A couple of weeks back, we debuted the How to Hub Handbook with a post on The Anatomy of a Kick-Ass Hub Page, a brief guide on how to set up and improve your Hub page.
Today we’re taking the first step towards providing some clarity on the financial part of your 3D printing business with a series of 3 episodes, namely:
- How does the flow of invoices and funds work on 3D Hubs? (which we'll cover now)
- Invoices for the Service Fee from us to you, our Hubs
- Receipts/Invoices to Customers
Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then let's begin ;)
Enter: How does the flow of invoices and funds work on 3D Hubs?
We provide a service to you, our Hubs, to help customers find you & support the order process and payment in escrow. For this, we charge you a service fee, for which you can download an invoice from your completed orders page (more on this tomorrow).
With our platform, we act as a mediation intermediary or fiscal agent. The transaction of printing and delivering the 3D print is between you and the customer, and you run your Hub as a business of your own.
So you are vendor of record in the transaction and you, as a Hub, need to provide an invoice to the customer, if required*. We do not act as trade intermediary, so there is no need to send us invoices - only to the customer.
Let's take a look at how the process currently works (see also image below):
- A customer receives an automatic quotation based on their model volume as soon as they upload it to the website and select your Hub. This quotation includes your startup costs and the material costs you provided.
- Once your customer has agreed to the initial quotation they send in an order to your Hub, where you have the ability to check out the models and add additional services like modelling or shipping.
- When the customer agrees the order amount with you, he/she will pay it via the payment service provided by us. We’ll keep this amount in escrow, until the order has been completed. Now, you will receive a message from us saying that the customer has paid and you can start printing the object & agree with the customer a time for pickup or shipping.
- As soon as an order is completed (which means the customer confirmed receiving or picking up the print in good order), we release the outstanding amount from escrow to you, the Hub, and net automatically the service fee & correct any discounts given to the customer by us.
Episodes 2 and 3 will follow tomorrow and on Wednesday.
In the mean time, if you have any questions/ comments, fire away ;)