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Everything Else » How would I sell a machine I create

June 30, 2013
by jmuthe
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When I first bought the Nerdkit, I thought that I could just use it to learn and have fun by building simple projects. However, I quickly realized that if a person spent enough time and did enough research, they could actually build something useful with the Nerdkit and even sell it. I might want to try that one day but I want it to be clear that I don't plan on just quitting my job to start a business. I would want to still work but sell these products on the side. The machine would probably just be my version of an electronic item like a recorder, alarm clock, electronic keyboard, electronic tuner, etc. I understand that I would first have to build something and make sure that the prototype looks professional with a nice cover and PCB board. I should also be something that works reliably, be something that people want, and would be willing to buy for a price more than it costs me to make it. However, once the prototype is built and I am satisfied with the results, what is the next step? For example, should I create a Website and sell and advertise it from there or should I try to find a large retail store and get them to sell it, or are there any other alternatives? If there are, then please be specific of what I have to do or tell me where I could find the information to do so.

I also want you to know that if I do sell my products, I would like to do it legally of course. I know that there are forms to fill out, regulations to abide by, and the design probably would have to be inspected. Where would I go to find out all of the proper legal procedures that have to be carried out? I also have questions about copyright laws regarding the software and hardware but I decided to start a new thread called “ Copyright questions of hardware and software” to ask that question.

June 30, 2013
by jmuthe
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Before anyone asks, I want you all to know that I don't have anything built yet or even know what to build yet. I am still trying to experiment and become more familiar with my microprocessor. I know you may think that I'm putting the horse before the cart by asking how to sell a machine if I haven't built it yet. I ask these question though for a few reasons. First I'm just curious and I see no harm in asking these questions now. I also ask because I want to have some idea of how difficult it is to sell a machine after I build it. If I find out that it is ten times harder to sell a machine then it was to build it then I won't bother trying to build and perfect something like that. Of course, I still would make smaller projects with the Nerdkit but that would just be as a hobby. Lastly, if I know now what I have to do to sell a machine, then I would be prepared to sell it once I build it. I wouldn't have to build something and then spend months just trying to figure out what to do next. Thanks for your help.

July 01, 2013
by Ralphxyz
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jmuthe, good questions!!

There have been other Nerdkit users that wanted to sell their projects.

One high school kid was really serious about selling his kits he started out with orders from his teacher.

If you come up with something novel possible something like Kickstarter would be usefull.


July 09, 2013
by scootergarrett
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This is an interesting question, my thoughts even though I’m far from a lawyer. Code you write is yours to do what you want, parts you purchase are yours. After that I’m not so sure I think it depends, free libraries I have no clue. Most electronic chips will show example circuits of how to use them so that’s not stealing; I would say if the circuit was online it probably doesn’t belong to a company that is protecting it. Also all I do is type ‘make’ and it loads the program, do I owe someone something for the AVR things going on in the background?

Rant time:

I was listing to NPR a few weeks ago and it seems like there is a vague patent that covers everything, and layers just go around suing people. Anyways you should make and sell something because that’s what moves society forward no matter how much outdated systems try to hold it back.

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