[Lab] Introducing TugBits.com - a marketplace for makers

Tom Burns tom.i.burns at gmail.com
Wed Jun 8 15:26:59 EDT 2011

Hi Andrew!

I am glad you are interested.  I am a fan of your work!

Thank you for bringing Broodr to my attention, I had not seen it before.

Doesn't Etsy also charge a listing fee?  Our site is free-to-list to
hopefully promote growth, but clearly our original 25% idea is too high.
 Once we internally agree on a lower number I will let the list know :)

While we are not against eventually supporting physical items, to start it
is digital only.  It is a simpler model for everyone involved to not have to
deal with shipping.  Also I am not sure if we want to compete with Etsy.

One of our potential ideas is to partner with existing physical services
like ponoko, sparkfun/mouser, and easy PCB, to offer simple JIT kit
ordering.  For single quantities and multiple-source shipping it might end
up being too expensive compared to traditional sales models.

Another way to look at our target marketplace would be "App Store for


On Wed, Jun 8, 2011 at 3:08 PM, Andrew O'Malley <aomalley at gmail.com> wrote:

> Tom,
> As an active on-line seller, I'll be interested to see the development
> of Tugbits.
> For reference, sites like Etsy and Broodr.com take less than 5% of
> each sale, so as a seller it's a great trade off for all the overhead
> they take care of.
> Etsy isn't really directed to electronics/maker stuff, but that's
> where most of my sales come from.  Broodr is a newer site dedicated
> more to maker stuff, but I have yet to make a sale there even though
> they claim to be promoting it as well.
> Is Tugbits for physical objects as well?
> Best of luck and keep us updated!  Nice to see a local approach!
> Andrew
> > Message: 1
> > Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2011 13:25:33 -0400
> > From: Tom Burns <tom.i.burns at gmail.com>
> > Subject: [Lab] Introducing TugBits.com - a marketplace for makers.
> > To: lab at artengine.ca
> > Message-ID: <BANLkTinCRSY-ETHCw0nYPWwmmVsCwoToTA at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> >
> > I'd like to introduce the community to a website I've been working on
> with a
> > few friends.  I would love to hear your feedback on the idea and the
> site,
> > http://www.tugbits.com .
> >
> > Our dream goal is to help people quit their desk jobs and pay their bills
> > doing what they love, making things.
> >
> > TugBits.com is a digital marketplace for makers.  You upload your design
> > files, list them for sale, and collect money via PayPal when your item
> > sells.  Likewise, you can use the site to find quality, reviewed designs
> > suitable for printing on your 3d printer, milling on your CNC, running on
> > your Arduino, etc.  Also suitable would be e-books, schematics, source
> code
> > libraries and tools, etc.  Only after the PayPal transaction is the buyer
> > able to download the files.  There are no physical items sold on the
> TugBits
> > store, only files.
> >
> > Our goal is to help talented makers easily profit from their hard work.
>  We
> > do not want to replace the existing "free/open source" model, but we want
> to
> > augment it. We think that if you can get paid for your work it will
> compel
> > you to go the extra step and make it that much better.  Market driven
> > innovation.
> >
> > Registering and listing items is free.  We charge 25% of your gross
> revenue
> > and bill monthly.  Depending on our costs and community feedback this
> number
> > is probably going to change, but it's similar to the costs associated
> with
> > putting an app on an app store or a musician listing with iTunes.
> >
> > Currently you can register on the site and list items for sale, which is
> > what I would love for any of you interested to do.  We are in the final
> > stages of getting PayPal to sign off on the site, at which point sellers
> > will be able to collect money and items will be able to be sold.
> >
> > Please visit the site and let me know what you think!  Even if you hate
> it,
> > please reply to tell me why.
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Tom Burns
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