Raspberry Pi Seller To Combat Queue, Supply Problems

By April 3, 2012

Image: Raspberry Pi Foundation

Raspberry Pi reseller RS Components will respond to customer frustration over multiple roadblocks to the manufacture and sale of the highly-anticipated, low-cost computer by opening a dedicated online store for the hotly-anticipated device.

The company hopes the online store will smooth out the ordering process by sending registered users notifications when new units are available for order, based on their position in the queue and availability of stock. The store will be based at DesignSpark, an online community and idea marketplace run by the United Kingdom-based RS Components for electronic design professionals.

“The store will be opened up to customers who have registered with RS, in sequence, according to the time that they registered their interest with us,” reads a terse statement by the company.

The new site will also support PayPal, payments in more currencies, and overcomes restrictions against selling directly to private individuals in Austria.

“We are unable to respond to individual enquires from registrants for now, but we are issuing weekly updates via email to everyone who has registered with RS,” an RS Components spokesperson assured the Raspberry Pi Foundation in an email message.

The Raspberry Pi is a compact, $25-$35 computer conceived as a no-frills educational tool but with significant traction in the modder community. The device was designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charitable organization also based in the United Kingdom.

“The RS Raspberry Pi online store has been created to meet the needs of all enthusiasts, whether they are existing RS customers or new to the company,” RS Components spokesperson Joanne Bennett told Tech.li in an email message. “We will also be offering all the necessary accessories for the Raspberry Pi, and customers who purchase these at the same time as their Raspberry Pi won’t incur any additional delivery charges.”

Enthusiasts have been frustrated by multiple delays during the release and manufacturing processes for the Raspberry Pi, most recently when it was decided the device needed a Conformité Européenne mark, a product conformity requirement for objects sold in the European Union, and previously when limited numbers of pre-sales were snatched up quickly.

“An unbuyable case for an unbuyable computer,” lamented Reddit user akincisor, in reference to an early, 3-D printed commercial case for the Raspberry Pi. “Nice. Call me when they have them available.”

Image: Paul Beech, Raspberry Pi Foundation