Nixie tube clocks for sale?

My friend and I are trying to make money by making and selling things. I think that nixie tube clocks would be a good thing to make and sell, because the retro look makes them very popular and sellable. If we were to sell them though, we would need to know several things. Would it be better to sell them fully assembled or in kits (or possibly both). What about enclosures? I am thinking a nice wood box would go with the retro look nicely. What is the best tube to use? I'm thinking the IN-12 or the IN-4. I'm thinking, taking into account what I estimate the total costs for materials would be, we would need to sell them for a price in the vicinity of $70. Does that sound reasonable? Lastly, how should we sell them? We could use ebay, though I don't know a whole lot about the process to becoming an ebay seller, we could use craig's list, but that seems to be more local, or we could have potential buyers email us, send payment and then we send the product (but nobody seems to trust anyone these days so I'm not sure that would work). Please tell me your opinions on these things. Thanks.

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iceng5 years ago
Remember Nixie tubes come in several sizes.
Soo... you can use the small for seconds and neon lamps for 1 and 2 Hrs.
Just trying to lower your cost of production.

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Higgs Boson (author)  iceng5 years ago
I think that four IN-12 tubes would work well to display minutes and hours.
A Good selection :-)
Or go radical with a single Nixie and a rotating mirror
or even a set of crystal that can shift rays based on applied voltage..

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Higgs Boson (author)  iceng5 years ago
I think that's a little out of my league at the moment. I'll stay simple at first.
frollard5 years ago
"does 70 sound reasonable"?
uhh...for what exactly?

You need to cost out what it would cost you to make a given volume of nixie clocks; you want;
at least 4 nixie tubes (size, quality, etc)
driving circuitry
custom pcb
micro-controller capable of real-time-clock
real-time-clock if not included in microcontroller.
Outer casing; including manufacture/mod to hold the clock (laser cut, hand made, etc)

All of the above will have prices that scale with volume. The first prototype will cost 3-10x as much to build. Once you step up the volume prices plummet and profits soar.

Long story short. Cost out a bill of materials at different price brackets, like 10, 100, 1000. You don't want to starve yourself or go into crazy debt to build them to a lower price bracket but it will pay off to find the right balance.

Say the parts alone cost $50 @ 100 batch. You still have to assemble them, and your time is worth money. Figure out how efficiently you can build/program/assemble them and multiply your time by 10-20 dollars per hour. If you could build one in an hour, your BASE COST is $70 in this example. DOUBLE OR TRIPLE THAT NUMBER. So you should charge 140-210 off the bat. That is your starting minimum sale value. You want the first third-to-half of your sales to cover the cost of the batch. You can then lower the price as time goes on "have sales" to get rid of stock. It also leaves room for people to have volume discounts from you.
Soo true and if you want cheap parts in volume I get alot of mine at ebay from this seller: http://stores.ebay.com/Tayda2009
powerman6665 years ago
Firstly $100 bottom dollar price to start. I sell even simpler circuits for as much. Check out my site http://www.ataripunkconsole.com

On making more sales: use http://www.shopdelighted.com/ or FaceBook or sell them on your own site. Make a google voice number and give out that number for call in sale and question.

I have done all this and it works I doo sell my devices successfully. Good luck to you and let me know where I can buy one of your clocks.

Oh BTW on the trust issue. People do trust, if you don't think they will trust you and want to buy your product then they never will. You've got to trust and believe in yourself. If you don't your just going to stop yourself.

Seriously I have user name powerman666 and my google phone number is (724) 4 SATAN 8 and I still make sales and get serious inquiries.

So just believe you can do it.

Also use Stumble Upon to like all of your own pages. They will get discovered.
Higgs Boson (author)  powerman6665 years ago
Thanks a ton. That really helps.
I posted a link to this page on my facebook page too: https://www.facebook.com/ataripunkconsole
iceng5 years ago
Nixie tube clock should be Steampunk like my copper box..

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Higgs Boson (author)  iceng5 years ago
Is it very sturdy?

Yes  Very Sturdy..

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Higgs Boson (author)  iceng5 years ago
Okay thanks for the tip.