So how's your sales doing?

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by dizingof, Aug 7, 2011.

So how's your sales doing?

  1. What sales..? (something fishy is going on here!)

  2. Slow summer for me..

  3. Great sales ! Lucky me !

  4. I see sales only when there is a spike of traffic from some blog..

  5. Newbie Shop here.. no sales yet

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. dizingof
    dizingof New Member
    Curious to know how shop owners are doing -
    I think i covered all the options in this poll - feel free to suggest others.

    You can participate in this poll and/or post your comments .

    As for me, since i reopened my shop back in April i had a constant daily sales.. and i mean constant.

    Some months ago.. sales dropped to zero.

    I run plenty of different markups tests over the past months , it didn't help much.
    So blaming my markup isn't the answer to this mystery..

    As for traffic, i get 150-200 uniques a day - when there are spikes of traffic from major blogs like boing boing, gizmodo etc.. like in the previous days i get 400-600 uniques a day ..
    - (yet.. zero sales)

    Slow summer? Slow economy? A mystery...

  2. fx
    fx Well-Known Member
    Visitors are mostly from the U.S. Given the current problems, I'm not really that surprised if they buy less.

    Perhaps the huge discrepancy between the announced overly optimistic -written on the invoice- lead time and the reality for a lot of materials can be a deterrent...

    Maybe Shapeways should care about translating (FAQS, material desc,...), the website in other languages to be less dependant of the english-speaking side of the world...
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  3. mctrivia
    mctrivia Member
    last month i sold 44 dice. This month 1 so far. Strange to see such a drop and my design computer just died last night :(
  4. MichielCornelissen
    MichielCornelissen New Member
    Hey Dizingof,

    Nice poll, and interesting subject matter. I think the mystery is not why sales are slow, but rather why we have sales at all.

    Shapeways, as a site, is 95% geared towards people that want to make stuff, as opposed to people that want to buy stuff. For sales, you want the latter. Shapeways is already a great place for people that want to make things, but if you want to sell your wares, it is a limited platform. I'm not complaining - sales have actually not been that bad for me, I always say it 'pays for the mortgage', but I'm pretty sure I've generated the larger part of the sales myself, as have most people that are doing well on Shapeways.

    If I could have one wish for Shapeways, it is that they would give more attention to the sales aspect of their business model, but it seems that it is not really their priority. I think the really good products out there, that are well presented and available at the right price, could perhaps sell 10 - 100 times more, if a few things changed:

    1) If Shapeways had a sales portal
    I mean something like Yanko or Charles&Marie, where people come primarily to find a nice present for a friend, family member or themselves. There has been talk of various competing platforms that would do exactly that, by the way (such as the one proposed by Droog Design), so this is where I expect SW to feel some heat, in the near future.

    2) If there was no $25 minimum order
    This is a biggie. Look at the contradiction. Shapeways (and 3d-printing in general) is mostly good and competitive at creating small items - buy you can't really sell small items, because of the minimum order. I have to resort to things like '2-packs' to get around it, and how many people are willing to buy that? I'd much rather pay a little bit higher start-up cost, and a realistic shipping price, if that then allows me to sell a $10 product as well.

    Don't get me wrong - it's great that Shapeways is around, otherwise there would be nothing to improve upon. But it is always good to think about the potential that is there.

    Cheers - Michiel
  5. tebee
    tebee Well-Known Member
    My sales have been less one third of what they were for the last three months, but I am in field where the summer is traditionally a quiet time. (model railroads)

    It's been picking up a little a little of late, but I've only been making enough to get my by reselling my stuff on eBay as well.

    Of course one thing that could be affecting the older established shops is the proliferation of new ones. If there are only a certain number of customers with a certain amount money to spend, a larger number of potential places to buy will dilute the individual takings.

  6. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    Interesting, also my sales had a decrease during the last months.

    My personak reasons is:
    To less news from my side since struggling with best material and new materials.

    I strongly agree to Michiel. The platform is very well designed and usable for us designers but not for the end user.
    Things which are missing:
    1) Easy and fast buying of different items
    (partly solved with buying from the item list view but still an issue with material selection)
    2) End users don't want to struggle with material questions
    (partly solved with default material)
    3) For me colors are missing, since many end users want to order different colors (mainly applies to Strong&Flexible, Detailed, ... )
    4) Ordering in US
    (seems to be solved now with shipping from US)
    5) Order times have increased
    (seems to be still a major issue)

    In contradiction to Michiel the minimal order without shipping fee is unbeatable.
    But maybe an extra shipping fee would make sense for smaller items.
    (as Amazon does. Shipping is free starting from $25 order volume)

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011