Just got notice that repeat customers will start to factor into rating. Overall this is a good thing, as a repeat customer is a very strong indication of the level of service provided by the hub.

But the simple fact is - 3DHubs’ 12.5% commission is a non-trivial hit to the profitability of the hub. Add to that, some jobs are so small & simple a quick email and cash deal is often smoother.

I always ensure that the first deal completes with 3DHubs - it’s only fair, after all 3DHubs connected me with the customer.

After that, it often splits. Some come back via the site, others ask to come direct.

Maybe, to help encourage repeat business through the site, why not reduce the commission for repeat customers. Customer’s are part of the solution, they should be rewarded for good behaviour too.

How’s this schedule:

First time customer: 12.5% 3DHub commission

Repeat customer, but to a different hub: 9.25%

Repeat customer to same hub: 6.25%

If you advertise that repeat customers will get a discount, that will help support us in driving business through the hub. Win-win-win.

Or put another way - a bird in hand is worth more than 2 in the bush.


Hmm, I’m a little uncertain about the whole idea of repeat customers affecting ranking. Yes, getting repeated orders from the same customer presumably means that customer is satisfied with your service, so that should be a positive sign. But not getting repeat customers isn’t necessarily a negative sign, it may simply mean that all the customers you’ve had only wanted one thing printed, or that you were physically incapable of making their other prints (size, printing type, offline at the time, etc.).

As for the commission issue, I like the idea; it encourages good service and will help to retain orders going through Hubs. Personally, I don’t like dealing directly with customers, so that side isn’t an issue, but I can understand why others might move outside for repeat orders.


Hi Alex,

reducing our fee for returning customers is something we are considering. We’re still assessing different variations (first time fee vs. returning) to make sure it won’t hurt our business in the long run.

Going forwards having higher retention will mean more orders for your Hub. While taking customers of the platform might save you a bit in the short term, it is going to affect the full potential of your business on 3D Hubs.

Adam, 3D Hubs

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Hi Jack,

this is something we thought about quite a lot when we decided to include retention in the Hub ranking. The solution we implemented ensures that a couple of non-returning customers will not hurt your rating. Our in-house data scientist designed a system where only statistically significant results are considered.

Adam, 3D Hubs

Thanks Adam, I thought you’d do something smart :slight_smile: “Data scientist” eh? Sounds like fun…

I thought the same thing when I read the notice. A fair portion (majority) of my customers are what I would consider as one-offs, they are only going to print one thing and done. Then there are those that are Hub hopping and taking advantage of the quote system, I’ve seen more of those than I care to see. And really only a few of what I would call ‘regulars’ to any degree, whether they come back to my hub or another. I am curious and a bit concerned how that data is going to be quantified and from what I am looking at my end it appears that would hurt me more than help me.

I do agree with the discount for repeat customers, there has to be some kind of incentive built in somewhere, yet those numbers may not be entirely sustainable for 3D Hubs core business model, but I think the concept is good. The key to remember is that a good chunk of that 12.5% (which is NOT 12.5%, why do we have to keep saying that, it is more…) goes toward VAT in a country we don’t live or reside in, and we will never get that paid VAT back, nor (for me at least) can it be deducted as a tax in my country without some very creative accounting. More PITA than it’s worth at this point, but if the goal is to build the business on 3D Hubs rather than off, then that SHOULD be taken into consideration because eventually that [more like 15%] fee is going to become substantial enough to become an issue.

I know 3D Hubs does not make these decisions lightly, but again I’m concerned that this may work more against us than for us. The fees are something that still needs to be seriously considered, not only as to how it affects the hubs but 3D Hubs longevity too.

Additionally, there are still things that are broken/not working from the last iteration of changes. Perhaps focus should be on fixing what is not working first before adding more functions that may not work as intended.

Hi Booze,

I looked at your retention data and you have what we consider a regular retention, therefore the update won’t affect your position in search results.

I’m sorry that some parts of the website are not working for you. Can you shoot me an email (adam@3dhubs.com) with more details? I will make sure we fix it.

Adam, 3D Hubs

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Good to know that Adam. I’ve reported it before but I’ll send you another email in just a minute.

Thanks for looking into that for me. I appreciate it.