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Tips for selling models

Ottomotto
polycounter lvl 2
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Ottomotto polycounter lvl 2
Any tips from people with experience in selling on various sites? I'm thinking of gathering up some assets from a few personal projects and putting them up somewhere (a couple swords and knives). 

Artstation, turbosquid, flipped normals, cg trader, sketchfab are the places I know. I suppose gumroad is good if you have an online presence but I cant say I do. 

I've got no idea what kind of sales to expect. Its hard to make sense of what the market is. One friend of a friend I know allegedly makes more off models than he does working at cgprojeckt, but I'm guessing his models work for kitbashing and cinematic work, and I think theres more market for assets that are for pre rendered projects over game ready assets. I cant think of why any serious studios would buy models off a marketplace, aside from perhaps prototyping. So I'm really curious about the numbers, if anyone's willing to share. 

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  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    I think you should focus on where the most potential sales are, namely Unreal marketplace and Unity asset store. I sell on the UE marketplace and it's been good so far, I wish I could have time to make more packs. I wouldn't bother with artstation, since mostly other artists frequent it (I think it's a better idea to sell brushes, materials or reference pictures there).

    Like you said, gumroad is good if you can advertise it, same for sketchfab I imagine. However on Unreal marketplace (at least) I don't have to do anything. After getting a pack approved there's a steady monthly payout coming. I can participate in sales and double the sales number, and I don't bother doing any other promotion. I can see how with 5+ packs you could cover rent, and if you take 6 months to do more varied packs you could cover a big portion of a normal job income.

    There's a lot of small time indie devs on the marketplace, I think they are the main group that buys these assets, as well as studios for prototyping (last gig they scoured the marketplace for anything useful for a vertical slice). Also sales depend on usefulness, from my experience, buildings or full enviro scenes sell the best. Vehicles or characters probably do very well too.
  • Ottomotto
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    Ottomotto polycounter lvl 2
    I've heard unreal marketplace has some strict requirement and an annoying approval process could you share anything on how that whole thing works? 
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher high dynamic range
    lots of studios buy products from the marketplace, only downside is there you cant create personal/indie/commercial licenses. My friend sells his landscape shader on gumroad and at least once a month one or two big studios will buy it for the over $1k commercial license price tag. so you can definitely make some good cash if you know how to market your work. the couple creators I know selling assets on various platforms are each making about 3-5k a month from their side hustle. I would imagine larger setups like dekogon and JRO make way more each month. 

    best way to go about it is to create content that shows your stuff in action, build an email list and or use paid advertising to build a massive audience over time. it takes time and persistence, and the returns in the beginning will be a lot lower than several years down the road where things will be exponentially more profitable. 
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    Ottomotto said:
    I've heard unreal marketplace has some strict requirement and an annoying approval process could you share anything on how that whole thing works? 

    They do have some requirements, mostly around providing enough content in the pack, as well as a technical check. I never get it right in the first try, but most issues can be fixed. I had two packs rejected because of lack of content. Usually minimum is 5 totally different models in a pack, or if it's something like a modular car or an airplane they would ask for complete functionality (and maybe more). If you're doing a full, assembled, enviro scene instead of an asset pack, I don't think you'd have this problem. Full scenes like an old mansion, subway, office space, etc (some of the most popular that also got sponsored as free monthly content).
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Unreal marketplace definitely gets us the most sales by a mile. CG Trader and Turbosquid are about even with each other. Artstation is about last, likely for the reason mentioned above.

    Research the market and see what niches you can fill. Don't go super specific or super generic. That being said, there are some generic themes that sell well like Military and Hospital assets. I attribute that to lots of people wanting to make fps games and more serious games companies (military, medical simulation etc) wanting to cut costs where possible. If you see a certain area is dominated already by a content creator.. i'd put your energy elsewhere. Unless you're sure you can top their work or deliver something they aren't.

    If you can get your timing right, you can also sort of preemptively make assets that will fill a demand after a new blockbuster game drops. Like, I'm sure cyberpunk themed asset sales will get a big bump once Cyberpunk 2077 drops (and they probably already did from the hype generated over the past couple years).

    Keep your descriptions cleanly organized and well written. Avoid big paragraphs when concise bullet points could work just as well. Dont go crazy with the renders, just a beauty shot or two, a couple different angles with wires. maybe a couple extra if there is certain functionality you want to highlight, like emissives, modularity or animatable parts.

    one MAJOR point, make sure your assets were made with commercial licenses. using a student or "other" license could either get your work rejected outright, lead to customer refunds or get you stuck with a massive fine if the software companies are alerted.
  • huffer
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    huffer interpolator
    one MAJOR point, make sure your assets were made with commercial licenses. using a student or "other" license could either get your work rejected outright, lead to customer refunds or get you stuck with a massive fine if the software companies are alerted.
    I've recently seen a seller with some models downright ripped from Call of Duty. Pack is still online. He also had a store on Unity, where, yeah, most of it looked stolen, like quickly put together from free or ripped models of varying quality. I also saw some old-looking train models that looked familiar. They looked familiar because WE worked over them doing a remaster for the actual studio that made them! Of course I reported what I could but everything is the same as of now.
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Yeah that is definitely a reality of it too! We even see our own packs repackaged and sold sometimes. It's funny when they go through all the trouble of making new presentation renders but the mesh normals are broken. All style, no substance  =)
  • Ottomotto
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    Ottomotto polycounter lvl 2
    Oh, yeah thanks for that tip, gotta remember to avoid all my student licences. I'm a little surprised unreal marketplace is so popular. 
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