I understand that there have been a number of posts about buying multiple Pi Zero W's before. I've read a few of them. The last I saw suggested openly selling too many Zero W's harms the foundations' margins on e.g. Pi 3.
I am wondering if it would not be possible to allow vendors to continue to sell one low-cost unit per customer, and then to sell as many of a second SKU as they want, with each having a "built-in" donation to the foundation, e.g. $15-17 instead of $10, with the additional cost being pure margin. You can simply market it as the first one you can have cheaper for educational purposes, but with the rest you are helping to support the ongoing work of the foundation. Maybe silk screen an extra logo on those ones for good feels and making it easy to see that everyone is following the rules.
The thing is, the Pi Zero W has unique characteristics, such as size, power draw, low thermal needs, that aren't necessarily matched by the 3's. Yes, they are also cheaper. But I'd rather use Zero Ws in my personal projects than 3's. Unfortunately after just putting together a small project and being excited to get started on a couple more, I'm learning that even getting my hands on the components I want isn't easy, then on top of that I'm learning that by doing so I might be harming the foundation also. I certainly don't need more than a few, so buying in bulk isn't a reality.
Anyway, the point is, surely it is possible to make up margins, and make the hardware available. (I hope)