So, this is a bit of an odd post, I’m warning you about price changes, that may or may not be going up or down, because I just don’t know. I get my 3D printing done by Shapeways, an online company that does 3D printing. I like them as they also allow you to run a shop and sell your models, but where they handle all the sales, production, shipping and customer service. I’m not making money per say off my Shapeways endeavors, but every couple of months I get some money in my Paypal account that winds up going right back to Shapeways with my next order.
Today, Shapeways announced they are changing the pricing structure for Frosted Ultra Detail (FUD) and Frosted Extreme Detail (FXD) plastics. Their blog post is linked below. The problem is, they can’t give us any indication as to what our models new prices are going to be until the new prices go live, sometime after May 22nd. This is terrible customer service, and when looking at my models, based on the size of some of my models and the multiple parts in many of them, I expect the prices are going to go up.
Because I have no idea what the prices of my items are going to look like now in two weeks time, all I can suggest is that if you are on the fence about something, especially larger items like structures or vehicle bodies, that you order them soon, as I suspect they are the ones most likely to increase in price. Many of my models are larger, or have multiple parts that I don’t know if they could be reasonably sprued together without making parts that would break when someone tries to build the kits. Hopefully, they are right and for most things its a reduction or price neutral, but I am not willing to take that on faith given the mess that occurred when Shapeways said the same thing and changed the Strong & Flexible pricing a coupe of years ago.
I really wish I could give a straight answer on what the pricing is going to do on FUD models, which most of the items I sell are. My store is at the following link if you are interested: https://www.shapeways.com/shops/sjgardiner
I have Stickied this post until the new pricing takes effect, or Shapeways gives us a way to find out the impacts and be able to assess them. I will update the post with more info when I have it.
Update 1 (May 11) – Shapeways has offered to do a manual check on stores. I have submitted this request, but they have not committed to have responses by before the new pricing goes into effect. They are also saying that their assessment of 70% of products will drop in price is based on things sold in the past 18 months, so fingers crossed that means most things that actually sell will not be negatively impacted.
Update 2 (May 17) – Shapeways has provided a manual spot check on some items. It looks like it isn’t as bad as i had thought, but if you have any interest at all in the 3D printed Cabin D or Don Station, I would order them before Monday when the price changes could come into effect. The new price is higher than the current sale price including markup so I make a little something on each of the models. For reference, the current selling prices on Cabin D are $150/$145 USD for the two versions, the new print costs without markup are in the $170-180USD range. For Don Station, the current selling price is $160USD, the new pre-markup price is around $160 USD. For many other models, It looks like I will be able to offer some price decreases.
Update 3 (May 22) – Shapeways has advised that the new pricing is going live on Wednesday May 24th, 2017. If you have any interest in Cabin D or Don Station in HO Scale, now would be the time before 50% price increases take effect. As I have mine, I can’t guarantee that I will ever take the time to seek ways to reduce the costs back to something more reasonable: