Market Moves: Sales disappoint so far

Summary:On Wednesday of last week I published a paid application on the Android Market: Re-Translate Pro. Google turned on paid apps the next day, though I didn't get the update until Saturday afternoon.

On Wednesday of last week I published a paid application on the Android Market: Re-Translate Pro. Google turned on paid apps the next day, though I didn't get the update until Saturday afternoon. Ever since then I've been watching the sales roll in. Well, maybe "trickle" is a better word. No, that's not quite it either. Drip?

Here are the figures from the Market's Developer Console. As I write this, total sales for the paid version have reached a whopping 8 units. Three of those were returned, so net sales were 5. On each sale, Google keeps $.90 and I keep $2.09. Maybe I should keep my day job.

By jumping over to Google Checkout we can see more details...

In case you're wondering, here's a typical successful order looks like:

Here's an order where someone tried out the application for a few minutes then decided they wanted a refund:

It doesn't look like Google actually charges your credit card until the refund window closes. Also, I'm happy to report that Google does not take a cut on canceled sales.

It seems that a lot of people are having trouble with getting their credit cards set up correctly. When the authorization fails, Google sends the customer an email with instructions on how to fix the problem. At that point most people just cancel the sale. Here's a typical sequence I saw several times:

In conclusion, the order system appears to be working as it should, but not many people are buying. One reason could be that the application is hard to find. When I put out my first update it will briefly appear at the top of the applications-by-date list, so we'll see what effect that has on sales.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Google

About

Ed Burnette has been hooked on computers ever since he laid eyes on a TRS-80 in the local Radio Shack. Since graduating from NC State University he has programmed everything from serial device drivers and debuggers to web servers. After a delightful break working on commercial video games, Ed reluctantly returned to business software. He... Full Bio

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