How to Keep Your Favorite Vendors and Brokers Alive

How to Keep Your Favorite Vendors and Brokers Alive

The rough economy is wiping out a lot of independent vendors and brokerages. If you want to see your favorites stick around, here are somethings you can do to help.
Meshbox Design has been around since 2001, and I can share with you that like everyone else, our sales are down from what they were in 2008. Our lowest point was July 2009, but we’ve made some hard decisions and tried new things; and to their credit, our partners and friends have worked with us to help us sell.

Plus, we have more staff than other vendors and we’ve been more creative about what everyone does. But not everyone who creates, publishes or resells 3D content has been able to do this.  Many smaller brokerages are having to revert to just being themselves, and some brokerages like 3D Commune are simply out of business. A lot of our brother indie vendors out there are going the way of 3D Commune.

Id like to share with you, as artists that consume 3D content what you can do to keep your favorite vendor going.

  1. Find a Way to Buy Direct. Some artists only work through brokerages. That is usually because either they don’t have the business acumen to do it on their own or the revenue stream is just right.  Many independents sell direct and if they do, it means their business depends on direct sales. If you know they sell direct, buy direct. Some brokerages take a very portion of an artists revenue, and very small changes in how they do business can radically impact a vendors sales.
  2. Buy More Expensive Items and Get More. A lot of artists offer value packs. Meshbox has its Complete Edition system, whereby you usually receive a bonus model and a big discount on all models in a pack.  Because most overhead charges begin with a small fee plus a percentage, the larger the transaction, the more money the receiver keeps. Expecting to spend $1.99 per transaction because big brokerages do it is one reason why vendors are losing their shirts (do the math on credit card  transaction fees).
  3. Spread the Word. A lot of vendors either do not have the resources or the knowledge of how to use blogs, Twitter, DIGG, Facebook and other social media venues.  Well, they should learn, but at the same time, if you like someone’s work, spread the word. A lot of venues that sell content (some, but not all brokerages) forbid indie promotion, but not your recommendations.
  4. Make Piracy an Enemy. In all the arguments about the recording and entertainment industry and the DMCA, the vendor you know is being killed by piracy. Vendors goods appear on content warez sites very rapidly, and the anonymous nature of many brokerage sales makes it really hard to find out which user is sharing the vendor product. The problem isn’t the single pirate, its the thousands who download and do not pay, and that the pirating sites are generating money to support themselves now through the help of internet advertising.
  5. Ask and Expect to Receive, But Expect to Pay. In hard economic times, all vendors of all kinds need to be on their game. They need to do more, because money is tight for their customers. You should expect some kind of innovation, but you shouldn’t expect such cut-throat discounts because the 3D content market isn’t nearly as volume driven as you can imagine. The only folks who benefit from the $1.99 product are the largest brokerages, because they can sell you more stuff, things they own and other vendors products.

Have some suggestions of your own?

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