Internet versus traditional shops for 3D printing

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rue_d_etropal
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Internet versus traditional shops for 3D printing

Postby rue_d_etropal » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:16 am

Obviously everyone here has access to internet, and most can order stuff online.
One reason I went for Shapeways to produce my 3D printed stuff was that it would be hands off for me. I am talking to a lot of people at exhibitions, and it is not uncommon to find people who don't use the the internet. I was talking on phone yesterday to someone who did not use the internet. I did ask if they knew anyone who did have internet access, but they did not. I have agreed they might be able to order direct from me.
Traditional methods of selling still have a place today. I noticed that when I was running shop. Even talking to someone on phone is not perfect when trying to describe something.
Anyway I am thinking of trying out traditional non internet selling of my 3D printed track, but still to order, as I don't want to spend too much on items which might not sell.
The other idea I am thinking off is to offering traditional model railway shops the idea of order my items to order(nothing to stop them doing it now). Obviously this would increase price to people, but that is the price you pay for traditional service. It would be up to the shop to decide on markup. Not sure what happens with VAT, but Shapeways have VAT quoted on their invoices so that should be OK.
I don't want to go down the exhibition trade route myself, especially given what happened with Tom last year, but I am hoping to do workshop demos at exhibitions. If anyone wants to see me at an exhibition please mention me to the local exhibition manager. That would be UK only, but nothing to stop anyone else running a demo elsewhere.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com

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KEG
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Re: Internet versus traditional shops for 3D printing

Postby KEG » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:24 am

Most model railway builders which do not use the Internet or forums have other sources for obtaining informations.
Magazines, books, Clubs, exibitions......

I doubt, that a model-railway shop will take the hassle of distributing 3 D prints. After all, they will be responsible for the goods for quite a while after the sale. Most customers in shops like to see the products or even want to hold it in their own hands. On the other hands, you do not find too many model-shops these days any more.

Most event or exibition managers browse the net and forums in order to find new talents and layouts. Once you appeared at an exibition and succeeded to make a good impression to the audience and fellow modellers, you will get more invitations than you can attend. Less, if you expect expenses or even a fee to get paid.

If no one is knocking at your door, they probably do not know, what you have to offer. A good homepage and / or a little printed folder might help to aquire the jobs.

Have Fun

Juergen

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rue_d_etropal
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Re: Internet versus traditional shops for 3D printing

Postby rue_d_etropal » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:04 am

Juergen,
Having run a shop and been involved in exhibitions for many years so know how they work. I would not expect shops to pre-buy items, but could take orders. It is the norm for quite a lot of the models available traditionally, but with some of those there is no guarantee the item is actually available. Ordering to request 3D printed items will not cost the shop anything up front, as the customer has ordered it(possibly with a deposit) and delivery is less than 2 weeks. One issue might be customer's rights to return items if they change their minds.
Exhibitions, I have already included info about my 3D printed items alongside model railway I am exhibiting and had very positive feedback. I offered a workshop/demo for the next show to one exhibition manager and he said yes. If anyone without internet asks I can always offer to get items for them, I have leaflets, including one which shows all you need to start up.
Model shops, the future. This is the big problem for the hobby, as it needs that presence on the street. I think 3D printing could actually help here, as it would be possible to use a very small , almost kiosk sized unit to operate from. A lot is changing very fast, and every potential opportunity needs to be looked at.
Simon Dawson
(Simon D.),
Narrow gauge Francophile interested in 1m, 60cm,50cm , 40cm and smaller gauges . Build in scales from 1/6th to 1/24th. Also 1/32nd and 1/35th using 16.5mm track to represent 50cm and 60cm gauges.
http://www.rue-d-etropal.com


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