There is some work involved to turn a dingbat or box pattern into a clean cuttable (or laserable) SVG file, but not $5 per.
We used to sell our patterns for a couple of bucks, and only because Paypal hit you with a pretty hefty seller fee. Those kinds of things are worth a buck or so, only for the re-design work involved, and the time you spend on it.
But like you said, some of those are freely available elsewhere. If folks want to spend the time to clean them up themselves, they can save a couple bucks. (We found that most folks would rather spend the two bucks than the time. It’s why Silhouette was so successful. Their pricing was just right.)
Of course the designers got practically nothing.