The pricing of your products helps shoppers form their first impressions about the value of your product, the type of products you sell, and the type of shop you own. Pricing tells a story, and by setting the right price, you can make yours more compelling and attractive to customers.
COMPONENTS OF PRICE
Shapeways is a unique marketplace where printing and manufacturing costs are factored in early on, based on the material used. So, as a Shapeways Shop Owner, all you need to think about is how much your product should sell for, then determine if that means you’ll make enough profit. Let’s start by looking at the components of a product's price.
The first part is the base price, which is the price you would pay to purchase the product for yourself. Second is the markup, which is the amount of money you want to make from each sale of your product. Add these two together, and you have your final price, which is what your customers will see.
SW BASE PRICE + MARKUP = TOTAL PRICE TO CUSTOMER *
* Excludes shipping. EUR prices are displayed with VAT.
The total customer price will stay the same even if the base price fluctuates, which could happen if you upload a new version of your model. We preserve the total price, but if the base price exceeds that, then we will adjust the total price accordingly.
For example, let’s say the original version of your model has a base price of $14, and your total price is $15. This means you have $1 markup. Then you upload a new version that has a base price of $16. Because $16 is greater than the total price, we will change your total price to $16, meaning your markup is $0.
SETTING YOUR PRICE
It’s important to keep your audience in mind as you consider the final price. The right price will resonate with your customers in the same way that descriptions, photos, and videos do. That means you could sell more and earn more profit.
There are no strict rules that will always work, but here are some guiding factors to consider.
1. Product Category
Are you selling jewelry? Home goods? Model trains? Memes? First, it’s important to identify the type of product you're selling because pricing can be effective in one category but ineffective in another. To pinpoint the subcategory, you can edit the details of your product and browse all categories and subcategories currently listed on our site.
Then, research how these products are typically priced. Online retail sites that sell similar products are great places to start. More importantly, take a look at similar products in the Shapeways marketplace itself. Make sure you're pricing your product within a reasonable range to avoid pricing too high for your customers or too low for the marketplace. Prices that are too low devalue products in your category and across the site, and can make your customers question why your products are cheaper.
2. Material Pricing
In which materials are you selling your product? Are these products typically sold in these materials? What's the perceived value of your product in these materials? It's important to price materials for your product relative to each other.
As an example, some Shop Owners may price all the Polished Strong & Flexible plastics similarly since there's equal value to the customer for different colors. But for a product that’s sold in Precious Metals, a Shop Owner may place a premium on Silver and an even higher premium on 14k Gold.
3. Design Costs
While production costs are covered by Shapeways and shipping costs are paid for by the customer, make sure to consider your own labor costs, especially if you're running a professional shop. Keep track of your prototyping costs as well as how much time you spend creating the design and on each iteration. Log these in a journal, spreadsheet, or online app, and revisit them when it’s time to choose your price.
Make sure that the price truly represents the value of your product. How do you determine the value of your product? For jewelry, it could be the value of elegance and style. Home goods—the utility. Mathematical art—the unimaginable intricacy. The pricing you set should represent this value proposition. If priced too low, customers may question the worth of your product. If priced too high, customer may find your product unaffordable.
5. Your Goals
Are you selling on Shapeways professionally or recreationally? Both of these purposes are perfectly acceptable and will likely determine how many items you want to sell and how much money you want to earn. Trying to keep the lights on for your business? You may want to think about wholesaling. Just experimenting for fun? You may have more wiggle room to play with your prices.
As a Shop Owner, you should factor in these goals to help yourself earn your desired income, and to tell shoppers the story of who you are and what type of products you sell.
Considering your product category, material pricing, and design costs, does your final price appropriately communicate the value?
The best way to know if you chose the right price is to try it out. If you don’t see any sales after some time, don’t blame the price just yet. Make sure the rest of your merchandising—your photos, description, product title, tags, and external links—are set properly.
And if you’re really unsure, you can even ask your customers and of course, other Shapeways community members!