Sell Your Projects With Club Jameco

Everyone’s favorite electronic component distributor, Jameco, rolled out a new way for you to make a few bucks off of your projects. It’s called Club Jameco and looks like a great place to design, sell, and learn about new projects from around the Internet.

The premise behind Club Jameco is simple. You send Jameco a short description of one of your projects. If the folks at Jameco think your project will sell, they’ll post it on Club Jameco for some feedback while you write up the instructions and the BOM. Once your project is done, Jameco will build it, sell it, and send you a nice royalty check in the mail.

Already there are some pretty neat projects up on Club Jameco like a build your own transformer kit and a photodiode geiger counter. We’re sure Hackaday readers have a few interesting projects up their sleeves, so we’ll wait patiently until we see them on Club Jameco.

Tip ‘o the hat to [War_Spigot] and [PUNiSH3R] for sending this one in.

17 thoughts on “Sell Your Projects With Club Jameco

  1. Personally I would rather like to see those projects on instructables. Its nice that they build and sell it, but I want free education. Both is gone with this. So I hope some of our HaD-readers still make their projects avaible for free and wjtb a instructional writeup.

    1. I like to think of this as a crowd-sourced and very “web 2.0” way to compete with other suppliers that make kits.

      There aren’t very many well-documented kits for total n00bs (the likely target market). If you buy a project that comes from a blog, it’s probably a lot easier and quicker to “squeeze” more information out when you need it. You can just email the creator or make a comment on the blog post. In most cases you’ll have all your answers in a few hours.

      Anyway, to be honest I don’t think any of the really educational stuff is going to sell anyway. We’re probably going to end up seeing a lot of Arduino shields and LED cubes. :whocaresface:

  2. When you post a project, read the terms carefully.

    Even though they acknowledge that you (the designer) have and keep the intellectual property rights of the project, you are granting them an EXCLUSIVE and PERPETUAL right to sell your project.

    So if you decide later to sell your project yourself or to use some other website like GadgetGangster to sell your project, you can’t.

    Just so you know.


  3. I have fond memories of Jameco from the 70s (yes, I’m dating myself). They were a great thing for a young kid learning about electronics in a tiny mountain town. Seems like they got stuck in that model as the internet age redefined DIY. Hope this is a good deal for them and some enterprising hackers.

  4. Just a point of clarification on Jac’s note. While Jameco is retaining the exclusive rights to sell the project as a kit, there is nothing that prevents the Designer from selling it on his own.

    Also, like Instructables all the content (step-by-step build instructions) will be available on line for free.

    Greg from

    1. I don’t see any reference to “exclusive rights to sell” in ClubJameco’s FAQ.

      If a designer is allowed to sell it on their own, then that’s not “exclusive” either.

      And at least one of the kits already sold through ClubJameco, is also sold by another commercial kit distributor; as described in my other comment.

      So what’s the deal?

      1. Hi Chris,

        Jameco retains the exclusive rights to sell the Jameco kit which is the design, instructions and components.

        The designer retains the rights to his/her design and can source components any way he/she likes to sell the same kit with different components. Or the designer can work with Jameco to sell the Jameco kit.

    2. Quoting from the terms and conditions:

      “Designer hereby grants to Jameco, and Jameco hereby accepts, an EXCLUSIVE, WORLDWIDE, PERPETUAL, IRREVOCABLE license to brand, develop, build, promote, market, distribute and sell Designer’s Project Brief and/or Kit/Project Design. Designer hereby grants to Jameco the exclusive right to exhibit and/or market the Project Brief and/or Kit/Project Design in whole or in part on Jameco-owned and/or authorized and/or affiliated websites or in Jameco-authorized promotional materials. Designer hereby grants to Jameco the exclusive right to store and transmit digital versions of the Project Brief and/or Kit/Project Design to facilitate production, distribution and sale of the Kit/Project Design. SAID EXCLUSIVE LICENSING RIGHTS IN FAVOR OF JAMECO ARISE UPON DESIGNER’S SUBMISSION OF A KIT/PROJECT DESIGN TO JAMECO FOR REVIEW.”

      I am not a lawyer, but I think that says: as soon as you submit a kit, only Jameco can sell it. And even if they decide not to sell it anymore, you can’t sell it yourself and you can’t allow anyone else to sell it.

      Yes, on closer read it talks about the Project _Brief_ and the Project _Design_ but that’s basically what a project is all about. Sure I can rewrite the instructions elsewhere or redraw the schematics in a different way but I’m sure that when it comes to Your Lawyers vs. My Lawyers, you’re going to win any court case saying that the project I gave to Jameco is substantially the same as the one I’m selling myself.

