Contact my own customers

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by ZeeMar, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. ZeeMar
    ZeeMar New Member
    Wondering if there is a way that I can know/contact my own customers. It is a little bizarre to simply get paid and have no idea who is buying my stuff.

    I have in mind the following purposes:

    - e-newsletter
    - product recalls/usage notes
    - design update notices

    Maybe when somebody buys something there could be an opt-in checkbox that says, "Pass along my username to the part designer... my name and other personal details will be kept private"

    And then after they purchase the item, their name and what they bought is passed to me, and then I can use it to send private messages to my buyers, such as "hey thanks for buying ABC, by the way next week I am releasing an XYZ," or "some people are having problems with ABC, here is the solution.."

    Am I the only one with this idea? surely other designers would like this capability?


  2. stonysmith
    stonysmith Well-Known Member Moderator
    It's been discussed before, and from what I understand, it is on the long-term roadmap.

    Just remember that there are many, many buyers here who would much rather remain anonymous and spam-free.

    I for one would want an iron-clad opt out method. To support that, any messaging would have to be controlled by Shapeways, and that would require a good bit of software development on the part of Shapeways along with quite a load of extra traffic on their servers.

    Personally, I'd rather that they spend their energy on things such as percentage markups, orientation choices and metal/plastic combo models.
  3. natalia
    natalia New Member
  4. Phxman
    Phxman Member
    Designers placing their work on the Shapeways site, are placing a lot of
    trust in the management systems employed by Shapeways.

    "buyers here who would much rather remain anonymous and spam-free."
    - I think a management systems map using this as a "W" should cause
    Designers concern, when it is their work involved - there is no Efficacy in it
    as a "W" for Designers.

    "It is a little bizarre to simply get paid and have no idea who is buying my stuff."
    - Post-Graduate work in both management and systems educates me to agree
    with this

    In a previous life, I accounted for Royalties and Copyrights to be paid, and the
    Systems were copper bottomed to protect the Designers and Copyright holders.
    This dancing around the situation is not confidence building with Designers, in the
    management of Shapeways, "on the long-term roadmap."

    Solution - Condition that both Buyer's details and Order details will be shared
    with the Designer PERIOD.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  5. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    I don't think it is weird at all to sell to people anonymously. I've made sales in person -- face to face in meatspace -- where people were offended that I asked their name.

    Opt-in for that here would be nice, but I'm with stonysmith that it must inspire confidence in customers that if they don't opt in their information is secure. Customers want that, and if they don't get it some of them will leave. I can't afford for any of them to leave...sure I'd like their information, but I like their money more.
  6. Phxman
    Phxman Member
    Batsheba: -
    The designs are the property of the Designers, or filed by those with
    a right to use the Design. They have not been sold or granted to Shapeways
    for the purpose of developing Shapeways own customer base.

    I think the best of business ethic Shapeways could show, is to foster the
    development of Designers own customer base.

    As a business, I see a "Chiseling" effect to ride on the rights and talents.
    of Designers.

  7. D_man
    D_man New Member

    I know this has been discussed several times yet, but I just wanted to add my vote for a way to know who buyers are.
    If the buyer agrees no to remain anonymous, of course !

    A checkbox to say if you'd accept to communicate your name and email address to the Designer/Shop owner sounds good to me.
  8. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    I think it is these seemingly non-significant things that the Shapeways of the future needs to pay careful attention too. It may seem that a company like Shapeways can get away with concealing various things like marketing data, customer communications, etc., and in fact they can, but over time an unseen erosion occurs that will become evident over the long term. :)
  9. Phxman
    Phxman Member
    Maybe, but Policy that dictates that Marketing is clear to see.

    Shapeways Shops are Vertical Marketing to gain the maximum Value Added for Shapeways. Notes on
    setting up Shapeways Shops suggest that mark-ups of more than 20% are greedy and likely to handicap
    Sales prospects.; and possibly that of Shapeways too.

    Where Shapeways are only the manufacturers in possibly a long chain to Market, I think the suggestion
    either shows a callous disregard towards customers, or lacks an appreciation for the Artist/Designers to
    earning the "Value Added", that is traditional in the mark-ups of the markets in which they operate.

    The process is expensive, whether falsely or not. One thing certain, prices will fall.

    If it is to be only 20% for you, then how much is it for Shapeways?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  10. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member

    I do not understand your question. Can you expand on that for me somewhat? Thanks. :)
  11. Phxman
    Phxman Member

    I think you will find "Marketing 101" expands on it.

  12. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Nah Phxman, I think what we have here is meaningless dribble that had no foundation to begin with. :D

    If you disagree, then please explain to everyone the meaning of your question.

