Brokering & You

ClintH · December 9, 2002 3:49 pm

Renderosity is happy to bring you a monthly column from Donnie (aka Silver) that focuses on Marketing in the 3D Market. The is the premier article. I'm going to launch this series of Marketing articles with the good and bad points of brokering. You may be wondering how to get your products or ideas to the 3d market. The good news is you don't have to do it alone. Brokering is a great avenue for anyone wanting to get started in the exciting world of 3d products. In fact, I think it's the BEST choice if you're starting out, especially on your own. It allows you to test the waters without spending a fortune in start-up costs. You get a feel for the market, and can learn from your mistakes (or others' mistakes) rather inexpensively. Brokering is simply using someone else's site to sell your products. They handle the credit card orders, the billing, the product delivery, and any issues related to the order process. The brokering site keeps a part of the sale, usually 20%-50% in exchange. You don't (or shouldn't) pay anything unless you make a sale. Compare this to starting up your own store - even without a traditional merchant account, you have other fees - domain name, hosting, a setup fee for a Clickbank, Digibuy, or similar payment processing service, and several other items. With brokering, all you need is your product, promotional materials, and a marketing plan (which I talk about more in my book, Marketing for Merchants). Most 3d accessories and add-ons today are easily downloadable, adding to the cost savings. Brokering also frees you from the hassles of product delivery. I personally prefer a system that runs on autopilot - a customer makes a purchase, then they download it, and you don't know about it until you receive the email notifications. This allows you to concentrate on developing more products and marketing your business than in dealing with the chores of packing, shipping, or digitally delivering a product - it's time-consuming, and anything you can do save time is great. It also allows you to keep all customer communication and follow-up/thank you notes for one convenient time each week. With Renderosity, this process is very smooth. You have at your fingertips a list of all customers who purchased from your store, along with a link to email them. You can choose to Instant Message your buyer, or send a mass email to all previous customers (great for when you have a sale!!). However, this system should not be used to spam - only send relevant messages to your customers (for some tips on emailing customers, see my web site). How to decide who to broker with? This is usually the hard part. Brokers each have their own terms, strengths, and weaknesses. In my opinion, there is no one be-all-end-all solution. Some brokers will not let you sell at another's site. Some require a contract for a certain length of time. A good broker does not charge you upfront - if they ask for a "setup" fee, run, run away. Brokers charge different percentages, but one thing to keep in mind is what you get out of the deal - a broker may take 10%, but if they don't do any promotion, or live up to their part of the bargain, you may have been better off going with the broker charging 35%. My advice: look around, get all the data, and ask questions before making a decision. I prefer Renderosity for my brokering. The process works well for me, and doesn't cost me anything. I upload the products, do some promotion tests, find out what works. If it doesn't fly, I can delete the product after 30 days. And I didn't spend a bunch of money to launch a new product that failed. And if I have a product that's a hit, then Renderosity takes their % and sends me a check each month. Not a bad deal at all, if you ask me! Where brokering really pays off is if you have a product that generates sales every month, and you don't spend a lot of time on it. My very first product with Renderosity, Scifi City Backgrounds, still sells even after nearly 15 months in the Marketplace. I don't even really do that much promotion on it now, and yet it generates income for me every month. Even with brokering, you must learn and implement some basic marketing strategies. You can't expect any broker to do all the work. That's just not realistic. My basic criteria is this: A good broker should give you more market reach than you can gain on your own. If the broker meets that qualification, then I'll look more closely at their services. With a good broker, you can easily launch your Poser or other 3d product business. Start small, and grow. Having someone to help you handle two of the biggest challenges - the market reach and the site implementation - is like having your very own angel investor. Your broker is your business partner. The want you to succeed to. So look into brokering as an alternative to setting up your own full-blown web site. You may still want to launch your own site at some point, but brokering can save you time and money. And we all like that. :) Happy Marketing! --Donnie Next time - the 10-Minute, 10-Step Marketing Plan! PoserMerchant.com The Marketing Resource for the Poser Community Free Articles, Ebooks, and Marketing Strategies

Article Comments


GHAMLET ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 12 December 2002

This was an excellent article. I can't wait for the second installment! Good read.

dannyj ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 12 December 2002

Insightful, this has given me info that I hadn't thought about befor. I'm looking forword to the next column.

Paula Sanders ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 12 December 2002

Welcome to the "frontpage columns." While I don't create 3D articles to sell, I found your article very interesting and I certainly learnt a lot.

Shademaster ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 13 December 2002

Excellent article, very usefull. You answered a lot of questions that have been going thorugh my mind for a long time. Thanks.

WorldbuilderMedia ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 16 December 2002

Thanks everyone! Just hoping to share what I've learned the hard way so that other folks can take the shortcuts!