Time to sell?


#1

So, I’ve had my Glowforge Pro a couple months now, and it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from “wow, this is amazing” to “umm… really?”. After two bad batches of proofgrade materials, and new 45% price raise on the maple plywood, I’m starting to think the dream is dead and it’s time to cut my losses and find a different “side hustle” than laser cut goodies.

So my question is this - what’s the best place to list the Glowforge for sale? How should I price my Pro unit? Is there some website where I transfer the ownership after the sale? What should I do about the still backordered (preordered?) air filter for it?

Any advice is appreciated!


#2

Ownership transfer is accomplished via email to support@glowforge. They will also be the definitive source of info about how your pending filter may be handled.


#3

Why limit yourself to Proofgrade if you’re trying to make money?

It’s just like trying to sell anything else you make. Make a product you can sell for the price you require with the material you want to use. Or, find an alternative material that you can make your product with.


#4

Yes, couldn’t agree more. Before my GF, I learned to use an Epilog and made and sold many items using little more than acrylic and Baltic birch plywood.


#5

Do note that with the price increase to maple plywood, we found beech plywood to replace it (at the same price). Have you let support know about your Proofgrade printing problems?


#6

You mean basswood ply, not beech, right? I don’t see beech.


#7

You’re absolutely correct.

It was always a trade-off between time and materials cost. Sure, I could spend the extra time nailing the settings for whatever cheap wood I found, but a lot of the allure of the GF was the time-savings of using the more expensive proofgrade materials. Maybe this was a bad assumption on my part, but since I never planned to have the GF be a major income stream, I felt the trade-off worth while.

That leads me to where I am now - I don’t have a side business with the GF, and I don’t think it’s worth the effort to create one. The proofgrade material issues and price increase aren’t the only reason for my sell out, only the proverbial “straw that broke the camels back” that made me realize that it’s probably time to just move on.

My issue is figuring out how - I’m sure there’s someone out there that could take my GF Pro and make awesome things with it. I just need to know how/where to find them, and to figure out what a fair price is (there’s no Kelly Blue Book for laser cutters…)


#8

Thank you for the information about the new ‘entry level’ plywood. I did miss that when browsing the shop.

And yes, I had let support know about the issues, and they were awesome as always, apologizing and giving the shop credit. Of course, I waited too long to reorder (I try to order at least $100 at a time to get the free shipping) and now my $44 credit will only cover 2 3/4 sheets of maple, rather than all 4, but that’s just how it goes.

For you and those following this thread, I’ll upload the images I sent support from the last batch. It was by far the most frustrating issue I’ve had (the first PG issue I had was with a crack running through the maple veneer).

The first problem with the order was that all four of the maple sheets were warped. I tried to ‘sandwich’ them in my stack of PG materials, but it didn’t make much of a difference (the picture below was taken after leaving them sandwiched for a day). Fortunately, only one of my projects for that weekend required a ‘full sheet’ print. I had some maple PG from a previous order for that, and I was about to layout the smaller cuts in a way that minimized the warp from the new boards.

Second issue was the bubbling in the masking paper. It led to nasty gummy residue on the finished products that I had to scrape off by hand. I try pressing out the bubbles by hand and rolling them out with a roller, but they would pop back up by the time the print run was done.

I should also note that surprisingly, the walnut and draft board also in the order were fine. No warps on them and no bubbles either. Whatever happened was specific to the maple.


#9

being in canada I almost never use anything proofgrade; and for anything acrylic I generally just use proofgrade settings anyways. My other materials come from a laser supplier and after getting my settings once I almost never change them (actually, if they stop working quite right I know it’s time to clean the lens)

Really the thing that makes the glowforge hard to profit with is the super slow engraving more than anything else. I did an order of 110 engraved acrylic circles and it took 9 hours (HD engrave settings, SD gave bad results with the swirly script). I made very little per hour on that one. But that is a compromise we made based on costs so it’s expected; If I need more throughput at some point I’ll buy a more expensive laser.


#10

I agree on the slow engraving time. Sometimes though I liked the “fire and forget” nature of setting up a run and then finding something else to do for a couple hours. Biggest problem I found is that occasionally when I laid out a full 12x20 sheet to run, the GF would take 5-10 minutes to process it and then come back with a “design too complicated” error. Fixable, but always annoying :slight_smile:


#11

Oops, yes.