|Markup policy [message #31437] Sun, 24 July 2011 08:45 UTC
I begin an interesting conversation with Dizingof here.
Basically, I begin by saying his design was clever because not a lot of material was used so it could be affordable and Dizingof answered affordability did not enter into consideration when he designed model (sorry I did not want to offend here). We end up speaking about the markups, how high of or low they could be.
This is I think a very interesting topic, that deserves its own thread.
To begin, I would say there are at least different kinds of designers here:
1) those who are doing things for themselves (generally they do not have a shop)
2) those having a shop more as a hobby, or an opportunistic way to make money from their passion
3) those who offer their services to design thing for others
4) those who really want to make a business and if possible live from this business
Probably combinations of those do exist also.
I am more in the second category. I do this for fun. I do not really need the money earned from Shapeways but as I spend a lot buying my own design, my goal is to earn more than I spend (goal not reached yet )
In fact, I am an engineer, not very gift for DIY stuff, and 3D printing is a way for me to transform my ideas in actual objects (before I was doing shapes with paper and glue).
So let's come back to markups.
Markups for me are rewarding. When I earn money I know that what I created had an interest for someone else, enough interest form him to pay for it. And I like that. Let's face it: Shapeways is an addiction, and I am addicted.
But I think it is complex to set up a correct markup on an object. I began some years ago with very low markups, now they are higher. As Dizingof said, a couple of dollars for a one-of-a-king design is ridiculous: you spend hours to create one design, and probably your time deserves more value.
Another issue I am facing is that on models that are functional (not only decorative) you need to order several prototypes and in this case there is nearly no chance you ever break even with only one or two sales.
But if you set a high markup on a model, you could also never sell it. So is it better getting $1 from a design or taking the risk of getting nothing?
Offer and demand.
What I was proposing was offering, for a limited amount of time, the models that never sold with a $1 markup (and keeping them with a higher markup if they sell during this discount period or else removing them).
But this raises a new question: is it fair (from a competition point of view) to offer low markups when other designers (category number 4) want to earn their life by selling their own design (remember all those designers whose entire life has been thrown away because of the $5 startup fee on FUD)?
The discussion is open!
[Updated on: Sun, 24 July 2011 08:49 UTC]
So many things to design, so little time...