Author Topic: Free design with very little fees  (Read 1888 times)

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Free design with very little fees
« on: July 21, 2015, 01:32:25 AM »
Hello guys,
I had an idea, don't know if great or no... let's try.. I have time for design stuff but not for production so I offer to design stuff what you want for free with just a very little fee for every product sold. (or in a way we both like) You will get a full list of every piece needed, paper patterns and instructions. I'm working for do patterns also in cad format but at the moment i'm not good.
thanks for the attention
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Re: Free design with very little fees
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 02:24:45 PM »
Never work for free. Period.

It hurts you and everyone else on this forum that makes a living designing and building kit.

I think what you are describing is a licensing for paid royalties. Until you are more experienced and established, I highly recommend you stick to getting paid for your services and owning all intellectual property until the balance of what is owed to you is paid by your client. Licensing agreements for royalties take lawyers, cost you $$ upfront and are not simple to do.

Here are some great articles and videos to watch if you are first starting out and need guidance:

Mike Monteiro: Fuck You, Pay Me:
His book is great too:

One of the best books on the market for what we do, you can buy from amazon:

Articles about charging for your work and samples:

« Last Edit: July 21, 2015, 02:26:36 PM by Alex »


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Re: Free design with very little fees
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 08:27:20 PM »
I would suggest setting an hourly rate and then provide estimates based off of that number.
Last Summer my "gear dealer and friend" asked me if I was interested in designing a new product that he had envisioned, instead of payment he was willing to let me earn a royalty when this thing took off. I thanked him for the offer and suggested that he just pay me an hourly rate for prototype work, so when it does take off he can enjoy the full benefits of the product.
I made two batches of ten for him and he payed what we agreed upon, he has sold most of them in his store but he is still waiting for them to "take off".
It was over $2,000 worth of work and I'm glad I got payed while he still had visions of the next BIG thing.
Food for thought.


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Re: Free design with very little fees
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 09:15:20 PM »
That Mike Monteiro video was really good.  When I saw how long it was, I didn't think I was going to watch the whole thing, but I did.

I'm kind of in a situation a retailer where I agreed a long time ago to design a custom product for them.  It was when I was just starting out, and really pumped that any retailer would want to carry my gear.

The gear I decided to design was a sling. I met with one of the store owners and showed him my stuff.  He wanted to have a sling that I made, but wanted some modifications. He had me work with one of the other employees to do this.  They were great people, but I don't think they knew exactly what they wanted.  I ended up making a bunch of prototypes, ordering two rolls of webbing, ordering almost $500 worth of midwest industries QD swivels (which I am actually glad I did, because it got me a dealer account with them right before they stopped accepting new applications), and some other stuff.  Right as we were about to do the first order, one of the partners filed suit against another partner, and the store was closed.  I wasn't really mad, we both worked in good faith, and because of what we did, I have learned some stuff, and have some good materials which I have used to make money.

The store is back open now, and the one dude has full ownership.   First order should be on their shelves in a few weeks.

What I would do differently:

1.  Demonstrated more confidence in my product.  I should have said "this is the sling you want" instead of "these are some slings I make, and I can custom design one for you"
2.  Established a standard and deadlines for prototypes and revisions.  For this particular one in hindsight, I probably would have offered to make the first prototype for free, and then asked to be compensated at materials cost for future prototypes.  I may have also asked to just be compensated in store credit, as they carried a lot of good rifle parts.  The dude actually asked me to bring a prototype back in to sell to a client who was looking for just what I made and he paid me for it.  Because they were getting them for free, I found myself making a lot of "happy to glad" changes.
3.  When I made the initial pitch, I showed him a chest rig, mag pouches, belts, slings, and some other stuff.  I should have picked one, and gone in there with a good pitch, and maybe had a back up item or two.

I'm glad for the relationship I have with this business, and I think it will turn out to be a good one.  I think that if I had done points 1, 2, and 3 it would have worked out better for both me and the client.

And this is getting a little bit off subject so I will end it here.

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