nope, missed it, but I am more than wlling to admit I messed up. Sorry guys!
Hey, nobody's upset with you, we're just happy you can join us in being bewildered by "those guys" that just don't get it...whoever the heck they are!
I'll throw 2cents in.
As far as the Vendors go, my understanding is you have a fee (more than the hobbyist) and with it they get their own sub-forum and can sell how much they please and post photos and whatever else. If this is correct I really don't see any flaw here. You can't ever receive before giving. It's a matter of how much someone thinks the forum is worth in terms of marketing their product, but more importantly he or she themselves. Ultimately it is who and what you ARE that is going to make you money regardless of what you DO. Money is just a means, and any focused only on means will always struggle to have it. And that's a lesson they have to learn on their own. It's obvious to any wise man or woman that the products here are created by the Vendors who first and foremost care about who they ARE and what they DO is superior as a direct EFFECT of the aforementioned. LIKE attracts LIKE. So we naturally have people drawn here bringing demand for these products from these vendors. It's a scientific fact that if this level of superior/positive thinking from current vendors continues and grows that so too will the demand grow for their products which is only just an extension of them.
My point is, if someone is too ignorant to understand this or perhaps emotional thinking with strictly emotions instead of intellect and feeling, then it is their loss because the vendors fee is completely warranted if you grasp and have insight to my above statement. Do not feel wrong or ill as they will either come to their senses and come back or they will struggle through life wherever they may go until they learn this lesson.
Now as for the Hobbyists. $175 is a small fee, but I do find this one not as clear cut as many are just starting up their passion at this stage. I am not clear on the picture/posting situation. But how can someone grow without posting pictures of their work? How can they get their name and person out if they do not interact? Perhaps they are questioning if anyone even enjoys their work and are having a hard time envisioning being able to do it, thus they would question paying a fee if they are unsure themselves if anyone would want to buy. So here I would suggestion giving some leniency. Perhaps having a separate forum for "up & comers" photo's only. Perhaps allowing some pass-arounds as well so people can grow and come to a clear vision if they want to pursue this or not. And leave the "Hobbyist" forum as is or with a commission fee as mentioned. Perhaps let the Hobbyists or potential Hobbyist vote on that. I personally think the commission may be the more fair way to go ... as I can see the type of person that would want to sell 10 handles a year and sell one. Initially gun ho about the 175$ fee to sell handles on his/her down time and afford he/she to make them, only to be out and discouraged all together from making them. Where if they knew they only payed a commission they would be more inclined to do more. And the more they do, the more their confidence builds, the more they sell ... the more they sell the natural progression would be to become a vendor. I honestly haven't looked at all the forums and sub-forums so maybe you have something like this in play already with the photos.
I do know limiting photos of peoples work is a negative and not a positive because you are obstructing personal growth. You are obstructing the growth of the person questioning if their work is good enough ... and in turn you can be obstructing future growth of others who may see that work and be inspired to create such work themselves. Which is obstructing the growth of the community as a whole if you look for even a second at the effects. If someone is posting pictures asking for sales when they are not a vendor or have not payed commissions (if that were the hobbyists stipulations) then a moderator would contact them that their photo has been moved to the proper forum and their post edited and they should not offer their work for sale without the proper channels being followed first. And failure to follow these channels once again will result in a banning, which we as a community, not just staff, DO NOT WANT to see happen. That is a very fair way to do it and benefits the whole.
If someone wants to post pictures of work and PM people behind those pics trying to sell them or even entertain a PM from someone asking to buy, do you not think that they will reap what they sow? You do not stop people from stealing by locking your doors, putting signs up, setting up an alarm, threatening them ... none of these are correct ways to stop this. The correct way is to create an environment and community of thought that would not even entertain any such negativity. Because if people want to steal they are going to steal regardless of material/superficial attempts to stop it. But if everyone as a whole is firm in the ideal which is positive and against it, those people who would dare to question it certainly will weed themselves out quickly without haste and absolutely find themselves without friends of sound judgement and thought.
Food for thought I hope this applies to your inquiry because it is late and Son's spinning chair got me kinda dizzy, so I apologize if I got off base here!
There is one hobby seller signed up at least. I don't really get why more people have not signed up, but then I've got used to factoring in cost of sales. Even if your a hobby maker as a craftsman selling your work a couple of times a year at free events in town halls or whatever, that still costs much more in time, preparation, materials for your stall plus you have to sit there all day, doing two free events a year would cost you more than $175 in bits and bobs, fuel etc and you might only sell 2 items. . I really miss the buzz and shared ideas of hobby makers and would like to see it bursting with life. Maybe a percentage on sales with a cap on how many $ per month would be fairer though for those making smaller items or those worried they may only get time to finish one or two things.
Very nicely put Bryan, a very warm attitude.
I like the commission idea. There's a big difference in the hobbyist fee impact if you sell one item per year versus 12 items per year.
One thing I find annoying is that all of the posts regarding hobbyists seem to focus on sales, which mean a hobbyist is just viewed as a subgroup of vendors. It is assuming there is a profit motive in the sale. I'm going to bet most hobbyists are more interested in just recouping their material costs so they can start another project. Moreover, I would think that from a hobbyist's interest the greater desire is to be able to post WIP, have discussions, ask questions and interact with other hobbyists, pros and users to be able to improve their hobby. There may never be a sale. While that interaction has value, and I'm not saying it should be free, I have problems with the mentality hobby SALES make the current fee not so exorbitant. I think this attitude of recoupment is wrong.
I'm not a hobbyist or a vendor so I have no real dog in this fight but I think a smaller subscription fee + a commission on sales makes more sense for a hobbyist designation.
From a former hobbyist.
As Matt pointed out, to improve, one has to offer work for sale, as there is a different level of expectation (on oneself) when work is commissioned for pay. Given the failure rate at this point, one probably makes no money (or makes little), but this is an investment into skills and a learning experience and should be treated as such.
$180 fee is very reasonable and should be affordable. To put things in perspective, I was paying three times that on KF for hobbyist privilege and my output wasn't that different than of hobbyists' on KKF.
I think if people don't embrace the idea and the cost, it is more because of a principle (and possibly free-riding), than of reasoning, and no concession might change that.
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Thank you Will ... awesome work by the way my friend. Keep up your progress.
I think most of us (hobbyist and outside guys like AJ and I) feel just as the above is stated. When you have like minds creating a community we are all the same in make, the difference is one of degree. The goal is to grow the degree of thinking for the hobbyist and help them advance without worrying so much about compensation if you don't know how much they are going to produce. Make the fee small and simple enough to where it helps them grow. Again natural progression is if they start making big strides in selling their work is to become a vendor/full on knifemaker which we want to encourage. Some of my favorite new makers where hobbyists not too long ago.
I think AJ summed up very well the typical scenario and like I said you have a lot of younger (or older but young to the craft) hobbyist who like Kaleb do it for stress relief and fun and look only to break even to keep doing it. I think 175$ is not a huge fee for a year, yet it might be to someone doubting if they can even produce something in their spare time that someone else would value. We want to build people's confidence, not doubt.
Dave if it wasn't for you donating your time with me via emails I would be very clueless on sharpening and not understand waterstones what-so-ever to the extent I do. If not for the amazing visual work by the hobbyist and makers here and conversation about the products of thought produced here I surely would not be drawn back here. I certainly will make a handle and knife one day, but not to the extent of the full time makers here. But definitely have been inspired, and definitely plan on producing great things myself bringing great means for my end, and when those means come most certainly know who I would like to share them with.