We are excited to be launching a new on-line store and resource for electronic hobbyists.
If you are wondering why the world needs another on-line retailer for electronics since there are already lots of ways to buy parts these days and in a world dominated by Amazon, we frankly feel that there is a gap in the options available to hobbyists that needs to be better filled.
Most retailers selling to hobbyists can be split into two main groups:
- Good quality well known on-line retailers that provide good information on what they sell, but that also sell at a premium price.
- Resellers that are simply flipping mostly China made products on Amazon and EBay with usually low prices, but also with little information on what it is that they are actually selling and often drop shipping straight from Asia.
Somewhere between those two options, we feel that there is an under-represented middle ground where we can provide a better overall value for our customers.
Pricing: If you compare pricing, you will find that our overall pricing is better and in some cases much better than what you will find with the larger well known stores and our shipping is comparable. In fact our pricing is generally competitive even with Amazon and EBay.
Quality: We test what we sell. Modules are evaluated to determine how they actually perform before being added to our store and we share those results. There are many inexpensive and interesting modules coming out of China for instance that can provide great value as long as you understand their strengths and weaknesses ‘before’ you buy.
On most modules, especially those coming out of China, we do a basic functional test of all the inventory before it is sold. If you buy an Arduino clone board for instance, it is inspected, powered up and downloaded with the ‘Blinky’ sample program to verify basic functionality. It is then repackaged in a high quality resealable ESD bag for safe storage. DC-DC converters are tested using programmable DC load equipment. Displays are powered up and exercised to make sure that they work as expected as shown in the picture attached to this article. If we provide example software on the product page, that is typically what we use to test the product that we ship to customers. I don’t know of another store that goes through that type of effort to ensure that the product you buy works as you expect it to once it is in your hands.
Information: Our goal is to provide the information that you need to use the products that we sell and to provide links to good quality information that has been shared by others when we find them. There is lots of information on the internet, some of it is good and some of it is not that great, but mining it and figuring out what is good vs. bad can be time consuming, so we try to streamline that process when possible.
We are open for business, but we are also still in process of stocking our store and we are adding new items to the store virtually every day. If you know of holes in the hobby that aren’t being filled or have suggestions in general, drop me a note.
Congrats on the online store opening. I look forward to building my first order.