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Retiring Digital Product - Your thoughts on this process?


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#1 doglover

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 06:25 PM

With people on the Pixels & Co. thread questioning what the saturation point is for the number of digital stores, it got me to wondering.

 

Digital product is routinely retired.  I get this on a certain level because people are always looking for new kits, and at some point there would be just too many kits on a site.

 

But on the other hand, a lot of hard work went into those kits, and I'm sure there are some people that would still be interested in them.  ( I would love to be able to buy some Julie Billingsley kits.)

 

What are your thoughts about the way digital kits are retired?  Do you think they are retired too quickly or too slowly?  Do you wish there were kits that would be brought back?

 

Because of the terms of use for digital kits, there is no second-hand market where you can buy older kits.  Do you think that there would be a way to amend the terms of use to allow for second-hand use, and have it be fair to the designer/shop?



#2 bestcee

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:58 PM

With people on the Pixels & Co. thread questioning what the saturation point is for the number of digital stores, it got me to wondering.

 

Digital product is routinely retired.  I get this on a certain level because people are always looking for new kits, and at some point there would be just too many kits on a site.

 

But on the other hand, a lot of hard work went into those kits, and I'm sure there are some people that would still be interested in them.  ( I would love to be able to buy some Julie Billingsley kits.)

 

What are your thoughts about the way digital kits are retired?  Do you think they are retired too quickly or too slowly?  Do you wish there were kits that would be brought back?

 

Because of the terms of use for digital kits, there is no second-hand market where you can buy older kits.  Do you think that there would be a way to amend the terms of use to allow for second-hand use, and have it be fair to the designer/shop?

 

I look at retired kits from the perspective of: If I wasn't willing to buy it when it was available, why do I need it now? Is it the fact that it's not available and therefore almost exclusive? Or is there some other reason? I did have the experience of working with the boy scouts recently, and went looking for some fun kits. I found one I really loved, but it was retired. However, that pushed me to look farther and I discovered a new to me designer, and a kit that worked just fine. So, I guess I'm saying I don't worry about retired kits or designers right now. If a designer never retired, I would probably never stumble upon new designers.

 

There are always new kits coming out weekly, so I've learned to let go of older kits. Plus, it's nice to have the newer trendier colors or elements available. And I've found a few designers at the beginning of designing, and I'm amazed at how far they've come! I like knowing that some of my first pages online died at Two Peas, never to be seen again. I'm sure there's a little of that in designing. And I'm sure that overall, the decision to retire a kit is also based on whether it's selling or not.

 

A second hand market would not work. When you look at second hand markets, you are buying what's left of the life of an item. Today, I bought 3 Leapfrog fridge letter boxes. I took the risk that they may or may not work. I took the risk that they may only have a year left in them. I also bought paper on ebay once. I took the risk that it may be faded, and the corners might be bent, and knew it was older styles. But if I were to 'buy' an older digital kit there is no risk involved really. The whole kit is there, it hasn't faded, the pixels haven't distorted, there's no difference for the second 'owner' as to the first 'owner'. I use buy, and owner in quotes, because most digitally items are not actually yours to own, but yours to use. Plus, there's no way for a designer to prevent me from 'selling' the kit I have to 4 or 6 different people and still using it myself. After all, it's a digital file. There's nothing that deletes it from my computer except my honesty. And considering all the no piracy files included in kits, I'm sure that's a pretty big problem.

 

 

~~I'm sorry to word it so strongly :) I'm not being mean, promise!~~


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#3 doglover

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 07:39 AM

I don't think you're being mean :)  I enjoy a lively discussion!

 

Look at the flip side though -- I buy a kit.  When I see it up close, I decide I don't care for it, or won't ever use it.  Now there is absolutely no value left in it because I can't resell it. 

 

I real life, this doesn't concern me overly much.  I figure there are a certain percentage of kits that I buy that I won't like on closer inspection.  I just add that into the cost of using digital product.  I do wish designers would give more complete views of the papers though.


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#4 wendyzine

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:09 PM

In my opinion, digi designers retire product much too quickly. I have tons of kits I've bookmarked over the years that disappear before I get to scrapping those stories and they are gone. But, I don't have the budget to buy everything I love, so I wait until I need it before purchasing. I do understand that sometimes designers want to retire products that are out of style or were created when they were still growing their skills, but I am one who is sad to see some beautiful things retire just because they are older or just to introduce something new and shiny and create demand for it.

