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Any possibility for a small business owner to get some zeros

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:56 am
by TheSwede
So I've been tinkering with my Raspberry Pi Zero I bought from the pi hut the other month, and it's a very nice little computer indeed.

The situation in Sweden is that zero (hah) companies sell any really good Raspberry Pi kits, and no one sells Raspberry Pi Zeros for less than $15-20 or so, which is just highway robbery since you can get non-zeros for that price. What's the point?

I was however met with disappointment to see that the pi hut had a strict 1 per customer rule, and I saw in another thread here that there's indeed a shortage of zeros right now.

I'm wondering, is there any possibility to order, say 10 Raspberry Pi Zeros from somewhere, so that I can start up my small business idea? Ebay/Aliexpress has such cheap cables and dongles these days it's basically a gold mine for small businesses and people like me. But, so far I haven't found a place that sells more than one, or if they do, they're above at least $10 a piece.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:49 am
by jamesh
Your only option is to buy one at a time right now. Demand is still higher than supply, so the one per order is still in place.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:06 am
by rpdom
It's a pity you didn't ask sooner. I going to Sweden next weekend and I could have bought ten Raspberry Pi Zeros over a few weeks for £6.25 (with postage and stuff) and sold them on to you for a very small fee. Too late now :(

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:41 am
by TheSwede
This was more of a question to the people who make it. I could probably get my hands on 10 right now and try to sell them, but not having a secure stream of at least 10-20 a month I can't justify starting up the business. :|

Oh well, I'll keep checking the forums to see if the supply ever overtakes the demand I guess.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:52 am
by mikerr
One per order, but you can order 1 from thepihut, another 1 from pimoroni - so 2 at a time.

The question is, how long do you have to wait before the next order
- I suspect 2 orders per day will be cancelled, 1 per day ?

Pi Zero has been out a full year now, and it now always in stock (less demand or some who need qty given up)
- isn't it about time we had multi orders ?

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:22 pm
by W. H. Heydt
mikerr wrote: Pi Zero has been out a full year now, and it now always in stock (less demand or some who need qty given up)
- isn't it about time we had multi orders ?
Exactly today (2015-11-26 to 2016-11-26). Let's wait with bated breath to see if there is any announcement on Monday when Pi Towers has their first work day after the anniversary.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:27 pm
by mahjongg
Don't get your hopes up, I doubt the RPF will want to realise an at least tenfold increase in production, which is needed at this point for small business owners to even have a hope of buying the Zero in the quantities they want,
They won't take that financial risk IMHO.

any smaller increase would just be "gobbled up" by the interested non business buyers is my expectation.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:24 pm
by hippy
TheSwede wrote:not having a secure stream of at least 10-20 a month I can't justify starting up the business. :|
I think you just have to accept that is the way it is and how it is likely to remain for some time to come.

The Pi Zero was intended to help those who couldn't afford what a Pi would otherwise cost take a plunge into getting their first ever programming experience, not as a product to base commercial ventures around. If wanting to do that it would be better to choose one of the other Pi boards.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:23 am
by fruitoftheloom
TheSwede wrote:This was more of a question to the people who make it. I could probably get my hands on 10 right now and try to sell them, but not having a secure stream of at least 10-20 a month I can't justify starting up the business. :|

Oh well, I'll keep checking the forums to see if the supply ever overtakes the demand I guess.
If you want to become a re-seller then you need to speak to the RPT :D

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:59 pm
by steveb4pi
There are 2 UK distributors and 2 in USA .. and that's it.

In UK, Pimoroni limits you to one per order 'per day' (or perhaps 'every other day').
They ship to Sweden, however charge £4, so £4 PiZ + £4 shipping = £8 per Pi Zero.

'ThePiHut' is stricter == they cancelled my second order in 48Hrs and I've not bothered to go back to them as Pimoroni have supplied all I've wanted

Supply at both UK distributors is 'adequate'. They are now almost always 'In Stock' & 'Out of stock' status only lasts a few days = in fact Pimoroni still have stock despite offering a number of really good PiZ based kits 'Black Friday' (the WiFi audio kit looks to be the best)

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:12 pm
by W. H. Heydt
mahjongg wrote:Don't get your hopes up, I doubt the RPF will want to realise an at least tenfold increase in production, which is needed at this point for small business owners to even have a hope of buying the Zero in the quantities they want,
They won't take that financial risk IMHO.

any smaller increase would just be "gobbled up" by the interested non business buyers is my expectation.
I'm not expecting any developments. A relaxation to two per order would be nice (though, as I said, not expected). Some sort of announcement, such as roughly how many have sold in the first year would be kind of nice though.

