To all prop makers - your opinion is needed!

Taz

New Hunter
Hi everyone,

With permission from the community staff, I'm posting this to gather some feedback on a project I've started working on recently.

As a web developer and designer since 2008, I got this idea of creating a website to help prop makers get in touch with Star Wars high-end costuming enthusiasts (and vice-versa). Think of it as some kind of general Star Wars props marketplace.

Since I'm writing the project specifications, I could really use YOUR feedback, which is why I created a Google Form with a dozen of questions, just to gauge interest and to gather your opinion on such a project.

It won't take you more than a couple of minutes to complete it, and your feedback is really valuable to this project.

You can find the form here : CLICK HERE.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to check it out, and happy holidays everyone!

Julien
 

intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
This sounds very similar to the ForceForum concept; Mike somebody and Nick forgotten his name. I read your questions to see because I didn't understand the original post and that appear to me to be what this is.
 

Taz

New Hunter
Interesting, I've never heard about ForceForum before but I did a quick lookup and stumbled upon a thread on the RPF about it. I'll read everything later today as I'm working right now but it seems that their website has been shut down now (their domain is expired).
 

intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
They had multiple issues, one of which was an apparent desire to recast the work of others and, apparently, taking money without fulfilling orders. Obviously those issues alone would tend to doom to failure without some of the others problems.

There's always likely to be a problem if multiple intellectual property rights breaches from multiple sellers across multiple properties are all gathered together in one place. I'm fairly certain they attracted attention from actual licence holders for just these reasons.

Also, if memory serves, I think they attracted mainly the lower end of things. The established guys, e.g. Bobamaker, is unlikely to need further exposure. His wait times have been around 12 months for years because he has a steady supply of work. I'm only using him as an example. You could apply it to a lot of the top guys. That secret stuff that doesn't get spoken of publicly will never get there either because that invariably involves long standing relationships.

Then, presumably, you'll want your cut; unless all of this is for free?
That means I either have to pay more for something I can get for the existing price, or the maker has to swallow the finder's fee, or whatever it gets called. That's fine for the first time or casual buyer but prop replicas are still pretty niche so I can't see that lasting forever.

You're also competing with Google and all the other search engines that give me a thousands hits straight off the bat. There also seem to be a myriad of Facebook groups now in existence. Then there are the existing forums, which cover a wide degree of areas. Even if you goto a general one, like the RPF, it often isn't long before someone invokes one of the more specialised forums if someone if looking for something very specific e.g. The Prop Den for Vader...whatever.

Those ForceForum guys though, they really did try this. It wasn't only their own greed that made it fail.
 

Taz

New Hunter
I didn't know someone attempted to create such a place and thought it could really be useful to the community (which is why I created the poll in the first place - to gather feedback from actual prop-makers), but you are definitely making some good points here. Thanks a lot for your input, looks like it's more complicated that I initially thought.
 

intwenothor

Well-Known Hunter
I think it is a good idea in principle but as it's solely a marketplace that creates problems. Sure, lots of stuff gets sold here, as it does on other forums and groups, but that isn't the primary function of the board and there are some people here who have made huge contributions for little or no monetary return. RafalFett springs to mind. Places like this can fly under the radar because individuals can sell as casual hobbyists without drawing too much negative attention. Making the idea work without drawing the negative attention of the IP and licence holders is the challenge with your idea. If you cracked that then you'd really have something but why would they let you.

Also, I think people have had enough of pre orders with Efx and Anovos and those guys are licensed. I'd ditch that aspect.
 

thrax

Active Hunter
Not to be negative, but the RPF covers a LOT of different genres and vendors already. Some vendors prefer to do their own thing like FB sales only or website sales and forums. Consolidation is a challenge.
 

Grimstuff

Active Hunter
I think something like this would work best as something that covers the greater cosplay/costuming world rather than just Star Wars specific, essentially a niche-targeted version of Etsy with it's search and item categorization specifically targeted towards one product segment (as the one avenue that etsy is horrible at for props is it's search, searching 'boba fett helmet' is just as likely to get you a laser-etched drink coaster as it is to give you an actual helmet kit).

But at that point you're looking at a pretty big company idea that will require a lot of startup costs, and would also be a pretty big legal nightmare, not only from potential copywrite holder DMCA's, but also complications arriving from if you want to offer an escrow service for pre-order runs and the like too. I actually suspect that Etsy purposefully keeps their prop categories and search so **** specifically so their cosplay market kinda stays under the radar and they don't become too known as a hub for it, they don't wanna deal with the legality of it too much either.
 
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