Black Friday sale worked for me !

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tebee, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    Well as a shop owner I'm quite happy with the the number of sales I picked up on the day. I'm not ordering the new corporate jet just yet, but I had 9 people order stuff, about 30 items in total and over 150 dollars of mark up earned .

    Now if I could do this everyday I'd be happy. Still not approaching my earnings in a former life as a computer consultant, but I'm doing what I enjoy and that's worth a lot of money in my book.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the rest of the month, whether these sales are new people trying the service out or just people who were going to order anyway, but have brought their order forward to take advantage of the discount.

  2. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Yeah, I'm seeing product flying out the door too. Nice job SW!

    This may be a nice holiday season in general: on my own site, which doesn't have a Black Friday sale, I saw the seasonal bump starting early and coming on strong.

    I don't make what I did as a software consultant either. But I think I might not go back...I'd have to learn Python. ;)
  3. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    bah.. Python is easy.
  4. natalia
    natalia New Member
    Woo! Great to hear that it's working :)
    Let's hope the trend continues!
  5. Alex_ADEdge
    Alex_ADEdge New Member
    Yep I too noticed increased sales, was good to see! The free shipping promotion on Monday also helped a lot. Broke my previous sales-per-day record(s) a few times over the past week or so :)
  6. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    A couple of years back I had a conversation with Peter, and we talked about how big Shapeways would need to get, before it wouldn't be worth my while to operate It's not there yet, but I like to think we're on our way. It was never my ambition to be in retail.

    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  7. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    The problem I find with people ordering from Shapeways is the reluctance to buy a very new idea sight unseen. I'd like to not be in retail too, but I can't foresee being able to avoid it in the near future.

    For me the figures, as a percentage of what I need to survive on, breakdown as follows :-

    Shapeways direct sales 5-33%

    Ebay sales 20-50%

    Direct sales 10-15%

    The astute amongst you may notice the total of those figures, especially on a bad month !

    So I'd need to increase my Shapeways sales roughly 5 fold to be able to survive on them alone.

    For me, I've found that Ebay is the medium most buyers seem happiest about , not only only can they see what they are buying, but they have the assurance that other people have bought bought it before and found it OK. I also do some post-processing on most of my eBay stuff which is missing from the direct sales.

    I'm thinking about going the other way and start doing more advanced things, like combing parts made in different materials and parts from other sources. I'm also thinking about taking my stuff to some exhibitions and shows next year, so people can see it in the flesh before they buy.

  8. lordkevin
    lordkevin New Member
    Thanks for the post dear....
  9. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Good times continue: markup just broke last year's high-water mark for my account, with ten days left till the 15th.

    Plus Ex One (metal printers for Shapeways and also my site) are all up in my mailbox that I shouldn't send any more short orders because they're Too Busy.

    Go, Shapies, go!
  10. bdickason
    bdickason New Member
    Really awesome to hear!! I'm especially happy to see that graph Bathsheba, looks like your sales are really doing well :)

    We'll keep trying to find ways to boost your income, especially as we escape the holiday season and people return to regular spending. As a whole, you've probably noticed that we're shifting directions to become much more shopper-friendly (thanks for all of your feedback here).

    Tebee, let us know how the events go, I'm really interested to see how people react in-person. I see great reactions at all of the in-person events I've been to but have never actually sold anything at those events, so I'd love to see stats.
  11. natalia
    natalia New Member

    Tebee this quote is interesting:
    "For me, I've found that Ebay is the medium most buyers seem happiest about , not only only can they see what they are buying, but they have the assurance that other people have bought bought it before and found it OK."

    I wonder if the new @mentions we just introduced will encourage people to comment that they have bought a model before, and they liked it.

    Comments on products are used now, but not so much.

    What do you think would encourage conversations on product pages?

    What if people that bought your product could upload a photo of it in action? Just an idea...
  12. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask that question of .

    I say this for two reasons.

