CD Baby Selling Tip: Get in on the $5 Sale!

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We’re always trying to make it easy for music fans to discover great new artists on We produce a Music Discovery podcast and put together a number of genre-based Music Discovery newsletters.  To our pleasant surprise, one of the most popular links in these newsletters has been to the $5 Sale section on, with a higher click-through rate than even the top-selling albums and the editors picks. It’s evident that in this weird time of debt ceiling debates, deficit reduction talks, and the Dow Jones taking us on a daily roller-coaster ride,  CD Baby customers are hungry for some affordable, quality music.

What is the $5 Sale Bin and how does it work? You opt your album in for this special offer. Then, if a customer buys 3 or more separate titles from our $5 Sales Bin, they get each CD for $5. You earn $3. We only keep $2. Otherwise, if the customer does NOT purchase 3 or more different titles from the Bin, the albums sell for their normal selling price. You can list your album as part of this sale from within your members account. Go to the “album edit menu” section of your account dashboard. Then look to the bottom left where it says “Pricing on CD Baby.” The $5 Sale Bin is the bottom option. You can opt in there. Also, you can take it OUT of the $5 Sales Bin whenever you like, so feel free to test it out and see if increases your sales for older titles.

We’re happy to see so many customers are interested in this and strongly encourage you to include your album as part of the sale, even if it’s only for a limited time.

To see exactly how to put your album into the $5 Sales Bin, check out this video below:


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  • Joe

    Sounds good. But I went to the member’s area and didn”t see the link to opt in. Where is it?

  • Dwkman0117

    I do not see under my account settings how I can use this feature.

  • Aaronlewis72

    Is this a possibility even if the Cd is only available digitally.

  • It is in the "album edit menu" section of your account dashboard. Go to the bottom left where it says "Pricing on CD Baby." The $5 Sale Bin is the bottom option.

    • Jeff

      What about a double CD ? Do you allow a double to go for $10 in the $5 bin ?

      • No. It's a single product for $5, so even double-albums would go for $5.

  • It is in the “album edit menu” section of your account dashboard. Go to the bottom left where it says “Pricing on CD Baby.” The $5 Sale Bin is the bottom option.

  • No. Sorry. The $5 Sales Bin is only for physical CDs.

  • Busker

    Would be great if it worked for digital albums as well.

  • Since I’m living in Europe and you do not allow me to send a big quantity of CD’s to your store, selling a CD for $5 is not a good idea. Just wanted to mention that.

  • Ayers_tyler

    Between mastering and production costs alone my CDs cost more than $3. That's not mentioning the thousands of hours put into making the music, mixing, editing, etc. Funny that a company I paid to cut the CDs should make a profit on my music to act as a passive distributor while I basically pay for it again. Wow, a great deal, I should be able to afford the gear to go live in about never at that rate.

    • Hi Ayers,

      Like many discounts and offers, the 5 dollar sale serves as a promotion that can be useful in gaining exposure, at the cost of lowering your per CD profit margin. It's just a tool we offer our artists to use if they want to. We understand that it's not feasible for everyone.

      We cut our take in half on 5 dollar sales. So our artists make a better percentage off those sales and we make less money.

      Chris B

      • Ayers_tyler

        Well it sounds like a nice gesture Chris but your take is 40% either way so not exactly cut in half. I can understand a retail chain making 40% because they have the overhead of hundreds to thousands of stores, employees, etc. But an online distributor that’s 99% computerized? 40% is a bit steep, especially when you’re dealing with independent artists that are typically, well, poor.

    • Po_etik

      Come on dude stop whining. I, I, I, me, me, me. This is just a quick promotional hit for your fans or customers.

  • Just an option. Certainly not for everyone.

  • Sbrook

    Mine cost slightly over two dollars…at this point…I just want them to get out into someone’s hands. I’m gonna try the five dollar thingie. CdBaby did pretty good for me for quite awhile. This release has reached its saturation point probably, so anything new to get rid of a few more copies and gain a few more fans is good by me.

  • Rick N.

