Servers by jDrones

An web shop [Closed]

(Hugues) #1


Proposal type: Hardware [ ] , Software [ ] , Other [ x] : Ardupilot hardware parts web shop

Description: I wonder if it would not be a good idea to have a web shop section in the Ardupilot site to sell to our community members all of the hardware parts (Pixhawk, Pixhawk2, Sensors, goodies, etc) that are best supporting the Ardupilot initiative by ensuring a high level of quality and a one stop shopping (similarly to what was the 3DR web shop that became a de facto trusted source for hardware parts). Today, since the disapperance of the 3DR “reference” it is a real pain and difficulty to roam the internet and various web sites to gather the basic parts required to build a drone that are compatible and plug and play with Ardupilot: autopilot (Pixhawk, Pixhawk2), GPS+Compass, cables with right lengths and connectors, radio telemetry, Digital airspeed sensors, power modules, optional sensors, etc.

Why thus not have Ardupilot be the front store and one stop shop that everybody would dream of as a quality sourcing and reliability insurance for critical electronics parts like autopilots ? (part of) Sales would of course contribute to

Planned amount $$ (USD): For web site developpers to analyze.

Estimated time for completion: For web site developpers to analyze.

ArduPilot owned swags shop [Approved, dev team vote]
Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]
Marketing Meeting, Aug 4, 2017 2300 UTC
(Francisco Ferreira) #2

This would imply we have, at least, one person managing the store. We are already scarce in man power, so unless we paid someone I don’t see how this could be done.
We have a list of stores/manufacturers that are recommended for quality products, I don’t see how having another store would help.

(skyscraper) #3

I like the idea. The Ardupilot forum provides a ready made support forum. Maybe some one would be interested in running it as a franchise, which would hopefully generate some income for them and for ArduPilot

(Francisco Ferreira) #4

Well, if someone trustable was willing to run it and get whatever money they could get from it then that’s a good first step. That person has to do all the hardware support too, warranties and all. I don’t see how that would work without making products quite a bit more expensive. Most products aren’t sold at a single location, so many times it’s easier, faster and cheaper to buy it from a store close to you.

(RS) #5

How did 3DR do it? Would it not be possible to use that business model? Wouldn’t hardware support be covered by, as DIYDrones covered support for 3DR? This would work up to the warranty, then that would be covered by the manufacturer of that part.

In my view the absence of 3DR has left a huge void that has not been filled. Sure you can by from other sources but I find it such a pain. I used to shop at 3DR but now I have to spend so much time sourcing products, ordering from all over the world and the quality is not always the same. Not to mention the cost of shipping. I order one part from AUS $60 shipping, one part France €16 shipping etc. For example I just bought a couple of Pixhawks from HK international (as they were not offered in HK EU or HK GB) cost €54 ea. plus €20ish shipping. My local store sells them for €95 and its cost €16 for shipping 500 miles, so pretty much double the price.

The franchise model sounds interesting. One store in AUS, one in USA, and one in EU? AUS and USA have quite a few stores and JDrones covers Asia, but the EU is lacking in this area from what I have found.

I may be wrong here but I think it would be nice to see Ardupilot getting more reward, from what I see, and I may be wrong, but Ardupilot seems to fill the support gap for HK and I’m not sure how that benefit comes back to Ardupilot.

Does anyone have any idea what kind of stock level in terms of capital 3DR used to hold? Or what kind of start up capital are we talking about?

(Hugues) #6

Thx for people supporting the idea. I think a variation of the idea to answer Francisco legitimate points could then be:
-An Ardupilot so called web store acts as an integrated front end portal that masks in the background the various existing official Ardupilot partners selling Pixhawk2
-This Ardupilot web store would thus act as a one stop shop and would in quasi real time redirect orders to the most adequate reselling partner that has stock and that is the closest to the customer
-In this way, it would be the reseller doing the support and warranty
-In this way the Ardupilot web store does not need someone full time to manage the shop (it could be limited to the webmaster and/or volunteers)
-A kick back of sales goers to Ardupilot to support it (rest goes to the reseller in the background of course)

Would that be easier to implement ?

(Fnoop) #7

Well please don’t do it the way 3DR did it!! Their way of doing sales was terrible - their shop was very expensive and slow to order internationally, and 3rd party vendors were even more expensive and only tended to stock the larger items in small quantities. And 3DR pre and post sales support had a terrible reputation. I ended up going to great lengths to buying anything other than 3DR for the past year or two.

