Resellers for downloadable software - any experiences?

A Japanese company approached me, offering to sell my software online aswell as a packaged product in Japan. They would also pay to get a Japanese localization done. The commision would be around 50%.

They seem professional, and at the moment I’m selling almost nothing to Japan, so I figured I have nothing to lose.

Does anyone have experiences with these kind of deals?
Any issues or pitfalls I should keep in mind?


I had a little experience with resellers in other countries, where our sales didn’t go well. Reseller didn’t add any new sales :slight_smile: In your case I’d still try it, as you’ve said, you have nothing to lose anyway.

Like Dmitry says, there is no harm.

Make sure they dont have an exclusive contract, and make sure you can dump them easily if it isn’t going right. Other than that, go for it.

There could be harm.

If they’re offering to localise it, what does that mean? Sounds to me like whatever work they are offering to do, you will have to do a fair amount of work as well. Localising is a lot more than simply translating text – done properly, it would mean many UI changes as well depending on how words and phrases translate.

You should spec out the work on your end and see if it’s worth the effort, and if your time might not be more productively spent improving the product for already proven markets.

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Darren, that’s an excellent point.
There’s already a translation framework in place, but it’s only for English and German. There may be A LOT of hassles when trying to adapt it to Japanese.

I was too approached by a Japanese reseller a few years ago. They also offered to translate the software and sell it in Japan where I don’t sell much.

They did translate the software but haven’t heard back from them after that. The software was already localized so it was easy for me to integrate the translation with little customization.

The risk is to lose time in perfecting the deal and have little or no sales.

Here’s a follow-up, one year later:

I went through with the project and it was a great success.
The Japanese reseller paid for the translation, created a download site and even a physical product with CD.
The Japanese version has been on sale for 3 months now. Sales greatly exceeded my expectations: In these three months, a significant percentage of my total revenue came from this one reseller.
It was about 7 days of work to implement the Japanese edition and make sure all the translations work, but it was definitely worth it.

If anyone else wants to share their experiences with resellers, I’d be happy to hear them. I’m considering expanding my reseller network to more countries.


Thanks for the follow-up. That’s an exceptionally good result!

As someone who is also in the business of selling software. Thanks for following up!