This article is the fifth in a series looking at the process of bringing an electronic kit to market from a personal project. We’ve looked at market research, we’ve discussed making a product from your project and writing the best instructions possible before stuffing your first kits ready for sale. In this article we’ll tackle the different means of putting your kits out there for sale.
Given a box of ready-to-sell kits, what next? You have to find some means of selling them, getting them in front of your customer, making the sale, sending them to the purchaser, and safely collecting their money. A few years ago this was an expensive and risky process involving adverts in print magazines and a lot of waiting, but we are fortunate. The Internet has delivered us all the tools we need to market and sell a product like an electronic kit, and in a way that needn’t cost a fortune. We’ll now run through a few of those options for selling your kits, before looking at shipping, marketing, and post-sales support in the final article in the series.
The Hackaday Store has been up and running for a year and a half now, sending out Hackaday Omnibus, t-shirts, [Alex Rich]’s Stickvice, and an entire MeArm-y from [Phenoptix]. After eighteen months, the enslaved robots in the warehouse are plotting a rebellion, so we’re stamping that right out with a Spring sale in the Hackaday Store!
Shipping is free on US orders over $35, Canadian orders over $50, and International orders over $75 (Unfortunately we’re unable to ship to all countries right now). Sale items are at clearance prices and are final sale. We will only exchange if the item is faulty (if the item is no longer available you will be given store credit).
Last week we issued a challenge to everyone on Hackaday: vote in the Hackaday Prize Community Voting, and someone is going to with a $1000 gift card for the Hackaday Store. How is this going to work? I’m going to find a random person on Hackaday.io, and if they have voted, they win a thousand dollar gift card. If they have not voted, I pick a random person from the set of people who have voted. Too complex? Here’s the video:
The winner of the $1000 Hackaday Prize gift card is [Nolan Moore]. He voted for the most Amazingly Engineered project, and the bits aligned to award him a great gift for participating. The other guy? The other guy should have voted.
A NEW ROUND
Thought this would stop when we finally gave away a thousand dollar gift card? Nope. Right now there’s a new round of community voting. The theme is ‘Best Documented’. All you have to do is choose the project presented to you that is Best Documented. We’re going to let this round stew for a while but on July 17th, at around 2200 UTC, I’m going pick a random person on Hackaday.io. If that person has voted, they get a $1000 gift card. The next time I do this, there won’t be a guaranteed winner; we’re only giving out a gift card if the random person selected has voted. There will, like the other rounds of community voting, be a few consolation prizes distributed to people who have voted if no one snatches the big prize.
So what do you have to do for a chance at winning a $1000 gift card? Click here and vote. Do it now.
It’s the perfect time to turn magical Internet money into something with real, intrinsic value, before the value of Bitcoin drops even more. Sure, we accept government-backed currency as well… but when will you have the chance to spend those hard-mined dollars hashes?
No matter how you feel about RadioShack, for many hackers it was the one place that components could be sourced locally. Upon hearing that the stores are being shuttered (at least for those seeking non-cellphone items) we wondered if someone would rise to meet the maker market. The answer may actually be mom-and-pops — independent stores owned by people passionate about hacking and making.
At SXSW Create in March the Hackaday booth was right next door one such establishment. [Martin Bogomolni] is hard at work launching his brick and mortar store called Tinker & Twist. In the video below he speaks briefly about the concept of the store, which focuses on curating the best products and tools available and stocking them locally.
The store will be located in a shopping mall in Austin, Texas. But it takes about 100 days launch a storefront considering the permits and build-out. [Martin] decided to take the store to the hackers by exhibiting (and selling products) at SXSW Create. How else would you do this than by building a store-front as your booth? The store’s sign was CNC routed from rigid foam, and combined with a set of columns and storefront window. We stopped by late on the last day of the event and they had been having a great weekend. What started as a very well stocked set of shelves looked nearly bare.
Tinker & Twist is just the most recent in a growing trend of standalone stores focusing on hackers and makers. Our friends at Deezmaker in Pasadena, CA gave us tour last year. They’ve married the concepts of hackerspace, small-run manufacturer (in the form of their 3D printers), and retail store all-in-one. These types of examples make us quite happy — it’s been years since RadioShack was tightly focused on those actually building things. We hope to see more stores like Tinker & Twist up and running to support and enhance hacker communities everywhere.
New to the Hackaday Store today is the Bulbdial Clock by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. I’ve had my eye on this kit for years and finally pulled the trigger after visiting [Lenore] and [Windell] at their shop a few weeks back. Assembling the beautifully-engineered kit was a delight, and I have a handful of hacks I’d like to try out — some of which I mentioned in the product description.
Free shipping based on order price
We always listen to what the Hackaday community has to say. After receiving several requests for better international shipping prices we came up with a way to ease the pain for orders no matter where they are headed. All domestic orders totaling $25 or more now receive free shipping. All international orders totaling $50 or more now receive free shipping.
Is there anything else you’d like to see different about the store? How about a hackable product you think we should stock? We’re listening via the store contact form.
Why would we say this blows most others away? In our minds, the 64k of RAM and 72 MHz clock speed place this far outside of what you would normally see hanging out in the Arduino ecosystem. That may be changing with new players like the Edison, but the Teensy 3.1 doesn’t require a host board and comes in just under $20 compared to the Edison’s $50 price tag.
[Paul Stoffregen], the developer of the Teensy, is a hacker’s hacker and is known to be found round these parts. All year [Paul] has been developing an Audio Library that takes advantage of the Teensy 3.1’s powerful processor (including its DMA features; we’ve been pestering him to write an article for us on that topic). We covered the library back in September and are stocking the audio add-on board in the store as well. Quite frankly, the quality of sound that this puts out is astonishing. If you’re working on a project that calls for playback of recorded sound this is one of the least-complicated ways to get there.