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Considering starting a kit business
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Get help, and assist others in with open source kits and running a business! Do not ask for legal advice or for consulting services in this forum, only general biz questions!
Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Considering starting a kit business

by willo on Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:13 pm

I've finally got a dedicated area for my workshop and I'd love to let it earn its keep.

I'm looking at providing 3 or 4 designs initially. Should I just bite
the bullet, order a bunch of PCBs and stock a small supply of parts
for kits? What worked for you?

Setting up an online store is easy, but I'm interested in hearing about easy methods of order fullfillment for this sort of stuff. Suggestions for an easy to integrate shopping cart/shipping system is welcome.
Will O'Brien
http://biobug.org
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by adafruit on Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:33 pm

i'd start with one design first. makes tech support easier. plan to make 50-100 kits at first. unless its something awful you should be able to sell 100 of anything :) as you work out the bugs you can stock more. you'll probably get a couple things wrong, especially with pricing/shipping.

for payment, go with paypal, i started with 'buy now buttons' and its not pretty but is very very easy. i think they may even have integrated USPS shipping now. priority mail, for example, is $5 for up to a pound, domestic with 'delivery confirmation'. that allows a lot of leeway. you can ship online for free ("click-n-ship" at usps.gov) & get free USPS carrier pickup.

once you have 3 solid designs you can move to an integrated cart. they take a -lot- of effort tho, especially if you go with an open source one.

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But I'm perfect!

by willo on Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:57 pm

Maybe not. Got any suggestions on pc board suppliers?
Are you stocking your kits from the usual sources? mouser/digikey/jameco/etc

oh, and before I forget, got suggestions on liability insurance for those of us with the not so average workshop? laser cutters/cnc/etc my homeowners insurance people balked just a bit...
Will O'Brien
http://biobug.org
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Re: But I'm perfect!

by adafruit on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:00 pm

willo wrote:Maybe not. Got any suggestions on pc board suppliers?


http://www.ladyada.net/library/pcb/

Are you stocking your kits from the usual sources? mouser/digikey/jameco/etc


yeah i suggest them until you get into the 'making hundreds at a time' at which point you can start buyind direct
http://www.ladyada.net/library/procure/ ... utors.html


oh, and before I forget, got suggestions on liability insurance for those of us with the not so average workshop? laser cutters/cnc/etc my homeowners insurance people balked just a bit...


what do you mean by 'liability insurance'?
Last edited by adafruit2 on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by magician13134 on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:03 pm

Why are shopping carts hard to work with? It seems like they should be pretty easy to use and install. Is that not the case?
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by adafruit on Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:04 pm

theres always a lot of setup and customization

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Re: Considering starting a kit business

by asgard on Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:58 pm

When you had a product you could sell by way of Sparkfun, or Seeed, or whatever, how did you get through to them? Did you have to go through Spark@sparkfun and make "The Pitch"? Or did you have the pre-existing "maker movement" word-of-mouth buzz to support the effort? In that case it would tend to leave out "the rest of us" who are not yet "fashionable".

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