Getting into the business of selling 3D printed products requires you to face some liabilities issues. Tom and Tracy Hazzard share their own experience of dealing with the issues themselves after launching their designs into the Amazon Printed Product Store. They give pointers and things to think over before deciding to go this route. Think through the insurance protection solutions there are and find how technology helps, or not, in this episode.
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Are There Liabilities Selling 3D Print Products?
Our question is great. It’s a practical one for people looking at getting into business of selling 3D printed products.
The distinction here is it says, “Are there liabilities selling 3D print products?” It’s not files. We want to be clear here. This is 3D print products. If you’re having a product printed out on your own and selling them over Etsy or Amazon or any of those kinds of places, you have to think about this.
This would be true if the entire product is 3D printed or even just a portion of it is 3D printed.
We launched our products on Amazon in their 3D printed product store. We had to think about this because typically we only sell designs and somebody else makes it so they’re liable for it. We always put in our contracts indemnification so it doesn’t transfer to us. Because we are the direct seller of that 3D printed item, we are now liable.
It’s somewhat common sense. If you’re making a product and you’re putting it out there, if that product somehow harms somebody, you have some liability and exposure there. Depending on what kind of product it is and how many of them you have, you may need some liability insurance or general product liability for a company to protect yourself.
It’s not terribly expensive for a product liability insurance. Other types of insurance can be more expensive. Product liability is not that difficult to get. It’s not that difficult to find either. Any commercial insurance agent should be able to help you with that and you’re the manufacturer.
That’s a distinction. It’s easier to get it if you’re the manufacturer and you’re manufacturing in the US. It’s a lot more complicated if you’re manufacturing something overseas and importing it. That’s a whole other level. You don’t need to worry about that 3D printing here.
We’ve done it. Everyone should think about it that way. It’s a different way of doing business. There are a lot of Etsy shops out there who sell product and they don’t have any liability insurance on what they do. How many people are going to be harmed or could potentially be harmed from your product. That’s something you have to think about based on what it is. That also makes a difference.
We want to be clear here. We’re not providing specific advice or legal advice by any means. Some people might think, “I’m not going to sell that many. I’m not going to worry about it.” You’d be surprised how many people would sue you if they’re harmed by your product. It may seem ridiculous to you, but believe me. We’ve been in business doing product development for many years and it happens.
Think about it this way. If you’re making a 3D printed cell phone case, if that case scratches and damages that phone, somebody is going to get a little annoyed and possibly pissed enough to sue you.
That would be a small claim. The phone is worth maybe $500, $600 at most to replace. Still, that’s a big price tag for you to have to deal with for a file or a product you’re selling for $5, $10, $20.
It’s worth the money. You should definitely consider it. That’s a good question. It shows you’re thinking about how many items you’re going to sell. It shows that you have some positive outlook on your business, which is great because we want more people making money 3D printing. You can go to our website if you have questions. Ask Us Anything at HazzDesign.com or anywhere on social media @HazzDesign. Thanks for reading.
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