Change to our digital product policy
9 years agoLisaMM @LisaMM
I like the 3 download attempts perhaps from an O&S account instead of email link and perhaps the 3 downloads expire after a couple of months. I buy the downloads all the time and do take the time to save and print on the same day. Like Liesl has said before you wouldn’t ask for printed patterns to be replaced. Hopefully that would stop the bad apples from ruining it for everyone else. Good luck with working it out.9 years agoforkandneedle @forkandneedle
Can I please mention that there are some people in the world (especially in rural areas) who still have dial-up internet connections and having a limit of three attempts is a real risk. I had a lot of trouble once downloading a magazine and nearly lost it because my connection was so slow I didn’t know what download I was up to. Luckily we are now on broadband (still slow – rural). I do back up all my precious files (sewing, farm accounts) on to a ‘cloud’ but have only been able to access that on a broadband connection. Anything faster is a dream!9 years agoJennifer1568 @Jennifer1568
I like the idea of logging on and finding files that are mine but you save them, like itunes. If you can’t do that, I like limited times to download, not limited time. I usually only down load once and save the file on a disk as well as on my computer. I try to back up my files. I also print out a hard copy and save that.
But accidents happen and giving the purchaser access to their pattern could be a convenience, incentive, and make it more comfortable to purchase a PDF. I just bought all the new patterns in paper and waited for them because I feel they are more permanent. I have had my computer crash several times and lost data. I think it is a common occurrence.
I feel like you guys at O+S are my friends. You know what I have bought and have seen my finished projects. I think you would be as distraught as I would be if I lost my patterns. It seems like it would be good customer service to help someone who lost their PDF’s. One of the things I love about your company is the relationship that I feel like I have with you. I actually feel like when I order something from you, you think, for example, “Oh, Jennifer is getting both the Pinwheel Dress and the Roller Skate pattern. I know she is going to love them. I can’t wait to see what she makes.”
Does it cost you anything other than time to replace lost PDF’s? To me it seems like when I buy one it is like paying for the rights to use the pattern because sending a pattern via email doesn’t really cost anything (except time to send it) does it? It is the idea that I am buying.
Maybe you could charge a service fee for looking up the purchase record and then sending the replacement PDF.9 years agobrenda1652 @brenda1652
I now only download patterns from sites where I can get them again, anytime, my fav is Pink Chalk Fabrics.. Having had my computer crash last year I learned the hard way. I don’t doubt there are dishonest people, everyone in retail deals with this, but as a consumer I look out for my needs first. The only patterns I will get here are paper patterns.9 years agobrenda1652 @brenda1652
and as another sewist mentioned, those of us with slow internet (rural, no other option) take a risk with trying to download anything. The download times are always a mystery and we have download limits as well.9 years ago
hmmm… so many valid points here. I purchase both digital and paper. When I get the link I immediately download and then save to dropbox.
For those of you who don’t know what dropbox is… it is an account, (free– although you can pay for more storage) that also has a file on your computer. Anytime you save anything to your drop box file, it gets saved to your drop box cloud account. So no matter what computer you are at, go to http://www.dropbox.com and log in and voila! There it is. If you change a document on your home computer, drop box automatically replaces the old one with the new one. Also if you use mobile devices, you can use the drop box app to view your pattern on say, an iPad.
That is what I do. It will help save your protect your files pretty well. Nothing is perfect though.
As to how long of a download period, 7 days is good. But to protect O & S, I would make the link require login which is buyer specific. This way, if I post the link on line and say… Hey world, here you go. I must include my id, which of course would make me stupid and insane, but it would also make it possible for you to track me and say… this was accessed x number of times by ip addresses all over the world, and here I am charging your credit card bill for that number of downloads. Disclose it in advance.
“This link is being provided for your sole use. Posting the link on line and allowing others to access it will result in your credit card being charged for the number of downloads in excess of what is in our sole discretion a reasonable number of attempts.”
I mean, you guys know the people in the forums who have internet problems who are having downloading problems are different from the 50 or so download attempts a day from all over the world. You also know that 5 or 6 attempts from the same IP address is likely authentic, but attempts from AU and US and EU in the same 7 day period is unlikely to be just the purchaser.
The more fundamental problem is just what are we buying when we buy a PDF?
When we buy the paper version, we are buying a license to use (but not copy or disseminate) O&S work. As some mentioned, if the paper is lost or stolen they would expect to replace it themselves.
When we buy a PDF, by being able to print it as many times as we need/want for personal use, we are kind of purchasing a bit of the copyright- literally the right to make copies (for our sole and personal use).
When we buy a PDF, many believe we are buying information, not a physical product, and therefore have the belief, rightly or wrongly, that we should always have access to information. Perhaps you need to re-educate your clientele about what they are buying. Not an unlimited license to access the information but a license to obtain the information within a certain window and use the information. Once the link is dead, then it is dead. That may seem unduly harsh and not customer service friendly, but yet, if it were paper, you wouldn’t be asked for a free set of patterns. What do they say, an educated consumer is the best customer?
