Recent Forum Feedback...

Discussion in 'Official Announcements' started by gregorykress, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. FerretDesigns
    FerretDesigns Well-Known Member
    Yes, I am aware that a minimum price was being introduced. I've been engaging with the forums regularly since the announcement. It doesn't mean I have to like it.

    It's now looking like I'll be buying pieces as masters and bringing all my casting to the UK and phasing out 3d printed steel.
    Kremmen likes this.
  2. Kremmen
    Kremmen Member
    We were told to expect 5% + or -. I've used the tool and I'm showing 26% average increase. On 217 parts I have decreases on 17 and increases on ALL of the rest, some going up by 190%.

    It's OK. In all honesty I haven't felt comfortable with this company or bought anything in years; first there were back to back runs of bad misprints and then the 2014 pricing fiasco and now this.

    I'll just go buy a Form 2. It's the several folk who've bought into my project that I feel bad for.
  3. avim
    avim Shapeways Employee Product Team
    We completely understand and expected that some people will be unhappy with the changes. We also know that for some products printing through Shapeways is not a viable option at these prices. That is an unfortunate consequence of us needing to run a sustainable business that is priced appropriately to succeed, and one we do not take lightly.

    Our own costs rise for reasons both outside of our control and sometimes within:
    - We rely on other vendors for our supplies and for some materials, fulfillment. They have their own prices they set with us and sometimes need to change.
    - For some materials we are also subject to tariffs and new legal requirements that can raise prices in ways that nobody benefits from.
    - The biggest factor for us is making sure our labor costs and reprint/failure rates are factored correctly into our prices, so we can build a sustainable business that can serve our customer needs for the next 100 years.

    In all scenarios, we need to make sure that printing the model at least covers its own production costs in full and provides us with a healthy margin that we can use to reinvest and innovate our business. If this business does not have healthy vitals, we fail and can serve nobody.

    I would ask that if you have concerns or complaints over the policy decision on raising prices you send them to me at so I can review and personally try to respond, as appropriate.

    If you have concerns about what you are seeing in your grandfathered pricing csv, and feel that there is a pricing error based on what we have described, then please email with your csv attached and relevant rows highlighted and they will look into the issue to see if we can fix it.

    I do not want to derail this forum thread with general complaints or people voicing their intention to leave. We completely understand and respect the decision made by anyone who decides that Shapeways pricing is no longer feasible and will support your store as best as we can as you transition out. Please just make sure to direct your anger my way using the methods described above, instead of this or other threads. It is counter productive. Thanks!
    Adela likes this.
  4. Kremmen
    Kremmen Member
    My pricing doesn't remotely match what I was led to expect. How am I to know whether this is an error or a policy matter? The latter would be consistent with your high-handed approach in 2014.

    I think allowing customers to vent some anger is absolutely 100% what you need to do.

    I also humbly suggest under-promising and over-delivering is a good business practice, in my experience. Perhaps something to consider for next time.

    OK, I'm done now.
  5. Kremmen
    Kremmen Member
    PS - won't be leaving soon. I have people half-way through a $6000 (or, god, whatever it is now) project. I'll look after them.

    Okay, NOW I'm done, haha.
  6. adbinc
    adbinc Well-Known Member
    @Avim, do you and the pricing team have a preference for how the spreadsheet is sorted? I could either do it alphabetically by product or by spin. I am still working on the 12,000 line spreadsheet you provided (and I do thank you and your team for providing that).

  7. reducedAircraftFactory
    reducedAircraftFactory Well-Known Member
    As a point (or points) of data, here is how the changes affected my entire product line, after removing all multi-part products in detail plastic from the equation. (Those latter will need to be reworked with sprues or links to avoid big price jumps.) The mean and median are both around +10-11% price increases. The big jump in price at the tail is in dyed products, which were kind of a novelty for my customers and only sparsely used. For someone with a lot of dyed products, that's probably a bigger deal.

    I'm not looking forward to redoing all the multi-part detail plastic parts I left out of this chart, but overall this isn't world-ending. At least, from my perspective. I certainly want Shapeways to remain economically viable, otherwise my sales will see an infinite drop in quantity. ;)


    If anyone cares, the curves were generated by creating a new column on the price comparison spreadsheet of (NewPrice/OldPrice-1) as a percentage, sorting, leaving out all the multi-part products, and charting that column as a graph.
    Rick_D_Ryo, avim and Model_Monkey like this.
  8. EricaC
    EricaC Shapeways Employee CS Team
    Hey @adbinc ! It doesn't matter too much to us how your sheet is sorted, as long as the rows you'd like us to investigate are highlighted. Feel free to sort it however is best for you, then send it over to us to take a look via
    adbinc likes this.
  9. Model_Monkey
    Model_Monkey Well-Known Member
    Very happy SW created the comparison tool. That's a big help.


    Some quick analysis of my shop that may be similar to other shops.

    My shop has over 2000 products, about 1500 of which are "smooth fine detail plastic" models, and about 500 are flat-ish, metal nameplates.

    Across the shop, the range of price changes is a very wide -21% to + 350%. But it's only about 5% of products in the shop that are above +50%. Nearly 78% of available products experienced a price increase of about 20% or less. Since products in smooth fine detail plastic were affected very differently than those available in metal, analysis for each material independently provides a better understanding of the change's impact.

    Plastic: More specifically, most of the products experiencing any price increase were those in "smooth fine detail plastic". Of the models available in "smooth fine detail plastic", about 66% of them had a price increase of over 20%. Of those models experiencing a price increase, the average increase is 22.5%.

