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436  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 22, 2009, 11:19:04 pm
Hi, I promised to post some news about the result of this promotion and here it is.

The promotion started on Sun March 15th, 10PM (22:00hs) Eastern Time
The first board was sold on Sun March 15th, 10:38PM
The last board was sold on Sun March 22nd, 11:52PM
The promotion lasted 1 week and almost 2 hours!  I didn't have any idea what the actual duration of the promotion would be, but I expected it to be in the order of hours, at most 1-2 days.  Not 1 week.
Number of orders received: 19
I cheated a little bit... I think the 3rd or 4th day I placed the promotion in the main page!!  Sorry if this action changed the final outcome...
Nobody purchased all 30 boards or the boards left at the moment of the order... and I don't recall seeing any unusual Arduino Duemilanove board movement on eBay ;-)

The geographic distribution was:

US: 21 boards
Canada: 4 boards
Mexico: 2 boards
Brazil: 1 board
UK: 1 board
Germany: 1 board

I will be running similar promotions in the future.  I am open to suggestions (within the limitations of my current webstore hosting provider and my financial situation).
437  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 15, 2009, 08:54:40 am
Have you tried zen-cart ?

It's the same software that runs the seeedstudio shop.
I've just run a test install. It installs as easily as wordpress. Just create a mysql database and unzip to www folder.

It supports limiting the quantity of orders.
Thanks for your suggestions!

I would like to share some experiences with the community:

I tried both oscommerce and zen-cart.  They are "flexible" but maintenance is much more difficult than a completely hosted solution.  I don't know if they experience as much malware as wordpress and YaBB, but as they are well known to the hackers, keeping wordpress and YaBB clean is a taunting job.  And if you start "customizing" the software, then forget about easy upgrades to new releases...

I am using WordPress for posting the assembly guides for my kits, I am using the SPAM protection plug-in and only registered members can post comments and the comments are moderated... anyways, hackers found a way to install a bunch of undesired advertisement and they also replaced the backup plug-in.  I couldn't do any backup, so I had to manually copy all the posts, remove WordPress, reinstall a new version, and recreate all the postings... the problem was that the "new version" of WordPress changed the way the number the posts, and the post number was part of the permalink... so I had to change all the references to the assembly guides in the product listings, and the opportunity I lost for having the old permalinks in search engines that will find broken URLs... but you need to pay the price, as you cannot afford to show SPAM on your assembly guides, that are associated to a commercial venture.

I hope you find any value to these experiences...

438  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 15, 2009, 08:42:31 am
A single purchase of all the boards would only say something about the buyer, not the community.
This could lead to a long and interesting discussion.  Is the Arduino community, as it is today, enough and satisfying for all members?  This could be a good starting point for the discussion.

Anyway, good luck with your promotion
Thank you
439  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 14, 2009, 08:39:10 pm
I decided to run THIS promotion as it is, because it will help me test:
  • Is the Arduino community altruistic or egoist?  If someone manages to buy all 30 boards, then I guess the community is not ready for total openness  :'(.
  • Time to sell all 30 boards
  • Geographic distribution of buyers
  • Other metrics, if possible
440  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 14, 2009, 01:11:04 pm
I was thinking about the quantity issue...
  • I don't have the capability in Yahoo Stores to limit the quantity per order.  If I can find a bypass, then the rule will be changed to limit the quantity to 1 per order.
  • eBay fees are very high these days, I don't know if they will make any profit at all by reselling the boards.  If one buyer manages to buy all 30, maybe (economy of scale).
  • What time do you suggest I should start the promotion?  I forgot we are living in a globalized world...
441  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion on: March 14, 2009, 12:45:41 pm
On Sunday March 15th 2009, at 10PM EST (USA, New York Eastern Time) I will be adding 30 Arduino Duemilanove boards with ATmega168 microcontroller for sale @ USD 22 each + S&H.

Here are the rules:

  • There is no special link to the item, so you need to enter through the main store URL and navegate through the store to get to the item
  • There is no maximum quantity limit per buyer
  • The offer is good until the stock reaches zero
  • You have not secured the item for yourself until you complete the checkout process and payment
  • Boards are new, genuine Arduino Duemilanove (ATmega168), Made in Italy
  • The main purpose of the offer is to add more new users to the Arduino community.  If you already have the board or are experienced user, please pass the voice to people you know will benefit with the offer
  • The second purpose is marketing:  How price sensitive is the open hardware community?  I will be publishing some results of the promotion
Depending on the success of the promotion, I will be running similar promotions in the future.

Your comments are welcome!

Note: $22* = $22 + S&H
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