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Sell Your Own Music on the Web
Without a Merchant Account...

Do you want to sell your own music on the web and need a way to take electronic payments from your customers without the high costs involved with a merchant account?

Fret not!

You can sell your own music online. The following services all allow you to take credit card payments without the need for a merchant account because they handle the credit card payments on their own merchant account...

PayPal

PayPal is probably the web's most popular and well known payment processor and one used by many independent music artists to take payments on their websites.

PayPal allows you to take payments from other PayPal users and also allows you to take credit card payments,  even if the buyer has no PayPal account.

PayPal then takes a cut of each transaction as its fee for the service it offers.

The one great benefit of PayPal is that you need a merchant account to take credit card payments. PayPal also offers you easy to use tools to take payments on your site.

PayPal has become a huge company and as always with huge companies there will be a bit of nag and hassle.  This is to be expected.

Unfortunately there aren't many competitors for PayPal which means for now it remains one of the only few viable options for taking electronic payments when you sell your own music.

I suggest you always offer PayPal as a payment method because many PayPal users prefer to use PayPal for their payments on the web.

Now, while PayPal handles your payment processing it will not handle your delivery. You can do this yourself, though there are also other services available which will handle your payment processing and also the delivery of your product for you.

You'll discover that many of the services integrate PayPal while others make use of their own merchant accounts to process your payments.

Here are a few other services you may want to take a look at...

Bandcamp

Bandcamp is a free service which allows you to create a Web profile, distribute and sell your own music and collect e-mail addresses for your mailing list.

You need a PayPal Premier or Business account before you can sort your music on Bandcamp.

I suggest you take a look at this page on the Bandcamp web site for more information on how payments are handled.

I think Bandcamp is one of the best services available for independent music artists who want to sell digital downloads of their music.

Nimbit


Nimbit works on the freemium model where you get the basic services and tools for free and special features at a monthly or yearly rate.

The free account allows you to sell your own music and also hard goods. Nimbit will take care off payment processing and also fulfillment of your orders and take 20% commission on each transaction.

You can use Nimbit Online Merchant Table to sell on MySpace and blogs, and Nimbit MyStore to sell on Facebook. The free account does not however allow you to give away your music for free as you can with Bandcamp.

The 20% commission is higher than the rate you'll get when you use Bandcamp and PayPal micro-payments.

So, I suggest you only take a look at Nimbit should you want to sell more than just digital downloads as it allows you to sell hard goods.

Consider the retail commissions carefully and compare it to the deal CD baby (see below) offers you to see which suits you best.

CD Baby

CDBaby.com allows you to sell both digital downloads and CDs via the web. They will also take care all your fulfillment for you. You simply need to upload your digital tracks and send them your CDs.

In terms of selling music they offer basically the same kind of services as Nimbit with slightly different pricing. They take 25% of each digital download transaction and $4 for every CD transaction.

CD Baby can also make your CDs available in brick-and-mortar stores as special order items and distribute your digital downloads via other major online marketplace such as Amazon MP3 and iTunes.

So,  there you have it!  You now know a few good options to help you sell your own music on the web without the need for a merchant account.

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