threepointone
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:33 pm

Hi,
I'm interested in it as it's the smallest RPi with WiFi built in - none of the Compute modules have wireless built in. I'm a little confused by availability, though. None of main electronic distributors (Newark, etc.) stock the part or say that it's no longer available. All of the distributors in the US listed on this site have a limit of qty 1 per customer, which makes me wonder if there's a shortage and/or no volume production availability for this board. Or, given the surprisingly low price, perhaps it's some sort of introductory pricing for hobbyists or something?

Either way, I'm wondering if it's even possible to buy, say, 100s of these boards for an embedded application, because all the indicators I'm seeing make me worry that's not possible. Even if $10 is introductory pricing, even at maybe 2x the price it'd be reasonable, simply because the Zero W has a really, really nice combination of size/connectivity that no other product in the RPi series really has. It'd be a little disappointing if it's only usable as a toy.

Sent a message to RPi and haven't heard back - realized the forums may be a little faster and perhaps others in the same situation have some experience to share :)

Thanks!

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 16072
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:20 am

Look for the Pi Zero WH. It costs a little more but is available in quantities larger than one.

The restrictions on the Zero/Zero W are because it is being sold at pretty much zero profit. It was partly a proof that a computer could be made that cheaply and partly as an education discount, not for mass market sales.

Also, you can email [email protected] to ask about volume sales of the W. They may take a while to respond. They are pretty busy.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:27 pm

From comments made by moderators who actually work for the RPT or RPF, you can order Pi0 or Pi0W boards in bulk, though at a higher cost than the discounted "one per person" amount. Minimum order appears to be on the order of 500.

Edit to add...the RPT/RPF will not guarantee how long the Pi0/Pi0W will remain available, nor will they guarantee that the form factor won't change in the future. The CMs have a guaranteed availability for several years. While the CMs don't have a built-in WiFi, you can be sure you can get them in the future.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:24 pm

threepointone wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:33 pm
Hi,
I'm interested in it as it's the smallest RPi with WiFi built in - none of the Compute modules have wireless built in. I'm a little confused by availability, though. None of main electronic distributors (Newark, etc.) stock the part or say that it's no longer available.
Unlike other models, the Pi Zero series are only made directly by/for RPT/RPF.

All of the distributors in the US listed on this site have a limit of qty 1 per customer, which makes me wonder if there's a shortage and/or no volume production availability for this board. Or, given the surprisingly low price, perhaps it's some sort of introductory pricing for hobbyists or something?
It is, in fact, an introductory price at the $5/$10 price point, and it is supposed to (literally) be one-per-customer (ever) at that price. But since it would be quite difficult to enforce that across multiple dealers in multiple countries, most dealers restrict you to one-per-order.

The Pi Zero WH with pre-installed 2x20 pin header is not suppose to be restricted, but it seems many dealers still limit that to one-per-order as well. I have asked about that here and been told that someone would contact those dealers and let them know the WH is not supposed to be restricted, but nothing ever came of it (restrictions are still in place).

As rpdom said above, you can contact RPF/RPT to buy in bulk at a higher price. Since you indicated you have tried to contact them, perhaps you just need to wait a bit longer for the answer (they're not always the fastest to respond), or try and contact them again.

Personally, I think the whole Pi Zero pricing situation was handled very badly. When it first came out were told order limits were due to availability. It was only much later we were told it was a one-per-customer limit, and were never told the price for higher quantities. They really should have quantity pricing at dealers for smaller numbers (say, 5-20) for people who want more than one, but not hundreds. The only dealer that has that is MicroCenter, but only in-store (no online ordering for Pi Zero).

There is a way to sneak around the restriction if you only need a few. You should be able to buy a Pi Zero, Pi Zero W and a Pi Zero WH all in one order. Other than that, you need to find a dealer that doesn't restrict the WH model, which would NOT be Adafruit.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:42 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:24 pm
There is a way to sneak around the restriction if you only need a few. You should be able to buy a Pi Zero, Pi Zero W and a Pi Zero WH all in one order. Other than that, you need to find a dealer that doesn't restrict the WH model, which would NOT be Adafruit.
Last time I checked (and I'll admit it's been a while), companies were NOT permitting you to order one of each. Rather, the "one per order" applied to all three. The way to "beat the system" is to order one of each of the type you want from as many different companies as you're willing to do business with.

