Author Topic: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models  (Read 1157 times)

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Mark W

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Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« on: November 22, 2018, 12:09:23 AM »
+2
In another thread, I was asked:

When will this be available?
Where can I order?
How much?


Well, those would be simple questions if still using Shapeways.  But now that many of us are taking printing into our own hands, I think we have an opportunity to shake up the status quo for buying/selling 3DPrints as well. 

With Shapeways, it's always been, you get the raw print and scratchbuild, kitbash, and paint the rest.  That might have been a downside for some, after the benefit of placing orders whenever you wanted and expecting a (relatively) quick turnaround.  But it worked. 

Of course, Shapeways made this possible due to their large support staff.  Now we're talking one-person-operations.
First and foremost, fulfillment ordering is pretty much out of the question as that's not something a bunch of random hobbyist could support day to day.  One alternative is batch production; print a couple dozen units, then sell them out.  If interest remains, print another batch.  Repeat. 
Things also remain flexible here.  Maybe someone really wants a part on demand, and is able to make that fulfillment worthwhile. 

But let's focus on the "final product".  What state of production is the final product? 
Is it still just the raw print, after initial clean and cure? 
Could it be worthwhile to the printers, to spend the time to go ahead and prime, paint, and decal a finished RTR model? 
Are consumers willing to spend more for models in later stages of completion? 
What is it worth to the customer to buy a product from each of these various states of completion?


These are just some things I've been asking myself.  I know there are different answers for different parts or products being offered.  But I also wonder if these are the right questions to be asking to begin with.   So...  thoughts?



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peteski

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 12:20:52 AM »
+1
I would be in for a raw/cleaned/cured items. I can decorate them myself.  It would also be the most economical.
Actually at some point I will likely be looking for design/print, or just print (if I can get good with CAD software) service.
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Chris333

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 12:28:45 AM »
+2
Most of the time people want something that is just a hair different than what you have. Paint the truck red and they want a blue one. Paint it blue and thanks, but I really wanted this instead. Make them "that" and they will see what's left on payday after paying bills.

I didn't buy my printer to sell parts, but I don't see why you couldn't. Just try to feel out what people want.


Ike the BN Freak

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 03:35:05 AM »
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Like Peteski I'd want prepped and ready for paint

rodsup9000

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2018, 04:35:49 AM »
+2

  If I were to set up a web store to sell items, I'll have mostly just parts and kits.  And if I find the extra time, I might also have some finished product, and charge accordingly for that. Finding the extra time is my problem though.


 
Rodney

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peteski

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2018, 05:29:11 AM »
+2
  If I were to set up a web store to sell items, I'll have mostly just parts and kits.  And if I find the extra time, I might also have some finished product, and charge accordingly for that. Finding the extra time is my problem though.

That is what I was thinking too.  Suddenly your leisurely hobby becomes a business.  You now have customers and provide a timely service.  You have to accept payments and start shipping packages.  Nothing like Shapweays (since they take care of the business part for you).  The time you spend on the printing business will eat into your hobby time.
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Mark W

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 08:31:14 AM »
0
Thanks for the feedback so far everyone.  Yes, time dedication is definitely the biggest factor.   
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Lemosteam

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2018, 09:20:56 AM »
+1
At my Keystone Details website, I have not set up any kind of "store" per se. It is essentially a blog page with each blog a description of my offerings. Most listens simply take the customer directly to the orderable product on SW. For my kits though, The listing provides a button that takes the customer to a product request form that one complete, sends me an email stating what they want.

I quote timing, cost, and shipping etc. using a canned email. ask them to reply for a solid "Yes" agreement, then I send them a Paypal invoice, or wait for them to mail a check or money order.  Once paid, I go about getting them the print When they arrive, I clean, pack and ship them. PayPal lets them know the item has shipped and provides a tracking number, unless I am using regular mail then I send another email
.

I use that email as a history and memory of whi I owe product to. I also keep an excel file that I use to validate that I have packed each piece neede for the kit.

Philip H

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2018, 09:30:24 AM »
+2
I’m years away from buying my own printer for a variety of reasons. So I’m always happy to pay others for their use. I’m in the give me the raw kit camp, but that’s as much about what I enjoy in the hobby as anything else.

@Mark W I’d say offer what ever limited print things you want at what ever finish here in Trading Post. See how it goes. And if I can do an advance order I’ll be ready for three dry bulk trailers after New Years.
Philip H.
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carlso

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2018, 11:25:46 AM »
+1

Mark, since I am the nut that asked you those three questions, I have a comment or two ;

First off, I am 78 years old and understand the problems with numb hands/fingers, not the best eyes and all the age related maladies. So, I think there may be a small number of modelers that would want completed painted items. But you mentioned above that  Shapeways has a large staff and could possibly supply r-t-r items. I don't think you or any of the other talented 3Der's posting can do that, you most likely don't have a large enough family to get brought into your hobby turned business and most likely they would not want to. After all, this won't be a business to put food on the table. It could certainly cut into you hobby time and your great FreMo railroading.

Having said that, I would want prints that are ready to paint and decorate by myself, to my liking and then assembly of them. I like to "model" and any true modeler, I think, would want the final completion responsibility. Do these prints need to be cleaned in a Bestine type product?

I like your idea of doing a few and after analyzing sales response, maybe or maybe not doing some more, a few at a time.  I also agree with Philip that suggested placing the items on TRW Trading Post. I saw your thread regarding the availability, pricing, shipping of the tank treads. Might try with the dry bulks to test the waters.

I appreciate what you have done and your talents, keep up the good work,

Carl

PS: All of you guys that are entering a new phase of your modeling - Keep it in the USA ! ! !
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DKS

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2018, 12:13:19 PM »
+1
Perhaps it might be up to some enterprising individual to act as a "dealer" for all of the budding "cottage industry" 3D printing artists. Someone willing to deal with the necessary crap of managing orders, and not looking to make a fortune at it (most of the tools needed to manage such a system are available at little or no cost). I could also imagine such a person perhaps coordinating/posting print files and other soft-infrastructure components as well. Do we have such a person among us?

 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 12:20:26 PM by David K. Smith »

eric220

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2018, 01:11:35 PM »
+2
I would be in for a raw/cleaned/cured items. I can decorate them myself.  It would also be the most economical.
Actually at some point I will likely be looking for design/print, or just print (if I can get good with CAD software) service.

I’m right here too. I’ve been contemplating some ideas, and it would be really nice if I could get them printed without having to buy and maintain a machine that I’d use once every few months.
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Chris333

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Re: Discussion of Buying and Selling 3D Printed Models
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2018, 10:13:47 PM »
+1
Seeing all those dry bulk trailers on weekend update you should have your Photon paid off in no time!   ;)