    The models that are getting the biggest price increases in my shop are generally multi-part sets in smooth fine detail plastic that are not "sprued". Adding sprues to those ~100 models will likely reduce the cost to something the market will bear. It will take some time to add sprues to all of those designs, probably a few months, completed as time permits. Until sprues are added, those products will probably not sell at the new price.

    So, the redesign effort for badly affected products will have to be prioritized favoring those designs with the best sales potential. It may be best to place the badly affected products "not for sale pending a design change" rather than give a potential customer the impression that the product is permanently unaffordable.

    Metal: I was pleasantly surprised to see some products decrease in price. Those products are generally the ~500 metal nameplates. Metal nameplates typically sell very poorly (too expensive for the market?) but with the price decrease, hopefully, sales for those products will improve.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
  10. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    Have all 3D print companies given up on smaller individual prints? It doesn't seem like anyone has been able to make a go of attacking that portion of the market segment with more reasonable pricing.
  11. javelin98
    javelin98 Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, your treatment of your vital partners in this enterprise -- the designers and shop owners -- is more likely to result in Shapeways lasting 100 days, not 100 years. That being said, I think that this point is both your biggest factor and your biggest opportunity. SW should consider relocating to a more affordable and business-friendly location. Having lived and worked in New York, I know that the tax breaks and incentives they are giving the company are most likely being eaten up by the cost of real estate and wages, and then some. If Shapeways really wants to change the calculus, they must consider relocating to a lower-cost area. I know you don't have that authority, but you need to bring it back to @gregorykress and the board of directors.

    Although I'm sure you have the best of intentions, asking us to message you privately with our concerns does not come across as you taking a personal interest. It comes across as you trying to quietly suppress dissent so as not to upset the rest of the shop owners. It's also less efficient for you to answer the same question dozens of times privately than here in the open once.

    Stop trying to silence us. Shapeways has already made a mess of this transition; it's in all our best interest to hash out publicly what needs to be done to mitigate the damage.

    Regardless, the new comparison CSV is worthless if we have no idea how to optimize our models to be as competitive as possible on the market while still giving Shapeways the continuing influx of capital you need to be sustainable. We don't have time to be engaging in blind experimentation; we need the pricing algorithms and we need them now. You should have had the new algorithms set before you made any changes at all, but since we're already months into this debacle, I'm hoping that you are close to giving us what we need to be competitive.
    FreeRangeBrain and bluelinegecko like this.
  12. javelin98
    javelin98 Well-Known Member
    So I went through the same exercise as some others above:

    # Products: 1012
    Average Price Change (Base Price Only): +37.3%

    # Increased: 1002
    Greatest Increase: +328.6%

    # Decreased: 11
    Greatest Decrease: -12.1%

    # Increases Over 100%: 63

  13. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I'm not even going to bother analyzing anything. I printed out copies of the shop and will notate the new prices on the paper after the price increase. What to do after that who knows, particularly for CustomMaker parts that will probably get booted from the shop. Otherwise smaller widgets like keychains/tags won't make any sense at all unless they are sprued/looped together. But that's going to end up in even pricier products and depend on whether the customer actually wants multiple copies of a product. Whatevs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  14. avim
    avim Shapeways Employee Product Team
    As mentioned at the end of my forum post announcing the pricing comparison tool, more transparency to help you understand how to better optimize your designs for shapeways is coming soon. We will share it when it's ready.
  15. javelin98
    javelin98 Well-Known Member
    Roolz likes this.
  16. MrNibbles
    MrNibbles Well-Known Member
    I was looking at submitting a couple of smaller parts for versatile plastics. I uploaded them separate in one model and then connected together using a couple of loops to look at the pricing differences. I was kind of surprised that the looped version was a couple dollars more than separate pieces. I suspect the difference in price is due to more material being used and a slightly larger combined bounding box, and potentially a less optimal result for the machine space (assuming they still use that). However dyed options gave the opposite result because of the unit nature of add on price per piece in a model. The discrepancy will likely become larger more individual dyed parts are present in a file since there's a $3.50 hit for each individual part.

    2 separated pieces $12.17 plain white $19.17 red dyed
    looped together $14.33 plain white $17.83 red dyed

    The bottom line is that if your product is price sensitive, or you want to be gentle with your customers, you might need to upload different versions for models having multiple parts when dealing with versatile plastic options (and maybe professional plastic eventually). That means using the variant structures to assign different models to different material options. Your results will vary depending on design.
  17. Indycals
    Indycals Member
    How long does the grandfathered pricing CSV take to generate? Mine's been 'generating' for hours.
  18. MitchellJetten
    MitchellJetten Shapeways Employee CS Team
    We switched to your account and tried to download it.
    Within seconds we had the file!

    Can you try again and see if it works this time?
    Also could you let us know which browser you are using in case it doesn't work so we can try to reproduce it?

    Last resort: send us an email; and ask Mitchell to send you the grandfathered pricing and i'll download and send it to you :)
  19. Indycals
    Indycals Member
    Turns out it downloaded without my noticing, but the page was stuck on 'generating' indefinitely
  20. Rick_D_Ryo
    Rick_D_Ryo Active Member
    Damn, was too busy and completely missed the tool was released last week (wish you guys would warn us by mail as well and not only forum which we don't have time to read).
    Anyway, thanks, time to do some compare!