[Lab] Introducing TugBits.com - a marketplace for makers.

Tom Burns tom.i.burns at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 14:38:38 EDT 2011

Hi Darcy, thank you for your response!

On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM, Darcy Whyte <darcy at siteware.com> wrote:

> The site looks nice.
> 25%? You might find that wanting 1/4 of sale amounts will provide
> significant friction to adoption (for buyers and sellers).

I understand and agree.  Once we are running for awhile we will have some
knowledge of our costs and plan on scaling our cut accordingly.  We'd rather
claim 25% up front and bring it lower in the future than vice-versa and be
accused of bait & switch.  Out of interest, considering the service offered,
what would you consider to be a fair percentage?

> It doesn't have any measures for authenticity (ebay has reviews, web pages
> have in-degree). How can buyers and sellers have as much confidence as they
> have with ebay without those measures?
The state of the site right now is "minimal viable product", so a lot of
features are missing but planned.  Buyers will be able to rate items, and a
seller's rating will be a weighted average of their item's ratings.  As of
right now a logged-in user can comment on an item which gives a simple means
to provide feedback, but a lot more is planned.

> If a person were to list a product for sale on their own Web site, why
> would your Web site sell more? Especially given that having a Web site is
> either free or next to nothing and you keep all the revenue.

We offer a few benefits compared to doing it yourself:
- We are actively marketing this website.  Our success is derived from your
success, so we are trying hard to drive customers to our site, to buy your
- Marketplace visibility.  You will gain exposure by having your items
listed alongside other similar items.
- Simplicity.  You want to spend your time designing and building things,
not writing PayPal integration code.
- Security.  Items purchased with our service are only downloadable by the
buyer.  The payload content is stored on Amazon's S3 servers and without a
generated download key, access is denied.

> I clicked through to the "Domain Name Finder" product at your site.
> What you've done there is avoided putting the name of the product in the
> Title Metatag. You put your own buyline there instead. You also didn't put
> product name or information in the H1 tag. In fact you have a blank H1 tag.
> With that situation, it reduces the chance that someone can google the
> product successfully.

Thanks!  That is completely a bug.  I've added it to our immediate TODO
list.  We need to fix our SEO, I completely agree.  You should see a fix for
this in the next 48 hours.

> So what would be the reason someone would list on your site rather than
> just make a simple site of their own?

The list I provided above enumerates what I see as our advantages.  It's a
good question!


> Darcy
> On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 1:25 PM, Tom Burns <tom.i.burns at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'd like to introduce the community to a website I've been working on with
>> a few friends.  I would love to hear your feedback on the idea and the site,
>> http://www.tugbits.com .
>> Our dream goal is to help people quit their desk jobs and pay their bills
>> doing what they love, making things.
>> TugBits.com is a digital marketplace for makers.  You upload your design
>> files, list them for sale, and collect money via PayPal when your item
>> sells.  Likewise, you can use the site to find quality, reviewed designs
>> suitable for printing on your 3d printer, milling on your CNC, running on
>> your Arduino, etc.  Also suitable would be e-books, schematics, source code
>> libraries and tools, etc.  Only after the PayPal transaction is the buyer
>> able to download the files.  There are no physical items sold on the TugBits
>> store, only files.
>> Our goal is to help talented makers easily profit from their hard work.
>>  We do not want to replace the existing "free/open source" model, but we
>> want to augment it. We think that if you can get paid for your work it will
>> compel you to go the extra step and make it that much better.  Market driven
>> innovation.
>> Registering and listing items is free.  We charge 25% of your gross
>> revenue and bill monthly.  Depending on our costs and community feedback
>> this number is probably going to change, but it's similar to the costs
>> associated with putting an app on an app store or a musician listing with
>> iTunes.
>> Currently you can register on the site and list items for sale, which is
>> what I would love for any of you interested to do.  We are in the final
>> stages of getting PayPal to sign off on the site, at which point sellers
>> will be able to collect money and items will be able to be sold.
>> Please visit the site and let me know what you think!  Even if you hate
>> it, please reply to tell me why.
>> Thank you,
>> Tom Burns
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Lab at artengine.ca
>> http://artengine.ca/mailman/listinfo/lab
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