And--also in the "last time I checked" category--IIRC, PiHut was permitting orders of multiple Pi0WH boards at a time.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:03 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:42 pm
Last time I checked (and I'll admit it's been a while), companies were NOT permitting you to order one of each.
And some are enforcing the one-per-customer (ever) limit, but not all. For example, Adafruit, who won't sell you more than one WH per order, will let you order one of each model (Pi Zero 1.3, W and WH). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like I said, the whole Pi Zero situation is a mess, and it would be nice if RPF/RPT would do something about that.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:32 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:03 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:42 pm
Last time I checked (and I'll admit it's been a while), companies were NOT permitting you to order one of each.
And some are enforcing the one-per-customer (ever) limit, but not all. For example, Adafruit, who won't sell you more than one WH per order, will let you order one of each model (Pi Zero 1.3, W and WH). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Like I said, the whole Pi Zero situation is a mess, and it would be nice if RPF/RPT would do something about that.
It's unclear--at least to me, in the US--what they can do to enforce such rules. It might run the risk of being charged under anti-trust laws.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:20 am

Actually, I was just referring to a more than one price policy (let dealers sell more than one at a higher price, like MicroCenter somehow does). Or how about a multi-pack? Say a 5-pack of Zero W for around $65. That would offer some extra profit, but still be cheaper than paying shipping for each one or buying the WH. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway... I know RPF/RPT has their own plan and agenda, and I'm not demanding or even suggesting they do as I say, what do I know, right? I'm sure there are people over there that are much more clever than I, so I believe they could come up with a better way to handle it than the current mess if they set their minds to it.

Like I said, it would be nice...
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

Heater
Posts: 14429
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:46 am

What mess?

It's no more of a mess than the promotional offers you get in super-markets. Sometimes there, sometimes not.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:00 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:20 am
Actually, I was just referring to a more than one price policy (let dealers sell more than one at a higher price, like MicroCenter somehow does). Or how about a multi-pack? Say a 5-pack of Zero W for around $65. That would offer some extra profit, but still be cheaper than paying shipping for each one or buying the WH.
I dare say that some enterprising company could do a "bulk" buy (i.e >= 500 at a time) and either package the Pi0 or Pi0W boards in 5-packs or 6-packs...or as used to be suggested, 10-packs, or request that they be delivered that way, then sell them on with whatever markup they wanted to apply.

ejolson
Posts: 4245
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:04 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:46 am
What mess?

It's no more of a mess than the promotional offers you get in super-markets. Sometimes there, sometimes not.
One difference is that the promotional items at grocery stores are for eating and raspberry pies are not. Furthermore, the Zero is useful in unique ways, whereas one can easily substitute a package of promotional cheese for the promotional sausages.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:18 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:00 pm
I dare say that some enterprising company could do a "bulk" buy (i.e >= 500 at a time) and either package the Pi0 or Pi0W boards in 5-packs or 6-packs...or as used to be suggested, 10-packs, or request that they be delivered that way, then sell them on with whatever markup they wanted to apply.
Except that bulk pricing is already higher than retail, and adding additional markup would only make it worse. Why would anyone buy a 5 pack that costs far more than ordering them individually? Only RPT is in a position to offer such a pack at a reasonable price.

Again, I'm not saying it's the best idea, and it wasn't the point of my post. The current pricing and availability of Pi Zero models is confusing and frustrating to users who haven't been around long enough to know the details. I think either something should be done that allows hobbyists to purchase small quantities, or the marketing material for the Pi Zero should make it clear it's a one-time purchase.

And what's the deal with MicroCenter (why are they the only dealer with quantity pricing)?
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:27 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:18 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:00 pm
I dare say that some enterprising company could do a "bulk" buy (i.e >= 500 at a time) and either package the Pi0 or Pi0W boards in 5-packs or 6-packs...or as used to be suggested, 10-packs, or request that they be delivered that way, then sell them on with whatever markup they wanted to apply.
Except that bulk pricing is already higher than retail, and adding additional markup would only make it worse. Why would anyone buy a 5 pack that costs far more than ordering them individually? Only RPT is in a position to offer such a pack at a reasonable price.
Which would cost more... Buying a "six pack" of Pi0s wiith a single ship and handling charge, or making six separate orders for Pi0s and paying for shipping and handling on each one? Yes, we all know that the price is higher, but how that would break would depend on how much higher. It can't be a huge jump or the Pi0WH wouldn't have a list price of $15, which is $5 more than a single Pi0W *and* has the header block added and soldered in place.
Again, I'm not saying it's the best idea, and it wasn't the point of my post. The current pricing and availability of Pi Zero models is confusing and frustrating to users who haven't been around long enough to know the details. I think either something should be done that allows hobbyists to purchase small quantities, or the marketing material for the Pi Zero should make it clear it's a one-time purchase.

