Suppose you work hard on a product and give it a lot of features such as moving parts or colors or shaders or whatever. And suppose you make great sales images and each image takes 45 hours to render using DAZ Studio and Iray. (And suppose you make 10 images, which is a total of 450 hours that your computer is rendering images.)
If this was a Studio Max or Maya product, you could price it at $40 or $50 or more at CGTrader or TurboSquid. But since this is a Poser (or DAZ Studio model), the community will never pay that much, so you price it at $10.
Then you submit it for sale at “the big site”, and after 5 weeks in their testing queue, it’s listed for sale… at an introductory sale of $5.00 with an added discount that lowers the price to $2.49. The big site keeps 50% of the sale, so you make $1.25 per sale.
On the one hand, 100 people might buy the product because it’s so cheap, but again, at $1.25 per sale, that’s only $125. Though that’s also $125 that you (and the site) didn’t have the day before.
On the other hand, could you sell the product at your own site for $10 and get 13 people to buy it, so you make $130?
(The argument about whether it’s better to have 100 customers buy at a cheap price or a few customers buy at a higher price was covered in my previous blog: Price Versus Quality 2: Does Lowering The Price Of An Item Increase Customer Support?)
My question for everyone is: as an artist/ merchant putting their time and effort into making the best-possible products, how does it make you feel when people think your product is only worth $2.49 to them, and you only get $1.25? Or do you only look at the total amount of $125?
Some people say that customers shouldn’t know what kind of cut you get from a website. This is a good point since it’s not like people ask a portrait gallery how much commission they give to artists when they sell a piece of artwork.
And there’s the other point that many customers don’t care what kind of income the merchant receives. But I would argue that digital products are basically pieces of art and customers should try to support the artists.
And if a merchant is only getting $1.25 per sale, how long will it be until he decides to make his model available for free? That way, he doesn’t have any anxiety during the 5 weeks the the product is in the testing queue and he doesn’t have to worry about sales reports and payments. Of course, if he does this, the website that would have sold his product doesn’t get any income either.