Post by colonelshofer on Jan 31, 2014 0:46:40 GMT -9
Hi folks, title is a little tongue-in-cheek, but, here we go ...
Have discussed this, elsewhere, in the past, and no real good reasons provided, to me ...
I am going to be brief, for now, to get the ball rolling, I will fill in, if needs be, later ...
(1) I buy a commercial kit, from one of you good folk, (2) I create a wonderful piece, from it. (3) I put this piece on 'Ebay', with clear acknowledgement to the creator, and the deal, (4) The starting bid, includes, a verified, repurchase of the kit, from you, (5) I sell my wonderful piece. (6) We do the same, with a 'free' piece, but, you take an agreed %?
What is wrong with this picture? - I cannot see anything, but good, for all.
Post by Christopher Roe on Jan 31, 2014 6:37:37 GMT -9
Speaking purely for myself and not for anyone else, here's how I feel about it. It's been asked of me more than once over the years, and my answer is always the same.
I'll start with the biggest issue. It's already a pain in the ass to design and sell papercraft models as it is. Getting into licensing agreements and staying on top of them with some random eBay peddler on the Internet who may or may not be honest brings an additional layer of complexity that I don't want to deal with. When you have a store, you can easily track and record sales and document your business for taxes. Informal agreements need a separate set of books and you have to do your due diligence to make sure you're not being taken for a ride. I already have enough paperwork to do at the end of the year as it is, and I guarantee you that whatever extra money comes in from this kind of arrangement will not be enough to justify the extra time and effort on my part that it'll take to keep the books squared up. It's enough of an issue that I got out of selling papercraft completely--I don't have time to manage a store AND turn out models.
Second issue, which I briefly touched on above, is reward vs effort. This arrangement might work with just one eBay peddler. I'd have to keep an eye on the auctions and make sure the eBay peddler was on the up and up. But once that first eBay peddler gets in the door, suddenly everybody and their brother have a "Me Too!" moment and then you end up wishing nobody had opened that can of worms in the first place. Now you've got a dozen guys lining up for the same gig. Do you really want to babysit a dozen auctions on top of everything else you already have to do? Do you just tell the others no and get into exclusive licensing? What if they ignore you and do it anyway? Congratulations, you've just brought another layer of complexity to the mix and gotten bitten by unintended consequences.
Third, and this one is a double edged sword. How much is a papercraft model worth? Not much. Rule of thumb for the simple stuff is you can maybe recoup the same amount you spent for a kit, possibly a little bit more, and certainly not more than you'd pay for a plastic kit or a toy. Let's say it's a $5 airplane model or whatever. It takes you 10 hours to build. Your actual labor cost is 10 hours multiplied by whatever you think your time is worth. Obviously, you're not gonna be able to sell a little paper airplane for a few hundred bucks, so you're gonna need to eat most of that and set the price at something someone might be willing to pay.
Let's be charitable and assume you can get 10 bucks for it on eBay, and that it cost you about 50 cents' worth of material to produce. That leaves $9.50, so your actual hourly earning is going to be $9.50 minus eBay and PayPal fees divided by 10. Congratulations, you just became the sole owner and employee of a paper model sweatshop.
Mind you, I haven't factored in your "verified repurchase" offer, which would send that number crashing down to the floor ($10 - $5 = $5, $5 - 50 cents of materials = $4.50, your hourly return is now 4.50 minus eBay and PayPal fees divided by 10). While that provision handily deals with the fourth issue that I had with the idea in the past (the eBay dude ends up making more money off my kits than I do because I can only sell a digital file to one person once, but he can sell as many physical copies as he can afford to produce), it's kind of not really worth the eBay peddler's time. You end up in a situation where there are easier ways to make more money quicker.
Fifth issue I have is more of an emotional than a logical reaction, and accordingly saved for last. I'm just not comfortable with this kind of arrangement because it feels, on a knee-jerk level, too dangerously close to letting someone else take advantage of me. It's not exactly rational, but it's a real reaction and very nearly almost mentally and physically uncomfortable enough that I'd very likely want to say no simply to avoid dealing with it.
TL;DR version: It's a pain in the ass for designers to deal with considering all the other demands on their time, potentially makes them feel like they're getting screwed, and from the eBay peddler's perspective, it's a lot of boring work for a marginal return.
Just my 2 cents as someone who used to have some skin in that game.
Post by glennwilliams on Jan 31, 2014 7:10:25 GMT -9
Well, it looks like I'll have to update my licensing statement on my kits. Consider: If you print ten and build them and sell them, that's ten sales I lost. So it it's a five dollar set, you owe me fifty bucks. We've already got problems with pirate sites supporting people who think $2.50 is too much to pay for a model. Like Christopher, I don't have time to futz around with extra paperwork, bookkeeping, and "team" hassles. So I agree, not only no, but . . .
Post by oldschooldm on Jan 31, 2014 8:58:41 GMT -9
As @christopherroe indicates - this is mostly a hypothetical case.
Here's something I've seen work: The buyer (the person ultimately receiving the model) provides proof-of-purchase (if the form of a properly watermarked PDF) to the builder/seller. This proves the designer has been paid and that only the labor of the builder is being sold.
Honestly, the margins are crap. There was an attempt once to sell pre-printed, pre-cut DGM models (with official licencing). Ultimately, it wasn't worth the effort for the middleman. [Note: I did buy one of these and the quality was excellent, BTW.]
We do this because we love it. There is NO WAY I can afford to do this from any financial-analysis perspective. But I do it anyway.
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