Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Helpful advice, suggestions, and information sought

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Firstly I do not wish to step on anyone's toes, ( or even jump on them ! ).
Here in Australia I am a Wooden Toy, & Wood Crafts designer, and have my own range of work plans which I advertise on other sites such as Gumtree; EasySell, etc. I quite often receive enquiries from the UK, & Europe, but most potential buyers back out when I quote the cost of International Air Mail Delivery.
My designs are are drawn actual size, therefore cannot be put onto DVD's, or set-up a downloadable files, which probably adds to the problem.

Questions ( 1 ) Considering the above info, do you think there is a market in the UK / Europe for another range of Toy Plans, & Wood Craft Designs ?

( 2 ) IF there is, How do you think I can go about marketing them in the UK / Europe, and at the same time get round the current problem of expensive Air Mail delivery, as I have discovered, what begins as a 7GBP Work plan, rapidly becomes a 15GPB plan including Air Mail !! ( And that's expensive for anyone !!! )

( 3 ) Have heaps of photos of my Wooden Toys, & Wood Craft Designs,- can I put some of them on this site without upsetting anyone, or would that be classified as, " Advertising," in a round about way ?

Looking forward with interest to everyone's replies, thoughts, suggestions, & ideas,

Yours sincerely,
Roger
 

MickCheese

Established Member
Joined
29 Sep 2006
Messages
2,438
Reaction score
0
Location
High Wycombe, Bucks
Just a thought.

Would people buy plans in electronic format?

So, like music, people just buy the plan and download it. Two advantages I can see, 1. it's instant 2. no postage costs.

Problem then comes with how you stop people just handing them around.

eBay would be a good place to test the water.

Mick
 

Grahamshed

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2012
Messages
3,066
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordish
Seems like you need a UK/Europe agent ( no, I am not suggesting me ) where you do all the advertising etc and take the orders but they are then posted over here. You would either have to send over a lot of plans in one parcel (cheaper than individually ) or find someone with large copying facilities.
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Here's a bit more detailed information which I think will help;- As forementioned all my Work Plans are are drawn actual size, - but, not on Large A1 size Plan sheets,- Here's how I lay them out,- I draw them onto A3 Size paper, and each sheet is marked along the edges where the next section joins on. Each Plan is in a Mini-booklet form,- the purchaser simply buys the plan they ordered, removes the staples and join each A3 sheet where marked to obtain the actual size Work Plan, therefore anyone who has access to a Commercial Photocopier, or an A3 size printer attached to their computer, and would be interested in selling / marketing the Work Plans in the UK, & European market, please contact me.
*** Ebay,- Have already tried there,- unfortunately got scammed via PayPal,- fake order, for fake attempted payment. Didn't work as culprit's address turned out to be middle of some little uninhabitted island off the north of Scotland !!! Result I steer clear of ebay.
Prefer a real person in the UK who can buy the UK & European Publication License from me, then whoever the buyer is, they can print to order. Yes,- it is an exclusive deal too,- instant access to all my future Work Plans as have no intension of retiring from designing
more Toy Plans, & Wood Crafts Designs over the coming years here in Australia.
Sincerely hope the above aditional information will assist you to assist me,
Yours sincerely,
Roger
 

Grahamshed

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2012
Messages
3,066
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordish
Toydesigner":hif0xmfo said:
Prefer a real person in the UK who can buy the UK & European Publication License from me,
Roger
I guess that it would be harder to find someone willing to take that risk than it would to find a simple 'post on' source
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Graham,- Yes,- know what you mean with the risk factor involved with the Publication License,- which also brings other factors into play, for example the bulk purchase price I place on the complete set of Work Plans, as am well aware of the depressed state & general business mindset with trying out another product. Maybe another option is a Royality arrangement whereby I receive a pre-set percentage on every Work Plan sold ?
Another option, is a Lease for, ( say ), several years, or, perhaps buy some of my Work plans, and the balance of a number of years. Like I mentioned, there are quite a few options.
What do you think ?

Roger
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
3
Location
Derbyshire
If the toys are any good why not sell them instead? I used to make toys for a living and it was OK. Never thought about selling plans - there are 1000s of design books out there already so a new one would have to be very good and very well marketed. Anyone really stuck can easily find something to copy
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
I already sell the actual wooden toys, & wood Craft Designs here in my own region without any problems, it's just that international visitors from places like the UK & Europe, etc are the ones who have problems as for them it is easier to buy the Work plan, and take it back home to make, then ( naturally ), they come back wanting to buy more Work Plans from me, and that's were the Air Mail Delivery gets expensive.
** About to add a photo or two in a separate thread, then everyone can see what I actually make.

