The new site is better than the old, but still leaves a lot to be desired, IMO. My suggestions for making the current system work well:
1. Add a clause that requires approval from the designer for each change to the design (more for peace of mind than anything else. It's too scary to give complete freedom to SP to change anything
freely as it is stated in the current license). This will encourage more designers (particularly experienced ones) to add their sets.
2. Change the name of "Interest Checks" to "Pre-Order Requests" or something similar. It's not really an Interest Check in the traditional sense at that point in the set design / production process, it's a gathering preorder requests stage. It shows intent to buy, rather than just "Interest", and will prevent people just registering interest as opposed to genuine intent to buy. This will give you more accurate demand figures.
3. Run the pre-order requests for a set period of time (three weeks seems about right to me, but two weeks may be enough) to gather accurate demand figures (which are comparable between designs since they run the same length of time) and allow people time to register their intent to buy, rather than up to certain figure.
4. Add between 30% and 50% to the pre-order request numbers for the first production batch. This overproduction will help to meet the increase in demand you inevitably get from people who missed the pre-order stage and those who miss the traditional first GB run of many sets. Some sets (like Carbon) could even support a 100% production increase. There are already more than 500 new requests for Massdrop to rerun the design and it hasn't even finished production of the first run. Demand will only rise once photos of the actual caps get posted, this happens in pretty much all GB's I have participated in.And my suggestions for turning PMK into the ULTIMATE keycap set marketplace:
1. Add a clause in the designer license that design / legend changes require the designer's approval.
2. Turn the "IC" into an actual (pre)order page with "commit at this price tier" functionality for kits and a fallback option for those that don't make MOQ (something like "If this kit does not make MOQ, I would like to add this kit to my order: ". This is great for supporting individual ISO kits for example, with a fallback generic ISO kit).
3. Make extra sets (the number proportional to the GB orders as mentioned above in item number 4) which then go up on the site for purchase at the same price as the GB.
4. Add a "bring back this set" voting page for sold out sets, with no time limit, but with older votes being reduced in value (so a two month old vote will be equal to half a new vote, say, to match likelihood of someone who voted so long ago actually purchasing). When enough votes accumulate (say 150 or so) make a new batch of that set.
That way, the sets will have the largest availability and lowest price and designers don't get their designs mangled.
To show this post is not coming from a total noob with no clue and to show that I'm invested in Signature Plastics and want them to succeed:
I am a designer with a set in IC stage (Classic Space) which we'll run through SP, I'm developing a font for SA profile and will run a fundraiser to support getting the molds made. I'm developing specification documents detailing legend limitations, profile options, etc. to help designers choose options and prepare their designs for production by SP. SP has the best and most varied options for designers (colours, profiles, materials, legend options, etc) and that makes them the first choice when designing keycap sets.
These are the SP sets I currently own:
Cherry Legend Replicas (Smallfry set)
Penumbra with Solarized alphas
Hack'd by Geeks
These I have ordered:
These I plan to order when they become available:
And yeah, no offense meant, but the name sucks. The primary SP keyset buyer is not Xzibit or the tasteless crowd who like getting their s**t pimped. SP makes high quality, tasteful keycap sets (in general) that deserve to be sold on a site with a matchingly tasteful name.