Shop Feature Request: Limit purchase to selected customers.

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by CGD, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. CGD
    CGD New Member
    There are at least two reasons that I need this feature.

    1. I custom design certain products for customers and rather than having Shapeways ship the product to me and then I ship to the customer, it would be better if the customer order directly from Shapesways.

    You might said customers can always order from Shapeways directly. But what if the customer only want the product for himself/herself, because him/her is paying for the development fee? Now, once I set the item to be public order-able, everyone can order.

    2. I am going into joint venture with other partners. After I design something, the partner would add another part or service to my product before reselling. So again my partner should be able to order directly from Shapeways and the product should not be accessible to others during the process because it is not a finished product and also violates the secrecy of the product.

    The above also leads to other copy right questions. If I custom design an item for a customer and because him/her is paying for the development, the final rights of the item will be transfered to him/her. Okay, if the customer then put the product up for sale in his/her own Shopways shop, will him/her get in trouble because Shapeways discovered that the same item is being ordered form my own shop before (during development and testing)?

    And what is to stop me secretly uploading the same item to Shapways and order it to be sold somewhere else? (If I do not made the item public, the customer won't know, right?) Or Shapeways has already some measures to control such practices?

  2. ibec
    ibec New Member
    Both features are easy to address with the current options. For 1) you can set the model availability option to only for myself. And for 2) you can transfer the shape file to the client or partner, so he/she can upload it under the own SW account.

    cheers, Ivo
  3. CGD
    CGD New Member
    By setting only for myself, the partner cannot order it. If the file is transferred to the partner's SW account, there is no way to know how many he/she has ordered and if the partnership required a sharing of profit, there is no control.

  4. joris
    joris New Member
    We are working on functionality similar to the one you describe. We would love to know how and with whom you guys would like to work together.
  5. CGD
    CGD New Member
    Hi Joris,

    Case one, a customer asked me to design an item for her. The item was to be her in-house project and requires secrecy. After I modelled the item, she wanted to order directly form Shapeways. So I temporary made the item public and notify her to order. I intended to close off the item immediately after she ordered, hoping that no one saw it. Unfortunately when she ordered, the item was already given a rating! Needless to say, the customer was not happy.

    Case two, I am discussing a joint venture with a friend overseas. He will be comissioning the project so the item will eventually be his. But part of my commission will be paid through his sales of the item. One way to keep track of his sales (hence my share of profit) will be him and only him ordering from my shop with an agreed markup as my profit. So every item he orders and sells I get my share of profit.

    There are other cases that I need the feature. Such as if some customer wants to buy an item in bulk quantity with a lower selling price, I'll need the feature to hide the item from others except for that customer.

  6. joris
    joris New Member
    I can see how this could be a popular feature. It would be really good to have it.

    The profit split is something we are already thinking about.
  7. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member
    Sorry for the slightly different topic, but I would like to react to Joris' answer about profit splitting.
    I asked time ago the possibility to share the markup: see the post called double markup.
    There is now another obvious case where it would be useful:
    - I designed something (say, the zen box),
    - but I don't have the time to make it a co-creator.
    - I would like to "licence" this model to someone who could personalize it for the customers while adding his own markup.
    - When the model his sold, I get my markup, and he gets his markup.

    I am usure whether I should first sold my blank model to my collegue-customizer and then he solds the result to the final client, or if there is only one single sale, but I think these are more technical issues. As long as the principle is maintained (one object, 2 markups for 2 designers), any solution can be acceptable.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  8. CGD
    CGD New Member
    Definitely useful in my case of joint venture.

  9. joris
    joris New Member
    I think something like this is clearly to the advantage of all of our designers. It would let experienced designers work with college students for example but also people to work more with their individual advantages. Perhaps a coder for example could write software that automates your co-creator and you could share your skills.
  10. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    the case of having an item only available to definite customers was already discussed in another thread.

    it.s so easy to solve by making the direct link to an item acessible if the option "available by direct link" is set.
    this option can be added as alternative to available to all.
    that` the beloved code one liner ...

    what's with vouchers which can be bought by a designer (via paypal or via decreasing the markup account).
    That would be a strong tool to solve a lot of issues like lower prices for dedicated cusstomers.

  11. Oskar_van_Deventer
    Oskar_van_Deventer Well-Known Member
    YouTube offers the option of "non-published links".If I upload a video to YouTube and I check this feature, then nobody can see my video, unless they use the special link that only I know and only I can share.

    A similar feature would be usefull for Shapeways, as I have already made two custom-designed puzzles.

    Up till know I have obfuscated my entries ("spare part") and added a non-relevant unattractive 3D render. Still people found the "secret" design.

  12. CGD
    CGD New Member
    Hi Joris,

    How soon do you think a "direct link" kind of feature can be introduced?

    I think it is easy to do by generating an automatic/checksum number for the file name and another for the folder, and stop the file to be displayed to the public? But what do I know, I can't even program my VCR.

    I have a project that has already started and will need such feature in a approx. a month's time and I also think that the feature will already be used by others such as Oskar well before I do.

  13. joris
    joris New Member
    I have no idea when this could be introduced. Our roadmap has rather a lot of dependencies in it. I'm afraid we can't be clearer at the moment. Although I doubt it will be available in 30 days.
  14. CGD
    CGD New Member

    Oh well, time to consider plan B...
  15. MichielCornelissen
    MichielCornelissen New Member
    That sounds great... Something that would make co-creation much more attractive to me, at least...
  16. MichielCornelissen
    MichielCornelissen New Member
    Forgot the quote in the previous message, this is what i meant would be fantastic...
  17. CGD
    CGD New Member
    I hope Joris is reading this again. I really need the "limit purchase to specific customers" feature.

    I am now having 3 custom projects that from time to time customers required to order samples for their models. And they would like they and ONLY they can order them.

    Right now I have to make the model public, let the customer know, and once they have place the order, make the model private again.

    This is very inconvenient especially there are considerable time difference between me and the customers. I hate to wait up 3am in the morning waiting for the customer to place the order who might want to eat his breakfast before checking his email.

    Anybody has other workarounds, I'm all ears.

  18. Magic
    Magic Well-Known Member

    Perhaps this could be a workaround:
    Your custumer must have a Shapeways account right?
    Ask him to change the password of his account to something known by both of you, then upload the model as private in his account.
    Then the client can restore his own password (so that you cannot order for him).
    Of course no markup is possible, but perhaps this is not an issue for non final models.
    What do you think?
  19. CGD
    CGD New Member
    That might be a good idea. Setting up a temporary account so that the involved parties can order the model. Only when the project is finished then the model is transfered to the client's own account. The temporary account then can be used for other projects with a change of password.

    That might just work! Thanks a lot!! :D Hopes this workaround won't cause any trouble to Shapeways.

  20. CGD
    CGD New Member
    Okay, my idea of setting up a joint temporary account did not work because: "Due to VAT reasons, your ship-to country must be equal to your bill-to country."

    So I'll have to go as Magic's original suggestion of tempering with the client's account. But then who would like somebody else to go into your own account and see all you other stuffs like billing address, markups etc?

    So sorry, Magic's idea might not work after all.