Arduino Duemilanove w/ATmega168 @ $22* promotion

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 http://www.nkcelectronics.com 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

The idea is good… yet i have one remark to make - it’s not good to reduce the price by about 1/3 to the regular price and allow people to buy as much as they want until the 30 pieces are sold. That way you wont get more users to buy Arduinos but rarely a few selling more on Ebay

My2ct

is there any way to reserve one for an euorpean who is not online at that time? ;0)

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…

I agree with Nachtwind, if the primary purpose is to increase the user base (and of course, your customer base) then limiting one per IP address would seem more effective.

But perhaps if your ecommerce site can handle it, how about offering one per hour. That way those in far flung time zones also get a chance to get a board.

I cannot tell you some exact time, because, as you said, we live in a globalized world and so every time would make it impossible for some to get it while others are getting them. Maybe you could do like two or three such special offers. All three (with quantities of maybe 10 or 15 - depending on your capacitities) aimed at a certain marked (American, European, Japan etc)?
That way you could try to make that offer usable by everyone, especially if you manage to somehow make it one arduino per order…
One way or another, i wish you best of luck with that special offer :0)

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

If someone manages to buy all 30 boards, then I guess the community is not ready for total openness

A single purchase of all the boards would only say something about the buyer, not the community.

Anyway, good luck with your promotion

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.

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

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…

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 :wink:

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).

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

That’s interesting distribution, 70% to a single country, 87% to English predominate speaking countries, 93% to the western hemisphere and none to the worlds largest population continent.

okok, nkc - i WAS wrong ^^ I now know ^^

But its very interestering it took really THAT long… although i must admit - the distribution of orders doesnt really suprise me as on the main page are listed who sells where what and your are listed for the usa (although i must say that i would use every possible US shop more likely than german ones… the prices over here are so extreme that it is, with or without promotion, chaper to buy in the usa… and that is not only an result of currency fluctuations…).

One suggestion i have, although i am not sure if doable at your shop, would be some sort of referrer system. Let the people advertise your shop. For example if someone buys at your shop an Arduino for the first time the one who referred him to your shop gets a… cookie, protoshield or whatever. Just so much that it is ok for you and something to make the referring for the referrer also a nice thing to do… Alternatively - how about making a website kit? Something like a logo or two in various resolutions? I guess some users are so satisfied with your shop that they would put that on their website, best placed right beside a list of parts they used in their project…
Oh and one last thing for German buyers… i think i am below the magical threshhold with the Arduino (yes, i am the 1 German buyer) but you could sell for maybe 1ct an addon for german buyers that you could certificate the paket as a gift. In that case it would come through the customs a) faster and b) cheaper if it is more expensive than… i think 25Eur…

Yes, very odd it took so long.

I have 2 boards left, so I will add them to the inventory for immediate availability.