Speed of business and technology= speed of light. Speed of law= speed of molasses in January as we say.
sorry.. I guess that wasn’t helpful.9 years ago
Yeah, I certainly can understand that it feels like you’re just buying an idea when you buy a PDF. You’re not, though. An idea is something in a designer’s mind. A PDF is many hours of labor by many people, all of whom have rent to pay. Like most work, a lot of it is invisible to people who don’t do that kind of work. Think of how many times people have suggested you should sell the clothes you make for your kids and you’ll make a bundle — people who don’t sew don’t realize how much work and expense is involved in sewing.
Customer databases don’t build themselves, IT guys don’t keep your data secure and backed up for free, server space isn’t free, emails don’t send themselves, employees need living wages. The idea of selling this labor as an additional service is an interesting one, but I wonder whether people know what the real costs are, and if they’d be willing to pay them — just like I wonder if my sweet friends who suggest I could get rich sewing clothes have any idea what I would expect to be paid for it to become an attractive proposition.9 years ago
Sarvi— exactly. We don’t know the true price of labor for what we purchase even when it is tangible, when it is intangible, like a PDF, or rather not concrete, but digital, we tend to understand even less.
That was the whole music debacle in the 90s before iTunes came along. Maybe that’s the model to emulate?
I mean, we pay a yearly fee for iTunes match. This matches all our prior purchased and our old fashioned disc purchases uploaded to the computer, with iTunes Match. If our computer dies and we lose our digital media entertainment, when we associate the computer with our iTunes account, it can download all of our songs etc. Maybe instead of a yearly fee, a one time charge/add on. The right to access your PDFs at any time so long as you are in business, again associated by an account requiring a log in. Its like pattern insurance. 🙂
The question is what is the price point to make it profitable for the company, palatable for the purchaser and practical for everyone?
Of course the cost of doing this may be prohibitive. But shooey, Todd, plenty of thoughts for you to mull as the business executive! 🙂9 years agoTodd GibsonKeymaster@todd
Thanks for all the good feedback everyone. It’s definitely given us some things to think about. Some ideas we could handle. Others are outside the scope of what we can accommodate. But if we do make any changes, they will definitely take into consideration all your feedback.9 years ago
A Ravelry for sewers is a dream! I always download more than once the patterns that I purchase, this is because I am afraid to lose them, so I download at home with my computer and I download at my work to file the pattern in a pendrive that I always have, and sometimes I download again to file the pattern in a disk… Well, this patterns cost money, they are not cheap if you compare with a book that brings 15-20 patterns. I am always afraid to loose the patterns, So I print them a lot, I make sure to have always an intact copy already print.
If I could have an online library (like ravelry does) where I could log in and have free access to all the patterns that I bought I would be very very happy.
I don’t agree with the fact if I lose the PDF’s because a computer malfuction I need to buy new ones, if is that way I will never buy a digital pattern from O+S again! I feel strongly about this question.
As I said this patterns cost money (and for our economy in Portugal they cost a lot, almost 4% of a minimum salary, that is huge) and the odds of losing a digital pattern are much bigger than damage a paper pattern.
If you check the digital patterns cost the same as the paper patterns and we are the ones how are paying for the printing, so I really think that we should be able to download again after we loose the patterns or +S should low the price for a digital pattern.9 years ago
I really LOVE O+S patterns, my babys wardrobe is full of O+S dresses, pants and shorts. I sew them for summer and for winter and I also LOVE this community that O+S has created, people who never sewed before (like me) and show their projects on flikr with proud of what they accomplished, and people who sewed for a long time and still can be surprised with what they can do…
I belive that O+S is not only a pattern sales site, I belive that this relationship with the costumers is very crucial for the O+S success, please don’t forget that.9 years ago
I wonder if, for the folks who’d have to pay for international shipping (which has just gone up, alas!) it might not be a good idea to print out the digital pattern with full size sheet and pop it into an envelope, and then trace from that. That way, you’d have a physical pattern — which it sounds like people feel more secure about being able to preserve intact — but hopefully your local printing costs would be cheaper than international postage. If your digital file is lost, no problem, you have your physical copy. As a plus, you’d have the big pattern sheet on really heavy, nice paper that you could fold or roll into a tube, as you prefer.9 years ago
That seems a good idea, that is why I always have a printed copy intact, if I loose the digital pattern at least I can always do photocopies of the one I have. The problem for me is that I don’t have a way to print the 36” wide sheet, the biggest sheet I could print is a A0 and that is not a 36” but I think a 34” wide sheet, this is because we use the metric sistem in Portugal.
For me printing in the A4 paper is OK, I don’t mind to cut and tape and I never had problems with the scale of the patterns, and I really prefer to cut and tape than to trace it. The digital patterns work perfectly for me.
After reading this post I installed the dropbox in my computer and I am very pleased with that, I saved immediately all my patterns in the dropbox and now I can access to them anywhere, thank you so much cybele727 for that suggestion!
After this I feel like the limit of downloads would be OK, but I think that we should have 3 times limit but with no time limit for this 3 attempts. Would this be OK?9 years ago
Dropbox is great, so glad it’s working for you!9 years ago
So glad drop box worked for you. It really is a great option to save stuff that you don’t want to lose.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Unless otherwise credited, all work on this blog is © Liesl + Co., Inc, 2008-2023. You are welcome to link to this blog, but please ask permission before using any text or images.