selling a design

Dear friends,

For the last 6 monthes I've made a working design of a cool toy. It took a lot of experiments and prototypes made on breadboards, arduino and custom pcbs. Now I'm eager to share this toy to the world as I got positive feedback from my friends and some random people I met. I've got a supply of pcbs, stencil and all the components to produce a number of toys at home.

To be more specific, I want to sell those toys to cover my expenses to some extent, then I'll share the design to be totally open-source.

So my question is: could you please guide me what should I do to meet my goal? I'm not a manager, just a humble engineer. Did you have such an experience?

Some additional details: I live in Ukraine, so I can't receive funds from PayPal. Also the shipping cost might be comparable to the item's cost. Item's cost would be something like $15-20

Maksym

Do you have something like http://etsy.com or http://tindie.com that will operate from within Ukraine? Those seem especially well matched with this sort of "recover expenses" effort (sell a relatively small number of things.) I haven't used them as a seller, myself, so I don't know whether they'd work from a specific country, or without paypal. :frowning:

Having worked for a startup, I'll add the depressing reality that if you want to make money, then all those jobs that engineers like to sneer at (manufacturing, sales, marketing, packaging, shipping, documentation, advertising, accounting...) are pretty much every bit as important as the actual engineering. And they're not "easier" than engineering (especially if you're an engineer.) "recovering some of your costs" should be a little easier, but it's pretty easy to spend a lot more money than you expected on things other than the product itself. You might find the EEVBLOG uRuler tale "amusing": Traps for even simple successful crowd funded projects… – EEVblog

Thank you for your suggestions!

http://tindie.com is cool service, but it requires PayPal account that can receive funds.
http://etsy.com offers wire transfer to bank account, but it supports a limited number of countries.

uRuler story is really amusing, thank you!

Looks like the good option would be to somehow find a partner with PayPal account that can receive funds.

Wonder if Paypal is blocked in Ukraine. :~
I think Quirky might be a good choice for you, you can submit your idea and examine the market response. They have engineers develop the prototype (if your design gains popularity)and you don't need to worry about shipping. Of course, you share part of the revenue when the product is sold.

Thank you, Daniel_lin, that's an interesting service! The only problem with them I see in complete intellectual property ownership.

PayPal never worked in Ukraine to receive funds. Their support said that's because Ukrainian laws. I hope we'll change this in the future with new parlament.

Hi, mganenko. Seems that you want to find a place that:

  1. payment methods not restricted to Paypal;
  2. manufacture and ship for you;
  3. retain your intellectual property;

As I often wander in open hardware websites, I think seeedstudio may be worth a look, check the link:

other websites like DFRobot and Adafruit may have the same services. Good luck.

Thanks again, Daniel_lin! Looks like that's exactly what I need!