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Author Topic: 3D Systems Corporation Acquires The3dStudio.com  (Read 7602 times)

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« on: May 09, 2011, 16:03 »
Great news! 3D Systems Corporation has acquired The3dStudio.com. You can read the full press release here: http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=2903

Matts blog post http://www.the3dstudio.com/blog_detail.aspx?id=2904 has additional info. If you have questions he didnt address, please let us know by commenting on Matts blog post or via the contact form on our site, or email us. As you can imagine, its a very busy time here in Mesa so we might not have time to check the forums for a while.

All the family members who owned and operated The3dStudio.com will continue to provide fast and personal customer service. Seller royalties remain the same (60% minimum) and our programs such as Member Loyalty, Buyer Rewards, Affiliate, and Exclusive Pricing are still in place.

We accepted the offer from 3D Systems because they are a successful company with amazing leadership and they have the resources to allow us to grow and expand. We have many ideas and dreams for The3dStudio.com and we are excited about being able to move forward with them much sooner now that we are part of 3D Systems.

[email protected]

« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 16:13 »
So much for all that talk of "family owned" a while back as some sort of guarantee against nasty things.

"Our core values havent changed and they never will and 3D Systems is one of those rare groups of people that have the same exact philosophy as us so its the perfect marriage. Keep in mind that we were a privately owned company and wouldnt have made this move if it wasnt the right thing to do. We chose to do this to improve and grow The3dStudio.com!"

Sounds like iStock & Getty ;) .

« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2011, 16:45 »

With the change in ownership; will you allow your contributors that have signed up as MLP member to change that status.  I am not interested in continuing my MLP status with the new ownership.

« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2011, 16:50 »

With the change in ownership; will you allow your contributors that have signed up as MLP member to change that status.  I am not interested in continuing my MLP status with the new ownership.

Do you have ITIN? Have you ever requested a payment? 3D Studio is the only agency following the taxes rules, all other agencies are wrong and stepping away of their obligations!

« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 17:15 »
If anyone has questions about their account please contact us via our site so a support ticket will be opened.

We were family owned and operated and we are still family operated. We were approached very recently by 3D Systems and none of us can quite believe how fast this happened. There never was any intent to deceive anyone. We (family members) are still operating The3dStudio.com and our values, intentions and the way we conduct ourselves (in business and in our personal lives) has not--and will not--change. We may have sold the business but we haven't "sold out". In fact, the resources of 3D Systems will allow us to expand the business including the stock side, faster than we planned. We hope this brings even more sales for all our sellers.

It's a shame some people seem to be looking for evil intentions or motivation so much of the time. When we first began selling stock in summer 2009, we took a lot of flack we somewhat expected it now but we aren't going to let it deter us.

As I think everyone here knows, our core business is 3D. That doesn't mean we aren't committed to our way of selling stock and our way of treating people. I guess time will tell.

« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 18:01 »
Now it sounds exactly like IS and Getty :) .  Money to expand, etc.  Bruce stuck around for a while too.  Will you be distributing some of the sales proceeds (how much, btw?) to the contributors of the site, without whom there'd be no site?


« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 18:38 »
I don't know the business well enough to have a creditable opinion, Lisa, but I do know that you shouldn't let Sean annoy you.  He takes every opportunity to dash any dream that isn't his.

Also wondering how much of the proceeds iStock shared with him from the Getty sale?   :o ;D

« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 19:00 »
Oh, I'm not annoyed by anyone here. But I have to chuckle, Warren, at your choice of words. My kids call me "the dream crusher" so maybe Sean and I have something in common.  :)

Obviously I am not going to share financial or other stats, but I will say we received an offer and accepted it and we are happy. And we are all very excited to be part of the 3D Systems family and to have their support going forward--and I am not talking monetary support but all the expertise, etc. that we have been lacking.

Since The3dStudio.com pays some of the highest royalties around (base 60%, no minimum payout, etc.) and we have introduced various programs to increase sellers' earnings, I would say we have always been pretty generous with our sellers and we have shared the wealth. And we have tried to always treat them with respect. From what Ive read about some stock photo agencies and from what I know of some of our 3D competitors, thats not always the case.