    Or, perhaps I'm alone in my not comprehending what was asked. If so, do any of the other readers have any idea what was asked here? I'd like to know cuz I like to learn new things! :eek:
  13. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    Universe - without wishing to become embroiled in this discussion, I believe that Phxman has misunderstood the thrust of your argument and the topic of this thread and believes that when you say 'marketing' you mean pricing. Thus the rather off-topic answer.

    Phxman - pricing is a very small part of marketing, and depending on your product more or less relevant. I believe Universe is referring to marketing information such as customer profile, item sales, classification of product sales etc. Also, allowing designers access to their customers. Marketing 101 indeed.

    I'm also pretty sure that Shapeways never made a value judgement such as 'greedy' with regard to markup - it's simply not their style. It is up to each designer to add (or not) whatever they think appropriate. But that's a different thread...
  14. Phxman
    Phxman Member

    Previously there was an exchange as to whose customers the Sales represent.

    I think the Shapeways Shops are Vertical Marketing that works as a strangle hold by
    Shapeways to maximize on the value added for their business; and currently operates
    to take the Shop customers as theirs.

    I have dealt with Royalties for large manufacturing concerns, and I see none of the
    management controls present for artists/designers to monitor what is being done
    with their designs in Shapeways Shops. True, the reticence in dealing with "these
    seemingly non-significant things, that the Shapeways of the future needs to pay
    careful attention too." is bound in the issue of whose Customers are they?

    Maybe not greedy, but:-
    "9. You can now decide how much you would like to earn for each product you sell,
    under the title "Make Your Profit." We suggest you mark up from 10-20%, but the
    choice is yours. We would recommend that you strike a healthy balance between
    avarice and affordability. If in doubt, lean towards affordability."

    Most designs are unique and typically would command high mark-ups, considerably
    more than 20%. If more than 20% would be a "Balance between avarice and affordability",
    then my question was "How much is in it for Shapeways"?

    Expecting marketing information on what is only an extension of Shapeways business,
    I think is expecting too much. Surely, basic to Marketing, is being in the right Market Place,
    if you want the level of monitor & control you seek.
  15. UniverseBecoming
    UniverseBecoming Well-Known Member
    Thanks Phxman for spelling it out and thanks AmLach for your contribution as well. :)

    One thing about Shapeways is they are still evolving their entire mode of operation. Something we say here in the forum could actually change how Shapeways does business tomorrow. The forum has only moderate activity so anyone who wants to can keep abreast of what's being said here. Consequently, we are helping to evolve Shapeways with discussions such as these.

    In addition to the copycat 3D printing companies similar to Shapeways that have sprung up, their are several companies that operate under the same method. Zazzle, Turbosquid, Esty and Iphoto, to name a few, all offer "shops" to artists, yet, do not let the artists know who the customers are that are purchasing their works. There is one Shapeways copycat company that does, but they also expect the artists to deal with everything about the sale, including returns, customer service, billing and so on. I myself like that I don't have to deal with any of that with Shapeways, yet I'd still like to know who is buying my art. I am currently working on some art that I will try to sell with a 1000 to 2000% markup, just for the fun of seeing what happens. I am not going to try to sell these through my Shapeways shop though! Reason being, if someone per chance is crazy enough to fork out that kind of money I MOST DEFINITELY WANT TO KNOW WHO THAT IS! HAHAHA! :laughing:

    Yeah, who's customers are they anyway? One factor in deciding this might be product liability. If I design something, put it in my shop, Shapeways sells it to someone and that person gets injured with it and wants to get compensation, who is going to pay?

    I wonder what Shapeways management has to say on this subject that would comfort the artists down here at the very bottom of what at times feels like the bottom of a giant multilevel marketing pyramid. :D
  16. DesignRosetta
    DesignRosetta New Member
    I agree with the original post;
    Yes, Shapeways is a great company and does so much work for the sale and should own the customer relationship but it would be nice to build a rapport as one can do on Etsy. I find it awkward when someone I know buys a print and expects I realize they did and I have no idea and no way to thank buyers.
  17. bib993
    bib993 New Member
    I would like to let the option to customers to give me their email address if they wish.

    The reason I ask is that I just sold the only model in my shop that has never been printed before. So I would like to thank the customer and ask him/her for a photo of the printed model :)
  18. AmLachDesigns
    AmLachDesigns Well-Known Member
    In the text (description) of your model you can ask any customer to contact you, if they so wish. They can PM you or you can give whatever contact details you desire. This leaves it up to them.

    This assumes that it does not contravene any SW policy, but since people put their own web addresses all over the place, i cannot see any problem.
  19. bib993
    bib993 New Member
    Good point. Thanks for the tip.