Servers by jDrones

ArduPilot owned swags shop [Approved, dev team vote]

(jpkh) #1

Topic: ArduPilot Swags store

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

Proposal requested on: ArduPilot developer call on 22rd/23rd Jan 2018

Reference DAPO discussions:

  1. ArduPilot T-Shirts, Keychains and other merchandise
  2. An web shop [Closed]
  3. Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]


Marketing team has been discussing of setting up a store that will sell all ArduPilot related merchandise products. This is a great idea and important for spreading ArduPilot marketing material around the global users.

There are already several great designs that can be used and utilized fast. Keychains are already in production (DAPO Post 1) along with many good ideas. Special thanks goes to Mike Kelly who has done several great looking samples already as seen on DAPO Post 3.

To really make things happen, main question has always been (DAPO post 2): Taking care of the store operations. There are some ready made services like Zazzle. Downside on those service sites is that their operation cost is high and that way organization would only receive small portion of sales revenue.

My proposal is that we run own ArduPilot specific store. Example store has already been set and can be accessed from internet. Address will be given those who in need during the proposal/development phase. This store runs on top of the OpenCART store system. It is a robust, well known and well supported e-Commerce system.

We as organization have full control of domain and it’s name server records, setting up whatever name needed is easy and fast. If this proposal is accepted, store will be moved to address or (or similar depending on the marketing team decision.)

Shipping and handling will be done by jDrones staff who is already running jDrones webstores and also responsible of ArduPilot organization server infrastructure. jDrones will add small fee on top of manufacturing fees to cover extra workload and local delivery costs. After sustainable pool of funds has been created to operate swags store, all excess profits will be sent to ArduPilot paypal account on a monthly basis.

Logistics: Our girls are already shipping to over 100 countries around the world and jDrones has existed since 2010. Because of long operation history there is rather good and solid understanding on how to handle eCommerce operation.

Swags store sell only ArduPilot branded merchandise items such as: keyrings, pens, hats, mugs, shirts, notebooks, checklists and so on.

Swags store will NOT sell any hardware parts like electronics etc.

As for the designs and swag ideas, marketing team is always happy to hear and to see new ideas that we could use on the swags store. So for all users out there, don’t be why to post your ideas in our discussion server and especially on this proposal area at

Marketing team will be responsible to choose sales prices of each product added to the store based on the production costs. Full access to the store back-end will be given to the members of the marketing team

Deliveries to the buyers will be done via Register AirMail delivery method to keep delivery costs down, delivery price will be added to order totals during checkout based on the weight of the order.

Volume/Distributor customers are always welcome and will be handled differently than the single customers.

Funding request for initial stock: No funding needed from organization.

Operation overhead 30%. OH comes from basic running costs, storage, local delivery expenses, inventory control and rma cases.

Operation setup time: 2 days aproximate

Initial planned stock:

  • Caps, white and black color with ArduPilot logo
  • Remove pilot keychains
  • Poloshirts with embroider ArduPilot logo in front
  • Coffee mugs

Best regards,
Jani Hirvinen
ArduPilot HW/Infra Lead

Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]
(Matt) #2

I think this is a great idea. Something that is frequently brought up as an issue is people not know what ArduPilot is, or that it even exists, even if it’s what they’re using. Think conversations that start with “My drones uses pixhawk” or something like “what is better, DJI or pixhawk”. People don’t even realize what they’re using. Pictures and video that have people wearing AP swag will absolutely help that.

I also suggest stickers people can put on their devices. And boxers :stuck_out_tongue:

(mike kelly) #3

I appreciate you stepping up to the plate but it is a considerable burden. One other hybrid solution which might reduce your impact might be to use Vistaprint. Vistaprint will do complete fullfillment but they don’t handle the store front. So if you can handle the store front why not use Vistaprint as the backend? This would eliminate the load from your employees.

Vistaprint has a Proadvantage program. For a flat fee of $80 you get a 40% margin on all their retail custom products costs. You place the orders and they do all the rest direct to the end users. It allows for a very extensive product line with little or no effort.

Now, you may have resources for manufacture that allow higher margins but at the cost of more work for you.

To transfer over from other conversations:

  1. Take a moment for branding consideration. Standard colors, Standard graphics, Tagline
  2. Think about using this as an opportunity to “talk” to the public. What does Ardupilot do? Don’t speak geek to them.
  3. Choose artwork
  4. Decide on product line and prices. PR or profit?
  5. Can items be shipped reasonably all over the world?
  6. Low overall overhead for the Ardupilot project.

Just some of my thoughts


I like stickers for covering up my not so smooth fixes on the Heli canopy or plane foam body. :owl:

(jpkh) #5

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your thoughts. Yes we have been looking vistaprint and several others. As for burden, it’s not more burden as our normal everyday operation is.

For some products we actually can use Vistaprint service too if those are not found locally easy enough.

