In the battle for personal 3D printer supremacy, the leading manufacturers seem to have chosen different approaches to sales. MakerBot, 3D Systems, PP3DP, BotMill and others
MakerBot, BotMill and many of the smaller participants tend to sell directly to clients from their websites. Perhaps this makes sense as these smaller companies don't yet have the reach and volume to warrant sales through a comprehensive network of resellers, although MakerBot does have one European reseller at this time, Robosavvy.
3D Systems normally sells their large-scale industrial printers through resellers, but for their personal BfB line of 3D printers they sell direct from their website as well - although the BfB can apparently still be purchased from reseller A1-Technologies.
PP3DP is interesting; this small Chinese manufacturer (Delta Micro Factory) sells not only on its website, but also via a small network of resellers, even though they have relatively small volumes like the others above. Perhaps it's difficult for a Chinese manufacturer to reach clients in the West directly? PP3DP currently has three resellers, based in Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.
As the market grows more competitive, we suspect we'll see some of the smaller manufacturers opt into reseller networks as well. It's a simple way for them to grow a sales force.
But really, our fantasy is to see a row of 3D printers on sale at Best Buy.