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Sales Idea: RepSpread

Posted by JanPaul123 
Sales Idea: RepSpread
February 25, 2010 09:43AM
Hey all,

I'm new to this forum, so I'm not sure if this is exactly the right place to post, or even if this is a good idea at all.

Looking to build a Mendel, it seems that a big problem at the moment is obtaining the parts, as there is way more demand than there are suppliers. Also, it takes a while to print the parts.

Now I had the following idea: why not really use the exponential growth RepRap can offer? Let's say I've got a RepRap. Now I can spend all day printing new parts to sell, lot's of them will not really be used for a while because the person sold to is inexperienced, not really committed, or still has to figure a lot out. And when they finally build their machine, maybe they're not as nice as you and won't print parts for other community members.

But what if you sell only 3 sets of parts, and the buyers will have to also sell 3 sets of parts under the same terms, so their buyers will also have to print parts, etc. Now the problem is to get the buyers to also be this generous. First I thought maybe a deposit would be a nice idea: the buyers have to pay an additional $1000, which gets returned after they made new parts and sold them.

Now there are two problems with this: the project should be accessible to people without that much money, such as students, like myself. Second, the buyer has to trust the seller that he'll return the money, which is not a really good idea, as it's quite prone to scamming.

In my opinion it would be better to show initial signs of commitment: you have to post your full name and a motivation, as well as a photo of yourself with the components you already have. This way it's made sure that when the buyer gets the parts, he can immediately build his Mendel and start printing within days. After sending the parts, the buyer has 2 months to sell 3 kits online for a normal price (not making profit). If he fails to do this, he will be put on a public blacklist, unless there are unforeseen circumstances. If the buyer succeeds, he gets listed on a nice page so people know he is to be trusted.

Well, enough jibber jabber. winking smiley I don't know if this idea is a bit extreme, but to me it seemed a good way to really get exponential growth, and supply everyone with the precious Mendel parts. RepSpread sounds like a good name for this concept, too.

Any thoughts to share?

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Re: Sales Idea: RepSpread
February 26, 2010 06:10AM
I've considered some fairly baroque schemes as well. smiling smiley

I think it is better to have a straightforward and efficient marketplace, and that any tax or "Mendel with obligation bolted on" will slow down the efficient marketplace and drive people away to projects with good kits that don't have "baggage" or present the prospective buyer with complexity or potential conflict.

Besides that, I'm hoping to bootstrap some traveling loan-Mendels at some point.

Also, here is the Dutch RepRap User Group. Good luck!

-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
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