    This is a no brainer for me. I do a single act and my CD is no longer new. I sell it at all my gigs for $5. and I sell the hell out of them. People love a deal. Cost me near 1$ to make and that’s $4. in my pocket. Now CDBaby can do the same for me and I don’t do a thing ? Let’s Go ! People like my product a lot ! They’ll like it more at $5. than $10.

  • Aristadoe

    I can’t find the “album edit menu” section of my account dashboard?

  • I’m giving it a whirl!

  • It's tough to say exactly what percentage of our business is "computerized" because we also have a 2 warehouse spaces for millions of CDs, 100 awesome employees, a giant chalkboard in our kitchen full of really awful jokes written in terrible handwriting, etc. We're not just a digital/online distributor. We handle physical distribution through Super D and Amazon. We store and ship vinyl/CDs all over the world. We have our credit card swiper program. Duplication and replication services. Etc. I know that 99% of our interfacing with artists is online, but behind the scenes it's a very human operation. In order to keep all that going, we've stuck to our $4 per CD cut. With the $5 Sale, we thought we could cut our normal cut in half so artists can earn more from those sales at that lower price.

    • seva

      tyler is correct in pointing out the percentage aspect, but 1/2 the profit is just 1/2 the profit, period, and that provides an incentive to the customer to buy more. i think CDbaby has a good new choice for *those who desire* to sell something in a bundled purchase. it's just another option and one which will certainly not work for everyone. in the days of double-digit CD sales declines, it's good that they innovate. i personally do not utilize CDbaby's download option because they take an ongoing percentage (tunecore does not) but the *physical* sales of CDs are ideal through CDbaby and i recommend them to every mastering client. Derek Sivers launched a great company and it seems to be continuing to support his ideals. even with bad jokes! see this:

      • Thanks! Yeah, the $5 sale is just another option. Not at all required. In terms of what you mentioned about our 9% cut on digital distribution sales (iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody, etc.), it's important to remember that CD Baby has no annual fees, no cancellation fees, and no per-delivery or per-region fees. We have the upfront, one-time $39 submission fee. From there on out, we only make money when you do, so you don't have to worry about maintenance fees. With Tunecore, they recently raised their yearly fees to nearly $50. So even when your album sales dip (as they always do a few years after the release), you're still responsible for that yearly fee, otherwise they'll remove you from their service, and iTunes, and everywhere else, along with all the customer reviews you've gained up to that point. With us, we set you up, and you're set for life. We'll never remove your music, even if it isn't selling after a certain point.

  • When you're on your main account dashboard, find the album you want to edit, then click the little "edit" button to the right of the album name. That'll bring you to it.

    • Anonymous

      This took me awhile to figure out. The nav is confusing: see illustration 1: "My Account", "Account Info" and "Accounting Overview" all stacked on top of each other. Make sure you're on the My Account/Dashboard itself. Then scroll down (if you have a small screen like me) to see your album list. the orange "View/Edit' button is to the right. (See Illustration 2).

      • Thanks. We'll try to make all that stuff clearer next time we redesign our members account section.

  • Zrazy

    Hi there
    I’m just thinking that the 2$ that you take is rather high with the 3$ going to the artist. Could you tell me again what is the percentage that you take from all sales of CD’s? I joined quite a long tiome ago and wonder if there has been an increase. I would appreciate the actual percentage figures. Thankyou

  • Hasn't changed since 1998. It's not a percentage. We keep $4 per CD sold. You choose the price. We take $4 and pay you the rest. The $5 Sales Bin is the only case when we take the $2 cut.

  • Troublezwssj06

    it is good i did it once and got alot of sales out of an older project try wont hurt you plus might get some new fans

  • Cloudcroft

    Everyone is also forgetting about all of the free and valuable information that CD Baby provides to us, like these emails and podcasts. I've learned so much as a musician because of the free services CD Baby offers. $4 or $2 a CD goes a long way if you ask me. It's not like the musicians are getting screwed here. CD Baby is a company that needs to make money just like any of us. But at least they follow their own advice and provide free content and discounted rates to all of us followers. I for one am very grateful to the service you guys provide. Thank you.

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  • if you offer a digital download of my entire album for $5 we can all make a profit.

  • Anonymous

    I like the $5 option. Thanks CD baby!!!