How to Choose a PDF Download Service

A detailed article about How to Choose a PDF Download Service.

How to Choose a PDF Download Service

If you wish to sell ebook or other PDF documents, choosing a PDF download service is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make. The features provided by a PDF download service can range from simply storing and delivering PDF documents to payment collection and product registration. Some of the features that you should look for in a PDF download service are:

Storage & Delivery

Since you are selling a document, you need to make sure that no one is able to download the documents without paying for it. It is also equally important that the customer does not have to wait for receiving the PDF after paying for it. A PDF download service, therefore, should not only provide safe storage of your files, it should also ensure that the document is delivered automatically to the right person. Some PDF download service providers may also restrict the number of files that you can store or may charge additionally for storage of files so have a close look at the pricing.

Payment Options

Imagine a scenario where a potential customer liked your product or service but couldn’t purchase it because he couldn’t make a payment. Customers today demand choices and that includes a choice of payment options. A PDF download service must provide multiple payment options so that you never miss out on a sale.

Sales Features

As an online seller you should be able to sell your PDF documents at several places. This is how it works for authors who sell in the physical world; their work is available for purchase at different stores in different localities. The online world is no different and the more places you are able to list your documents, the more sales they will generate.

  • Selling Online: The PDF download service should allow you to make full use of the various platforms available to sell your documents such as your website or blog, Facebook, Twitter, discussion forums, etc.
  • International Sales: An important benefit of selling PDF documents online is that you are not restricted by physical location and can sell documents across the globe. If you wish to sell your documents internationally, make sure that the PDF download service provides the feature to sell in multiple currencies.
  • Auction Sales: Listing your documents for sale on established auction sites such as eBay can fetch a large audience and lots of potential customers. So, do check with the PDF download service provider about the ability to sell your documents on eBay or any other auction site.
  • Personal Store: In a marketplace your documents compete against several similar documents. By having a personal storefront you can make sure that listings of your competitors don’t appear. Look for the option to create a personal store while choosing a PDF download service.
  • Subscription Sales: If you follow a subscription sales model, for eg: a weekly magazine in PDF format, then your PDF download service should allow for subscription sales and be able to charge customers on the set intervals and deliver the downloads automatically.

Samples and Free Downloads

Customers want to know what they are buying before paying for it and mere descriptions have a limited ability to convince customers. Samples and previews, however, not only help convince potential customers but also entice them to purchase full versions. By providing a feature to offer sample and free downloads, a PDF download service can really help sellers increase the sales volume.


Offering discounts is a commonly used method for boosting product sales and PDF documents are no different. Discounts can be offered in different ways such as simply discounting the product price by a certain amount or distributing coupons that a customer can use while purchasing the document. While it is not necessary to offer discounts on every item, it can be a handy feature to have in the PDF download service that you choose.

Ease of Use

A key factor while choosing a PDF download service should be its user-friendliness. As a seller, you won’t want to spend a lot of time in understanding how the PDF download service works or in setting up the documents for sale. The service should make it easy for you to list products and also provide easy integration options so that you can sell them on other platforms. If you are going to sell several products then the PDF download service should also provide an efficient way of listing multiple products at once rather than making you list each item individually.


It is said that if you can’t measure your performance you can’t improve it and it is applicable for sales performance too. As a seller you should have access to your sales data all the time so that you can see which of your items are performing well and which ones require more attention in terms of marketing effort. The PDF download service should allow for exporting the sales data for record keeping.


While using the PDF download service you could get stuck with a technical problem or may have some general questions. A critical factor to look for while deciding on a PDF download service is its customer support. It should provide multiple support options which may include a FAQ section, documentation, tutorials, email or phone support.


Last but not the least, you should look for the cost of using the PDF download service. There are several ways in which a PDF download service provider may charge the sellers. There can be a set monthly fee, per download fee or a combination of both. An important aspect to consider here is that you should not be paying a huge amount of upfront or fixed fee. Having a rich feature set is great but you are here to make money and if the cost of using the service is too high, you may better look for a more cost effective PDF download service.