These questions are for people who sell their own PDF sewing patterns.
I've been selling my sewing patterns from my business web site for about 15 years. I started it mostly as a service, because such patterns were not available anywhere else. (I make ballroom dance costumes.)
These patterns were CAD files, so they couldn't be emailed or downloaded. Every time someone placed an order, I printed the pattern on my home printer on 8.5x11 sheets and mailed them to the buyer. I charged $45 plus shipping per pattern, and was very clear in my description that the customers would need to assemble the pages themselves.
During those 15 years, I sold an average of four or five patterns a week, and received only two complaints about the amount of work it took to assemble them. (Both complaints were from European customers). Mostly, I got lots of emails from customers who loved the patterns are were grateful that I made them available. Many of them sent me photos of dresses they made from the patterns, and some of them still correspond with me.
A few months ago, I retired from sewing, and opened an Etsy shop to sell my patterns. I converted them to PDF files so they could be emailed, and dropped the price to $30. I also linked to the Etsy shop from my old Web site.
I'm beginning to regret the move, because my pattern sales suddenly slowed way down, and I'm getting a lot more complaints from people who don't want to assemble the pages themselves. One person actually called it "hell." (Curiously, all of the complaints are from European buyers -- I don't know why.)
I thought I was making it easier for people by offering PDF patterns, but the complaints have me worried.
Incidentally, I called some print shops for prices on large-format printing, and the best price I've found so far is 35 cents per sf. for small production. That comes to about $20 per pattern. I could save some cash by mass-producing them, but would have to mortgage my house to cover the minimum order -- and I'm no longer confident that I would ever sell that many patterns.
So here are my questions:
Have any of you received similar complaints from buyers about having to assemble PDF pages? How do you deal with them?
Have you had better luck selling from a web site, as opposed to Etsy?
Have you tried printing your patterns in large format? Do you find that buyers are willing to pay the extra price?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.