How to Sell Your Widget on SparkFun

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Contributors: Jimb0, Pearce
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Pitching Your Product

Pitching a product can be a daunting task. In order to make it easier for you, we have a guide for the information we need below. Please, when pitching your product be as informative as possible. The information we get from this email will be a strong indicator of whether it is something we would be interested in. Below is an explanation of the different questions to address in your email:

  • Contact Information: Pretty self explanatory. At the very least, include a name and email address.

  • Tell us about your product/project: A description of what you are pitching. A very descriptive rundown of what your product does and how it does it. Explain everything from a very basic viewpoint. Things to include (if applicable) are the major components used, scope, time, etc.

  • What stage of development is this project in: How far along are you on this? What work have you put in thus far? Again, we only consider pitches that have at least reached the point of a working prototype or proven design.

  • How does SparkFun factor into your project: What role will SparkFun play in this? How will we benefit the project?

  • What is your target MSRP: When considering the target retail for your product, consider things such as BOM cost, distribution margin, and profit margin. If you have a pricing structure already setup, please include that with all quantity price breaks present.

  • Describe the advantages of your product compared to its closest competitors: Tell us why your product is better than similar products on the market. If you feel it is unique to the market, what products come close? Please cite examples if possible.

  • Do you have a time frame in place for this product? If so, please outline it: We recognize the benefits of a strategic launch schedule. Please be realistic in your time frame and understand at no point will your project be the sole focus of SparkFun. This part especially highlights the idea that it must make sense for both parties involved.

  • What is your projected annual sales for this product: We understand, especially with our market, that this is tough to gauge. Please provide an estimate of how many units we can expect to sell. If you have any market research to back up your number, please cite that as well.

  • Describe the manufacturing process you envision for this (how are you going to get this product built?): We like to know who you are using for manufacturing and where they are located. This helps us estimate shipping costs and possible bottlenecks. What lead times can we expect?

  • If your product requires programming, what programming language does it use? What toolchain would you suggest programming it in: A bit of an overlap of the second question, but in this question go into depth about the software aspect of the project. Are any parts not open source? Does it use specific libraries?

  • Does this product require any agency approval (UL, CE, FCC, RoHS)? If so, how do you plan on addressing that: This is a tough one. Provide an informed answer if possible. Most information is regularly available online.

  • Any additional comments: This is a good place to include the URL to any web links you think are pertinent.

Considerations

If you are considering designing a product or working with SparkFun, check out some of these additional considerations:

Submission Email

Below is the email to send in your product pitch. Again, please include as much information as possible. Once submitted you will receive an automated email letting you know that we have received your submission. We wish we could provide a response and meaningful feedback for every submission, but it simply isn’t possible considering the volume we receive. If you don’t receive a response beyond the automated message within a month, please assume that we had to pass on your idea.

Submit Your Idea!