fulfilled by 3d hubs program - less orders - unfair competition?

Hello All!

Now 3D-hubs has introduced " FULFILLED BY 3D HUBS" - program  I receive significant less orders. Not because there is a lot of competition, but because 50km away there is a company who has the funds to get this title. Local printing becomes impossible and the people from the city I'm based in are redirected to that company. I received emails from previous costumers asking me why I left 3D hubs (which I haven't). The bigger only grow bigger. 70% of my order I receive through other platforms/ ways. Hopefully this effect can taken into consideration in the development of the platform. Personally I don' t like it very much. 

What do you think?

Greetings,
Mark

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Hi

 

For Vienna this "RECOMMENDED MANUFACTURING SERVICE" must be a kind of joke. The "RECOMMENDED MANUFACTURING SERVICE" is NOT a registered business, had at the time of switch about 5 reviews, runs a printer with no special quality or build room (€ 800,- class), does not offer dual head printing or something else then standard production.

I´m feeling very much VERARSCHT ! (google it if you don´t know the expression)

 

Now some words to the qualification. No, I will NOT open a "small business". I´m not unemployed or a lottery winner, nor do I want to make a living out of 3D printing. The revenue 2017 was less then half of my usual monthly income. How should that even remotely be a perspective for a business ? Opening the smallest possible business in Austria means automatically to be insured. That means minimum fees that must be paid no matter what. That are not one time costs, but running costs that must be covered even if anything else in your life would be for "free" (food, lodge, energy, ...) It is NOT necessary to run a business for paying taxes. Any Euro earned thru 3D printing that exceeds a tax exemption limit can be added to your annual tax declaration. So it is no fraud to have an extra income.

 

No, I do not have control about my ratings. Sure I could have complained about a 3 or 4 star rating instead of a 5 star rating. But who am I to interfere with the judgement of a customer ? Some expect more, others less... I have 72 completed order with a rating of 4.76. With the goal of 4.95 3D Hubs provokes to always insist on a 5 star rating. I personally rate when and what I like for services I receive. PERIOD.

But what makes that even more ridiculous is that on the FrontPage in big letters it is written: Rating 4.8 based on 145,830 reviews.

The completion rate is also a difficult rating once you get a certain amount of orders. Some orders are just not to be realized. I´ve received orders where the customer just did not respond anymore. What could I have done else then to cancel ? What´s my fault when this reduces my rating ?

 

But my disappointment of 3D Hubs is so deep in the meanwhile that I have only one wish left: Please increase the size of the link:

Manually select a Standard PLA service

 

I don´t expect any more from 3D Hubs. Kind of sorry for all costumers that will overlook great hubs.

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About your rating issue: I've email 3D hubs multiple times about the rating and customer who do not respond or even use the order page to ask a simple question. Every-time I got the same answer "Every hub get those orders". Meanwhile I see my rating and order drop.

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they are not wrong. around 5 percent of my orders are inquiries or wrongly placed orders. still i meet the bar... 

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Could not agree more. It is now merely a price war and the Hub has started to behave like Amazon, treating us like rubbish. The link for manual hub selection is a stupid joke. Gone is the idea of local manufacturing. Some dude 300km is the only manufacturing partner and is sucking the requests dry. Hub support doesn't care...they don't have to. 

My response time is above the stupid 45min (sorry...not getting up in the middle of the f%&$# night to reply to requests at 2:00 am). The support team replied; well, with my steady stream of orders that should be down in no time. Trouble is...what orders? There aren't any since the rule was implemented. So...well done 3DHubs. That's a slap in the face. 

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based on my experience the only factor that is taken into consideration is the PRICE, and based on this ... the hub was chosen. It is now a war of price, I dont know in your countries but here in Italy I have a competitor who prints PLA at 200 micron for 0.07 € cents / cm3

 

at this point I keep the machines stopped (I have 10 zortrax M200) ...

