Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

How to raise money
fivesixzero
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Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby fivesixzero » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:43 am

I think this is a great way to raise money. How can you promote Maker culture without making affordable kits and simple made things available? :)

There may be alot more work involved (working out safety concerns, liability, customer service, etc) but it'd help offset costs quite a bit.

uptownmaker
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby uptownmaker » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:12 am

Agreed- but there would have to be at least one reasonably full-time staff member to make something like that work.

Mike

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metis
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby metis » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:35 am

liability wise unless it's a collective sort of thing we'd have to. an old school co-op model might work, in that everyone has access, but there are shifts to be staffed to "work" doing sales during business hours that will say get you 3$ an hour off your membership. sign up for enough shifts and you might get free membership for that year/month.

kits may be ideal for classes, but there are a LOT of kits out there. i'd say have a storefront where members can sell their creations.

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paulsobczak
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby paulsobczak » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:36 pm

metis wrote:liability wise unless it's a collective sort of thing we'd have to. an old school co-op model might work, in that everyone has access, but there are shifts to be staffed to "work" doing sales during business hours that will say get you 3$ an hour off your membership. sign up for enough shifts and you might get free membership for that year/month.

kits may be ideal for classes, but there are a LOT of kits out there. i'd say have a storefront where members can sell their creations.


I would like to see kit building classes, where we at the maker shop would host the class and supply all of the materials needed, while walking the students through the process.

jth
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby jth » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:47 pm

paulsobczak wrote:I would like to see kit building classes, where we at the maker shop would host the class and supply all of the materials needed, while walking the students through the process.


This was one idea another group that I have been emailing with had -- sort of an open-house day--to generate interest and find new members, especially fun since it would be collectively led by other members.

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metis
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby metis » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:03 pm

what about consignment of made items?

i.e. i make a widget there, and price it at 100$ the group gets 30$

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paulsobczak
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby paulsobczak » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:51 pm

I saw NYC resistor is using http://www.etsy.com for some if its product sales. I am not sure if using them bypasses the safety and liability, but at least people purchasing things from that website know they are hand made.

fivesixzero
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby fivesixzero » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:24 pm

paulsobczak wrote:I saw NYC resistor is using http://www.etsy.com for some if its product sales. I am not sure if using them bypasses the safety and liability, but at least people purchasing things from that website know they are hand made.


Etsy's great, a few of my friends have used it to sell craft/art creations before and it's a natural community for that. As more equipment comes into the picture the only rare resource left to create items with would be time to create, photograph, post, and ship which really isn't that much. I'm sure we could get advice from other groups doing similar online commerce stuff to see if there are other considerations.

If that's successful it could be a prelude to the use of some physical space as a micro storefront or something larger.

The more I think about it though it's just one of many approaches that will be needed for fund raising. Workshops, membership fees and corporate donors (if going the NFP route) will probably be the core of any fund raising done. Having a strategy and some work in place with kit/creation sales certainly wouldn't hurt but it'll depend on other things like organizational structure, the overall mission, and the space we eventually end up with.

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Theo
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby Theo » Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:11 am

uptownmaker wrote:there would have to be at least one reasonably full-time staff member to make something like that work.

Oh I don't think it would be difficult to find a willing & capable candidate, especially in the current economy.
[clears throat]
[points at self while looking vaguely elsewhere]

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Theo
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Re: Storefront and/or internet sales of "made things" and kits

Postby Theo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:44 am

paulsobczak wrote:I would like to see kit building classes, where we at the maker shop would host the class and supply all of the materials needed, while walking the students through the process.

Sure, like classes at the Science Museum or various art museums or wherever. It'd be like summer camp, only with robots and ring modulators instead of enameled copper and macrame.

Used to teach all kinds of crafts & classes at camps and at outdoor-education centers. Tie dye, canoeing, papermaking, blacksmith shop, candlemaking, gardening, the high-ropes course... even built an electric guitar once, which some of the boys from my cabin helped me work on (well, the ones who actually wanted to).


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