This is excellent conversation with lots of great points already made.
I want to add in that some of the people coming here are already knifemakers who sell (some part time - some full time) and are crossing over to kitchen knives. They're looking to learn from the community as well as make sales. We have to also consider them in this as well.
This precisely my view.
Originally Posted by ajhuff
I like the commission idea. I had a handle for sale back when the forum was free, and it never sold. There is a chance that a hobbyist could pay the fee and never sell anything. So the pay as you play scheme sounds really good.
I think it is great that this is being discussed, especially in a more positive manner than in the past.
As a hobbyist I am fine paying a fee for the year or a flat fee per sale or a percentage per sale or whatever when I am actually selling a knife.
My issue is that members who are not actively selling something are still required to pay before posting pics, info, wips ect. If a hobbyist is allowed to post pics, ect, and they receive positive feedback they are going to be more likely to then want to sell something here and shouldn’t mind paying for that privilege. Mandating that someone pay first is putting the cart before the horse and I believe has and will continue to have a negative impact on the community here in two ways. First, members are missing out on some interesting content that could be posted. Second, I feel it is off putting and kind of irritating for the hobbyist or potential hobbyist to feel we are being censored. In my opinion censoring kitchen knife related content on a kitchen knife forum is silly.
I have said it before but I think bladeforums has it right. Anyone is free to post whatever they want for content in the makers/ custom forums. If you want to post something for sale, there is a different sub forum for that and you have to pay for that privilege.
Promotion and Sales, although related, are very different things. The current rules do not take that into account.
I think the ideal thing would be able to choose between a commission and an annual flat fee for the hobbiest. This would allow people to choose commission until they have material sales that makes them switch to the (then) lower flat rate. If someone only sells a few a year, a commission would be fine, and allow them to fully participate in everything that was mentioned above.
There are a couple of problems that come with this, setting the commision and policing the activities of others. For a commission, both a flat fee and a commission have weaknesses in that they type and amount of sales are widely varied. If someone sold a bargin basement item for 1/10th the price of a higher end one, how do you set a price per item. And if someone uses higher end materials, is a % commission fair to the purchaser?
As for policing, if everyone obeyed by an honor system, the world would be a wonderful place. There will be a lot of grey area, misunderstandings, and upset people. A lot of people hate the legal and tax systems due to their complexity, but unfortunately there is a need since there will always be those in search of loopholes (my personal feelings is that both systems are a lot more screwed up than that would account for, however).
also, its totally possible for people to post a ton of WIPs and whatnot, and never sell an item on the board... that would make the commission thing a bit tricky.
Do all hobbyists sell their work? JM has a good point about needing to pony up before posting any WIP pics. That would seem like a big deterant. But are there any hobbyists that purely build for the love of the hobby? $175 is a lot of money just to post pictures.
I dont see that as an issue. If they are posting a ton of wip's they are contributing to the content of the board, that is enough. If it leads to some private sales, so be it. If they want to actually sell stuff on the board, they should have to pay.
Originally Posted by JBroida
This is the only knife related board that I know of that would not let me post a pic of a knife I made or a work in progress thread.
You're saying that if I like something you've done, I can contact you and ask you to make it and you owe nothing to the forum. On the other hand, you wouldn't get that sale if you handn't been on the forum and so you do owe the forum a commission. The real question is, "How does the forum get a piece of that pie without sucking?"
Originally Posted by JMJones
Originally Posted by tk59
I see your point but that is exactly how it works on every other knife related forum that I have viewed on a regular basis. I think that the harder the forum tries to" get a piece of that pie", ie the more rules, fees, censorship, ect the higher the potential for "sucking".
Taking your comment to the next level, if you then show your coworker the knife I made for you and he orders one do I now owe you a commission or even the forum another commission because ultimately the forum introduced you to my work? Eventually a line has to be drawn as to when the forum gets a piece of the pie, I personally think it is when someone is actually selling something on the forum, not just showing/discussing pics, wips ect.
Also as to my quote in a previous post "Promotion and Sales, although related, are very different things. The current rules do not take that into account” If I am posting interesting or informational wips, pics, ect, i am obviously promoting my work/ gaining exposure even if it is already sold or not for sale. However I am also adding value to the forum as a whole by providing something that members may enjoy viewing/ learning about and hopefully making it a more interesting place for more people to congregate. I see that as more of a symbiotic relationship with the forum than something I should have to pay for.