New Website Conetent

downtimeprops

New Member
Hello Everyone,

I hope this is the right place to post this, but I have a question for all of you. I am barley starting out in replica prop making. I know that I have a lot of learning to do before i can sell my creations to make money. I bought a domain name, because i eventually want to have a website where people can see my work, but don't know what to put on there. I know its going to take a while before i have anything i feel is good enough to share, but would like to start with something. What did some of you that have established replica prop websites start out with,? What content did you first put up on your site,? and did you wait until you had a portfolio before you started your website? or did you posted things as you learned? I'm sorry for all the questions, but am torn on whether to publish my website or wait and save the monthly hosting fee and wait until my skills improve.
 

RogueTrooper

Well-Known Member
I would suggest you forget about having a site until you can actually build something you like and that other people may like and/or want to buy.

I would also suggest that you don't build anything because you think it will make money.....build something you have a real passion for and you will most likely find others who share that passion and will be willing to pay you for your skill replicating the prop.

I really only build one replica prop that I sell and it always sells very well. Originally I built one for myself, because I really love the prop, then I thought would anyone else like it also. So I built another and another and I keep building and people keep buying them.

It's very validating that others appreciate the skill and are prepared to pay for it.....but ultimately it all started because I wanted to build a certain replica prop for myself and it flowed on from there.

I hope this helps.
 

downtimeprops

New Member
I would suggest you forget about having a site until you can actually build something you like and that other people may like and/or want to buy.

I would also suggest that you don't build anything because you think it will make money.....build something you have a real passion for and you will most likely find others who share that passion and will be willing to pay you for your skill replicating the prop.

I really only build one replica prop that I sell and it always sells very well. Originally I built one for myself, because I really love the prop, then I thought would anyone else like it also. So I built another and another and I keep building and people keep buying them.

It's very validating that others appreciate the skill and are prepared to pay for it.....but ultimately it all started because I wanted to build a certain replica prop for myself and it flowed on from there.

I hope this helps.
Thank you. That does help. It gives me some direction on where to go and what to do. I have a list of projects that I want to build, but this is turning out to be an expensive hobby. I'll hold off for now on the website and focus on tackling my list.

Thank you for your help.
 

Wayne R.

Well-Known Member
I'll just chip in with something, if I may. It kind of bolts onto the side of Rogue's good advice.
Based on a good number of years spent here, mostly reading and watching events unfold, it's a word or two of caution: If you're making something to sell, have the merchandise ready FIRST. Then offer it up.
Life gets in the way, the unpredictable happens. Better to have a box of finished stuff ready to go than a garage full of supplies you can't use because of family issues, your real job, ill health or acts of (your chosen) God.
 

TazMan2000

Sr Member
Both RogueTroooper and Wayne R are correct, but I will add in...If you're going to make a prop, do something that hasn't been overdone and that you think there is a market for. Read over the forums and see what members here are looking for. Perhaps there is a high end prop that some company makes that is way out of the price range of somebody, and you think you could make a slightly lesser quality one for cheaper. Star Trek and Star Wars stuff is always in demand, but accuracy matters to most, so know what you are building and do your research.

TazMan2000
 

RogueTrooper

Well-Known Member
All good advice peeps;)

As a real world example......

I've built and sold a few different replica props and done ok, but there is one that always sells well and for a very good margin.

If you want to build and sell, it is vital to target the right prop. As advised above, do some research, find the genre you have a real interest in and start drilling down into the market, to discover a possible niche angle.

The best return for me is a very well known replica prop, where there are a very few suppliers. So there is a demand, but not much supply for a few various reasons. So I tested the waters and did well. Where is the best place to do market research and list for sale?.....Ebay. Regardless of what people say, it has the numbers compared to anywhere else. So you can study demand and sell there too. You can do research and sell right here on the RPF, but for me ebay is the go, plus many people know nothing and/or want to no nothing about the building of a prop, but they want it for there collection, so they wouldn't go the RPF to buy, they'd go to ???....ebay.

So in short.....If you want to build and sell...

1. Focus on props that you really like.

2. Do research via the RPF and Ebay and individual sites that focus of the prop of choice.

3. Find prop builders that may have raw castings to buy finish and sell. The replica prop community has many raw cast sellers. That way you can get a feel for the prop, learn and improve your skills and then possibly sell it.

4. Build quality replica props that stand out from others, sometimes something as simple as a stand can add many $$$ to the sale price. Also little things like multiple quality close up photos and free shipping, I've found make a difference.

5. Never, ever, advertise something that you don't actually have ready to ship. It's illegal and deception. I build 2 props at a time and the photos I use to sell them are always of each finished prop.

6. Be very careful regarding the quantity you sell. License holders have a tolerance, but in the end they own the rights and can and sometimes will stop you selling anything they think is infringement.

7. Having a website to showcase your props and skill is a good idea, but be careful if you're selling (see 6.)

It's fun, but it won't make you rich. Unless you own the rights to something and they are never cheap, it can provide a very nice side revenue of income, but I don't do it for that. It's a validation of my skill set. I love building replica props so I'd do it wether I could sell them or not ;) I build other props and could probably start making more of them and sell them, but then it would become a venture and much of the fun would be lost.

Hope this helps

PS The information above is based on what I have discovered. It may be different for you and may or may not work.
 
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