Where to buy Arduino wholesale

Greetings,

I wasn't sure if there were any appropriate places to post this on the forum....so I stuck it here.

I am toying with the possibility of opening a store that specializes in Arduino and related hardware. Are there any locations where Arduino hardware is sold at wholesale for retail purposes? I did some initial searching around the internet, but supposed "wholesale" prices are not far enough below retail to actually turn any profit....probably not even enough to keep a roof over our heads. I am currently thinking that we may need as much as 40% markup from wholesale in the store.

Any guidance in this area will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Matt

mcindafizzy:
Greetings,

I wasn't sure if there were any appropriate places to post this on the forum....so I stuck it here.

I am toying with the possibility of opening a store that specializes in Arduino and related hardware. Are there any locations where Arduino hardware is sold at wholesale for retail purposes? I did some initial searching around the internet, but supposed "wholesale" prices are not far enough below retail to actually turn any profit....probably not even enough to keep a roof over our heads. I am currently thinking that we may need as much as 40% markup from wholesale in the store.

Any guidance in this area will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Matt

Have you contacted any of the "prime" suppliers - that is, those companies/etc that make their own Arduino variant/clone boards (or even from arduino.cc)? I bet if you asked what the wholesale minimum order is, and what the price break is - you'd be able to find it out - if you are serious. I would imagine that you won't see any form of a real price break until around the 10k quantity...

mcindafizzy:
Greetings,

I wasn't sure if there were any appropriate places to post this on the forum....so I stuck it here.

I am toying with the possibility of opening a store that specializes in Arduino and related hardware. Are there any locations where Arduino hardware is sold at wholesale for retail purposes? I did some initial searching around the internet, but supposed "wholesale" prices are not far enough below retail to actually turn any profit....probably not even enough to keep a roof over our heads. I am currently thinking that we may need as much as 40% markup from wholesale in the store.

Any guidance in this area will be appreciated.

Thanks.

Matt

If you sell authentic arduinos you won't make much money. Others have done the following:

  1. Clone the original arduinos without the arduino words and their symbols and have them made and sell them (you need to make large quantity)
  2. Design your own arduino compatible boards and maybe throw in some features original arduino doesn't offer, like the Ruggeduino.
  3. Sell shields kits parts and sensors for arduino to make money. Many online stores sell kits they design or well-known community members designed.
  4. Like 3) design your own shields kits and sell them at your store.

Alright, thanks for the direction - I have started contacting the main distributors and will see what they say. I will also look into what others are doing. I don't think ordering our own boards is a viable solution for a little storefront, but maybe we can markup some of the unofficial boards as suggested.

China would be the most likely place to look for quanities.

Just curious whether the store would be online or bricks-and-mortar (or both)...

I hope the OP is consider a BM store in a major city. There are just not that many (maybe 3-4) actual stores in North America except the RadioShack. There are lots of online stores on the other hand. If you open another one of the online stores, you will have to convince customers to go there and designers to sell through you. I now look at alexa ranking (Thanks maniacbug!) to see if the online store is popular enough before I say yes to selling through them. Sparkfun would be too popular to answer my emails (they don't answer) to sell my design. Then store X may be too new to get any online exposure and I can't tie up hundreds of dollars parts with store X.

For OP, if you want to carry products from designers, you can also evaluate how popular a designer is with alexa ranking :wink:

You might want to look at what price Radio Shack is now selling their standard Arduino Uno and Mega boards to see if you will be able to compete and still have a 40% mark-up over what ever 'wholesale' price you can get it at. I suspect you may have trouble having that high a mark-up and still be competitive, unless there are no radio shacks near you. You might consider taking a lower profit on the basic arduino controller cards and making better margins on all the support modules and components and accessories that can work with the controllers.

Lefty

Will there be a counter with stools, and a pot of coffee, and a side bench where someone could get something going before he left the store?

runaway_pancake:
Will there be a counter with stools, and a pot of coffee, and a side bench where someone could get something going before he left the store?

Electronics cafe!!! I want one in my city! Along this line, maybe the OP can convince a local internet cafe owner to sell arduinos and the OP would just rent a corner near the window, sitting there making LEDs blink with tweeter etc.

liudr:

runaway_pancake:
Will there be a counter with stools, and a pot of coffee, and a side bench where someone could get something going before he left the store?

Electronics cafe!!! I want one in my city! Along this line, maybe the OP can convince a local internet cafe owner to sell arduinos and the OP would just rent a corner near the window, sitting there making LEDs blink with tweeter etc.

