Advice need on pricing 3D printable files (STL) for sale

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GunnerBill

Active Member
Pretty much as per the title. I'm setting up an ETSY shop selling 3D printable STL files of Star Wars and other genres of mainly guns.

IMO they are high quality, very printable and easily put together kits and feedback I've had on various forums supports this.

However I am at a total loss on how to price them for sale. I've looked at comparable items and see a large variance in pricing. One thing i would say is all of my Star Wars stuff is as screen accurate as I can make it and is originally developed to support my costuming with the Rebel Legion and 501st so you could say it's "Disney Approved" seeing as the costume as a totality including the weapons is.

Anyway feedback please!

Some of my stuff:

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TazMan2000

Master Member
GunnerBill

I'm not an expert in accuracy, but you can get similar models on Thingiverse and CGTrader for free to $10. A statement or letter from the 501st would go a long way in helping you sell the STL, however saying that it was developed for your costuming efforts isn't much of an endorsement.

I've read on several forums that persons who purchased stuff online saying it was "501st approved" ended up disappointed. Getting endorsements from active 501st members and forums should be your first step. If that is successful, you can bump up the price to $15 dollars or more depending on the complexity.

TazMan2000
 

Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Free to $10?

lol.

I guess that’s my career in design over!
Here's the thing, people are offering design services in the Project-Runs section for way more than $10. But that's because people go the THEM and ask for a single custom design. They charge more because the customer is requesting something that is unique and made especially for them.

If you're just making a design and then trying to sell it to everyone, then your money would be made in Quantity. Not a one-off custom design.
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
Free to $10?

lol.

I guess that’s my career in design over!
If your designs are accurate and you have an endorsement from 501st, then you would be the go-to design for anybody who wants to print a DC-15a.
If your prices are fair, you are more likely to make more money by having several people make purchases. If the price is too high they might not buy at all and modify and existing design. If you print and sell them yourself you control the file.
Whether the prices are high or low, you run the risk of someone buying your design and then making copies of it and selling it cheaper than your or making prints and selling several of them.
Etsy is filled with sellers buying stuff off of CGtrader and other sites, and making prints and selling them. Some of these are allowed depending on licensing but not all.

TazMan2000
 

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kruleworld

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind, some shady person will download it to sell on their own Russian 3D models website. Also someone will buy your design and start printing them to sell on ebay.
 

xeno

Sr Member
#1- Make the files cheap, you get less earnings, per selling item, then you want, but more people will buy, and they don't see the need to buy illegally because it is already affordable.
#2- Make it more expensive, you earn more but less people will buy it, and there still is a chance some Russian might say hmmmmm...
#3- Make it even more luxury expensive, even less people will buy the files, and one that does starts selling it on a Russian site for $6 and you earn nothing.
 

King of Hell

New Member
Maybe just start a shapeways store and have people buy prints while keeping your files safe from piracy. If your files are accurate and the kit good you could make money. Sure people won’t be able to print it themselves but you’ll get a whole new bunch of customers that don’t own printers and just want the prop to build or add to a cosplay

still reasonable pricing is key ... better tofocus on volume ofproducts and market them well
 

skahtul

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Nice work, I have been purchasing a number of files from both Etsy and a few other design specific stores (including the artists own site) for 3D models. Both times I ordered from Etsy I found that the artist also had a site showcasing their work and just happened to sell there. I have been paying anywhere between $25 to $75. The higher-end priced ones were full studio scale models. I do usually try to ask a few leading questions and try my best to ensure I am buying from the one who created the files and not the Russian copy...

But yeah, the price is hard. I have bought a few really good ones for $30, I (personally) would be leery if it's a really high-end design and it was $5. To mean that would scream that the seller had ripped off someone else's work, but I agree with other posts, too high and it's an issue also.
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
With Shapeways you would have more control over your designs, but the cost would be astronomical to print things very large. How would they segment it, or would that be the artist's responsibility?
If there is stuff for free to $10, you're going to have to prove that your work is worth the extra money, otherwise you might not sell very many items.

I think the key is modelling something that there isn't any models of, but is still in demand. If you're the only one selling them, then you would would corner the market...until someone else makes one similar.

TazMan2000
 

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GunnerBill

Active Member
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'm beginning to build a picture of how I'm going to make this work.

Cheers!
 

GunnerBill

Active Member
#1- Make the files cheap, you get less earnings, per selling item, then you want, but more people will buy, and they don't see the need to buy illegally because it is already affordable.
#2- Make it more expensive, you earn more but less people will buy it, and there still is a chance some Russian might say hmmmmm...
#3- Make it even more luxury expensive, even less people will buy the files, and one that does starts selling it on a Russian site for $6 and you earn nothing.
Wise words. I could flood the market and become rich! After all there are 6 billion potential customers...
 

GunnerBill

Active Member
Nice work, I have been purchasing a number of files from both Etsy and a few other design specific stores (including the artists own site) for 3D models. Both times I ordered from Etsy I found that the artist also had a site showcasing their work and just happened to sell there. I have been paying anywhere between $25 to $75. The higher-end priced ones were full studio scale models. I do usually try to ask a few leading questions and try my best to ensure I am buying from the one who created the files and not the Russian copy...

But yeah, the price is hard. I have bought a few really good ones for $30, I (personally) would be leery if it's a really high-end design and it was $5. To mean that would scream that the seller had ripped off someone else's work, but I agree with other posts, too high and it's an issue also.
Thanks for your reply.

I'm guessing "high end" would be very accurate to screen and a good fit/build. I hope I've achieved both with my builds, also paying a lot of attention to printability, i.e. I've broken the files down into easily printable items designed to preserve finish, minimise support and give strength. One thing I'd say is my work has quite a few more STL's than others but as I mentioned it gives a good finish and allows smaller detail items to be painted separately.
 

skahtul

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks for your reply.

I'm guessing "high end" would be very accurate to screen and a good fit/build. I hope I've achieved both with my builds, also paying a lot of attention to printability, i.e. I've broken the files down into easily printable items designed to preserve finish, minimise support and give strength. One thing I'd say is my work has quite a few more STL's than others but as I mentioned it gives a good finish and allows smaller detail items to be painted separately.
Exactly. Quality, easy to print, instructions, and all the reasons you listed.
 

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