Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:19 am

W. H. Heydt,

I don't see anything weird or insane about the Pi Zero situation.

As far as I understand the Pi Zero provides zero or very little revenue for the foundation. Further, production capacity is limited so making more of them would mean making less of the models that do generate revenue.

This is born out my the fact that the main Pi makers and distributors don't want to stock the Zero, there is no money in it for them, so the Foundation does it themselves.

Given that, economics dictates that Pi Zero is in limited supply. There is only two way around this:

a) Jack the price of the Zero up to make it an economical proposition.

b) Limit supply some how, preferably fairly.

The Foundation has chosen the latter.

Arguments about being "cheap enough that replacing a broken one is not an issue" come from the very original Pi. Which was true then and still is.

Insane would be going against economic reality, producing a ton of product for no revenue, bankrupting the Foundation and us all ending up with no Pi at all!

Personally I think it's jolly nice of the Foundation, and a remarkable achievement, to provide the Zero for such low cost. Even if we do all only get one each.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 23709
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am

The official line is that it is 1 per person at the five or ten dollar price for Pi zero and Pi zero w respectively.

However it is possible to buy in bulk at a higher price but bulk in this case means probably at least 500 items.

So in a way both options that were outlined by heater above do apply.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
"My grief counseller just died, luckily, he was so good, I didn't care."

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:44 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:40 am
It hasn't changed for the original Pi Zero which has been on sale for 2 years now
It changed. Now it is one per person. The official statement is that you are not allowed to get second Zero (the one for $5). One should be enough for you.
HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:40 am
The only other option is to rethink your price model on the Pi Zero to include the per-item shipping cost (Pi Zero = $10, Zero W = $15).
This worked before and may works with some shops, but it is no longer officially true see this viewtopic.php?f=63&t=198705#p1240781

So it slowly went like this:
- this is $5 computer, do anything you want with it
- we have production issues, we are scaling up, one per order until we solve it (this went like this for 2 years), $5 price is real we are not subsidizing it
- it is one per person now, you are not supposed to get second Zero for the $5 price as with this price someone is paying for you (i.e. it is in fact subsidized)

This was my real experience with the shop in CZ viewtopic.php?f=63&t=198705#p1240574
The also told me I should not even try to order to differrent name or address to cheat this as they will be checking if there is a pattern.

They told me the real non-subsidized price if I want second Zero from them is the one with presoldered header.
They are selling bare (subsidized) Zero for 7.3USD including VAT (157CZK), excluding shipping
They are selling Zero with presoldered header for 13.35USD including VAT (287CZK), excluding shipping -at this price they told me noone has to subsidize me.
These were prices for normal non-W variant. For W the non-subsidized price is 20.6USD including VAT i.e. 16.6USD excluding VAT and shipping.

So after all you can get more (only with presoldered header now) but the real price of Zero is in fact much higher.

User avatar
rpdom
Posts: 15234
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:17 am
Location: Chelmsford, Essex, UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:14 am

I don't know where you got "subsidised" from. The $5 price is real. It just doesn't make the Foundation any real profit. They are not selling it at a loss. No one else is paying for it.

One per person officially. Ok, well I didn't plan to buy any more Zeroes. I have enough of them for my needs (9). Any future purchases will be 3B, peripherals and probably 4B (if and when such a beast is available in whatever form).

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:30 am

rpdom wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:14 am
I don't know where you got "subsidised" from.
Subsidized means that you are not paying the real cost to get the item. Someone has to pay for you or work for free.
This is how it is with Zero. This is why even in bulk quantities where you normally get lower price the price still won't be $5.
So maybe $5 is manufacturing cost at factory. But not the real cost as a product for anyone to buy.

EDIT:
My guess is that distributors/shops are paying this for you. This is why it worked before when stock was low and they made it back on kits. But now when it is always in stock it does't work anymore.

