Selling 3D models isn’t as easy as slapping some vertices together and uploading it somewhere. There are tips and tricks one must consider to get the upper hand against the competition. We have compiled a helpful list of guidelines that will help you sell the 3D fruit of your labour no matter where you go.
Let us start with the type of model - this advice is useful both for those who haven’t modeled yet, and those looking for a new target. Some types of models sell better than others. According to the data from 3D model market CGtrader, the best selling category encompases humans and characters. It just so happens that people want to see people in their ads, movies and videogames. However, the best sales-to-revenue ratio belongs to to car models. Vehicles and architectural exteriors also have good ratios. Be wary, though: architectural interior and furniture models are both have extremely competitive markets, which negatively impact their ratios.So know what you model!
However, if we compare the numbers sold to number of models on sale, there seems to be a great deficit of space themed models. Animal and food categories follow. Obviously, these three are all low competition fields!
You should also know the value of your work. Data shows that science/medical field models are actually underpriced - at least when you compare the asking and selling prices. This means that people will pay top dollar for quality models of DNA strands and beakers. On the other hand, character and human models are hilariously overpriced, while car, aircraft and watercraft are only slightly so. Bear that in mind when you set your price, and you might just get a leg up on the competition.
Then you have to decide on the type of model you will make. Research shows that low-poly models (fit for videogames and such) sell two times (2.1 times, to be exact) better than high-poly monstrosities from the CG genre. 3D-printing-ready models take the middle ground between them.
Now, here’s where you show hard work. It seems that modelers with bigger portfolios sell more. As in those who have 100-150 models under their belt pull in 1.7 times more sales that those who display 1-50 models. Maybe the additional models make buyers feel safer about the quality of your work. Maybe it’s just maximising sales through having more stuff out there that potential buyers can stumble upon.
You should also consider formats. Models presented in 5 formats (and thus compatible with a wider variety of software) sell 3.1 times better than those only available in 1 format.
However, one must not rely on a simple “quantity over quality” approach, no way! In fact, expensive, high quality models sell a lot better than the cheap fare. It reaches the point where models priced 100-200 USD sell twice as good as those priced below 100 USD. It makes sense: expensive models are quality models, and all developers want their product to look good. That’s where you come in with your top-of-the-line stuff.
It’s also a great opportunity to offer some of you hard work for free. “Pardon me?” you gasp in disbelief, clutching your shiny new models to your chest. No, I’m not pulling one on you - people with free models in their catalogue get 60% more sales than those who don’t. Clients like to be safe and assured, and free models let them test your work before committing their money.
The next-to-last step towards maximizing your sales is probably the easiest: preview pictures. Like we stated before, the buyers want to know that they’re getting. Only giving them five pictures to look at is the absolute minimum effort you can do. However, if you have 5 to 10 pictures, your sales jump three to four time. Or you can go all in, put 20+ preview images in and rake in 7.7 times the sales that people with 1 images had. Think about it! Additional images cost you nothing, but they can earn you a lot of money.
You should also invest some time into the model description. People love unique, detailed titles as well as long descriptions. How long? Well, those with a 1000 symbol description get about twice the amount of traffic as those with only paltry 50 symbols. Google searches love them more, too!
So there you have it. If you model the right stuff (and in high quality), you just need to price it right and provide ample reference images. Maybe create a free model on the side, too. Then you’ll be ready to make riches and CGTrader will be more than happy to help you with that.