There are, of course, two ways to tackle the availability issue (which, as I've noted in other threads, is pretty decent now, so long as you only want one at a time). One is to increase supply. This is probably an intractable approach for several reasons. The other is for demand to diminish. Obviously, I can't speak for others, but I have built up a small supply of Pi Zeros so I'm no longer scrambling to have them to hand if I have a project where it is the logical fit. As a result, I've only bought one Pi Zero in the last two or three months. Basically, only when I am placing an order for other items with a Pi Zero supplier do I add one to the order. I've no idea how others are approaching this issue other than bemoaning the situation on these Forums.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:14 pm
by W. H. Heydt
steveb4pi wrote:There are 2 UK distributors and 2 in USA .. and that's it.
Well... More like one and a variable (mostly small) fraction in the US, since MicroCenter only sells them in their brick-and-mortar stores, and there are very few of those stores. There is also a supplier in Canada, but I've never looked at them.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:51 pm
by jamesh
TheSwede wrote:This was more of a question to the people who make it. I could probably get my hands on 10 right now and try to sell them, but not having a secure stream of at least 10-20 a month I can't justify starting up the business. :|

Oh well, I'll keep checking the forums to see if the supply ever overtakes the demand I guess.
Why the zero? Cost or size? Is the A too large?

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:36 pm
by W. H. Heydt
jamesh wrote: Why the zero? Cost or size? Is the A too large?
Obviously I can't answer for the OP, but for the two Pi Zero projects I've done, in one it was mostly "because I can". It's a minimal cost, minimal sized NTP server (Pi Zero, USB to Ethernet adapter, RTC, and an existing PSU). For the other, it's a wearable name badge, so size, power requirements, and a minimum of lumps sticking out made the Pi Zero the optimal choice, with price helping, too.

Elescalador

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:38 am
by ElEscalador
jamesh wrote: Why the zero? Cost or size? Is the A too large?
For me in this order:
1. Cost - although a modest markup would be acceptable for increased availability. I'd easily pay $7...mayyybe up to $10 USD once my product is market ready, but I need it to be available. $20-35 for the beefier pis is too much.
2. The pinout - I like the pi2/3 gpio compatibility for developing, upgrade options later, and mostly - because some variants of my product require all those IO pins. The small header of the earlier versions doesn't cut it
3. Not that you asked for this detail, but my product does need the ability to autorun programs from the SD card - which I can't do with say an Arduino.

4. Size and power consumption. Relatively minor consideration to the above requirements, but still somewhat important.

Given the above and it's broad capabilities without changing hardware, the zero comes out on top. It's only real negatives for my purpose are availability and that it requires a proper shutdown to avoid SD corruption. That's actually a biggie but I can work around it. Again - I could pay more for the board if I didn't have to.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:48 am
by hippy
jamesh wrote:Why the zero? Cost or size? Is the A too large?
For a business idea I had with some friends it was entirely cost. We could add a good mark-up, would still have a cheap product and a market for that. The Pi A is four times as expensive and isn't viable.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:05 am
by TheSwede
OP here. Since I'm not starting up the company I'll just spill the beans.

I wanted to sell a "NES Mini" type thing. Mini-HDMI cables are $1.50 on eBay. Micro-USB hub $2. Black Pi Zero case (matches hub) $3. Micro-USB cable $1 tops. USB-to-wall socket power adapter is $2. SNES USB controllers are $2.50 to $10 for the good ones (Buffalo, from Japan, are basically identical to the original quality wise).

I have the MicroSD cards already. 40-50 of them. So they're "free".

The idea was to buy these cheap things and sell the as a pre-made bundle. A fully functional Raspberry Pi Zero with SNES controller you just plug in and start up RetroPie with. I'll of course take care of installing RetroPie on the card and make sure it works. The roms however would not be included.

I've seen kits like these sell for $80 in Sweden, and I figure I could set the price just below the NES Mini (which is pretty expensive here) and have a massive 100-200% profit per kit.

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:50 am
by RaTTuS
do it slightly differently
sell everything you need as a kit and get people to buy a Pi0 themselves and plug it all together

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:02 am
by jamesh
RaTTuS wrote:do it slightly differently
sell everything you need as a kit and get people to buy a Pi0 themselves and plug it all together
Combined with comprehensive instructions, that might be an easy in for people (and they could buy a Zero, or any of the other models).

Re: Any possibility for a small business owner to get some z

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:34 pm
by TheSwede
Swedes don't generally like buying from overseas. Customs are a bitch, and they charge you 25% on anything above $50, unless you cheat (by asking the nice eBay seller who just doesn't care to write down the value).

So importing just never really took off, which is why people like me even have these ideas. The in-country market is huge and lucrative because there's no competition. Local HDMI cables are literally 99 sek, or $12-13. Huuuuuuge markup. Huuuuge profits. But, everyone does it, so why have lower prices, right?

But hey, at least I'll get a pretty sweet looking, sweet functioning, cheap "NES Mini on steroids" all to myself. Thanks Pi team. .)