 

As for resale, because you are actually purchasing a license to use a digital product, and not the files themselves, they cannot be resold. That is part of the reason prices for digi kits are so low comparatively.

 

Scrapbookgraphics did recently introduce The Archive Attic where designers can permanently lower prices on older kits and still sell them instead of just retiring them as they may have done in the past. I think it's a good option for access to older products at a great price, while still allowing the deisgner the ability to say, "these are older, and maybe out of style, or not as good as my current work" and still let customers enjoy them.

 

Feeling a bit all over the place, and not sure I'm making sense today. :)


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#5 bestcee

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 12:36 PM

I don't think you're being mean :)  I enjoy a lively discussion!

 

Look at the flip side though -- I buy a kit.  When I see it up close, I decide I don't care for it, or won't ever use it.  Now there is absolutely no value left in it because I can't resell it. 

 

I real life, this doesn't concern me overly much.  I figure there are a certain percentage of kits that I buy that I won't like on closer inspection.  I just add that into the cost of using digital product.  I do wish designers would give more complete views of the papers though.

 

I use CT pages for this typically. If I like the kit, but I'm in the debate mode, I'll pull up any Creative Team layouts and see if it tips me over the edge. Your flip side is actually why I stopped the Digi Files. There were too many kits that I was just deleting. I understand that aspect of it, and I think it's made me a more careful shopper. There are a few kits that I wishlist, and wait to see other pages made by other scrappers using the kit. Sure, I don't get the first release discount, but I'm okay paying more for a kit I'll use, than wasting a sale price on a kit I'm not really going to use. And the stores I shop at have pretty good previews of the kits.

 

In my opinion, digi designers retire product much too quickly. I have tons of kits I've bookmarked over the years that disappear before I get to scrapping those stories and they are gone. But, I don't have the budget to buy everything I love, so I wait until I need it before purchasing. I do understand that sometimes designers want to retire products that are out of style or were created when they were still growing their skills, but I am one who is sad to see some beautiful things retire just because they are older or just to introduce something new and shiny and create demand for it.

 

As for resale, because you are actually purchasing a license to use a digital product, and not the files themselves, they cannot be resold. That is part of the reason prices for digi kits are so low comparatively.

 

Scrapbookgraphics did recently introduce The Archive Attic where designers can permanently lower prices on older kits and still sell them instead of just retiring them as they may have done in the past. I think it's a good option for access to older products at a great price, while still allowing the deisgner the ability to say, "these are older, and maybe out of style, or not as good as my current work" and still let customers enjoy them.

 

Feeling a bit all over the place, and not sure I'm making sense today. :)

 

You make sense. :)

 

Do you think product is retired more quickly because of the quicker cycle of release? Paper products aren't released as quickly, and seem to have at least a month or two where they are still 'hot'. But with digi, we have new product every week. And there's the 'forever' aspect of it. If I buy two Christmas kits I like, I really don't have to buy any more unless I want to. But every year there will be a bunch of Christmas kits released. When I was a paper scrapper though, I needed at least a few new papers every year since the last ones had been consumed.

 

How do you think The Archive Attic affects designers? Do people use it like a clearance bin? Or an intro to a designer? And how long can that space be maintained before it becomes too expensive? Won't things eventually be retired from there as designers 'retire' kits to the Archive Attic? (Sorry for all the questions. It's a newer idea, and I wondered your thoughts). Web space is web space and costs money. When Pixel Scrapper started, everything was free on a credit system. But, they moved to a subscription model because downloads cost money, and so does webspace.

 

Oh, and I don't have an unlimited scrappy budget. I have a pretty tiny one, and it dictates my shopping habits. So, I totally understand a kit being retired before you can buy it.


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#6 LeeAndra

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 03:18 AM

Disclaimer: I am not a designer, so this is just my educated guess and observations as a long-time (February 2003) digital scrapper.

 

I definitely think there is 'too much' digital product on the market in that there are too many designers who release so much product that prices, generally speaking, within the industry are lower than they should be in order for designers to make enough income to support themselves/their families/make more than minimum wage. Prices have increased in the last several years, but kits/collections have also expanded as well. However, if a designer were to dramatically increase the prices on any of her kits by more than a dollar or so, she would price herself out of the market altogether as customers would buy similar product at a lower price from other designers. While I see digital scrapbooking customers as some of the most loyal in the crafting community (in part because the digital community is individuals who we get to know on a personal level via their blogs, layouts, etc.), I also think many customers would not spend $15 on a very well done birthday kit by a well-known designer when they could spend $10 on a good birthday kit by an up-and-coming designer, KWIM?