    Firstly, my customers are modelrailroaders. Now modelrailroaders are a bit of a funny lot, they are probably older than average and many are a little conserative, but there are also those who are early adoptors of new technology - the first hackers were modelrailroaders. They don't use social media much, but they do embrace and use forums a lot. I'd be intrigued to know what percentage of your customer base the modelrailroaders. make up.

    Secondly, I know I don't maintain my shop as well as I should. This is partialy down to me being generaly disorganized , but also because I'm dyslexic, which means I hate writing the words that sould go in my discription, but on the other hand I'm as happy as Larry playing round with 3-d CAD designing new things all the time - one of the things us dyslexics are good at is rotating things round in our minds. I'm also an ex-programer - just ask any of your programing staff how happy they are maintaining their existing code.

    I can see the advantage of starting a conversation on the model page - Each one could almost become a forum topic it is own right. How many people would use it, I'm not sure. Maybe people would need some incentive to do it. What that incentive should be I don't know - a little bit of discount on future products ?

    The other problem is there is no guarantee here that the people who make comments on your model have actualy bought the product , unlike Ebay . I've had both good and bad comments on models I had not sold any of at the time.

  13. Alex_ADEdge
    Alex_ADEdge New Member
    Will be interesting to see how the @mentions system goes. Ive noticed product comments arent too common, mentions could be a better and more engaging alternative. :p

    User submitted images could be pretty neat, although I wonder how often people would go to the effort of uploading an image of the product they bought. I know it works well on ThinkGeek, I always check the user submitted images before making a potential purchase. Its reassuring to see that others have bought and been enjoying the product.

    Also perhaps a system similar to what Ebay has would also be good? ie when a customer receives the order they can log on and leave feedback for the item with a positive/negative/neutral rank, the % of positive ratings is displayed with the item (or perhaps the shop owner's name).
    Something like that could even be incorporated into the mentions system, ie if you rate a product and want the shop owner to know about it, you @'name' them and it gives them the notification via that system too.
    Also another major thing Ive felt has been lacking from the Shapeways shop setup/system - currently theres no 'push' from Shapeways for users to comment/respond on a bought item once they receive it.
    I was thinking that perhaps a couple of days after the shipping arrival date, the customer would receive an email with a link to the item(s)/store to leave a quick feedback rank on how they feel about the item(s) they've purchased. I think a lot of the time its easy to have a customer slip away after a purchase- ie a customer will buy an item, then receive it a week or two later and wont ever come back to shapeways to leave feedback, they might not even consider it or know that they can leave feedback of any type.

    Some certainly do, but I imagine it would be more common if they got an email letting them know they can with quicklinks. I think Ebay goes to an extreme with this idea though, requiring you to leave feedback after you buy something. A nicer way to do it would be to just make a 'suggestion'/reminder to leave feedback/score for the item(s).
    Also you could imagine leaving feedback for a 10-20 item order would be a pain for the customer, there could be a preset option to select and rate all the objects in an order at once (some kind of overall order rating) to make it a less complicated process, with the ability to single out items if they had a problem with a given number of items from an order, eg a customer receives an order which is exactly as they expected except for one item, they would be able to rate all the items in an order positive, except the one problem item which can then be individually rated.

    Also, today marks 1 whole month of having sales every day from my shapeways shop, didnt expect this to happen (at least not so early on!)
    Will be very interesting to see what happens after the holiday season, as we get into the new year.
  14. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I have no experience with shapeways sales, but I do develop some fairly specialized open-source software
    which may have some similarities - fairly anonymous third-party distribution via the internet, low cost, specialist items.
    User feedback there is probably far less than 1 percent of the installed base.
    Personally, I hate being asked for feedback when I buy some random thing.
    (Also, I wonder how long it takes for this new "mentions" thing being abused by spammers - now they just register a
    throw-away account to post one or two forum messages that survive for a weekend at most, next they can hammer
    a bunch of designer accounts harvested from the site with inline "mentions" in that single forum posting?)