Should I make 250 CDs or 500?

I'm asking myself the question for an upcoming project: how many CDs should I make? 250 CDs, 500 CDs, how many to get made?

For many disc makers (disc replication, to be clear!), the key price break is somewhere in this area: a run of 250-300 CDs will be 1.5x to twice as expensive as a run of 500.

With my preferred manufacturer, I crunched the numbers:

250 CDs

  • Cost: $5 per CD, or about $1,250 in total (this includes shipping and taxes)
  • Break-even: 120 CDs sold (with a few more costs in, for my whole project)
  • Then I have: 130 CDs left to sell or give

500 CDs

  • Cost: $3.20 per CD, or about $1,600 in total (so $350 more)
  • Break-even: 130 CDs sold (not much different!)
  • Then I have: 370 CDs left

Which would you do?

Some variables don't show up at this basic level; you could set the price higher for the smaller run, get more sales by making the bigger run cheaper, or lean into the dynamic of scarcity by marketing it as a limited edition. I'll keep thinking.

Will Clements' second full-length album, COMPASS, arrived at the store today. Check it out here. Who knows what else you and I will have collected here by the end of 2024!

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