So in a way this is also unfair competition. You compare this $5 computer with its specs to other hardware with similar price and/or performance. And you decide $5 Zero is better. But in fact if it was $10 Zero you might get something else. So I understand this is for good cause but still unfair to the competition as their product prices inlcude also other parts of the final price. I did not understand it before and really believed this is $5 computer just like e.g NanoPI Neo is $9 computer but now it is clear to me that it is not.
Last edited by fanoush on Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:52 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
bensimmo
Posts: 4178
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:02 pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:44 am

Think of it, if you wish;

Raspberry PI Foundation are subsidising the Zero with their charity money to enable people to have a play and so do what the charity is for.

or*

Raspberry Pi Trading are selling the Zero as as a restricted 'loss leader', all profits are actually 'marketing & advertising' of the brand.



* 'and' ;-)

User avatar
davidcoton
Posts: 4153
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:37 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:57 am

fanoush wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:30 am
rpdom wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:14 am
I don't know where you got "subsidised" from.
Subsidized means that you are not paying the real cost to get the item. Someone has to pay for you or work for free.
This is how it is with Zero. This is why even in bulk quantities where you normally get lower price the price still won't be $5.
So maybe $5 is manufacturing cost at factory. But not the real cost as a product for anyone to buy.
Right about the meaning of subsidized. Wrong that the Pi0 is subsidized -- we have repeatedly been told that, while there is not much profit at the $5/$10 prices, there is no loss so no subsidy.
The price is "discounted", it is below the price at which RPT and the retailers would normally sell the products, but not loss-making.
While the actual costs are covered, there is insufficient contribution to the overheads and profits of RPT and the retailers.
So RPT neeed to charge more for the products for buyers who have had their one each at the discount price. They have found two ways to do that:
  1. Supply the version with a GPIO connector, at a price increment greater than the cost of adding the connector (so higher margins)
  2. Supply bulk orders (>500) at a higher (non-discounted) price.

Perhaps those who have managed to get more than one Pi0 at the discounted price should consider making a donation to RPF?
Signature retired

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:27 am

fanoush,
So in a way this is also unfair competition.
It is not unfair competition to sell a product at zero profit. Certainly not if supply is limited, which it is. There is no subsidy going on here.

It might be fool hardy as potential revenue is being lost on every sale. But the Foundation has sufficient revenue from other items and, well, they are a charity so it's quite OK to just cover costs.

Honestly, the discussion about the Pi Zero situation gets more fanciful all the time.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:28 am

davidcoton wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:57 am
Right about the meaning of subsidized. Wrong that the Pi0 is subsidized -- we have repeatedly been told that, while there is not much profit at the $5/$10 prices, there is no loss so no subsidy.
The price is "discounted", it is below the price at which RPT and the retailers would normally sell the products, but not loss-making.
This is just playing with words to me. I was clearly told by the shop owner that I should not buy second Zero from the shop for my personal use because for the price they are selling it someone must pay for me. The real price he explained is the one with presoldered headers (priced aprrox. twice as much).

EDIT:
They also cancelled my order and returned money even if I explained this is really for personal use and now I understand the rule it and won't order again. Didn't help. They also explained they are not penalized in any way if the sell more it but still they won't and canceled my order. So I guess they personally would lose money on me, it is a small shop.

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:36 am

fanoush,
This is just playing with words to me. I was clearly told by the shop owner...
It is not playing with words. The case that there is no subsidy is with regard the Pi Foundation. It has nothing to do with the shop owner you have spoken to.

Clearly that shop owner want's to make a profit by adding headers to Pi zero and selling them at a mark up. As far as I understand from what you have said.

All seems fair enough to me.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4629
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:44 am

People need to get over that "supply is limited" thing, because it is no longer true. That may have been a reason originally, but now it has nothing to do with supply and demand.
jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
... We now have the production capacity to build large batches, and if you want to buy large batches, you can at a higher unit price.

And that is about all I can say on the matter now, there will probably be more information available the next few weeks...
viewtopic.php?p=1240800#p1240800
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:09 am

HawaiianPi,
People need to get over that "supply is limited" thing, because it is no longer true...viewtopic.php?p=1240800#p1240800
That is excellent news.

So now we can say: supply is limited if you want to buy at the discount price.

