Friday, April 27, 2018

It's been eleven years, here's my best advice:

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Eleven years ago today I received my first embroidery machine, and that turned out to be a life changing day! I have learned so much over the last 11 years, and from the beginning have done my best to share what I have learned with the embroidery community. 
Today I have one very important piece of advice to share:
DOWNLOAD YOUR PURCHASED DESIGNS WHEN YOU BUY THEM. THEN BACK THEM UP. 
This is YOUR responsibility, no one else's.

Yes, you may be ordering late at night on your phone before a coupon code expires, or ordering from work on your lunch break, so I understand the need to wait until you are sitting at the correct computer before you download. But do it ASAP. Here's why... life happens! Not just to you, but the people on the other side of the computer. 

In my time doing custom embroidery I have known digitizers who:
-had websites with download links that expire in a short time, and that setting was out of their control.
-as their business grew their original cheap shopping cart could no longer handle the increase in business and had to upgrade to something completely different, but previous customer records could not be imported over, so everyone started with a clean slate.
-had websites that completely crashed and they lost all customer records.
-had their entire home burn up in flames, including all aspects of their business.
-suffered from horrible illness or family tragedy
-passed away 

Those are all examples of unfortunate circumstances that could make it impossible for you to return to their site and download design files. But what about the possibility of exciting circumstances...
-a digitizer that has a new baby and wants to be an exclusively stay at home parent?
-a digitizer that has a new/different job opportunity open up?
-a digitizer that is ready to retire?

Aren't digitizers like the rest of us? Can't they change jobs, too? 
If a digitizer is no longer producing new designs and dedicating time to promoting themselves, it is generally not cost effective to continue maintaining a website. Sure, it's convenient for us if they do (we can always return to the site to download files or use their site as a search engine). But if sales don't exceed the costs of monthly hosting and bandwidth charges... there's no point in keeping the site open. No one should be expected to go into debt for OUR convenience.

Let's say you decide to close your custom embroidery business. But you have several customers that haven't picked up their products and you have to pay for a storage unit to keep those items until they do. Are you going to keep paying for the storage unit month after month waiting for them to come around when they should have picked it up right away in the first place?? No, of course not! That's absurd, right? 

Soooooooo.... can we take a little bit of personal responsibility and acknowledge that when we buy a design from a digitizer, even if they do allow you to return to your order history to download, that is a perk, not a guarantee? When you buy a design, you are not also receiving indefinite cloud storage from the digitizer. Get your design, back it up, and go actually stitch it out! :)

If I may be so bold to add one last thing that might help the digitizers who ARE still in business STAY in business -- buy the designs yourself. Follow the terms of use. Do NOT share files with anyone. 
And maybe, just maybe, consider happily paying full price for a design once in a while. ;) 

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