Okay, time to address the elephant in the room: the Tindie waitlist! There are 137 people there currently, and we're sure some of you are reading this log.
We watched as it grew, but couldn't do anything cause first we had to send the devices to Indiegogo backers. Now we can! There's around 20 sets that we can pack right now. But it turned out that we can't actually sell them through tindie without lots of effort. That's for two reasons:
1) In the New Year log, we mentioned capitalism as one of the confusing things that we faced recently. Now, we can elaborate: basically, we can't legally get money for uECG sales on Tindie in our country. That's cause Tindie only makes payouts to PayPal and it's not available in Ukraine. We can pay through it by linking a card, but we cannot withdraw (can't use PayPal balance).
Theoretically we could use a middleman webservice, but they take commissions of around 5-9% - that, plus Tindie fees, could get them close to 18-20%. That's a lot, cause uECG price is low on purpose to make it affordable, and we can't get it lower. We contacted Tindie support and unfortunately they can't add another payout option for now. We later discovered that a lot of platforms use PayPal primarily, so they don't work with Ukraine and some other countries out of the box. It's a pretty grim picture out there.
2) The other thing is that even if we had PayPal, we could only get a payout in a month minimum (there's a cooldown time for first-time sellers). So we would have sold all the uECGs at once and have no money for production (we have to borrow from our family for the next round partially anyway, but still need the rest).
Basically, we were very frustrated by this for the last few weeks. But then we realized we promised uECGs will be available, but it's not that important to everyone it will be on Tindie. What people want, first of all, is to just buy and use them.
So we decided to open our own online shop based in Ukraine! A couple of people from our team did web dev and e-commerce in the past, so we've been setting it up for the last couple of weeks and making some more progress just recently.
- We plan to open a shop in the next few days; we are on the step of writing the content like delivery pages, fine-tuning the CMS (it's on Prestashop), and soon hopefully will be connecting the payment system. Why are all the e-commerce CMS still on PHP, though? It's been like 10 years! We looked for what's new and trendy in online shops and couldn't believe there was no large JS-based systems available.
- We plan to start new production cycle around February, 10 (we'll get new batch of uECGs by March - we plan to make 100 of them). We also hope everything will be okay for the Chinese people because of the virus :(
- Last, but not least - we miss actual device development and other projects! Who would've thunk this would take all of our time and more. We really want to return to making stuff in the relatively free time we get while waiting for the next batch production.