GMK 80s Kid Pre-Order Live and Other News
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
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
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.
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!