An Etsy for electronics

A few months ago we caught wind of Tindie, a site that gives builders, tinkerers, makers, and hackers a place to sell their projects. Well, Tindie has gone live and it looks to be cooler than we expected.

Already there are some pretty awesome projects available on Tindie such as a truly awesome MIDI keyboard, an Arduino synthesizer, and even a robot that plays Angry Birds.

In addition to giving makers a place to sell their wares, Tindie also offers a place to post want ads. If you have an idea for a project but don’t have the skills or tools to pull it off, Tindie is just the place for you. Any builder is free to make a bid for jobs that include a sonic screwdriver TV-b-gone or a Pip boy

Hopefully, Tindie will pick up some steam and fill the role of a much geekier Etsy. For now, though, we eagerly await the eventual Tindie/regretsy mashup showcasing perpetual motion machines and alien overlord detectors.

29 thoughts on “An Etsy for electronics

      1. “Feedback?”

        Smaller photos for more items per page. Categories for sorting items. Rollover an item for short description.

      2. I was really interested in the ‘parts’ category someone suggested in the previous story.

        Keeping in mind it should be hard to source parts, like a MOS 6581 or weird Nixies. Nobody needs another place to get a 5V regulator.

  1. The lack of prices right on the main page is a complete deal-breaker for me. As a hobbyist who doesn’t have a ton of money to burn, my interest is a project is usually based primarily on whether or not I can reasonably afford it. Not knowing how much something costs before clicking it almost guarantees I will not be interested enough to click it.

  2. I can offer some feedback for Emile:

    1. Smaller images(way smaller, probably a hover over)
    2. Search box
    3. Description/summary of each right on the main page.
    4. Price(above commentor’s f/b)
    5. Sortable( price/availability)
    6. rss for new products/updates

  3. Oh, oh, oh. For Europe at least – I see trouble. There are a number of regulations to be fullfilled, which basically prevent the hobbyist from selling anything but kits. Those include CE certification (RF emi/receive test), regulations concerning higher voltages than 40 V and the registration for later recycling, which costs several hundert or thousand euros. If you start selling stuff to Germany, the makers will get in big trouble. Just like a lot of people on ebay already found out… And their customers too, after customs denied them the import.

    1. The states have similar regulations, but people largely ignore them if they are only making very small volumes. Since this site will be dealing with high volumes of products in some form of violation… maybe it should make some project requirements?

      Also don’t forget RoHS requirements in the EU and California. :)

    2. So here’s something I don’t quite understand. What protects the creator’s profits of open-source projects on a site like this?

      For example…look at the LiPo charger, it’s just a copy/paste application note with a good profit margin(>$10).

      Since it’s open source, I can just submit the files back to tindie.com, to make the EXACT SAME PRODUCT, but accept a lower profit margin? ..or no profit margin. Now the $25 product is called ASDF LiPo and is only $10. It would only take me a few minutes and I can get the finished project “at cost”.

  4. Who paid 2500 bux for a glorified MIDI controller and softsynth? I have a closet full of midi controllers. Goodbye student loans!

  5. So here’s something I don’t quite understand. What protects the creator’s profits of open-source projects on a site like this?

    For example…look at the LiPo charger, it’s just a copy/paste application note with a good profit margin(>$10).

    Since it’s open source, I can just submit the files back to tindie.com, to make the EXACT SAME PRODUCT, but accept a lower profit margin? ..or no profit margin. Now the $25 product is called ASDF LiPo and is only $10. It would only take me a few minutes and I can get the finished project “at cost”.

    1. Due to the poor description of the HaD articles, poor description on tindie’s site and my lack of patience for both things… I mistakenly thought this was more of a seeedstudio place where they not only sell your project, but MAKE it as well.

      My question still stands for sites like seeedstudio.

      The concept of this is neat, but people tend to over value their personal projects… as seen by nearly every posting so far.

  6. At the moment the “wanted” category is basically just a sad comedy.
    The few reasonable request, like an zigBee GSM bridge get drowned out by request like “A Teleporter” or “some kind of system that magically destroys the stereo of the car stopped next to you”

    You really need to introduce some kind of rating/reporting system for this, if you want it to stay usable.
    I would also add a required price range for the items, since some of them are already available commercially, and i doubt that homegrown products will be much cheaper.

    1. Well, then you made me curious, so I signed up and viewed the “Wanted” category. After reading all of the requests, I just had to point the “car stereo guy” in the right direction… :)

      It does look like the more recent requests are more reasonable, but I did notice a consistent lack of specificity in the various requests…

    2. Yeah this is a tricky one. I don’t want to build out a full fledged reddit clone but there needs to be a way to let the top posts rise to the top. What I did was move the newest post to the top (newest defined by most recent submission or comment). That way as more people reply, the stronger posts will remain close to the top.

  7. This is a great start for a central location that sells interesting electronics.

    The evolution will happen as time passes. Those expecting something super refined, obviously do not have real world experience with product or site development.

    I would develop the wanted section in a different way, for future use.

    This could be the most single useful feature of tindie, as no one has ever really succeeded at this, at least no site of extreme popularity.

    I would not develop it to have a vote up or down system or digg style layout, rather it should contain “interested party votes”

    Start charging 1 dollar to submit an idea, offer an in depth listing system for the wanted section. Interested party votes should be 25 cents paid to the site for providing this service.

    This will ensure a quality wanted listing section, and will encourage serious wanted listings that will have a better chance of being useful to the community as a whole. Otherwise its just all noise, and not information that can be taken seriously.

    Ive spent many years developing sites, this is a viable service. The time to do something like this is sooner than later, when a site is still young, and the users understand that a small fee such as this will help the site provide a much needed service (central location) at a heightened level.

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