As of 2020 we have significantly cut back on pcb assembly labor / hours per month compared to 2012-2019. We just don't have the time to dedicate 30+ hours per week soldering as we once had. Products are now mainly being offered as DIY Kits, with the exception of NVRAM modules which will always be offered assembled.

With that said, we understand some people may value their time more or just don't have the ability to solder boards. Rather than leave those customers out of options for acquiring our products, we offer assembled options as our time permits through the year at pricing we're able to support with the significantly reduced hours we're now able to dedicate to assembly.

If you have the proper tools/equipment, we would highly encourage you to purchase a DIY Kit if it's an option. It will be cheaper & YOUR time-cost for a single build of a product isn't too high. It's just that time does become a factor if you're selling dozens of each product as a business.

For more info on how assembled products are priced, continue reading below..

How We Price Products

Our product pricing has changed over the years and heavy consideration is now being given to time and labor costs respective of each unique design. That means if the product is labor intensive (ie. multiple hours to hand-solder, assemble, clean and test) then a higher labor rate must be factored into the product pricing. Just the same, products that are much faster to assemble have lower labor costs in their pricing.

Material costs are also key in pricing. When ICs or components we use have gone obsolete or have shot up in price due to supply chain issues or higher costs by the manufacturer, pricing is affected. A few products we're offering have been affected by recent supply chain issues and obsolesence of the underlying chips/components.

Business Insights

As a final part of product pricing we have normal operating costs as a small business. A big factor is business taxes, which can unfortunately easily amount to 40-50% of net profits (fed, state, local & self-employment taxes). Uncle Sam gets nearly half of the profits when all said and done. Each product has at least a 15-25% material cost, sometimes more. There's additionally monthly/yearly merchant fees and per-transaction fees.

So to walk through an example..

You sell a product for $100 that took you 2 hours to assemble:

$100 gross sale
-$20.00 material cost
-$36.00 Uncle Sam's cut (fed, state, local & SE taxes)
-3.00 transaction fee
-2.00 storefront cost monthy
= ~$39.00 net profit

So after potentially multiple hours of assembly labor, cleanup, packaging, & shipping. Not factoring in customer support and business risks of selling the product, the profit you actually bank is about $40.

What's The Better Option

Ideally finding products to resell/flip in high volume or otherwise buying pre-assembled products is the better option. Then your costs of assembly can be part of the cost basis of the product & your time is mainly shipping products, answering emails, etc.

The challenge with pinball products is they typically don't sell in very large quanity. Some may only sell a dozen or less per year. So they generally aren't the type of products that you can justify costs of tooling & factory assembly. You'd have to order them in such bulk that you'd be sitting on products for decades that only sell a handful a year, or they'd be very costly per unit. So this is why we've hand-assembled our products. But then as mentioned, time becomes a problem.

After many years we have decided to mainly be offering DIY Kits for products other than the nvram. We're also OK offering assembled on limited products (when time permits) as long as the pricing represents the labor costs involved.

We hope this explains our assembled pricing a bit more. In the end, we consider ourselves a "boutique pinball shop" offering some cool or unique products at pricing that may or may not work for some people. Either way, it's all good!

What we can say is we've had customers tell us our products have held up better than other products on the market or look and function better. So while we may not be the cheapest option out there on every product, we're proud to offer the pinball community quality products that will last!

-Pinitech LLC

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