Sean, I don't think you can say that without sellers there would not be a site--without buyers there would be no need for sellers, and there would be no site!  :) We have always tried for a win-win-win situation. I chose my "Gold Guys" avatar specifically because I think it represents what we have been working to build: T3DS bringing buyer and seller together for mutual benefit.

We know many people are rooting for us to succeed because they like the royalty percentage we pay and they like how we do business and how we treat them. In turn, we are thrilled by every sale made by one of our members, even a $2 photo. Not because of the commission we will get, but because we do feel they are part of our family so we care about them.

Matt started The3dStudio in 1996 as a hobby site with free models and didn't intend for it to be a business at all. Eventually, in response to requests from others who were sharing models but wanted to sell, he started letting them offer priced models. Years later it grew to the point where he made it a full time business for himself and still later he brought the rest of us in.

When Matt began to treat T3DS as a business, he decided the top priority was offering superlative customer service. I personally think the way we do things and what the business has grown into are what drew the attention of 3D Systems. Two top priorities stated on the back of their business card are improve customers bottom line and ensure customers success. At T3DS, we certainly agree with those goals; we have always considered both our buyers and sellers to be customers.

You all know that we are still new to stock. I dont know the history of other agencies as well as you do. I guess if someone knows in detail what went on, especially if they have been affected negatively, there would be a natural tendency to be suspicious of all agencies including us. But since we have not followed the herd into subscriptions, cutting royalties, banning people from posting on forums or blogs, not communicating with them, etc., I am not sure why someone would think we would abandon our principles now. But of course no one can tell what the future will bring for anyone or anything, especially in todays world. So we will continue to do our best for all our buyers and sellers and eventually well all see what happens.

« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 20:59 »
I have had stock photos on 3d for close to two years. Never had a problem with them. All my dealings were straight forward and payments prompt. The only things that is lacking is sales. Hopefully those will improve in the future.

« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 21:52 »
^^ +1

Not quite as long, but the same experience. Top quality dealings from T3DS all around. Congrats on the sale and here's hoping that it benefits EVERYONE involved!

« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 22:35 »
Sorry, but I have a hard time believing any company would agree to purchase another company if they didn't have a say in the future direction of what they acquired.  People change, visions change...and the minute there is a divergence in opinions on the future direction of the business the guys with the most chips win...

« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 06:22 »
If anyone has questions about their account please contact us via our site so a support ticket will be opened.

I did contact support, got the answer I expected. No way to disable MLP even though ownership has changed; I even offered to forfeit earned royalties.  I feel this is unfair.  I signed up with a family but have now been sold to a larger group.  Who knows what this group may do; it could even be acquired by a large organization (IS, etc); I agree your "contract" (yes, I read it before I signed it) gives you the right to do as you please but I expected better from this family operation.

« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 13:24 »
visceralimages: Im sorry you are upset. You signed up with a business and its still the same business. Obviously, in life and in business, there are no absolute guaranties, but all the family members are still involved and still running the business. Not sure why someone would be so eager to bail out on day one when nothing has changed for buyers or sellers. I hope you will feel better as time goes on.

gwhitton: Yes, 3D Systems will likely have a say in what happens in the future at The3dStudio.com. But they wanted us because of who we are and what we do and they have told us to keep on doing what we do. We expect what they say will help us expand and grow and we expect that to benefit our sellers. The expertise they can offer us in marketing is something we are eager to explore--we look forward to hearing what they have to "say" to us in that area.  :)

shiyali and elvinstar: We appreciate your support. We have seen what we consider phenomenal growth on the stock side since we began in 2009 and we are working to continue to nurture that growth. Are sales as good as everyone would like to see them? No, but they are increasing every monthand this is what happened on the 3D side over the past 14+ years, so we have every confidence it will happen on the stock side.

« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 19:34 »
Lisa, I am not really upset as much as I am disappointed; I expected this to be operated more like a family business; major changes upstairs equals options for the guys at the bottom.  I consider this a major change; ownership by another is a pretty big deal and has not ended well for any stock agency.  I guess I should have given more thought to agreeing to a 5 year contract that offered nothing more than a promise for a bit more income; I did not read the fine print well enough to see that you could sell out and still hold us to a 5 yr deal; my bad.

« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2011, 07:01 »
Hopefully the 3D Systems Corporation will be able to sort out this ITIN problem that's stopping a lot of us uploading our portfolios.  I wish you luck, not every acquisition works out as bad as Getty and istock and I really don't think many people here would have such high principles if they were given the chance to make lots of money from a deal.

I will wait and see what happens and hope this is good news for contributors.

« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2011, 07:56 »
I've uploaded the majority of my port (stock) and have had nominal sales. I get paid every month. I don't get the insane rejections as sometimes with the bigger boys. 3D (so far) has not bent its contributors (or buyers) over a chair, insulted their intelligence, or acted in any way nefarious. The future may bring some of these changes, but for the present, any who have tolerated this treatment over the last year (IS) should not be bitttcchhhing about 3D's decision. I'm personally looking forward to an upstart site creating a little competition while paying me (us) fairly for my (our) work...AND have had 2 clients purchase from them, not much but a start.
Best of luck!

« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2012, 15:34 »
Hello everybody,

First of all I am not a microstock seller, but I have been selling 3D stock models for many years at The3Dstudio.com. Until two years ago things were going great but that is not the case anymore. Sales have dropped to a ridiculous level and Matt Anderson's attitude towards sellers has changed dramatically. Not only that but he even turned against his own family members who helped him run the company for so many years.
According to his sister (and former colleague) the site is being run by him and his mom.

I strongly advice to read this article before deciding if you want to work with T3DS or not:
newbielink:http://www.cgdigest.com/the-3d-studio-com-nightmare/ [nonactive]

« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2012, 16:02 »
I find it quite an overstatement (but it does get your attention) to call a flap over a sale that had to be cancelled because the product was not as described a "nightmare". Cancer, losing your job, death in the family--those or other serious things would be nightmares in my world.

Naturally there is a lot more to what really happened than what the disgruntled seller and an ungrateful former family member said, which I'm sure most people realize. Especially anyone who has been part of family business! Too bad Paul Harvey isn't around to tell "the rest of the story"! :)

At The3dStudio.com we do our best to provide personal customer service and answers to support tickets. But now and then the truth is just not what someone wants to hear.

« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2012, 16:37 »
Lisa, now that you're here: Any news about that ITIN stuff? It would be really great to get around that and just use a simple web form like any other stock agency does.
Shutterstock does not seem to have an issue with that, and with their plans of going public I am certain that all legal aspects (including tax issues) will have full scrutiny by all relevant authorities. So your statement from the past that all others are doing it the wrong way may be worth checking again.
Just to make clear why I am asking: Getting an ITIN means getting a notarized copy of my passport and that alone will cost more than I make on your site for a long time - it just doesn't make sense.

« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2012, 16:45 »

« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 17:00 »
We are not aware that the law has changed re the ITIN. Unless the tax laws have changed, we cannot disregard our attorney's advice despite what other companies do. We see things done on website that we know are not right and are not sure how they get away with it.

We understand your frustration--it's frustrating for us too!

I don't work with the tax forms, but if I recall correctly, the tax only applies to sales in the US. Not that I blame you for wanting to keep as much of your money as you can--I feel the same way. I absolutely hate the whole tax thing--it's way too complicated!!!  >:(

Please use the contact us form on our site for all support matters and questions--that's the best way to get help and it's the only way to ensure we are aware of your questions since we don't visit forums as often as we used to.

« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 17:44 »
Okay then, I want to remove all of my photos.  What's with the 5 year hold?  I am not an American, the rules changed from when I uploaded and I will not conform to these rules.  I only have 43 files and no sales since 2010 so I don't believe you will miss me.  How do I get my photos off your site? 

« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2012, 17:46 »
Well Lisa,

As I said in the article, the main point was NOT the fact that a sale (at least 2 in my case, from what I am aware of) is canceled.
Although I can not possibly agree with your reasoning for that return, the bigger issue is with the fact you simply deleted it without any notification.

Again IT IS MY PRODUCT THAT YOU ARE SELLING so I HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW whenever you take money from my account.

Isn't it funny how everybody (including your ex-colleagues/family members) begun to turn on you? This can't be because the site is doing so "well" could it?

By all means, if you have a different side of this story, please do share it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 17:54 by LordRaven »


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