In my travels through the internets today I noticed several mass media sites were offering several 3D printer models at big discount prices.
You’ve probably seen this type of sale: a big site with plenty of traffic is offering a 20% deal off on a bluetooth speaker, or perhaps a 80% discount off a lifetime subscription to a cloud storage service. This type of post doesn’t bother me, as it is one of the few ways publications can create some revenue to survive.
Online Discount Sales
These sales are often done through a third party that provides “store services” to the publication, who has somehow contracted to buy large numbers of a product at a discount, which is then reflected back to the end-buyer.
Usually I ignore these products as I can honestly say I have no need for them. But today I noticed one site touting a 3D printer at a huge discount. That’s interesting, but then I saw a different site offering more than one 3D printer at huge discounts.
What’s going on here?
Discounted 3D Printers
The 3D printer models in question were:
The Sparkmaker, an inexpensive resin-DLP style 3D printer. This was a Kickstarter machine that successfully raised over US$500K last year. It’s being offered for US$299 in more than one online instead of its MSRP of US$396 (25% discount).
The ToyBox, a small PLA-only 3D printer designed for children’s use, notable for an app interface that should be familiar to kids everywhere. This device is being sold for US$315 instead of the MSRP of US$469 (33% discount).
The Robox RBX1, a professional-level 3D printer produced by the highly reputable CEL-Robox company. The MSRP on this highly rated device is US$1,499 and the sale price is a very low US$450 (695 discount).
Why Discount 3D Printers?
We’re not a publication that usually points readers towards specific sales, but I find this coincidence quite interesting. Why, exactly, are these devices suddenly on sale?
The third-party online store operator must have somehow obtained a large quantity of these machines at a steep discount if they are able to offer them at such discount prices. Perhaps they obtained them from resellers who were unable to sell them, but on the other hand, it may be the product manufacturers themselves who wanted to sell them.
This could mean that these machines were challenging to sell to the public, and selling them in bulk to a third party seller is an easy way to dispose of unsalable inventory.
It could also mean the vendors involved might be clearing out inventory in advance of new models coming out soon.
Or it could mean that the manufacturer felt it possible to make money by selling many machines at a lower profit level to the online store. However, I can’t imagine that is the case with the expensive Robox machine being offered at such a huge discount.
Or it may be a combination of these possibilities.
I suspect all of the above is simply a reflection of the tremendous choice in 3D printers today. Devices are more powerful than ever, include many features previously considered “advanced” and are available at rock-bottom prices of only a few hundred US$. It’s incredibly difficult for any 3D printer company to sell product unless they have some unique advantage.
Unfortunately, many 3D printer manufacturers do not.