Yours sincerely,
Roger
 

Grahamshed

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2012
Messages
3,066
Reaction score
0
Location
Oxfordish
One problem is that I cannot see any reason why someone could not just buy a plan and go into production selling them themselves, your business dries up then....... Except, I suppose, that they may take so long to make that they are would be unsellable at a decent price.
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
" Gunna make em in opposition to me. " Get plenty of, " Gunnadoits ", but that as far as they ever seem to get;- had one visitor here about two years ago,- Everything was, " too dear, " even my Work Plans, then he said to me, ( in front of my next door neighbour who was with me at the time), " I'm going back home to make heaps better toys than YOU can, and sell them for a fraction of these prices, even sell the toy plans heaps cheaper too,- you're are a rip-off !! "
His wife who was also here, then commented quietly, " But dear, you can't draw "
His reply, " Oh any silly person can do that. Besides I can use the computer to find stuff "
Her, " You don't have any tools. "
Him, " Tools ? - They are a Dollar a dozen,- I know they are !! "
Her, " You don't have a shed to work in "
Him, " Sheds are dirt cheap,- I'll buy one as soon as we get home. "
Her, " Where are going to put the shed ? "
Him, " In the backyard ,- why ? "
Her, " But dear there's no room,- there's the kid's play area, the big car shed with the boat, & landcruizer in it, the swimming pool, and my garden. "
Him, " I'll find somewhere to make stuff, then come back in six months with heaps of nice cheap toys, set up down the front,( beach-side ), and run this creep outa town !! "
That was two years ago,- haven't seen him yet. -Don't know why ??
Can't possibly work out," Why ??? " :D :D

roger
 

beech1948

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2004
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
21
Location
Crowthorne, Berkshire
toydesigner,

I think for your international customers you will need to move to digital distribution. For many good reasons but mainly because 1) you get paid first 2) its cheap 3) its fast 4) it can be secure.

In think you need to move to A4 paper print outs. Few (VERY FEW) people have an A3 size printer. Going from an A4 print out to an A3 printout by photocopier will introduce distortions to sizes and shapes that will cause problems.

Almost all A4 printers will print an oversize design to multiple A4 pages.

You could use the Adobe PDF format and make the print out secure to the customer.

Consider as well using diagramsdrawn in Google Sketchup as a means of distribution. This would introduce CNC based makers as part of your market and maybe give you a means to licence for mass production.

See http://www.woodgears.ca for an example of a person selling digital plans which are at least A3 in size and having solved the problem of registration between multi A4 pages in a single diagram. Maybe contact via email for advice. You both having a common problem.

Hope this is some help
Al!
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Al,

Thank you for the information !!!

With computer stuff I can do the basics, but for anything that looks complicated, me and computers just don't mix !!!
Even getting photos looking decent takes me ages, so simply hand them onto a good friend who is retired and enjoys, " editing photos, & things. "

I have attempted to learn the CAD system, plus Sketchup, but to no avail,- yet show me a tech drawing & several photos of a car, truck, crane, or whatever and can draw-up a rough sketch, go out to my workshop and make one, then come back into my home and draw up the Work Plan by hand on the dining table, then simply use my computer to type up the instructions, etc. Sometimes I simply work from the photos of the actual item, which I am doing at present with the Wooden Toy Plane I am designing which is based on a Cessna Commuter twin-engine plane, while most Woodworkers rely on CAD, or Sketchup, or something similar to do their designwork.
Maybe I am wired a bit different to everyone else, or something like that !!
Roger
 

beech1948

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2004
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
21
Location
Crowthorne, Berkshire
Toy designer,

I understand the bit about difficulty understanding various forms of computer programme. I have worked in IT for 40+ yrs and still had problems with CAD and Sketchup. I mastered Sketchup (its free) by just buying a book about it and looking at all of the training stuff on the web.....I'm now getting to be Ok if not better than average.

In many ways I find that woodworkers are pretty descent people and I'm not sure if you are worrying a bit too much about the security issues etc and of people "sharing" your designs. Simply place many words of copyright ownership all over the drawings at the appropriate place.

I have seen sites deliver a copy of a plan and allow the purchaser to print one copy and then cease to work but I do not know how that is done.

Digital distribution would allow you to market yourself in all kinds of places and ways that may be difficult for paper based material due to the lack of immediacy.

Good luck
Al
 

Shultzy

Established Member
Joined
10 Oct 2006
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
0
Location
Near Lichfield, Staffordshire
Sketchup is ideal for "flat" drawings at full size and they can be printed out at any size the customer requires as long as they are fully dimensioned. Plans don't need to be full size, just accurately dimensioned. I created all the cutting plans for my new kitchen in sketchup and only printed them out on A4 paper. I also make wooden toys and have never used a full size plan.
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Al, & next poster down, ( this is getting bad when I can't remember a name )

I can see what you are getting at. Also really appreciate your suggestions.
Yes, I do know the the vast majority of Woodworkers are good, decent and honest folk, although you always get the occasional, "Cowboy, " - but you get those kinda people anywhere.

