Sudden Stop Of Sales? Looking For Info To Understand

Discussion in 'Shapeways Shops' started by Outset_Design, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Outset_Design
    Outset_Design Member
    Hello all.

    I hope this isn't a stupid question and that I missed something obvious, but here goes:

    I'm not an active seller. With full time work now I rarely have time to make new models nowadays, and don't have that many items for sales. I also don't log in that often. This is just a hobby and my shop is mostly a way to recoup a little bit of my prototyping costs. I never made benefits with Shapeways.

    That said, I still sold about 1-2 items per month on average for the last few years, sometimes more, sometimes less. Small but fairly consistent.
    I hadn't noticed I had stopped receiving any "sold x item!" notice for a while, but then after logging in today for the first time in a while i just realized: I haven't sold anything in several month, according to my "shop sales" section. My last sold item was in August 2019, and even then it seems to have been lower than usual for a few months.

    I don't really care about the pocket-change amount of money, but I am very curious as to... why?!
    I know there was some pricing changes and stuff, and that Shapeways hasn't gotten any better or smarter, but still, that seems very sudden...
    As far as I know, my shop and items settings are fine, visible and all. And the price increase thing a while back doesn't seem to explain it fully either... I think?

    Did i miss something obvious? Did something happen around mid-year 2019? I know I'm very disconnected with Shapeways ever since I lost most of the trust I had in them, but I don't remember anything that would justify a sudden stop to my sales. Or maybe it's just some obscure settings that were changed/added and I don't know about? or something very obvious and I'm just being stupid?

    Any info that would help me understand would be very appreciated, thank you!
  2. barkingdigger
    barkingdigger Well-Known Member
    The forums are full of old threads from 2018 & 2019 about the changes here at SW - they make entertaining reading. The TLDR version is that two years ago they pushed out the Dutch CEO and brought in an American wrecking-crew to finally turn a profit for the shareholders, and the changes they made have ruined the hobby side of the business. Prices went up, the website became less usable, and stuff is hard to find for the casual buyer. End result? Tumbleweeds blowing where sales used to happen. Welcome to the now.
  3. Bathsheba
    Bathsheba Well-Known Member
    Yep. Here's my eleven years:
    . Capture.JPG
    Welcome to 2009!
  4. As a first time customer I find the buying experience is much less than desirable thus far. I tried making my purchase yesterday and I can place items in my cart, go all the way through the process until it's time to pay at checkout, the commitment to pay screen AFTER the Place the Order screen is BLANK and will not process the order.

    I tried using the "Bot" helper, laughable. No help desk phone number so I tried the only other customer service option but haven't heard anything back as of yet, started a topic in this forum and haven't had a reply yet. I contacted the seller but they aren't able to do anything which is understandable.

    I've tried Explorer, Chrome, Edge and Safari on my computer as well as my cell. I know it's not a Pop Up Blocker or Cookie issue....

    It's VERY frustrating as a consumer looking forward to purchasing an item, as a Hobbyist looking for perfectly engineered items simply not available on the open market and was looking forward to a high end product for my Scale Model projects.

    I don't see another option for a production company like this.

    Attached Files:

  5. barkingdigger
    barkingdigger Well-Known Member
    Well that's an interesting "improvement" from the folks at SW! An online shop that doesn't let you pay...
  6. ***UPDATE*** Customer Service emailed me today and showed me what the issue was. It was my error (fat finger type-o) and my error alone, my Zip Code was wrong and the system caught it. Once corrected, the issue was resolved and the order went through fine. BTW, when eating crow, I've learned it doesn't taste any better with A1 or Heinz 57.
  7. ComradeWave
    ComradeWave Active Member
    Sales have been massively down. Seems Shapeways has been focusing on producing medical supplies for COVID as the marketplace isn't really churning a profit.
  8. mkroeker
    mkroeker Well-Known Member
    I do not agree with any of the apparent decisions of the current management and have practically moved my business elsewhere, but chances are producing medical supplies is what allowed Shapeways to keep their factories running at all during lockdown, at least in NY
  9. MadBikeSkills
    MadBikeSkills Well-Known Member
    Interesting observation on sales. I have had my best three months ever. I attribute it to some people not knowing how to spend their COVID stimulus checks. I have an excel spreadsheet with all my sales from the time I started my shop approximately five years ago, the first two years were spectacular growth years but that is because of organically building my SEO and item selection. I consider 2018 my first real year of sales as it leveled out month to month by then. 2019 actually saw a yearly drop of just over 4%, some was economy related, some was restructuring my prices to be more advantageous to me vs Shapeways, a part was Shapeways ridiculous pricing changes. This year, with only 6 months of sales I am only 20% below my entire year 2019 sales. I do not expect this trend to continue unless we see another round of stimulus payments here in the US. I also noticed my US sales have become a larger portion of total sales, it was always the biggest chunk only more so this year.

    Shapeways Payment Summary.png
    The only lines I really care about are the gray and yellow (6 moth and 12 month moving averages), ignore the total drop off as I have my spreadsheet populated with zero values until December 2021.

    Some of this is due to being in a very niche market, some is due to being just a small shop, some due to being less than 5 years old, some due to a few items being selected by Shapeways for sale on Amazon. Regardless, I think with regard to Shapeways business decisions, while I don't agree with all of them, in general if it makes them more stable I am all for it.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020 at 11:29 PM
    MitchellJetten likes this.