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Where's Waldo decided to do a little research regarding online businesses selling 3D models online. He wanted to know whether this could be a profitable venture. Wally discovered that some of them were actually pretty good like FIVERR, KRAFTWURX and CGTRADER.
These were companies that really did a lot for their sellers and cherished their hard laybor
regardless of them just starting up or having worked for them for many years. These companies were a real breath of fresh air in an industry plagued by un professionalism.
On the flip side there were plenty of others that were pretty bad the worst of which was
Turbosquid, ( http://www.turbosquid.com/ ). Turbosquid was nothing more then a pyramid scheme whereby only the sellers who are at the top of the company food chain made money and all the rookies rarely made it anywhere.
Turbosquid is setup so that depending on how much money an individual makes their status gets upgraded. One starts off at the very bottom and attempts to rise up within the ranks. This would be a perfect setup if the search engine on the site was fair and treated all members equally. Fact of the matter is that this particular search engine is designed in such a way that only the best models from the top people end up at the top of the list. All of the lower end models or even top end models made by new sellers get tossed in the back row and customers have to go out of their way to find them.
According to their original policy one should be able to price their models any way they want however this holds true only for those who aren't making any profit. The instant a seller begins to earn a few bucks that is when the top sellers, ( with the help of the site moderators ) step in and bully them into changing their prices.
Due to this fact Turbosquid's policy was modified in such a way that now prices are supposed to be altered and based on other models of similar quality and type. All this really translates to is that all new sellers have 0 percent chance of competing in the Turbosquid market. By complying to this ridiculous new policy not only are they incapable of showing up on the search engine but no one in their right mind would choose their models over sellers who are better established and are of higher ranking. They are simply outmatched.
The top dogs price their models too high for regular folks to be able to buy them and that's fine because many film and game studios buy from them since they can afford the premium. Their models tend to be of top standard and quality so their price made sense in the past when movie companies were raking it in and online piracy was at it's infancy.
The only way for new sellers to make any money on Turbosquid is to sell their models
at a buck each. So long as they have a large amount of models, they are of decent quality and range from sets all the way to characters, then one is able to make a steady 30 bucks per month. This of course means selling models in bulk and is frowned upon on Turbosquid.
If one attempts to do what is described above and is successful at it the Turbosquid website will disable one's account and legally steel all of the sellers models without warning.
One must be extremely careful when uploading anything to Turbosquid because in their
contract, ( which most people won't bother to read ) they specify that anything you post on their website belongs to them as well. They can therefore kick you off their site without warning and take your intellectual property hostage at any time.
They may even choose to sell it without your consent and continue to make money from your content after your account has been disabled and you are no longer in control of it or would be able to complain or regain access to it even through legal action.
You should always have a backup of all of your files because if not all of what you have worked on for your entire life may just end up in smoke before your eyes.
After many months of research Wally discovered that these aren't the only reasons why getting into the 3D online sales business is a waste of time. On top of having to work really hard to find the best place to sell your content one also ends up spending a great deal of time dealing with all kinds of sales issues.
Unlike when selling physical objects like chairs, TV sets and mobile phones when you sell a 3D asset and the client or customer isn't happy with their purchase they will try to get a refund same as they would with anything else they buy. When they download your merchandise however there is no way for you as a seller to get your product back. If you choose to refund them you will have inevitably given them your intellectual property free of charge.
In a perfect world where protecting 3D content is possible and where clients wouldn't be able to use your goods without your consent this wouldn't be an issue however in reality, what is there to stop them from simply re selling your models that they just got for free? It happens all to often, ( in this industry) that clients will play this kind of game, (scam ) where they buy a product, pretend there is something wrong with it and then obtain a refund as well as get to keep and use your assets for free.
DVDs, CDs, MP3s and all forms of digital content have the same exact issue. That is why Wally concluded that there is very little money to be made in selling virtual assets and that there are far better ways for people to spend their precious time.
As always Where's Waldo would love to hear your personal stories and thoughts about 3D sales and all of our other topics.