And what's the deal with MicroCenter (why are they the only dealer with quantity pricing)?
It may come down to the degree to which "you will only sell one per customer/order at our specified price" is enforceable under US law.

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:58 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:27 pm
It may come down to the degree to which "you will only sell one per customer/order at our specified price" is enforceable under US law.
Which is why I suggested a multi-pack. The multi-pack would also help with dealers who refuse to remove the restriction on the Pi Zero WH.
Adafruit.gif
Adafruit.gif (9.35 KiB) Viewed 1742 times
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

mic_s
Posts: 92
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:15 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:05 pm

Adafruit is Adafruit. No problem with this.

https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/rasp ... red-header

says:

Raspberry Pi Zero WH (pre-soldered) $14.43US „This product is limited to 10 per order.“
… may be you are qualified for an additional 10% discount (from Friday 15th March to midnight Monday 18th March (GMT) ... p&p ? … do your own research

Anyway … Problem solved.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24925
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:18 am

I have no idea why the WH is still restricted to one per customer by some shops. Will ask around.

EDIT: OK, we do not enforce (not that we can) any sort of one per person limit on the WH, so this is entirely down to the sellers. We can contect sellers to ask why if you would like, so anyone finds one, please post the name here. I'll pass on the one from above.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I own the world’s worst thesaurus. Not only is it awful, it’s awful."

threepointone
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:31 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:40 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

- I agree, the pricing is pretty confusing. Some of the quantity limits / perpetual low stock, especially from US retailers (Adafruit/Microcenter) make it look like there's a shortage. If the "WH" model were listed on the "buy" page on the main Raspberry Pi website, with a note that it is not quantity one, perhaps I would have been less confused.

- Got it, the WH pricing is sort of closer to the real volume quantity (in the 10s-100s, I'd imagine, anyway)

Unfortunately most of the retailers in the US either do not carry the WH at all, are in-store only or apparently have broken quantity limits. There are four retailers Raspberry Pi lists in the US (perhaps there are more to check):

Adafruit - see post from other member above. Still max 1 per customer for the WH model! (https://www.adafruit.com/product/3708)
Canakit - No WH model! https://www.canakit.com/raspberry-pi-zero.html
Microcenter - it might look like there's no quantity limit, but it is in-store only, with volume pricing above 1 unit. They're also out of stock most of the time I check. For people who don't know this store, they're not exactly a huge store, so I'd say most people in the US would have to drive pretty far to get to one.
Pishop.us - the only shop that has quantity WH pricing! (I actually ordered a few when I found out!)

- Thanks for the heads up on guaranteed availability of WH vs Compute modules. It might not be as important for this project (if the schedule stays on track, anyway), but I will keep that in mind when making the decision on SBC for this and future projects.

- Definitely looking forward to a compute module with WiFi. I'm sure RPi already figured this, but having an option for an on-board antenna or U.fl connector would be nice as well, as there's a pretty good chance the on-board one is the wrong place for the antenna in many final products. I realize R.Pi's primary mission is education, so I understand if that's not necessarily happening very soon. Random OT thought - many engineering companies in the US provide free software and tools to high school/college students because they know they'll likely go back to asking their employer to purchase those tools if they become engineers. I'd imagine the same is likely to happen to students using R.Pis!

Again, thank you everyone for all the responses! As an extra plus, I'm sure this thread will be useful for anyone else wondering the same thing.

fruitoftheloom
Posts: 21586
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:40 pm
Location: Delightful Dorset

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:06 pm

threepointone wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:40 pm
Thanks for all the replies!

- I agree, the pricing is pretty confusing. Some of the quantity limits / perpetual low stock, especially from US retailers (Adafruit/Microcenter) make it look like there's a shortage. If the "WH" model were listed on the "buy" page on the main Raspberry Pi website, with a note that it is not quantity one, perhaps I would have been less confused.

