Pro Accounts

What is the pro accounts? How are they different from regular accounts and how do you get them?

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It seems to me that folks who contribute to Instructables should be recognized and maybe get a discount. Maybe have two tiers of accounts, general membership and contributors.
I've suggested content-rebates before. That is something off your next subscription for good content (Featured I suppose)

There is also the idea of paying a nominal fee to download the PDF files for an instructable. Maybe $.50 per or something. I think it would be a good idea if they set up a shop where we could offer goods and services related to the instructables. The commissions on that might come in handy.
There is a shop of sorts. But there are overheads associated with retail, unless you're shifting large volumes it's not profitable.

Do it E-Bay style. This is where people who want to make things get together with people who know how to make them and, setting aside the odd poorly mannered 14 year old, generally have some change to spend.
How would you get the commission you mentioned from that system? L
Same way E-Bay does via account management at the auction site. Clicking the buy it button and confirming the purchase creates a debit in the owners account which is settled monthly. And I don't see anything objectionable in a trivial listing fee, especially if listings were bundled with Pro accounts similar to patches. There are a number of available open source auction packages. Select one with a fixed price feature and replace some of your advertising with direct revenue generating Maker stuff.
OK, I understand it. But that's not what the site is about. It's not something that you can set up and run passively, it would cost in terms of admin, at the least in getting enough people to use it. L
Let me give you a really good example. In several of my projects I use old fashioned carbon paper. Its actually much harder to come by than one might think. I found some on Ebay very reasonably priced in a package of 10. When I put in my feedback I could see feedback ratings from other purchasers. What was interesting is that over the last year this vendor has made about $1K US selling exclusively, as far as I can tell, off the shelf carbon paper broken out into packages of 10 which she promptly mails out in a manilla envelope. My PVC based MFC is perfect for classroom use and could be profitably produced by me for quite reasonably. There will be gazillions of 'Throwies', Joule Thief apparati plus about selling steampunk to the Goths....
Certainly, but running an auction site is separate to what the site is about. The two wouldn't go together, or the site would become something else. Which is why they won't do it. L
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