offers like buy vol 1 and 2 for this price..

    When are you going to provide a fulfillment service?

    thank you for the great work
    Marco

  64. JP
    Posted December 6, 2009 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    This all sounds great! In fact, it’s all starting to sound too good to be true?

    So when is the other shoe going to drop? ie: What’s this going to cost me? We already know it’s not going to be free forever…

  65. JP
    Posted December 9, 2009 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    On taxes:

    Is there an option to only charge sales tax for the state you live in? That would be optimal, IMO.

    Thanks!

    JP

  66. Posted December 9, 2009 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Hi JP, that’s pretty much how it works already. You select “charge sales tax” in the UI, set your location in your profile, and tax is only charged where applicable (based on looking at the buyer’s location and your own).

  67. Posted December 17, 2009 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    So… I am thrilled thus far with the ability to add physical products… here are a couple urgent requests for your consideration:

    1. Ability to add multiple physical products to each album… so that I can offer the MP3 download, a deluxe edition CD, a regular CD, etc etc.
    2. Ability to create physical products which don’t have a music download product associated with them… i.e. merchandise… this is where Bandcamp leaves musicians wanting… we need to have a store that allows us to sell our catalog of stuff… music is only 1 piece.
    3. Ability to “widgetize” the whole bandcamp store (not just the record)… or extract it as HTML so we can post in a wordpress blog and keep folks in the site the whole time they are shopping.

    These are really essential features for handling the whole business of a band… I am going to have to keep searching for a solution… I have looked at other carts and none are really geared to us musicians and most are quite lame for any industry… Bandcamp is amazing (and free to boot!)… but missing a couple key ingredients… Don’t get me wrong.. I love what you have done… I just hope you can extend it a bit further… in a hurry!

  68. Posted December 24, 2009 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Bandcamp is literally the greatest platform for bands ever created. Nothing else comes remotely close.

    Bandcamp FTW.

  69. Kirana
    Posted January 3, 2010 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    I found your site today cos i wanted to buy Aerial’s album cd. I’m amazed with you guys did. this can only come from people who have passion in music.

    hope more of indie bands I love turn to use your site more & more

    lots of love from thailand

  70. Posted January 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I am truly enamored with bandcamp. You actually ‘get it’ don’t you? Amazing.

    Now my question:

    Can you add more than one package for a single album?

    You see we might have Vinyl/Cd’s/tapes/wax cylinders etc for one album.
    How to differentiate?

    If this can’t be done right now I’m sure it wont be a long wait. Seems to be how it goes round here..

  71. Jeremy
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi, how far away do would these be?:

    – ability to add physical without tying it to a release. Eg a t-shirt not tied to a release.
    – choice of sizes for t-shirts

    Thanks,
    Jeremy

3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] the Bandcamp blog <— Click to watch video [...]

  2. [...] changing online music economy model and this morning I open up my email to see a note from Ethan at Bandcamp saying they are now allowing bands to sell physical products in an amazing interface that is [...]

  3. [...] 7:28 am on November 16, 2009 Reply Bandcamp adds support for physical goods. [...]

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