Tindie is growing up

Tindie, the etsy for electronics and DIY projects is growing up. After growing 300% in August, the creator of Tindie,  [emile], is now working full-time as the head of Tindie, LLC.

Intended to be a place to connect makers with homebrew project connoisseurs, Tindie is seeing new projects and builds added every day. [emile] figures since some Tindie contributors are using the platform as the source of their livelihood, the least he could do would be to focus his energies into turning Tindie into a profitable and sustainable enterprise.

From the humble beginnings of an empty storefront, Tindie has grown large enough to feature some very cool projects such as a GoPro time lapse control board, a CNC router control board, a LiPo charger the size of a USB plug, a Raspi case milled out of a billet of aluminum, and a gag gift we wouldn’t want to take through airport security. Not bad for a web site that only launched a few months ago.

Comments

  1. BohemianHacks says:

    This sounds awesome but I think this is a bit relevant here. http://xkcd.com/1102/

  2. squeeks says:

    As a reseller don’t you have to ensure the products you are selling meet requirements like CE or FCC?

    A blank board is one thing. A fully populated board that can only really be considered as a complete product (rather than a component of something larger) for domestic use requires various certification – or it appears that way if the R-Pi launch experience is anything to go by.

    • Emile says:

      Based on ebay’s policy (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/electronics.html) looks like there are somethings which the FCC does require and some don’t. However because the site is world wide with sellers outside the US, this becomes a bit complex very quickly. I may just have to add it to the terms that the seller is following local laws & customs.

    • NsN says:

      I think the raspi guys were a bit overwhelmed by the popularity.

      Their original plan was to offer the raspi as a development board, similiar to an arduino or beagleboard. As I understood it then, you wouldn’t need a CE certificate for a development board.

      But I have to admit, that this is my main concern with tindie and kickstarter like services. I’m afraid that the rules and regulations I would need to follow in germany would not allow me to sell products with out a larger company backing me.

      • squeeks says:

        Arduino is FCC/CE compliant these days, the same goes for the Beagle board.

        A development board doesn’t require approval from what I can tell only if the market you are selling it to would be expected to have the appropriate knowledge, tools and expertise to deal with emissions etc…

        The Beagle board and Arduino, while development boards are aimed at the consumer/mass market and will be used within a residential setting so require the FCC/CE cert.

        I’m not sure how you go about selling small production runs of something you hacked together at home, without tripping over these kind of hurdles.

      • davidcdean says:

        Many of the hobby electronics retailers (even the bigger ones) have been skirting this issue for a long time. If you start to ask around about their operational perspectives on FCC part 15 and the like, they almost invariably say something like, “that’s one of the very few things we won’t discuss publicly”, if they respond at all. I’m sure that’s a culpability thing.

        I think the internal mantra at most of those places goes something like, “testing and certification is disgustingly expensive for stuff sold in low volumes, so we don’t do it. We’ll just go with the ‘development and tools’ interpretation. If the relevant regulating authorities come to us with a problem regarding a device that becomes popular, *then* we’ll deal with it.”

  3. Matt says:

    I certainly wouldn’t quit my day job over $1800 in profit, let alone sales… What’s the profit margin? 10%, 20%? You made a couple hundred bucks in a month, and have two months of sales data, and quit your job? Very risky.. take a look at the portable scores guy

    • Emile says:

      Neither would I! Fortunately, there is more to the site than meets the eye. More news to come out in the weeks/ months ahead. Be on the look out!

    • LongFist says:

      …but if the opportunity looks ripe, and the time to move is now, it doesn’t serve anybody to try and play it “safe”. Profit is realized through risk, so this might well be the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. Only time will tell.

      The major difference between all of those people who work 8-to-5 jobs and mutter “even *I* could have done *that*” and those few entrepreneurs that are currently raking in some serious bank is that point at which the entrepreneur left the “safe” route and decided to take on some risk: sure it doesn’t always pay off, but sometimes it pays off really well. Again, in this case, only time will tell.

      But I really wish them well – I’d love to see them succeed!

  4. Whatnot says:

    70 bucks case for a 25 bucks raspi? Little odd I think.

    But perhaps it’s more a $70 case that you can power with a $25 raspi.

  5. squeeks says:

    Humm… perhaps it would help if we started seeing open hardware designs for anechoic chamber’s and other test equipment to bring the costs down. Something to think on.

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