Nov 7, 20163281 views

GMK 80s Kid Pre-Order Live and Other News

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GMK 80s Kid is a MiniVan and Roadkit combination keyset. If you have a MiniVan already or have one on the way via the drop here on MD or are planning to get one in the next drop, this is a great end game keyset to pick up. The pre-order is limited to 100 units so you won't want to sit on the fence too long!
Check out the full listing here https://thevankeyboards.com/products/pre-order-gmk-80s-kid
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The Roadkit pre-order, which is the Mini Numpad pictured above, has been extended through November 30th. You can check out that product page here https://thevankeyboards.com/products/roadkit-pre-order
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The first batch of J-Spacers, used to make clicky switches the ultimate tactile switch, are nearing completion and should be up for sale in December. They will retail for $15.00 for a pack of 120.
We have a new batch of palm rests from WizardBox WoodWorks, http://wizardboxwoodworks.weebly.com/, arriving this week including some 60% and tkl sizes as well as a new reduced pricing structure. Be on the lookout for that post in the next couple days. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMUTZOOAdQo/
We are hard at work to get MiniVan R3 scheduled as well as a couple other drops. We are also working on some sweet acrylic cases. Check out this review featuring an acrylic Roadkit case https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/comments/5bjt9w/my_review_of_the_roadkit/
I also wanted to announce that I am working on a community guide for developing an important component of keyboards, so stay tuned for that.

Group Buys: What I learned by failing As some of you know, I recently ran a group buy for LightCycle, a Tron inspired keycap set. This group buy was special in that it covered a wide variety of layouts and offered MX and ALPS stems. The total price for all three kits was $150.00, but you could cover a TKL for $80.00.
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I put a lot of time into developing the set and listened to a lot of community feedback. I was excited to bring this set to all of you.
When I initially quoted this set it was all together as one giant set. I based my kit pricing off of this number. Quotes from SP can take some time and instead of re-quoting the set after breaking it up into kits, I opted to guesstimate the pricing, figuring that it should be roughly the same. I was right on two of the kits. The International/Compatibility kit, however, came in significantly higher than what I charged for it.
My first lesson learned was to quote exactly what you are going to place an order for.
The second thing I tried with this group buy was to offer the lowest price up front and trust that there would be enough purchases to not only produce the set, but to also make a couple bucks. At 100 sets sold I would be pretty much breaking even, but as more sets were sold on top of that I would then begin making money. I think this model could work for a set in high demand such as LightCycle, but I will need to work based off of the lower moq quote numbers, particularly for the ALPS side of things.
Both of these decisions combined ended the buy with me being short of production cost by a couple thousand dollars. I spent a week dissecting the situation every which way, even looking at buying a significant amount of extra sets with my own money so that production could go forward. In the end, the best option was to refund everyone. This was a difficult decision to make. I knew people were expecting this set and that some had even bought specific keyboards and parts to go with this set.
I was going to do the one thing I had promised wouldn't happen; cancel the group buy. I wrote a letter on the product page and then began processing the refunds. It took me 4 hours to refund everyone. During this time and the next few days I received many emails asking why the refund happened.
There was some anger, understandably, but the general vibe from the community was one of understanding and support. You don't know how much easier your support, as a community and individually, made that process. Suddenly it became very clear why I love this community as much as I do and why I strive to bring you amazing products at great prices.
My second lesson learned was that if you take care of your community and customers, communicate with them, be open and honest, then they will support you and take care of you.
I know many people are bummed about LightCycle so I wanted to go ahead here and announce that LightCycle will be rebooted next year and be bigger and better than ever.
In a few closing words, I just want to thank everyone who is a part of this community. Thanks for the support and the encouragement and just making this a fun place to be. Thank you for the understanding during this failure. I have refocussed and am working towards bringing more awesome things your way!
Sincerely,
TheVan Man
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gorian2222, Mounds, and 30 others
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There is only black and purple on your homepage.
Is there no silver product like last time?
R_Won
Silver as well as some other colors are coming soon
So am I the only one who still haven't received the refund yet?
BerserkZz
This was for the first run. Not the currently running buy. The current one doesn't have any issues
evangs
Oh, oops. Sorry I didnt check the date. That's great news to hear. I absolutely love the set. cant wait to have it. And keep up the great work.
Shameless bump for LightCycle closing on 3/31.
Sorry to hear this, but I have confidence and faith in this Van Man. Keep R&R.
I wish 80's kid was available as a full GMK set.
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@evangs Any plans to make my dream a reality? :)
brianjking
not on this first run, but maybe I'll run it again. what keyboard layout do you use?
For the 80's Kid set, Evan, have you considered including regular profile F and J keys, rather than just deep dish? I've already bought the set, but I'd like the option to not use the deep dish keys. Either way, it's an awesome set. Keep up the great work!
SoShamMuchWow
Not for this set, but I will keep that in mind for future sets. thanks for the feedback and support!
Evan, you are the kind of entrepreneur this hobby needs. You have nothing to worry about so long as you keep doing what you have been, you will be very successful.
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They are still available on my site. https://thevankeyboards.com
evangs
Thank you. It honestly is a bit out of my price range - it must be very high quality work. Maybe I will pick one up during your next drop (: Thanks again.
Came here looking for CaraVan info but honestly wasn't disappointed not to find it. Love the honesty and retrospective into what happened. Looking forward to what you have in store... Like the CaraVan...
If anyone is more interested in the J-Spacers / J-Clips then check out this album: http://imgur.com/a/1TfoZ
devbryce
thank you!
So when is round 3 for the Minivan coming? :D
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O_O
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Watsyurdeal
I gotta get me one of those!
While I was disappointed that LC was cancelled, I totally understood the reasoning, and sincerely appreciate how you handled everything. Honestly, it was commendable. Thanks for being a standup member of the community and keep doing awesome things, Evan!
beyondesign
Thank you :)
Thanks for all you do for this community Evan! Can't wait to see what you have in store.
Spaceman1200
Thank you!
Hi Evan,
thanks a lot for your ongoing effort and honesty. To fail isn't bad at all being honest to yourself and the people, you just have to get up on your feet again. How are we supposed to know and enjoy success without having tasted failure?
Looking forward with trust for the things to come from you and maybe people understand a bit better, it isn't that easy as it may be looking all the time.
Wish you all the best!
Makami
Makami, Thank you for commenting. I agree, there is so much going on behind that scenes that most people never experience. A lot of work goes into bringing products to this community and all trustworthy vendors should be respected for what they do, even if we don't always agree with the decisions that they make.
Wishing you the best as well.
Cannot wait for the LightCycle keycap GB rerun!
Understood Evan, I know that we'll see Lightcycle again. Maybe the way of GMK, Devlin, or JT, who knows, it's going to be great when it returns! I'm looking forward to your J spacers & other projects as well! Keep up the great work!
wsjones1981
Thanks William, I appreciate all the support you've given me way back from MiniVan IC to today!
evangs
No problem & you're welcome.