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Monday, November 10, 2014

PDF or Not?

     I've been seeing a trend in the online stores lately. In addition to the physical item there is also the option of purchasing  the electronic or video files for the step-by-step instructions so you can make the product yourself.

     My daughter-in-law is a member of a site for educators that is built on this premise. You create digital files of lesson plans or other classroom activities and make them available to other members of the site for a fee. It's called Teachers Pay Teacher and it's and enormously popular site.

     I wanted to make an apron with a retro feel for a friend as a holiday gift. I went online and found that hundreds of patterns are available to purchase. Most of them are original patterns from Butterick or McCalls etc...
     These are usually reasonably priced and a great way to find a pattern that is no longer made by the company.

     This made me curious - and I started doing searches for patterns or instructions for other items. I found patterns for a purse that I wanted to try that I couldn't find a commercial pattern for anywhere!

     This one was a free download - and from this pattern I was able to make this:

So, I continue thinking and decided that I like the idea of making step-by-step instructions for some of my most popular items and at the same time continuing to sell the physical item for people who aren't inclined to try a DIY project. This could open up an entire new market and help me combat the loss of sales on Etsy to the Chinese ready made companies that have flooded the site.

What do you think? Is this going to cost me sales? Am I going to start seeing my currently unique items flood the market? Do people really want to make everything themselves?

Much to think about before I step into the void...

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