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Hey Mark, we feel it too and I have been doing this for a little while. Best thing I can recommend is offering different materials that the larger hub doesn't have. I specialize in Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass and Kevlar printing. I use the Markforged line of printers. If this is something you want to offer to get people coming back let me know. I am always trying to help keep us little guys moving forward and gain some momentum. I have no problem making you the parts and you reselling them. Then once the customers start to come back, take over from there. I will make them at just above cost but lower than what I sell for so you can make a good margin for not doing much. I just wanted to offer. My other idea for you would be to offer faster lead times and also the ability for customers to pick up parts. I can send you some sample parts that are made in the carbon fiber material so you can see the difference and how you can blow away those big guys. Or if you are interested in running the material yourself, its called Onyx. Its $200 for a 800cm3 roll but its 3X stronger than ABS, it doesn't warp or shrink or have print lines. You would need to print it at 275degrees Celsius. Anything I can do to help let me know.

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@AndrewDivMfgTec;

 

well, but that doesn't fix his problem right? also he's not allowed to forward orders to you due to the NDA and it might be problematic to do shipping between the US and NL and still keep reasonable lead times.. 

 

I was hesitant too about this whole manufacturing program..  But @mmark is not completely open here.. 

or at the minimum he did not do any research.. 

to be registered as a company, it's 50 euro. then to get some packaging material, some boxes, let's say he gets a superbad deal, thats another 100 to 200 euro. so he has invested 250 and he is ready for the manufacturing program. 

that being said, looking at the amount of orders, and the type of printers he offers, chances are he won't be able to differentiate. and yes, the MarkForged will be a market differentiator which would get him in the program and get him orders. 

but the claim that he doesn't have the funds to get into the program is ridiculous. also, if you can't spare 250 to get into the program, how are you going to cope with a large order that needs materials paid for up front?

 

and then we're just bypassing the fact that he's currently essentially trying to run a business without paying VAT on products he sells.. 

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I hope this doesn't come across as rude, but it looks like you have been here for around 4yrs and only have 21 reviews. So maybe around 50 orders assuming half the people leave reviews which is the avg I see on my hub. So it doesn't look like you were getting many orders before. You also mention most your orders come from other ways, maybe focus more on those to improve your reach in those areas. Being in the Fulfilled program also has extra costs that you may not have currently such as more expensive boxes and putting parts in a bag before bubble wrapping.

 

Maybe the best thing to do would be contact your regulars and let them know how they can order from your hub by visiting your page and selecting get a quote. Or by using the reorder button available on their orders page. They can also manually select a hub on the order page and select your hub from that listing.

 

 

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To clear up; I know very well I don't have to pay 3D hubs to become a partner. "Normal" costs for a business, not for an individual student. 

 

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dude. seriously? 

so what you are saying is that basically you want to take peoples money, but to do it in a professional and legal way, you don't really want to invest money..  

 

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@mmark 

I assume the company you are referring to might just be me ;) 

however, there are not funds required.

let me ask you a counter question:

why have you not registered as a small business? how are you declaring your current sales? how are you meeting dutch tax requirements? essentially, if you meet all of the dutch tax requirements of selling your prints online, you should be eligible for the manufacturing program...  especially if you have had only good reviews.,. 

 

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Hi Mark,

 

Your concern is absolutely valid, however as a manufacturing partner myself, I wanted to clear up some misunderstandings. You said you had to have funds to be a 3D Hubs manufacturing partner. I can assure you, when I joined 3D Hubs a few years ago, I had 0 funds for purchasing anything at all! Even in mid-2017, I was just a guy running a print shop from his home to make a little extra cash. Since I was selected to join the program, however, I have turned the hobby into a business, purchasing industrial printers, business licenses, etc. However, nowhere did I read 3D Hubs required you to have funds to become a manufacturing partner. They just require a hub in very good standings that can produce very good quality parts on a reasonable timeline. 

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