Sounds fair to me and typical of special offers.

I'm sure somebody will pop up here with a reason to complain about it. Perhaps they never heard the expression "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:20 am

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:36 am
Clearly that shop owner want's to make a profit by adding headers to Pi zero and selling them at a mark up.
They are of course not adding headers themselves. The only sensible way is to already manufacture them with the headers. Then the manufacturing price is almost the same for both. The shop simply gets two different boxes from same source. One box with strict rules and one without where they are allowed to charge normal price.

hippy
Posts: 5970
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:39 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:28 am
Now since one of the main points about Pis in general is that they are so cheap that one cn risk breakage without being concerned about replacement cost, an enforced policy of one per person is simply insane.
No, the notion that Pi's are so cheap one can risk breakage did not take into account that they are only available at low price in limited quantities. People simply imagined there was a situation which simply did not and does not exist.

I had hoped that the Pi Zero would be a disposable item but it isn't. As far as I recall the Foundation never promised any Pi would be so cheap and readily available that one can treat them as disposable. Plenty of people, myself included, hoped we could, would have that, but it wasn't to be, and isn't ever likely to be.

As initially predicted the Pi Zero is so cheap that it is not feasible for the Foundation to manufacture in quantity at that price. Every Pi Zero reduces profit on a higher profit generating Pi. One can either have a limited quantity of cheap Pi or greater quantities of the same at higher prices.

It is just like asking a car manufacturer to build cheap push bikes and them only having the ability to build one or the other. They might put through a few bikes and take the hit for the good of the community but mass producing cheap bikes risks losing their revenue stream from cars and potentially going out of business. They can however produce more bikes if they are priced higher and make more profit.

It would simply be customers deluding themselves that such a company could mass produce cheap bikes making them a disposable item. That would not be the reality.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the Foundation had not made it clearer sooner but they have done so now.

hippy
Posts: 5970
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:56 am

fanoush wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:44 am
HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:40 am
It hasn't changed for the original Pi Zero which has been on sale for 2 years now
It changed. Now it is one per person. The official statement is that you are not allowed to get second Zero (the one for $5). One should be enough for you.
I recall it was initially one per person. Then some suppliers offered one per order, even while still saying "one per person". It was never clear what the situation should have been. That seems to have been clarified; one per person.

I am not sure what "official statement" really means, how that legally applies. To mean anything it would have to reflect whatever agreement the Foundation entered into with the resellers.

If the agreement was that resellers should only ever have been selling $5 Zeroes one per person then that is what they should have been doing.

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:11 pm

fanoush,
They are of course not adding headers themselves. The only sensible way is to already manufacture them with the headers. Then the manufacturing price is almost the same for both. The shop simply gets two different boxes from same source. One box with strict rules and one without where they are allowed to charge normal price.
Do you have any links to evidence to back up that statement? As far as I know the Pi Foundation only supplies Pi Zero at the cheap price without headers. https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-zero/

If your shop is making some other deal, to buy in bulk, with headers, at a higher price (see news above) then that is a whole other story. Naturally the shop would want to pass the higher price on to you.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:17 pm

hippy,
No, the notion that Pi's are so cheap one can risk breakage did not take into account that they are only available at low price in limited quantities.
Incorrect. The notion of the Pi as a computer cheap enough not to have to worry about kids breaking them was expressed by Eben Upton himself in various presentations and interviews from the very beginning of the Pi.

Of course that statement is with respect to the expense of the family PC or dads laptop.
It is perhaps unfortunate that the Foundation had not made it clearer sooner but they have done so now.
I don't know when the Pi Zero was not clear. Seemed obvious to most people from day one. It should be obvious to anyone looking into the Pi Zero for ten minutes even without such clarification from the Foundation.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

hippy
Posts: 5970
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:34 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:17 pm
hippy,
No, the notion that Pi's are so cheap one can risk breakage did not take into account that they are only available at low price in limited quantities.
Incorrect. The notion of the Pi as a computer cheap enough not to have to worry about kids breaking them was expressed by Eben Upton himself in various presentations and interviews from the very beginning of the Pi.

