How to Group Buy – Foreword

This is the first bit of a long series I would like to talk about over the next few months

I think it would be pretty enlightening for the community to get an idea of all of the requirements needed for running a group buy or designing your own keyboard.
Before we start, let me first say that I am not a designer, nor an engineer capable of making pcbs or their associated firmware. This will cover the more practical group buy requirements. There are however plenty of resources available for you to learn pcb and case design. If enough interest exists for learning more about this kind of stuff, I wouldn’t mind bringing in someone more experienced to share some tips and tricks at a later time.

Here’s something to get you started with case design:

And for pcb design:

Of course there are lots of utilities for design, this is simply meant to be a rough start for someone new to the creation side of the hobby…

So, on to the brunt of it, over the coming months I will cover the following major important phases, and anything that comes up in between:

  • What to know as a GB buyer
  • Market research (understanding what you want, and if it will sell) | Part 1.5 | Part 2
  • Basic case design (outsourced) – this will also apply for making a one-off keyboard
  • Compatibility considerations (for layouts, pcbs, and regions)
  • PCB design (Also outsourced, and may be useful for one-offs)
  • Choosing a manufacturer (both case and pcb)
  • Defining expectations and building relationships with your manufacturer
  • Understanding MOQs and setting target pricing
  • Prototyping and testing
  • Allocating budgets for logistics, mistakes, and the unknown
  • Interest checking and community feedback
  • Refinement of design for production
  • Setting your timeline (and what to expect)
  • Preparing for Group Buy – Choosing to self fulfill or use proxies
  • Preparing for Group Buy – Your storefront and Collecting Payment
  • Launching your Group Buy – How to expand visibility without spamming
  • Setting up and maintaining communication with your buyers
  • The logistics of manufacturing delivery
  • Quality Control – Defining your quality standard
  • Anodization – The struggle
  • Quality Control – How to handle failures
  • Quality Control – Disaster recovery and customer communication
  • Quality Control – B, C stock and scrap
  • Logistics – Packaging choices and staying eco friendly
  • Logistics – What to include
  • Logistics – Dealing with losses and damage
  • Support – Supporting your buyers
  • Support – Long term support resources
  • Summary of the GB running experience

More chapters may be added, if you see anything missing here that you would like covered, feel free to drop into our discord and ping me

I will do my best to put out one post a week, unless the post requires some more time due to collaboration or research