As I mentioned earlier, I had been contemplating switching to SwiftCD for a while for CD fulfillment over  I just completed the transition yesterday and had my first order with the new system processed while I slept.  Yay.

The reasons I made the switch

  1. My recent retooling of my purchase page has made roughly half of my customers reuest CDs.  That means that I get to do a manual order entry nearly every day, and that if I miss checking email someone has paid me meney but is not getting their product.  I did order entry for two years and hate it (love talking to customers, hate typing addresses).  This literally quadrupled my support burden (I get four CD orders for every email that requires a response) and added no value to the customers.
  2. When I posted to this blog that I was considering switching to SwiftCD, they contacted me and pulled out all the stops trying to get me to switch.  Full disclosure: I think that is probably because they think I would probably write up a positive evaluation of them, and hey, thats what I’m doing, so discount this report to whatever degree you think appropriate.  (Its certainly not so they can capture my awesome volume.  10-20 CDs a month or so times thin margins = not a lot of money.)  When I say “Pulled out all the stops” I’m not exaggerating: they had a company designer redesign my CD label to demonstrate their printing prowess, the CEO mailed me a half dozen times asking on my progress, and they even worked with e-junkie to make sure the integration went well.
  3. Easy integration with e-junkie.  After finding the instructions and setting up my CD on the SwiftCD side integration took about 15 seconds on e-junkie’s site and about 30 seconds replacing two links on my purchasing page.  Now rather than waking up 30 minutes early and checking my email to see if any CDs were purchased so I can copy, paste, copy, paste, copy paste name, email, address, transaction number, etc etc, e-junkie forwards the shipping details directly to SwiftCD and I can get some extra sleep in the morning.
  4. The Registration Key gets automatically printed on the mailer (called Product Key or something).  I can live with that.

I also had a slight difficulty with in the last week.  I uploaded a label using a template of theirs, it ended up printing very badly, and as a result I shipped two products which were not up to my quality standards althought they would run without difficulty.  This was totally unrelated to my decision to switch — cd-fulfillment did exactly what I would expect, which was shipping the order and telling me there was a problem.  I contacted the customers myself to make amends (“I’m sorry, I goofed, I will ship another CD at my expense”, at paragraph length).  cd-fulfillment has been pretty good to me for the duration of our business relationship, and I think they’re still a wonderful service for many people (and cheap, holy cow — just eating international shipping charges is amazing).  If they had easy e-junkie integration, I would have probably stayed with them, and I’ll keep them around as a backup in case SwiftCD suffers any hiccups.

Anyhow, since I don’t intend to hold SwiftCD to their price matching guarantee, I think I’m probably going to be on the hook for slightly more than the $5 I charge for the majority of my CDs.  $5.38 or so for US customers, for example.  I will happily underwrite the difference for the moment, since the convenience is important to me and many of my customers won’t buy without the CD option.

Speaking of prices… I have been considering a $5 price increase for both versions, probably tied to the 1.06 release.  We’ll see if I implement it or not.