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  • Questions about setting up a pattern site

    As many of you probably already know, I've been toying with the idea of setting up a site to sell my patterns. I have a few questions regarding preferences if you don't mind providing a little input.
    First and foremost is the hosting itself, I've been exploring quite a few and am a little confused. Some allow you to set up a shopping cart but limit the number of products you can offer (in some cases severely). Any suggestions???
    As to the more mundane questions.
    Do you prefer seeing the pattern or the finished cutting? In my case, I always prefer seeing the piece cut as what looks like a great pattern may make a lousy cuttting and vica versa. I wonder if I'm alone in this as most pattern sales sites have pics of the patterns.
    Regarding pricing, what do you feel is a fair price for patterns? There are a few patterns that I've bypassed due to what I felt was an exhorbitant price for what the pattern was.
    Do you prefer electronic (my preference) or paper patterns or would you prefer the option and a slight premium for a paper pattern?
    Would you like the option of buying a selection of patterns for a reduced price off the individual pattern prices (while still having the option of buying patterns individually)?

    Thanks in advance for any advise and/or help.
    Kevin
    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

  • #2
    I also prefer seeing the finished product, rather then the pattern. I think between $4 and $6, depending on the detail, is a fair price. That amount won't break anyone and you'll sell more that way. I definitely prefer receiving the patterns as Jpegs. Group discounts are good.

    Also, if you decide to accept credit cards, PM me for some great rates.
    Mike

    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
    www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

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    • #3
      Kevin, I really like the way Berry Basket has their website set up. I love the downloadable patterns, and I like the option of purchasing their surprise packs. I received some great patterns that way. I think their prices are ridiculously low. I agree with Mike, I think $ 4.00 to $ 6.00 is a good price for a single pattern depending on the intricasy. I love to see the finished product before I buy a pattern. I also think a finished picture should be included when the pattern is purchased. I don't know if this method of payment is available in the States, but in Canada we have the option of sending an interac email money transfer, which is great to use, unfortunately this method is only available if the sender and the recipient have a Canadian Bank account. It would be invaluable to me, if some of the US companies had Canadian Bank accounts. I think you will want to accept different ways of paying, there are people out there who don't have credit cards.
      Good luck with your website.
      Marsha
      LIFE'S SHORT, USE IT WELL

      Comment


      • #4
        I have been looking at the sites as I am new to the saw and I enjoy the sites that shows the finished Piece. Maybe it can be set up so when you enter the site you could see the finished piece and when you click on it you can see the finished piece and the pattern. They have software to prevent people from right clicking and saving the files instead of paying.
        The price range I see is between $4 to $6 on an average unless you get into the fancy ones. I'm one of those that don't have a credit card and its agravating to visit those sights that only do credit card or pay pal. Whatever happened to money orders. Maybe payment with Bank Debit Card, or like alot of business' do check over the phone
        Last edited by kyscroller; 02-15-2007, 06:53 PM.

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        • #5
          Can't help you on the hosting question.........

          I prefer to see the finished work, although not in oak

          You didn't ask, but thin line patterns are way better than thick line. And don't even think of offerring those horrendous BLACK filled pattersn.......

          $4-6 each is fair, and I like the idea of a discount for multiple purchases.

          I used to prefer patterns on paper, but have warmed to electronic copies............

          Good luck!
          ‎"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They're easier to ignore before you see their faces. It's easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes."

          D. Platt

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          • #6
            Kevin, I've been doing a little bit of hunting around for stuff related to websites/hosting/shopping carts over the past week or so - as well as trying to get back into designing web pages - and realising things have moved on since I last did one about 4 years ago!

            As far as hosting goes I found this one www.110MB.com. It's free, even for business, no pop-ups/banners or ads and gives you 100GB free bandwidth per month - up time is around 98% they say. They also apparently host domains for free if you want your own domain, other than the default which is (yourchosenname).110MB.com.

            If you want to register a top level domain, one of the cheapest places to go seems to be www.godaddy.com

            As far as shopping carts go, (which I know very little about except from using them!) I've seen a few recommendations for this one - www.mals-e.com/ which is also free and which you seem to be able to link to if you accept Paypal.

            As far as your questions about patterns/pricing etc goes I feel that $4-7 is generally a fair price - depends on the complexity of the pattern and I definitely prefer electronic delivery by email, either as a PDF or jpeg.

            Oh and I prefer finished pieces - even in oak, Barry

            Hope this helps.
            Last edited by PuzzledMoose; 02-15-2007, 07:37 PM.
            Ian

            Scrolling with a Dewalt 788

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kyscroller
              I'm one of those that don't have a credit card and its agravating to visit those sights that only do credit card or pay pal. Whatever happened to money orders. Maybe payment with Bank Debit Card, or like alot of business' do check over the phone
              FYI - Actually, any business that accepts Mastercard and Visa should also accept debit cards. They are treated the same and go thru the same processing company. If calling it in, the business can't tell if it's a credit card or debit card.