With relatively basic plans, yes I agree with you they can be set up in a Digital form, for instant payment, and download, as there is only a few pages to deal with, but with my more complex Work Plans, which run into 10; 15; 20; 24 pages, & that's on A3 size, and as A4 is half the size of A3, that's two A4 pages to every A3, how many people would be prepared to print off an actual size work plan that has 20; 30; 40; 48 x A4 pages attached to it. ( The Mobile Crane is my best seller, yet has about 24 x A3 pages to the work plan, and that work plan in hard copy has gone to buyers in the USA; Canada; New Zealand; England; Ireland; France; Germany; The Netherlands, & various other countries in recent years. The Mobile Crane was designed by me back in 1983 )

Basic construction framing I find real easy in comparison, as I also make Dining Tables; Bedside cupboards; Desks; shelving units, etc., etc, the design of which the customer brings to me, on a single sheet of A4 paper with the dimensions on it, or, ( as in the case of an Adelaide client ), a Desk from the, Annawhite.com collection, which I am modifying to suit the client's use, & fitting location, and that work plan is also on two x A4 pages.

I have attempted to do half size work plans at various times, with actual size dimensions, but always seem to manage to get myself, " tied up in a knot," ( maybe it's me !! ), so give the idea away and go back to what I am good at,- drawing up the work plans actual size. Yes,- Numerous well-meaning people have attempted to assist me in this regard too, tell me, " How easy it is, " to do half size work plans,- yes for them it is, but unfortunately,- not for me. ( as forementioned,- maybe it's just me !!! ). Today I am in my workshop making a realistic wooden toy airplane using colour pics from a magazine, of a Cessna 414 Titian, 12 seat commuter twin engine, with three-blade props, which to me is easy to make,- but a mate who is a qualified Draftsman, looked at the magazine photos the other day, and at me in disbelief, when I said that to him, and walked out my front door still scratching his head !!!!!!!!

Roger
 

beech1948

Established Member
Joined
16 Aug 2004
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
21
Location
Crowthorne, Berkshire
Roger,

What you said proves that there are all kinds of people in the world. You have found that working out full size drawings works for you and that computer stuff is not quite what suits you.

So do you have a child or friend or colleague who could help you get to where you want to be.

Al
 

Shultzy

Established Member
Joined
10 Oct 2006
Messages
2,191
Reaction score
0
Location
Near Lichfield, Staffordshire
Roger, I can't see a problem. You can draw in sketchup at full size. The customer then decides what size printout they need. If the plans require a piece of ply 6" x 4" then you mark out and cut that size piece, you don't need a full size plan, you could print it out on a "fag-packet" size paper and the info is still a piece of ply 6" x 4".
 

Toydesigner

Established Member
Joined
25 Jul 2012
Messages
35
Reaction score
0
Location
Australia
Shultzy, If I get your information right, ( correct me IF I am wrong ), I can draw up any size plan using Sketchup, then print it off in whatever size I require. Like for instance, I have a project here for our local Military Museum that requires me to draw up a 1:15 scale of a Tank Carrier in wood, complete with a Mk5 Centurion Tank and coupled to a older model Kenworth W900 Tractor unit, ( I think that is what you call the prime-mover bit at the front ). Have already worked out the Kenworth W900 in 1:15 scale works out to 550mm in length x 175mm. wide. ( the Kenworth is similar to a conventional USA Peterbuilt, but heaftier in construction ), while the actual multi-axle tank carrier is about 900mm.in length x 190mm. wide, and you say I can design the actual size Work Plan, complete with all componants on Sketchup, which brings up some interesting questions, since you, and numerous other members of this forum know more about this than me,-
( 1 ) How do I get the actual size Tech Artwork onto my 16" Monitor without stuffing up with the dimensions, etc ?
( 2 ) How can I obtain an actual size print out on my standard A4 size printer without using heaps of ink, and copy paper ?

Roger
 

tekno.mage

Established Member
Joined
4 Apr 2008
Messages
1,308
Reaction score
1
Location
Beautiful Mid Wales
Another thought - how quickly would your customers expect to have their plans delivered? The reason I ask is that I used to sell quite a lot of stuff on ebay and you are quite right that airmail (to Australia from the UK) was really expensive, especially as I was selling quite a few books.

I found that buyers in Australia were quite happy for me to use ordinary parcel post, which was meant to go by sea and take 6 weeks to arrive, but was around a third of the cost of airmail. Sometimes these items arrived much sooner than the stated 6 weeks, and I always suspected that these ones actually went by air and were used to fill up a partially loaded plane! I have also bought things from Australia and had them shipped to me the same way to save money. I'd say about 2/3s of these items took around 6 weeks to arrive and the rest only a couple of weeks.

Perhaps you could offer two shipping rates, slow & cheap or faster, but expensive? Not all customers will demand fast delivery.
 

Jacob

Established Member
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
16,119
Reaction score
3
Location
Derbyshire
Toydesigner":ny3ajlv4 said:
....
( 1 ) How do I get the actual size Tech Artwork onto my 16" Monitor without stuffing up with the dimensions, etc ?
If it's full size and bigger than your screen you have to scroll down and across.
( 2 ) How can I obtain an actual size print out on my standard A4 size printer without using heaps of ink, and copy paper ?

Roger
It's called "tiling". When the printing is finished you join them all together, like tiles.

If you want a big print on one sheet there are various option such as taking it to a printer with a "plotter".
 

Latest posts

Top