How to sell software through third-party distributors online


I'd like to sell a software program (that my startup developed) through third-party online sellers.

Any tips about how to approach the other sellers and structure the transaction? Is the best way just an initial "cold-call" email to them, describing the product with specifics (e.g., listing my website and the price), and offering to let them sell it on terms to be agreed?

My startup has had the software program in beta mode and we have gotten a decent number of users, but I just don't have the resources or money to devote to redoing the website and doing enough marketing to become the dominant program in the field, and it looks like there are some other online sellers of software for the industry that I am targeting, and they seem to be up and running pretty well, with good online traffic, which I lack.


Sales Software Ecommerce

asked Sep 25 '11 at 00:29
1,747 points
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  • Can you be a little more specific as to what industry and what product we are talking about? – Vzwick 12 years ago
  • Sure- it's a software program for lawyers. I have been distributing online through my own startup's website. I have been in touch with some real people who are going to market it in real life (by contacting their existing law firm clients), but I don't think that selling it through my own startup's website is the only online sale method that I should be doing; I'd also like to sell it through some other online sites that sell a variety of products for lawyers. My question is: "how to approach these other online sellers?" – User6492 12 years ago

2 Answers


This is a very common mistake I see repeated again and again. I don't have the time/resources/money to sell my product- maybe someone else will do it for me. No one is going to do your job for you. There are no resellers clamoring to sell an unknown product. There are no affiliates jumping to sell millions of a product no one has ever heard of either. Any sales you get from these two methods will be minimal.

It is your job to advertise, your job to develope a market, your job to sell your product. If you don't do this no one is going to do it for you.

answered Sep 25 '11 at 02:32
Gary E
12,510 points
  • I know- see comment above. I've also had some press publicity and the like due to my own efforts. Please see my specific question. – User6492 12 years ago
  • Online resellers are selling things that are **popular**. It's your job to make your product popular enough for these people to want it. They will most probably have zero interest in something they have never heard of. – Gary E 12 years ago


You need sales affiliates to do the selling for you. Look for affiliates networks like ClickBank and Commission Junction. These sites will usually also take care of your payment processing. Also remember you have to cut a commission to the sales affiliates who make a sale.

answered Sep 25 '11 at 02:00
172 points

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