      Bottom line: the way I read it, the terms say I give up my selling/distribution rights. And that’s just not going to fly for an Open Source Hardware project.

      I’m not in it for the money, I want as many people as possible to be able to use my project; any kind of monopolistic terms like “EXCLUSIVE” and “PERPETUAL” are not compatible with that.

      1. Aha – the real terms and conditions, with all the fine print; not the friendly (and inaccurate) FAQ that lures you in. Thanks, Jac.

        Yep, I don’t see anything there that would allow you to sell the project yourself, quite contrary to what Greg from ClubJameco says. Or even “exhibit” details about it on another website.

        Even if they are choosing not to exercise their full rights and allowing a kit to be sold elsewhere (like the color organ), I wouldn’t sign away rights on the assumption that they will continue to do so, even if Greg tells us it’s ok.

        Especially if the terms of other places that will turn your project into a salable kit are less restrictive. Don’t know if this the case. Anyone know?

        1. I understand the confusion over the legal language. We’ll update and clarify the language by the end of the day to make sure it’s clear that the design is owned by the Designer to do with as he/she sees fit. Jameco will retain rights to the kit (including the design) only.

  5. I agree with Indyaner. Especially since Jameco isn’t really everyone’s favorite distributor.

    I read over the FAQs to see if there’s any issues in doing what Indyaner suggests. The relevant sections are:

    “You are responsible for affirming that the Project you submit is your exclusive intellectual property. You are also giving Jameco the right to use your design to build a kit for sale.”

    “When you submit a Project you assert that you own the design and grant Jameco the ability to build a kit. Once Jameco invests in your Project, you can no longer revoke its rights sell this Project.”

    It sounds like it will be no problem, just so long as you explicitly affirm your rights.

    As for the actual kits available, I took a peek at a couple; one simple, one more complex.

    1) A 7805-based project that charges USB devices from a 9V battery. You supply your own Altoids tin. $15. Appears to be the same, or very much like, the one sold by for $8.50.

    2) A op-amp based “color organ”. $45. The same as the one sold at Maker Shed for $40, although it’s currently out of stock.

    I know it’s early in the game, but my impression is that Jameco won’t inspire many new or novel kits. There are already similar services, and Jameco will just be another distributor to submit your kit design to in an attempt to increase exposure/sales. If customers realize this, and Jameco doesn’t lower their prices to be competitive with other sources for the same kit, they won’t be selling many kits.

    1. Maybe they aren’t your favorite distributor, but they are mine, and I can imagine I can’t be the only person keeping them in business. Sometimes, you just want a part, and you don’t want to have to sort through a thousand other nearly identical items to find it.

      1. Not to say Jameco is a bad distributor. But claiming they’re “everyone’s favorite” can’t be done without either a hint of sarcasm or pandering.

        I used to order from Jameco’s ads in electronics magazines often, back in the day.

        Times have changed though. If I just want a part, I usually check a multivendor search engine like FindChips for the lowest price. By comparison, Jameco invariably never had any prices or hard-to-find components worth considering. And now they’re no longer listed on FindChips at all.

        So for me to consider Jameco separately, they’d have to stand out in some way.

        Best prices or selection in general? Nope, places like Newark have them soundly beat at that. Sure you may get 1,000 related components at first; but if you learn to properly use the search tools, you can narrow it down to a few in a hurry.

        Common parts? Literally dozens of alternatives, including Ebay.

        Fun, unexpected stuff you might also buy on a whim? BG Micro, Electronics Goldmine, and others have them beat there.

        So why order from Jameco? Can’t think of a reason other than familiarity and comfort, or perhaps customer loyalty. That’s a good enough reason if it applies to you, and it obviously applies to enough people to keep them in business. But it sure doesn’t make them “everyone’s favorite”, or even particularly noteworthy.

  6. I think it’s good idea
    On many instructables you see requests like “will you make a kit”?
    it’s like seeed’s propagate but jameco takes the risk on investing for the kit.
    Might be a good way for people to start offering their designs.

    1. on second look , the site is crappy.

      They should make a clear distinction between “kits you can buy” and “kit proposals”.
      “brief” is meaningless word for non-native English speaker.

      if you tag all the “difficulty levels” and then “brief” in the selection box you get only a few of the “briefs”.

      There is no easy way to “browse” trough the proposals/briefs , something you strongly want to encourage

      so idea a +1
      website -1

  7. At the risk of dating myself, I seem to recall several different electronics magazines of your which published “projects” along with appropriate schematics and parts lists, and frequently finished with a statements that a “kit” is available from a certain address/individual and what is included.

    Perhaps it was the failure of the publisher and/or designer to retain the desired rights and to give notice thereof that contributed directly to economic and/or other failure of these projects.

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