              PayPal can get kind of spendy for the merchant, if they receive many orders.
              Mike

              Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.
              www.picturetrail.com/naturephotos

              Comment


              • #8
                My banks Ideal of a debit card is a plastic card that I can only use at an ATM or the Bank. I just opened the account and got slapped in the face with this. I was use to the debit cards to make purchases at where ever a credit card was accepted. After three months with them I can apply for the Mastercard or Visa Debit card providing my credit allows it.
                My credit stinks about as much as this worthless debit card. LOL

                Comment


                • #9
                  4-6$ is right on track and for me I would prefer to see the finished project as well...it at least lets me know someone actually cut it. Multiple order discounts are great as are military discounts (I had to say it as I know I would order some).
                  Todd

                  Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

                  Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                  • #10
                    Hey Kevin. My website is hosted by www.discountasp.net. I am partial to this site because I had to look for a host that would allow me to write my site in Asp.Net. (this is what I do at my day job so it was a perfect fit). There are a plethora of sites out there for hosting. You need to find the one that "fits" for you.

                    As far as the patterns issue goes, I have set up my patterns page so that when the user "mouses over" the pattern the image changes to show the finished product. There are only a couple there that do that because I haven't go the pictures for the others yet.

                    You can also embed script in the page to prevent "right clicking" to save the pattern, etc.

                    There are numerous ways around all of this so none of it is foolproof...just a little more inconvenient we'll say for those determined to find the source of the pictures. Save a very reduced copy of your picture on the page and keep the original somewhere inaccessible.

                    As far as price I pretty much agree with what the concensus is so far $4 to $6 is reasonable.

                    Hope this helped.
                    Check me out on the web:
                    http://www.kerrysworld.com

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                    • #11
                      I think you need to charge at least $5 for a pattern if it's electronic...you have to pay them credit card fees. double the price for a hard copy snail mail order but includes shipping.

                      my best advice....tons of keywords for search engines...to get you to the top of a pattern search. You don't want to be yahoo search result #26546 !
                      Jeff Powell

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                      • #12
                        Pictures of the finished product do make it harder for people to right click and save. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the right click crowd though, Anyone can save any pic they see on the net. If someone is going to be a customer they will be, if not, then even the best prices in the world wont attract them.

                        One feature you may want to try is a small image on the screen, when you do a mouse over you could zoom in on a few intricate details. I think the biggest thing, which has already been mentioned is purchasing options.

                        Good luck, I know you will have tons of customers from this forum alone.
                        CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21

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                        • #13
                          Just a few impressions:
                          • PDF's are less bulky than JPGs and you can add pages of instructions or whatever. Security over alteration and redistribution of the patterns may be a bit better. I'd go with PDF.
                          • Search engines have gotten strange lately, especially Google. Do some reading about how to optimize your pages before you publish, because things like keyword jamming can hurt you. Check out things like HTML h1 and h2 headings, META descriptions, ALT tags on your pictures, and having good content in your product descriptions, not just relying on the pictures. These things will help you with the search engines.
                          • Stick to your guns on pricing. People will "treat" themselves to your patterns rather than "settling" for lowest cost. Some free patterns are good for promotion and getting you in the search engines, though. Quantity discounts are good, too.
                          • Displaying finished products is great. I like the idea of showing the pattern as a large black and white thumbnail, with a good-sized picture of the finished item on mouseover.


                          Pete

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                          • #14
                            I wouldn't be so concerned over right-clicking and saving if you put a nice bold watermark on each picture. Even if you disable the right-click feature, who's to say they won't use the print screen button, paste into paint, then save their new picture? One site I know of that uses watermarks on their pictures is www.lulu.com
                            Mia

                            We are the music makers.
                            We are the dreamers of dreams.


                            Easy scrollin' with a DW788

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                            • #15
                              WOW! Thanks for all of the suggestions!!!!! As far as the pattern thieves, I am not going to be overly concerned with them, thieves will steal regardless of what I do. I hadn't thought of the other payment methods, I have a merchant account though I haven't activated the check by phone feature. I will have to look into that as well. I do know Western Union is very cost prohibitive though I have used it in transactions with Canada.
                              Gee Barry, I like the black on white patterns . I'm anitcipating it will be buyer's choice whether fineline (yuck), pure black and white or the black outline around gray as with the pattern in the spring SSWC. I'll probably also offer format choice whether .pdf or .jpg. I personally prefer the pdf as they're much cleaner but it won't make much difference to me.
                              The one surprise to me is the prices, I guess I'm just cheap as I was thinking $2 - $4 for patterns. Of course, I don't anticipate tons of sales and this will make a good write-off for my business.
                              Kevin
                              Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                              Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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