 

With that said, I think regularly retiring product is a good way for a designer to generate some income off a previously released and no longer being purchased frequently item in her shop. I don't know for sure since I am not a designer, but I believe that most designers make the bulk of the income they are going to make from a product during its first week of release (with the exception of very specific sports, hobby, etc. kits). This is why most designers have a creative team to whom they release their product ahead of time in exchange for sample layouts to use in their store listing and posted around Digi Land with direct links (even though I think CTs have lost a bit of their effectiveness with the advent of social media and scrappers moving from site message boards to Facebook groups). Once that initial week has passed (and the sale/discount many designers offer if you purchase something the first week it's released), I believe purchases drop off fairly quickly especially after the season passes when that kit would be current e.g. after December 25th for Christmas kits. When that season comes around again, I would think you would have some new purchases for a particular kit, especially if it were for something specific within a season like an Elf on the Shelf collection, but after the second season passes, I would think there would be too much new, but similar, product to get many more purchases out of that kit.

 

Retiring that product, however, may generate some 'last' income off that product as customers who were previously on the fence or had wishlisted something may finally take the plunge and buy something knowing that it will no longer be available to buy in the future (and with a good enough discount on the item).

 

There is no good way to receive any use or resale from a kit you have purchased since you have not actually purchased the kit but a license to use it. To me, it is similar to Netflix, Hulu+, and other subscription services I belong to. There are many movies and shows that I have no interest in viewing on those sites, but I pay to use the service because there are more offerings that I am interested in consuming than not. I don't own that media, either, but pay to use it in the same way that I pay to use digital kits.


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#7 wendyzine

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 06:18 PM

How do you think The Archive Attic affects designers? Do people use it like a clearance bin? Or an intro to a designer? And how long can that space be maintained before it becomes too expensive? Won't things eventually be retired from there as designers 'retire' kits to the Archive Attic? (Sorry for all the questions. It's a newer idea, and I wondered your thoughts). Web space is web space and costs money. When Pixel Scrapper started, everything was free on a credit system. But, they moved to a subscription model because downloads cost money, and so does webspace.
 

 

Web space is so cheap these days, it has not been an issue at all.


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#8 ladywing

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 10:14 AM

I understand why they retire products. I also like what a few sites are doing with the retired product where they offer it at higher price point. They are not likely storing it on their server (where it's using storage space) but still offering it to someone who just has to have it. I'm the same in that I sometimes find something I like but know I won't use it right now and have other things I need to get. In my budget, there is only so much right now that I can get.


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#9 mshanhun

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 04:37 AM

I agree that the new release rate it RIDICULOUS :) in Digi. I love all the new stuff but I get too overwhelmed by shopping so I stick to my fave designers and the digi files.

 

I think if you redid the previews and relaunched an older kit they would sell just as well as new one. Sure trends come and go, but there's just so much digi stuff out there it just seems like the designers are always creating the next new thing and not making money off their back catalogue.

 

Would love to hear some other designers thoughts on this :D


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#10 Tiff

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:08 PM

I have always liked how The Lilypad has the Half off sale on Wednesdays for older products. I'm guessing it must generate income because they've been doing it for several years, and I'm seeing other stores starting to do it too. It was actually how I started shopping at The Lilypad. It seems like a shame to retire products when a lot of time and effort went into making them. I'm guessing they will still generate income - but you have to invest in marketing them.



#11 bestcee

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:17 PM

I have always liked how The Lilypad has the Half off sale on Wednesdays for older products. I'm guessing it must generate income because they've been doing it for several years, and I'm seeing other stores starting to do it too. It was actually how I started shopping at The Lilypad. It seems like a shame to retire products when a lot of time and effort went into making them. I'm guessing they will still generate income - but you have to invest in marketing them.

I think they still retire products too though?



#12 Tiff

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 08:42 AM

Yes, I think they have a yearly retirement sale. But it seems they tend to keep product longer before retireing it, and they promote older products thoughout the year. I even remember at the last retirement sale they said they allow retired products to count toward their challenges.


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#13 bestcee

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Posted 01 February 2015 - 09:37 AM

I think a lot of stores have moved to the retired products allowed in challenges, except for certain special events - like Month of Challenges at the Lilypad or Scrapper Bowl at Scrap Orchard.






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