- Got it, the WH pricing is sort of closer to the real volume quantity (in the 10s-100s, I'd imagine, anyway)

Unfortunately most of the retailers in the US either do not carry the WH at all, are in-store only or apparently have broken quantity limits. There are four retailers Raspberry Pi lists in the US (perhaps there are more to check):

Adafruit - see post from other member above. Still max 1 per customer for the WH model! (https://www.adafruit.com/product/3708)
Canakit - No WH model! https://www.canakit.com/raspberry-pi-zero.html
Microcenter - it might look like there's no quantity limit, but it is in-store only, with volume pricing above 1 unit. They're also out of stock most of the time I check. For people who don't know this store, they're not exactly a huge store, so I'd say most people in the US would have to drive pretty far to get to one.
Pishop.us - the only shop that has quantity WH pricing! (I actually ordered a few when I found out!)

- Thanks for the heads up on guaranteed availability of WH vs Compute modules. It might not be as important for this project (if the schedule stays on track, anyway), but I will keep that in mind when making the decision on SBC for this and future projects.

- Definitely looking forward to a compute module with WiFi. I'm sure RPi already figured this, but having an option for an on-board antenna or U.fl connector would be nice as well, as there's a pretty good chance the on-board one is the wrong place for the antenna in many final products. I realize R.Pi's primary mission is education, so I understand if that's not necessarily happening very soon. Random OT thought - many engineering companies in the US provide free software and tools to high school/college students because they know they'll likely go back to asking their employer to purchase those tools if they become engineers. I'd imagine the same is likely to happen to students using R.Pis!

Again, thank you everyone for all the responses! As an extra plus, I'm sure this thread will be useful for anyone else wondering the same thing.

I very much doubt that the Compute Module itself will include WiFi there is no room without a complete design.

The idea of the Compute Module is you add the interfaces etcetera you require on the Custom Baseboard.

The current Compute Module 3+ will be available as is for several years (2025 ?), which can not be guaranteed for the Zero family.
Retired disgracefully.....
......to a more gentile life !

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 5193
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:09 pm

threepointone wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:40 pm
...
Again, thank you everyone for all the responses! As an extra plus, I'm sure this thread will be useful for anyone else wondering the same thing.
These threads pop-up pretty regularly here.

Welcome to the forum and the Raspberry Pi community.
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11446
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:02 pm

threepointone wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:40 pm
- Definitely looking forward to a compute module with WiFi.
Fruitoftheloom got it right...the whole idea of the CM series is a *module* and intended for embedded designs. It exposes every interface the SoC has on a convenient edge connector and leaves it up to overall system designer what to make available on the carrier board. That does, of course, make it possible to set up interfaces a Pi normally lacks--such as the (alas, discontinued) WD SATA adapter. (It has it's flaws...two USB ports and no Ethernet jack, but it came with a really nice frame for holding the board and a 2.5" HDD or SSD.)

ejolson
Posts: 4245
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:45 am

threepointone wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:40 pm
Microcenter - it might look like there's no quantity limit, but it is in-store only, with volume pricing above 1 unit. They're also out of stock most of the time I check. For people who don't know this store, they're not exactly a huge store, so I'd say most people in the US would have to drive pretty far to get to one.
There are 25 Micro Center stores across the United States of America with multiple stores in some states and none in others. I've only visited a couple stores, but all were huge.

When I was growing up, John Baker ran the Radio Shack down the street. At the beginning of the golden age of personal computing he founded Micro Center so he could sell a wider variety of computers. When I visit my parents it is fun to go shopping and see what's on the shelves. For the record, I've never had a problem with Pi Zero and Zero W computers being out of stock.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 24925
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:30 am

Anyone looking for large volumes of ZeroWH could contact [email protected] and we will give you a quote on bulk orders. Not sure what the mimimum order size is, but a couple of hundred at least I would think, but please get in contact for full details.

And just for interest, we've now sold over 1.5M Zero's of one form or another, so production limitations are no longer in place!
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I own the world’s worst thesaurus. Not only is it awful, it’s awful."

CrashGordon
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:55 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi Zero W for moderate volume applications

Mon May 13, 2019 3:44 pm

This looks promising...
https://www.pishop.us/product/raspberry ... der-bundle

The description specifically says, "Unlike bare Zero W boards, this bundle may be purchased in any quantity."

$4.25 for is pretty pricey for a header strip, but if you need a bunch (as I do :- )...
And I'm going to be adding a header anyway.

Return to “General discussion”