Perhaps an Amazon/Ebay model of providing a shopfront/marketplace for sanctioned friendly vendors might be an idea. That way the ardupilot organisation doesn’t have to get involved in the actual sales and returns, but customers/community has a central place to go to to find safe-ish vendors and products.

(Hugues) #8

Thx, same idea, +1 with Fnoop

(Mike Boland) #9

This is a more practical solution.

Great idea to have a “Web Shop” but the reality of having to source stock and have stock on hand is impractical when you look at the many and varied sources that supply gear.
For example, PixHawk2, from ProfiCNC who is not selling direct but has suppliers all over the world.
To set up a web shop for direct supply is going to be taking away from ProfiCNC’s distribution setup and retail outlets and end up in direct competition with them.
But as a front end that directs people to the respective suppliers it sounds like a great idea.

You are going to need to vet suppliers though.
As an example is a thread here about an errant Pixracer that did not come from AUAV but from a Chinese cloner that refuses to read voltages. The user was not fully aware that the clone was NOT the legitimate item.
The shop would greatly alleviate this problem which is only going to get bigger.

And it would be a fantastic site if it listed all the LITTLE stuff.
e.g.: I am looking for an external compass? What type and where do I get one? Cables, carbon fibre, etc.
The site then becomes viable to charge for advertising as nearly all sites now do.

My 2c worth.

(Francisco Ferreira) #10

I like the idea of a frontend to other stores, but that’s a lot of work to put it up and working. So, who is volunteering here? :wink:

(Mike Boland) #11

I don’t have a huge amount of free time but am willing to help where I can.

(WickedShell) #12

It’s a lot of work, and will quickly lead to the case of “I have this GPS that is available from these 2 stores, an autopilot from these 3, and a sensor/cable combo that is only from one that doesn’t stock any of the other components” which is back to a frustrating/inconsistent experience. It also means that some level of effort would need to be put into balancing which back ends get the sale.

Rather then any attempt at a store I’d rather just see an improved part finder where you select a component that is supported and are presented with a list of what stores you can buy it from. (Possibly with some geographic filtering). Basically I’m in favour of improving the ways to know what is on the linked stores, but I don’t think we should be providing an actual store front end, or trying to force anyone who wants to be listed to use a common interface/tie their existing web store into one master one.

(Mike Boland) #13

I think we are on the same track and probably misunderstanding each other due to the term STORE.
It should really be a portal, or as you say, a Parts Finder.
That is the concept I was thinking of but probably not expressing it clearly enough.

(James Pattison) #14

I’m amazed I haven’t seen this thread earlier! It seems to have gone stale, but here is an idea, if people still think there is a need:

  1. URL = - which I happen to own, and will transfer gratis to the project should they want it. I’m not planning to use it, I’m just protecting it.
  2. As suggested above, it’s a front-end only, linking out to products sold by ArduPilot Partners.
  3. High level links to all Partners, based on a world map or similar.
  4. Searchable database with direct product links for items that ARE TESTED AND SUBJECT TO QUALITY CONTROL - reputation/perception/warranty just doesn’t cut it for me. I actually think the project should set some testing and quality control requirements for ALL Partners who sell hardware, but that’s another story.
  5. Roll management of it up with the Wiki and website, and lobby the project and partners to bring someone on to do community management and that stuff (perhaps approach @hamishwillee ?)

Just my thoughts and one option - if there’s interest from the community and support from ArduPilot I can straw-man the website and put it up as a proof of concept.

Marketing Meeting, Aug 4, 2017 2300 UTC
(mike kelly) #15

This is an old thread but I think a good first start would be an Ardupilot swag shop on demand. No brainer really. Sell Ardupilot logo shrts, sweatshirts, bags etc via a print on demand vendor. They handle all the selling, you supply the art work and get the profit.

Many options but something like this found quickly via google: Not recommending any of these just examples.

(James Pattison) #16

Thanks for the input!

(mike kelly) #17

OK did a little more research. Vistaprint in the US makes all kinds of custom logo swag. Nice thing is that once the artwork is submitted you can get just about anything made with the one artwork submission. Hats, T-Shirts, Polo Shirts, business cards and cups for starters. They have a retailer partner program where you get 40% off their retail and it costs $80 per year. They manufacture and ship for you.
Can’t get much easier.

I have used them before and the quality is good. Why not get this done?

Here is a few starter ideas for artwork.

(cala2) #18

Is there Ardupilot logo file posted in some place to plot my flying wing?

(Luís Vale Gonçalves) #19

This proposal and Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed] are very similar, so we chose to go ahead with Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]

Thanks a lot for your ideas and contributions and keep’em coming :slight_smile:

(Luís Vale Gonçalves) #20