This Saturday we provided phosphene-hallucination visor kits at less than cost of production for sale at one of the VIA music festival events. It was an interesting experience, honestly somewhat stressful, and there are some things I would have done differently in retrospect. One person unfamiliar with electronics soldering and assembly was able to build a kit over the course of 3 hours, which is a good sign. I was able to build about five kits standing there. We also sold all the pre-assembled demo models.
What I learned:
- Most people don't know how to solder and build things.
- Some small fraction of technically experienced people will buy electronics kits at music shows
- People who don't know how to solder will happily buy the assembled demo models, but then might not understand the physical limits of the device or how to repair it if it becomes damaged.
- Selling for less than cost of production does not necessarily make people more likely to buy your stuff.
- Its hard for people to pay in cash, and it costs money to take credit cards.
- My salesperson skills could use some work.
What would I do differently :
- Prepare business cards for people to contact me again later, and hand those out.
- Run soldering workshops at hacker-spaces, so that people who don't know how to solder can use the kit under supervision to learn how to solder.
- Learn how to take credit cards
- Have someone else handle the actual sales pitch because I just don't have the heart for it.