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New Printer Needs Help...

Discussion in 'Printing & Print Design Forum:' started by Printensity, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Printensity

    Printensity New Member

    Hey guys,

    I have started a community that helps people print and sell their designs, but before I go any further with it, I would love to get some feedback from real graphic artists.

    I need people based (or want to sell) in the UK or US to try it out, ask questions and let me know what you think.

    I am setting people up with a web store, connecting it to a print partner that ships out your orders for you and will be giving marketing training, but what I really want is a group of people helping each other to showcase and sell their designs.

    A membership is going to be £10/month, but if you contact me at then I will send you a link to sign up for a month free (You obviously still keep the profit from any sales you make).

    Any help would be much appreciated,

  2. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member


    I watched the video on explaining how it works, but I don't get why I would pay to do something I can already get for free.

    There a lots of printers that offer that exact same package/delivery system, and ironically, if the site generates customers, why would I need marketing training? I'm a designer!
    Printensity likes this.
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Stephen

    Like Alex, I'm struggling to see why I would want to subscribe to a service (I hate subscription packages with a passion anyways) where you're going to be making money from the 'selling' of items like the member. You can't say there will be no profit outside the £10 a month because you can clearly see there is room in the pricing structure for you to knock off another 40% for the 'top package'.

    There's no information about the quality of materials that will be sold, if you're just using cheap materials then that's no good either.

    The site says it's stores are seo friendly so why do we need marketing training, if you're trying to sell say t-shirts you already know your target market so it's not like you need someone to tell you this
    Printensity likes this.
  4. Printensity

    Printensity New Member

    Hi Alex, Levi,

    Thanks for the great feedback.

    Alex, the stores offer a lot more customisability than most of the stores out there, so instead of having a space on someone else's site like Zazzle for example, you would have your own domain, choose the layout, add your own pages etc. But you are right, I will change the message to emphasize the differences/improvements to existing models.

    Levi, you make some very interesting points, I am positioning Printensity to be a filter, or marketplace for members to get access to reliable printers (i.e. we do the research, test out the printers and if they are reliable/high quality, then we negotiate production costs and introduce them to our members, so our members can choose which printers they open stores with, so we take very little commission from sales.) But that is fantastic feedback and I can see how we can address that now.

    With regards to the pricing model, you have echoed the feedback from a lot of people that I have spoken to. Thanks to this, I am in the process of removing the top 2 packages and having all the benefits available at £10/month to see if that is better value for the users.

    With regards to the materials, that is a brilliant point, something that I totally skipped over in the video. All of the printers offer multiple product options, so for t-shirts they have super value tshirts, up to higher quality, more expensive ones. I will put that in the pricing section though.

    It is very interesting that you both brought up the marketing training as a sticking point. While the sites are easy to optimise for SEO, making it as effective as it can be and training and support on how to use other traffic sources like Social Media marketing and pay per click to bring in more customers was going to be the key benefit for the subscription model.

    I will put a lot of changes in place today. Thanks so much for your feedback, and to the people that have emailed me, it has been absolutely invaluable!
  5. GilmoreVisuals

    GilmoreVisuals Active Member

    Cool. Sounds like you have a plan. I'm not convinced yet, but i'm open minded.

    On a side note, the site could do with some improvement, quite important as a startup.

    Keep us updated.
  6. Glad to see you are so receptive to feedback, look forward to seeing the changes!
  7. Printensity

    Printensity New Member

    Thanks Alex, Sean

    I will be creating a more sophisticated site if the service is well received. I have been getting good feedback from members so far, so an overhaul shouldn't be too far off.

    Thanks to Levi, I have streamlined the pricing model to just one, all inclusive option and will be promoting the quality assurance aspect of the printers to a much greater degree now. And thanks to both Alex and Levi, I will be adjusting the whiteboard video slightly to show more benefits of the marketing training.

    You have been a great help! Thanks again!
  8. Robert Stott

    Robert Stott Member

    Hi there,

    I'd pretty much echo what Sean and Alex have said.

    I remember many moons ago when I was still a humble designer I used cafe press for this sort of thing:

    What I liked about it was they just took a percentage of your sales. If I sold nothing, it cost me nothing.

    Having to pay a subscription puts the risk in the users' court (what if they sell nothing?) an absolves the provider of any risk (you get $10 whatever happens). If I was being cynical (who? me?) I'd say that doesn't give you much incentive to make sure your users' products sell well. From the other angle, if a customer starts making billions as a result of products on your site, don't you think you deserve more than $10 a month for enabling that? ;-)

    If it was my site, I'd be charging users a small percentage of their sales figure initially. If it takes off massively then at a later date you could have a rethink: maybe people really would pay a subscription to be part of a site with proven success. Maybe, who knows. I think charging a percentage of sales sends the message, "Hey, we're a new site - this might work or it might not - give it a go, worst case scenario is that you'll be no worse off" which is pretty healthy for an as yet unknown site.

    Just my thoughts!
  9. Printensity

    Printensity New Member

    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for your feedback, I tried working in a commission based model previously, unfortunately it meant that the product pricing was not competitive (or the designers themselves were not adequately compensated) so I had a lot of people signing up but not taking any action as they had not invested anything.

    The £10/month is really a simple way of getting the most motivated people to jump on and actually use their web store, training etc and giving me a reliable amount of revenue to add further value down the line with expert training/bonuses etc.

    It would be fantastic to see someone set up a massively successful brand through Printensity, and I think that they are entitled to all of the fruits of their labour. I am not aiming to make a lot of money from this, just provide a service that people will actually use and benefit from (though if they do make a billion dollar company out of it, I wouldn't say no to a new car ;) )

    I have been thinking about rolling out a 1 month membership for £1 to let people jump on board, see the value of the membership and then decide if it is a good fit for them. Do you think that would be an attractive proposal for designers?

    Thanks again for your thoughts, they are much appreciated!

  10. Robert Stott

    Robert Stott Member

    Fair enough.

    My days of graphic design are behind me, personally. I'm a software developer these days. One model from my new softwarey life that I think is quite good (and may translate to your business) is the Mac App Store. Developers pay an annual subscription of £60 for the privilege of being on the store and a percentage of every sale goes to Apple.

    I think you need to give people a low risk route to try out your site. A super-cheap one month membership like you suggest might be a good way. Or even a first month free with an opportunity to cancel, and then £10 a month. Or a "money back after six months if you haven't made your money back".

    I just think it's a bit of a vicious circle - people are reluctant to hand cash over to people they don't know, but how will they get to know you if they don't do business with you? I'd give them a low risk way of building that trust, then once you have that trust, you're in business!

    Good luck with it!
  11. Printensity

    Printensity New Member

    Thanks Robert.

    I have asked around a few people and decided to go with your idea of a 1 month free trial in a campaign aimed squarely at graphic designers to let them find out for themselves if Printensity is right for them.

    You are right about the vicious circle, building enough trust/desire to give people something they actually want is the hardest part of any new venture.

    My main project is a mobile app company and I always found apples pricing very heavily skewed away from developers. But then they own the monopoly on iPhones so we are stuck with it really.

    Thanks again for your help, I will report back with the results.

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