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A platform for designers?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by Install, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Install

    Install New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I hope I don't come across as too self serving with this post, but it's sadly likely! Basically I've been flirting with the idea of setting up a 'crowdsource' based paper goods site. Items such as notepads, journals, cards for all occasion, wedding stationery too, gift boxes and bags.

    The way it would work is similar to what threadless did for T-shirts, the best designs are voted for and then put into production, with the artist getting a cut of all sales.

    Given you folks are the experts here, does this seem like something that would appeal to you to design for? I personally am not a designer, but that doesn't mean I don't like working with design :)

    All feedback would be appreciated, thanks!

    P. S. I'm not one hundred percent if this is the right subsection, I'll check tomorrow when I'm less knackered.
  2. Crepston

    Crepston Member

  3. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    The main problem (aside from the grey area that is crowdsourcing in general) is, as mentioned, that you would be competing against already established sites that do just that, not to mention sites like etsy where people can make and sell their products directly. On top of that you'd need to get a good deal of designers/artists/etc to sign up and willingly submit work to sell via a newly launched site that hardly anyone will know about. I think it will prove harder to find the initial products to sell, than it will to actually sell them.
  4. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    You will also find that people buying notepads, packaging, wedding stationery etc.. want a bespoke product rather than paying a premium for a generic item they could pick up for half the price in ASDA.
  5. Install

    Install New Member

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the links to those two sites. Strangely I hadn’t managed to find them myself, which is totally my fault.

    Anyway my USP is a little different to what they offer. Either both, or one of those ‘sites offers cards I noticed, but it seems that they focus on cases/cart. What I want to do is hammer down the focus upon paper products such as wedding stationery, cards (yes, that’s the same/similar I admit), gift boxes and bags. It strikes me that those two websites shout loudest about their clothing and art prints.

    I’m in the UK, and UK based too. That doesn’t matter too much but it may give me a bit of an edge when it comes to selling into the UK market itself. But there isn’t really that huge a gap between selling in the USA and Europe, just a case of having to lump a bit more towards shipping/waiting for products. So feel free to ignore that in terms of a ‘USP’. It might be more helpful in terms of marketing and getting European designers on board though.

    Actually the reason for the long list might be a bit much. I thought about wedding cards/invitations first and then the others came later, as it were. It’s a slightly different market, if not for the fact that scrawling ‘Wedding on ‘x’ date’ is different to a picture of a penguin.

    Thanks for the really swift response though, it’s given me a lot to think about.

    And indeed Paul, that's a point to bear in mind. I've got no idea how to attract people to propose their designs. However I don't think that the people who'd bother would be making it just for me, in fact I really doubt that. I'll go into that a bit later once this headache fades.

    Edit: I just think of it as another way for designers to sell their designs. They might just be hobbyists, and a great deal will be I imagine, since if they're already professionals who have a lot of work and do this full time, they simply won't need that outlet. As for places like Etsy. Yes, they're good, very good, but crowded as hell. And also it's a slightly different concept, but I digress. :)

    bigdave - I don't really understand your point. Everything can be personalised upon sale if and when necessary. Nothing needs to be generic, actually that's what I want to move away from?
  6. Install

    Install New Member

    Yep, this is my concern. Threadless was started by a designer, if I'm not wrong, and it grew from a forum thread to what it is now. I don't have that inside track, nor hundreds design buddies. I already feel like I'm intruding slightly by asking so boldly on this forum!

    The difference between this and... etsy, let's say, is that we handle all the manufacturing and such. It's better value and I envisage that a lot of designers wouldn't hope to make bucketloads through us, but either design as a hobby and see it as a bit of cash, or they're professionals and can then get their art out there, on real items, without having to commit to setting up a whole new venture for themselves.

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