What I Learned from Selling a Physical Product

Joshua Henslee

22 days ago by joshua

On 8/31, sales closed for THE MORNIN’ RUN Newspaper product I worked on over the summer.

Details can be viewed here.

I learned alot from the experience and wanted to share my thoughts. Using the token model atop BSV, I decided to pre-sale 1,000 tokens at 0.75 BSV that were redeemable for a physical copy of the paper which included exclusive content from relatively well-known players in the BSV space, including Craig Wright.

By pre-selling tokens and fixing the date at which redemption could be done, there was no scenario where I could be bagholding inventory. This was the primary factor for choosing this, as my risk of producing papers that would not be shipped was reduced to zero.

However, I did not realize the trade-offs for that decision that could have potentially led to more sales. Those trade-offs were that while the writers were incentivized to shill the product (they received revenue share of each sale) the buyers were not. Because they don’t know if the product is good or not until after the redemption period closed, they did not become naturally aligned with marketing the product.

Furthermore, this fact along with the high price set expectations too high such that I have an unhappy customer in case the product did not meet their high expectations. I do think I set the price too high.

I overestimated the market’s demand for an actual product, as the speculative NFT phase rages on. At this point, users would rather pay a lower price for an NFT they can potentially flip for a higher value vs. purchase a real product with their Bitcoin.

Another thing was that I feel doing physical products for a brand makes more sense after that brand is more established. Because THE MORNIN’ RUN is still new, this product may not be considered valuable in case it goes out of business. Once my business establishes more credibility, I feel then is the time to sell collector’s items or more consumable content.

A drawback of physical-only informational content is that, that information does not flow freely. I asserted that these would only be physical in hopes of boosting the value of the customer’s items, but that may have been short-sighted. Time will tell on that.

Even with these mistakes, because of the token redemption model, this was a very profitable project. Because I only placed 1 bulk order at the end that shipped all the papers internationally, the cost was extremely low, so I was able to pocket most of the revenue (after sharing with the content creators).

Looking forward, I did learn something and will account for that next time I do something like this so that I can increase the number of sales. There is a reason I named this ‘1st edition’ so please be on the lookout for future products, where I hope to account for this market feedback.