Might work. By the way isn't Arduino a brand name for a very expensive industrial fancy coffee/cappuccino maker? That would be a nice tie in.

Lefty

I'll have a double Nano with cream and sugar please.

Pete

mcindafizzy:
I did some initial searching around the internet, but supposed "wholesale" prices are not far enough below retail to actually turn any profit....probably not even enough to keep a roof over our heads.

It is quite possible that the market is efficient enough that there is not a niche for your store.

To get the best margin, you probably want to take the Arduino hardware (it's open source), remove the Arduino branding (or license it, technically possible I think?) and perhaps do some value engineering (perhaps use 328 instead of 328p, etc). Then send it to China for manufacturing in large quantities (1k or 10k are typical order sizes). This could give you a net cost that allows you some margin, assuming you can then drive traffic to YOUR particular store as opposed to Amazon or whatever.

However, I'd like to suggest that the online enthusiast electronics store is a very crowded space selling into a pretty niche market. You need something special to compete with places like Adafruit or Sparkfun or Amazon. Honestly, buying a Starbucks franchise is probably an easier way to keep a roof over your head with a storefront :slight_smile:

If you're talking about a real brick-and-mortar storefront, then there may be some space in the market between Radio Shack on one hand, and Digi-Key/Amazon/Mouser/Adafruit on the other. Specifically, if I need a set of 7-segment LEDs, and a 14000 uF 200V capacitor, and a high-torque continual motion servo, all on a Saturday, then I'm pretty much out of luck. I live in the Bay area, where Jameco could serve me 9-5 on regular workdays, but after that, it's Fry's Electronics or Radio Shack, neither of which is usually all that good an option for low-level electronics. However, even in this high-price, dense, tech-heavy area, apparently there's not room for a store with the assortment of Jameco and opening times that work for a hobbyist.

The cafe idea also materializes the virtual community to flesh and blood community that can meet and collaborate.

liudr:
The cafe idea also materializes the virtual community to flesh and blood community that can meet and collaborate.

Except I won't meet anywhere is snows! :wink:

Lefty

retrolefty:

liudr:
The cafe idea also materializes the virtual community to flesh and blood community that can meet and collaborate.

Except I won't meet anywhere is snows! :wink:

Lefty

I just rented a garage (to stop worrying about digging my car out of snow and snow plowing schedules) the past November and so far that seems to have prevented the snowing. We only had 2-3 bad snow falls so far. I bet I won't see directional erosion of road side snow piles by the sun this coming spring.

There is a company in CA called www.cbas-usa.inc that does contract assembly work.
They recently quoted me a very low per/board assembly price + cost of a stencil for 50 boards. I imagine you'd need a lot more!
I will be sending them boards and parts, their website says they also do turnkey (obtain all material for you).
Rugged Circuits here in the forum does the same. Modern Devices.com also offers the same.
Come up with your own designs, or offer to sell some of the designs you see here in the web!

My impression is that Arduino has some "reasonable" margins built into the pricing. After all, there ARE many 2nd tier distributers (Adafruit, Sparkfun, NKC, etc.) The margin may not be high enough to pay your rent solely by selling Arduinos, and I recall that they (Arduino controlling interests) may be a bit fussy about who they are willing to sign up at those tiers, but it does seem to be possible to make some money without going the clone route. Not that having (for instance) a US sales office for Seeeduino boards wouldn't be interesting. (This available margin is one of the things that sets Arduino apart from boards like Rasberry PI (who I don't think support that second level) or TI Launchpad (whose first tier gets subsidized!) With Arduino you pay for at least one extra tier, and you acually seem to get the support that such a hierarchy should provide.

There are lot of great replies on this post, and I personally think jwatte's is closest to reality.
Couple of years back, 40% margin on hobby retail wasn't that big a deal, but with online stores who often hold little inventory, don't have any brick-n-mortar costs, and some even drop-ship from far-east, staying competitive with 40% margin means, you have some very (very) impressive volumes.

Wow, this post blew up. I watched it for a few days but then I left.

This shop would be more about offering a service than a specific product. We'd like to put up some work benches where customers can come in and work on their projects. We'll probably also offer our own kits, and we may try to do weekend instructional sessions where we show people how to build a certain kit. But designing and manufacturing our own hardware is out of the question - thats just a level of sophistication and cost we don't want to deal with.

What we're looking at right now is if any reasonable combination of boards/shields/sensors/controls/kits/services can sustain such a business....I'll let you guys know what we find....also if you have any suggestions or advice - throw it out.

Thanks.

Matt