Let's Make Robots!

Check out my hobby electronics business - low cost electronics & robotics components

ByNate

Hi everyone,

I'm a college student in the U.S. and recently started a small hobby electronics business. It's been a dream of mine for a long time and I'm excited to finally get it started! My goal is to provide students and hobbyists with low cost electronics and robotics components and kits, as well as electronics and programming tutorials.

My website is www.foxytronics.com and I created a 10% discount code for LMR if anyone is interested: LetsMakeRobots10%!

If anyone has any suggestions regarding my website, products, or prices, I would love to get your feedback!

Thanks for taking a look,

Nate

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SimpleBotics's picture

Great job! The site looks amazing, and the prices are awesome too! Keep up the good work!

Nate's picture

Yikes, sorry again for the trouble you're having. I just tried creating a test account and didn't have any problems. You're right that you have to use your username and not your email when logging in -- maybe your password manager is putting your email address in? (I use LastPass and that happens to me sometimes).

Are you sure you actually registered an account? Someone registered under the username bdk6 on the 1st, and asr3ynan on the 2nd, but there isn't any Salvage registered. If you registered you should have gotten a validation email, and after clicking on the link in the email your account would have been activated.

I've only had two orders through my site so far, so it's inevitible that some issues will crop up. Really appreciate your help getting to the bottom of this!

Salvage's picture

Nate, I decided to try again to complete my checkout and now it won't let me in. Keeps saying my user name and password are invalid. It keeps substituting my email address for user name, not the same:-(

lumi's picture

I am running two shops and one of them is using the Cubecart script. It's free with their credits in the footer and title but a full shop system with a lot of features. Payment methzods, shuipping methods, unlimited products etc.

Your shop seems to fill a niche with an acceptable price and a good varity of products.

Nate's picture

Thanks for your feedback and encouragement! I've made some of the changes you all suggested and will see what I can do about the rest.

Although I don't have a ton of products right now, I plan to continue adding more each month. If you have any product suggestions, please let me know and I will try to get them in stock!

Salvage, sorry about the trouble you had when trying to create an account. I meant to replace the question and answer challenge with the reCAPTCHA image puzzle since it's easier, but I forgot to remove the question and answer challenge. I just got rid of it, so hopefully that will make it easier for people to create an account in the future.

Most of the site is run by Invision Power Board (really great software), but the e-commerce platform I wrote from scratch. It's actually an ERP, since there's a lot more stuff in the back-end than just a shopping cart. It kind of started out as a hobby project, but when I decided to start a business in the fall of 2011, I started developing it into an ERP that I could use to efficiently run my business. I would suggest that you look into ZenCart or OpenCart, as they are both very popular and easy to use e-commerce platforms.

Thanks again for all of your feedback!

Salvage's picture

Nate, I congratulate you on your project as I too am opening my on-line store.

A few observations:

I for one do not want to have to create an account, (along with ANOTHER name and password to have to keep track of), just to place an order. I actually tried to place an order but your anti-spamming techniques were so frustrating I gave up. When I answered the question correct, the puzzle would change and when I got the puzzle correct, the question would change. After 3 times I gave up and decided it just wasn't worth the hassle.

Having an account is nice if you plan on being a multiple repeat customer, but just to try out a new store, it's way too much.

Curious what software you used to create your site. I've tried WebEasy 8, Weebly, and Front Page but none of them give me what I want. I need a minimum of 20 items per page, a shopping cart with a versatile shipping option, and embedded links for other sites and videos.

I need a streamlined method of adding items to my site since I will have over 2000 listings. If I have to go to PayPal to create a button for each item and then copy the code into the page, maintaining the site will become a full-time job. I think my time would be better spent tracking down cool items and hard-to-find parts for the site rather than the "monkey work" of creating buttons and copying code.

I have owned the domain: www.salvage-1.com for over 13 years and it is currently parked at GoDaddy.com Time to go live!

bdk6's picture

So I clicked the link when you first posted this, expecting to find 10 or 20 overpriced products.  Boy, was I surprised.  Quite a selection for a new business venture, and a lot of the most-useful stuff.  If you can keep this up I think you should do well.

A couple of hopefully helpful notes.  

1.  More AVR / Arduino stuff, maybe some picaxe.

2.  As a couple people mentioned, your prices are very good so show them off more!

3.  More "info" like tutorials and data sheets on your products.

Best of luck on this.  I already started my account and will likely place an order soon.

OddBot's picture

Another Nate! Could this become SparkFun MkII?

Markamas's picture

Good job dude! The prices are very attractive. My initial impression is that there's not lots of products, but I understand that you just started. Keep up the good work!

Duane Degn's picture

Nate,

Wow, lots of great stuff and really good prices on the things I've looked at.

One thing I found annoying was the inability to purchase more than four of an item.

I was looking at your SN754410 motor control chips and found I could only add four of them to my cart.

I see from looking at some other components the quantity available to purchase varies (I'm guessing based on price).

I do see I'm allowed to add items to the cart multiple times so it's possible to purchase larger quantities but it's awkward to do so.

One more suggestion. Your "Popular Items" list doesn't show the prices. I think you'd want the prices to show here since they are so low. I know I'd rather know what the price of an item was without having to click through to the product page. This isn't a big deal though.

I was very pleased to see how low the estimated shipping was.

I hope your business is successful.

Duane