  1. As said, there are several designs already and you have also been making great looking designs. We would definitely like to use some of those of yours. Standard colors are basically set already as you have used them too on your samples. white, yellow, green and blue. Same colors what are used on Mission planner icon that are made by Max Levine who one of the ArduPilot graphics designers.

  2. Not fully sure what you mean, if you point to the proposal what i wrote earlier. This proposal was made for upcoming dev call this week as we discussed this matter on last week call. So it’s been written more or less to our developer members, marketing team and also for the funding team.

  3. That’s what we are doing in marketing team, we are working on artworks and like said, artwork that you have posted on your post is great looking and we would like to use it or work a bit more on it and then make final layouts.

  4. Same thing, we are working on marketing team on those and all outside ideas are always welcome. Just like
    @Pedals2Paddles & @FRED_GOEDDERT posted on this post. (yes sticker decals will be there too eventually).

For PR/Profit part, mostly this whole thing will be PR as ArduPilot is non-profit organization so this is not meant to be any huge income source for the organization. But of course we hope that it will generate at least some small money to the organization and that way we are not totally depending on the ArduPilot partners yearly donations. Organization do have costs that needs to be taken care of.

  1. Yes they can. Estimate is 5-10 USD to almost every where in the world. Coffee mugs naturally will be on the higher end as they are heavy. This is also a thing that we can work in long run and even offer flat fees as org can bear some of the cost if country xyz is more expensive than most.

  2. ArduPilot project in generally is extremely big these days and rather well organized. As organization, we are always looking more people to work with us, maybe we could add you to our marketing team? Would you be interested?

Happy to give more answers…

(OlliW42) #6

[quote=“jpkh, post:5, topic:25241, full:true”]For PR/Profit part, mostly this whole thing will be PR as ArduPilot is non-profit organization so this is not meant to be any huge income source for the organization. But of course we hope that it will generate at least some small money to the organization and that way we are not totally depending on the ArduPilot partners yearly donations. Organization do have costs that needs to be taken care of. [/quote]I definitely think that you shouldn’t be that shy here and consider this not only PR but also a means for raising substantial funds … I guess I would even advertise it as such
if the cup is 10 or 12 bucks really won’t matter to the buyers, but could for the ArduPilot organization …
non-profit doesn’t mean that there must not be any significant cash inflow … it just means that you don’t strive to fill your pockets (in somewhat plain words, the first part of the sentence is the relevant one)

so, go and use it also for raising funds, pl

unless you think that you are that well funded that you couldn’t make good use of these funds :wink:

(jpkh) #7

@mike guess what. I tried to make some sample pens at vistaprint and at checkout i had rather big surprise… They only deliver handful countries in world…

That’s 19 countries out from 200+. How odd is that?!?

Heres a screenshot of countries that they deliver:

(mike kelly) #8

That is too bad. They must have found that certain countries are difficult to get shipments through and don’t want the hassle with disappointed customers. I think they have offices in multiple countries so it seems odd.

(2). What i mean is when you select a tagline make it something that is easily understood by the general public not just insiders. Olivier and I have been tossing ideas back and forth. One of his favorites is " The Open Source Autopilot". I argue that many people even in the hobby don’t know what open source means and Ardupilot does not just support aircraft.My example is “Autonomous Vehicle Technology for Everyone”. Now mine is too cumbersome but as an example it says that Ardupilot supports all sorts of vehicles, that the technology is more than just what the pubic understands as an autopilot and that it is available to everyone.

I also agree that I think Ardupilot could easily consider the swag as a donation benefit. For every $20 you spend ardupilot gets X% for its operations. Sell it as an opportunity to support Ardupilot. Lots of organizations do this.

Olivier pointed out to me that the PX4 group has done just this and setup a store at and just like Zazzle the costs are high for the end products. It would be nice to know if they sell anything. As you can see the mugs are at about $20.

Jani I am willing to help in any way I can. Also don’t get me wrong I am also not intending to butt-in either. All my postings on this subject are just suggestions, you can and should do anything you see fit without bothering me in any way.

(Matt) #9

Absolutely! I think people would buy stuff just for that. There are people who would be happy to buy a t-shirt or stickers as a means to make a donation, who would normally not otherwise make a straight up donation. Kind of like the girl scouts selling cookies. I wouldn’t normally make a donation to the girl scouts. But if I can make a donation by purchasing an entire case of thin mints, I’m all over it.

(mike kelly) #10

Exactly. The only question is what the threshold is for a reasonable cost. I have no idea.

(Olivier Brousse) #11

Will be on agenda as discussion item in today’s dev call.

(jpkh) #12

@mike prices will be kept on reasonable level. Your estimation for the coffee mug is not far at all. I think we planned to have it on range of 12-15 usd.

(jpkh) #13

@mike & all, i just made new category called Marketing in here:
So lets continue idea throwing, slogan talks etc over there.

Ardupilot Swag Shop [Closed]
(Olivier Brousse) #14

Approved by dev team vote. Thanks Jani for your initiative and enthusiasm!