I think those who can design and sell patterns are great. I often think I'd like to give it a try, love the math and all... but do I have the talent for design.. hmmm. Anyway back to my original question. For the most part Pattern designing is low risk:
- Most patterns sell between $8-12. Why some are $12, I'm not sure, but they better be giving you a lot. LOL. Anyway, you figure you design it once, you have the initial fabric cost, time, re-dos, etc. (aka front research/start-up cost).
- You need to write it up and package it. Which by the way, I think there are designers that really do a great job there and then others, not so much. Both in photos and directons.
- Then you determine how much you want invest to sell the pattersn. Tradionally, your efforts will pay off in volume sold. You could start off with local shops - just printing a few, marketing them on Etsy (which is where I believe the downloading originate) - produce a PDF, or try and sell it to a pattern company or start your own pattern company. The later two probably have you making more samples, getting a booth at market plus having more than one pattern to market....
So, again depending on the volume and such something that cost you $1-3 dollars to produce after the initial investment, you could see wholesale for $4-6 and/or see to the consumer for $8-12.... Decent profit, but you have to have that "wow".
Anyway, so a few years ago, we started seeing the "mom and pops" of pattern designers sell you their patterns online from their personal website. Often charging a lower fee and no postage if you "download" it. Which I can understand and appreciate. They are starting out, and this gives them a way to get a foot in the door without the overhead.
However, now we are starting to see the more "mainstream" (for a lack of a better word) pattern designers and quilt shops selling them online for the same price as the printed patterns. So, I have mixed thoughts. I guess it is still a good deal. One, I guess I like the fact that I don't have to wait for it to be shipped and that I don't have to pay shipping but do I "value"the pattern the same. I've always thought of "downloading" patterns as free. I collect them like fabric, since they don't cost anything, but rarely have used a free pattern. I could probably count on one hand how many times I've made something with a free pattern.
So, if you had the option, do you pay $9 for a printed pattern or $8 for a PDF.
Me, for now, I want the printed pattern.
What about you.