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swatti

I wanna R&D some new stuff, how do i do that here? How to market without FB?

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Facebooks eternal crusade against freedom of speech and friggin toy guns has caused an exodus of small-time devs who are now returning to "where it all started" and to be honest, its good to be back...

So. For the last few years i've been 3D modeling and 3D printing LOTS of airsoft stuff. Recently i've taken "the next step" and created what can be considored as the very first serial-produced airsoft gun in/from Finland... Aaaand then i was purged from just about every airsoft group in FB :D

Anyways. I can leave Facebook as it is but i need a place to post my R&D topics for my current and future projects. I also want the community involved in these projects. 

Second is purely marketing. Facebook is kinda of a mysterious thing in all this. Some retailers have free reign on marketing what ever, where ever and however. Examples being Evike and from real steel H&K. How do they do it and not get censored?

Other than that, what other marketing channels are there for "low number production runs" ?

NwaFK5K.jpg

Theres a dozen of these bad boys in the first batch and they need a new home.

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I've been designing stuff for airsoft and nerf for a few years now, still havn't found a good way to market them. 



Also, Liberator shotgun, very nice.

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IDK but never explicitly stating that you're selling them at X price, those major online airsoft stores' FB page avoid the same for some reason, and they seem doing fine.
(except they're defined as commercial entities and required to pay quite a bit to reach people)

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Facebook (sadly) really is the primary way to advertise airsoft products now in my experience, followed by Instagram.

You do still have the option of news sites/pages such as the Arnies news page, Popular Airsoft etc however neither seem to get quite as much traffic as they used to, Popular Airsoft seems to fall down because they change the front page news/articals twice a day so for those of us who just check the front page and nothing else there is a very limited time frame for something new to be seen. Then there are the forums that are left still, but none have the numbers of users of the old days either now, that said they're still worth trying, just don't expect to shift loads of volume.

Other option is to find retailers that might be willing to stock them, but be prepared to offer a decent trade price (retailers have bills to pay, lots of them) and make sure the product is ready to ship within a short timeframe of the order being placed, again, if you find a potential stockist don't expect to shift much in the way of volume, my experience is retailers are buying smaller and smaller quantities of new products now to help their cash flow, in my own experience retailers are buying around 1/5 of the quantity of a new product now than they were 5 or 6 years ago, but if you're doing 3D printed parts that's probably not going to be too much of an issue.

 

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Considoring the time takes to print just one + assembly and testing, i most likely wont be working much with retailers. I might be able to offer some discount but mainly to "give one" for the showroom if a retailer were interested.

There are some youtubers interested in doing a review but same rules apply, small discount, maybe. 

News-sites seem to go thru every tacticool belt-clip, i'm not sure these are much of a material for those sites. Nor would they care much... I doubt any offer front-page time for free.

I wasnt planning on making a living off these guns in particular. Its more of a market-study. Long-term goal would be to fund me a new 3D printer able to some bigger things... And bigger things i very, VERY much have in mind. 

I come from a country that has deep history and beliefs on freedom of speech. If Facebook wants to limit that then i shall gladly stay out of it. 

Considoring how dangerous it is to speak about airsoft or guns in FB i've seen a bit of a rise in forum activity, local forums mostly. I did wake up my user-profiles on various sites. Airsoft-Sociaty seems to bugged or something, new users are not registered even when mail if varified. If someone has a user there, do post about it in the forums for me. 

Is there a "list" of large/active forums? Reddit to be honest just outright looks such a mess i'd rather skip that all together unless i can make it look like normal discussion board.

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Maybe have another look at Reddit.  You could have your own sub reddit and cross post the main airsoft community which is around 80K+ users right now.  Just posting pictures/details of your build might get some interest.  I'm not sure what the rules are on commercial posting but there are a few users that do it.  Plus side is Reddit will only censor if it something hits the media and shines a light on a particularly unsavory sub reddit that makes their investors uncomfortable but airsoft is pretty safe as it's widely accepted.

Edited by hitmanNo2

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1 hour ago, swatti said:

There are some youtubers interested in doing a review but same rules apply, small discount, maybe. 

News-sites seem to go thru every tacticool belt-clip, i'm not sure these are much of a material for those sites. Nor would they care much... I doubt any offer front-page time for free.

Arnies news page is free as is Popular Airsoft with some requirements for something to be added, the retailer/manufacturer links that are always there are paid for though, some sites may require payment but honestly I'd just ignore those because it's not 2005 anymore as far as airsoft news sites go.

I'm always wary of people who ask for sample products to review, in the past I've had some people simply never do the review, in my case thankfully small inexpensive products but now I simply don't provide free review samples to anyone, nor do I give free samples to retailers for the same reason, plenty of people on the blag trying to get some free stuff sadly.

If you want to sell anything you're probably going to have to just try a variety of news sites and social media sites. I never really used Facebook because tbh I don't really like it but more recently I am using it more for advertising and it does produce some results, it also doesn't cost me anything, If I can get sales from something I don't like then who's winning? ;) Admittedly it is a lot easier when you don't produce anything remotely gun looking.

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