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-   -   Suggestions for Companies Selling Kits (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/everything-else/66856-suggestions-companies-selling-kits.html)

hongrn 28th October 2005 01:19 PM

Suggestions for Companies Selling Kits
 
During my quest for an amp kit, I ran into all kinds of trouble, and I have the following suggestions for companies out there selling kits.

1. Your target customers are noobs, avid DIYers, often folks with little to no experience in electronics. Otherwise, we would have started from a schematic and build an amp from a bread board, and you wouldn't have a business.

2. Have a concise and clear assembly manual for each of your products, not just a template for all products, and the routine "Refer to the National or Tripath datasheet for more instructions".

3. For amps, please take a risk and suggest a transformer, a pot, and include wiring instructions. You don't have to endorse a brand, but give us an idea. You must have tried your product in a case using a transformer, and wiring that produces good results. Give us that. One of the biggest issues I see on this forum is hum, buzz, and other anomalies, and that detracts from the real fun. Granted I learned a lot by reading the answers on this forum, but I also get discouraged every time I turn on the "buzzamp", as my wife calls it. Some will argue that I'm trying to take the Y out of DIY, but one has to start out somewhere. You've got to crawl before you walk, be a rook before becoming a veteran. You can't give a kid a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a sharp knife, and tell him to go make himself a sandwich. And please remember to write instructions that even a child can understand.

4. Provide timely answers to emails asking for tech support. It's always "sorry for the delay getting back to you, my computer broke down, my wife turned off my computer by mistake, my cat cr*pped on the keyboard", and so on. I see quite a few frustrated customers asking for answers on this forum, because they didn't get it from the place where they purchased the kit in the first place. I bet you spent a lot of time answering emails from us idiots, so if you include good instructions with the kit in the first place, you wouldn't have to answer emails, and have more time to design new kits, and sell more!

Well, I am going to get off my soapbox now, so if I deserve to be flamed, so be it. If you are a noob like me, please add your comments to this thread. If you are a vendor and wish to sell many, many kits, please implement our suggestions. Kind of the ABCs of customer service, and how to be succesful selling a product. Thank you.

Hong Nguyen

Greg Erskine 28th October 2005 02:06 PM

hi Hong,

How much did you pay for the kit? Was it the cheapest?

I think you will find that there is not much profit in these kits and the market is probably quite small so I guess there is not much incentive to have the perfect fully documented kit.

A lot of the kits on offer are from dedicated DIYers not hard nosed businessmen with a MBAs, because if they had MBAs they would know it would be more profitable doing something else.;)

I have been reading your other thread and by the time you succeed with this project you will have learnt a lot more than building a simple dot to dot kit. :D

What's the saying "no pain, no gain".

Welcome to DIYing.

ethermion 28th October 2005 03:32 PM

Bought a $60 kit for a 100wpc amp. Cheaper than a carton of Camels in NYC. Complains about the quality of kit and documentation.

No mention of the dozens of people who tried to help.

-1 to that.

jackinnj 28th October 2005 03:48 PM

Hey, I am a hard-nosed MBA, got my degree on the Midway when Milton Friedman made grown men cry!!! The reason I can make kits is that I did the dreadful stuff for 30 years, leaving the house at 5:30 a.m. to make the trading calls. Spending time as a professional airline seat-tester on JAL, ANA, KLM, SAS, BA and United. The first overnight from Tokyo to Stockholm is an adventure. The second is dreadful.

Yes, it's my fault, I provide dreadful documentation. Too lazy to make a copy and send it along, but it can all be downloaded from the website.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

hongrn 28th October 2005 03:48 PM

Quote:

Bought a $60 kit for a 100wpc amp. Cheaper than a carton of Camels in NYC.
So if you buy an inexpensive item, you shouldn't even open your mouth to complain or offer a suggestion, correct?

tiltedhalo 28th October 2005 04:42 PM

DIY
 
I totally agree with the original post, companys/ people offering kits for sale are offering a product and service to a customer and should conduct themselves as profesionaly as possible. I have been prototyping and building for 25 years but most people looking for kits are new. It dosnt take that long to include a part A in slot A directions along with basic wireing and parts lists............

Apex Jr 28th October 2005 04:56 PM

Kits
 
I've been thinking about a somewhat kit, with the
parts that will save money from my stock along with
links and help on where to get boards, chassis and
items that I don't carry. But being a one man operation
and not that technical it would really cut into my day
with phone calls about hookup and building of the amp.
EVEN WITH DIRECTIONS. - - So I'm still thinking.

Views, - comments - etc.

Steve @ Apex Jr.

sqlkev 28th October 2005 05:02 PM

Re: Kits
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Apex Jr
I've been thinking about a somewhat kit, with the
parts that will save money from my stock along with
links and help on where to get boards, chassis and
items that I don't carry. But being a one man operation
and not that technical it would really cut into my day
with phone calls about hookup and building of the amp.
EVEN WITH DIRECTIONS. - - So I'm still thinking.

Views, - comments - etc.

Steve @ Apex Jr.


It would be PERFECT if you were to come up with the kit, since you've already got most of the supplies.

My kit/s hasn't come yet. But, I'll give you a call and get the parts once it/they come. Still need the parts for my chipamps.

Nisbeth 28th October 2005 05:48 PM

Re: Kits
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Apex Jr
I've been thinking about a somewhat kit, with the
parts that will save money from my stock along with
links and help on where to get boards, chassis and
items that I don't carry. But being a one man operation
and not that technical it would really cut into my day
with phone calls about hookup and building of the amp.
EVEN WITH DIRECTIONS. - - So I'm still thinking.

Views, - comments - etc.

Steve @ Apex Jr.

Regardless of the quality of the instructions, you are still bound to get emails and calls asking for support and then you should remember rule #1: It takes longer than you expect :rolleyes: (Rule #2 in this context is: "Nothing is too simple to be done incorrectly" :D)


/U.

AnthonyPT 28th October 2005 06:11 PM

Hi

I used to be a multimedia producer in the late

80s and 90s when videodisc was king. 40hrs

of self study Japanese etc. Doing powerpoint assembly

presentations would be fairly easy these days (still/audio) and

would sometimes be very helpful. Good soldering

practice could be taught and pictures of making a

amp or whatever would be easy as someone must make

an original prototype for testing and evaluation.

Am I making it sound too easy? For anyone interested

I could make you up a mind map of a possible production cycle.

The thing is to make it flexible so if you update the

product you are not redoing too much. It could be a podcast with

numbered pdf pages plus the DIY audio forum? The combination

might help and save time for both new and old. Also some

boards could do with better labeling. We are all learning in this

Diy arena and sometimes "we dont know that we dont know."

Regards

AnthonyPT


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