Of course that statement is with respect to the expense of the family PC or dads laptop.
In that respect; yes, it is less of a loss if one does break it. And in the case of non-Zeroes it is not too much of a problem if they do get broken, mostly an issue of cost.

I meant that I don't believe they ever said the Zero would be so cheap and readily available that people can treat them with reckless abandon or as a disposable product. Cheap $5 Zeroes have limited availability.

Believing cheap $5 Zeroes would not have limited availability is the invention.

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:05 pm

hippy,
I meant that I don't believe they ever said the Zero would be so cheap and readily available that people can treat them with reckless abandon
Ah yes. So the irony is then that they so rare that if you happen to have one it's too valuable to break and you take good care of. Even though the price is so low.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

User avatar
HawaiianPi
Posts: 4629
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:53 am
Location: Aloha, Oregon USA

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:26 pm

I kinda understood the 1 per order limit, but this 1 per customer stuff is pure nonsense. :roll:

So if I have an original Pi Zero and a Pi Zero v1.3 and a Pi Zero W is that a violation of the rules, or is 1 of each model okay? :?

And if I have more than 1 of any Pi Zero model, are the MIP (Men in Pink) going to confiscate my excessive Zero contraband? Image
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

Heater
Posts: 13380
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:37 pm

Perhaps it's non-sense.

On the other hand perhaps it's a purely practical mater. I can imagine if I was a supplier, like Pimoroni, I would not want the hassle of enforcing the one per customer limit. That would imply I have to maintain in my database a record of how many Zero, of what type perhaps, so that I can keep a check on you. Nah, much easier just to check for one per order.

Of course enforcing one per customer is impossible. To do that all possible suppliers would have to share their data on which customers purchased what. That's not going to happen.

Really, I don't know what the fuss is about.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:38 pm

Or imagine you are father of two sons and want both of them to get their own (and then possibly to also have one yourself to test stuff for them). Now it is not only one per person but in fact one per household. As I said the shop explicitly warned me in advance when cancelling my second order to not try to use different names next time. That's cheating too according to them. So now one must feel bad when trying to solve this pretty normal situation. That's absurd. Al least when thinking about this $5 Zero.

But once they are readily available for real price, which is slowly happening now with the one with presoldered header, it is possible to just ignore this 'discounted but definitely not subsidized' Zero one time offer and get it for real price without getting trapped into all this nonsense. Then it becomes normal $10 Zero and you don't need to beg or break the rules or explain anything to anyone to get what you want. Definitely improvement.

User avatar
davidcoton
Posts: 4153
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:37 pm
Location: Cambridge, UK

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:44 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:26 pm
And if I have more than 1 of any Pi Zero model, are the MIP (Men in Pink) going to confiscate my excessive Zero contraband? Image
Of course not, but the Unicorns do invite you to make a donation to RPF in return for your Good Luck in obtaining multiple Zeros at the discount price.
Since any multiple of Zero is still Zero, this is a purely voluntary Nice Idea. :SmileyPinkUnicorn:
Signature retired

mwrich4
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:24 pm
Location: Stuart, Florida

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:08 pm

jamesh wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:22 am
The official line is that it is 1 per person at the five or ten dollar price for Pi zero and Pi zero w respectively.
I don't really intend to stir the pot. It would be good to see a source[link] for your comment.

I don't ever recall hearing about purchase limits other than initial demand spikes versus supply causing rationing. I meant to express my wonder that rationing is still in effect. Rationing was in effect for the first Raspberry Pis, but that eventually disappeared.

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-zero/ <- This would be the place to mention Pi Foundation quantity restrictions.
( "affordable enough for any project!" to me is an invitation to buy multiples )

I figured the low cost was because it was an outlet to market an outdated SoC design in a cost-effective scaled-down package.

fanoush
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Re: Pi Zero W availability

Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:50 pm

Then you might start reading from here viewtopic.php?f=63&t=198705#p1240574 I just asked for clarification because I did not believe it and this is the result. Good point about the Pi Zero page.

Return to “General discussion”