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Is $299 too much? Let's explore the full costs of a BusyBox D.

April 10, 2022

Since our Shark Tank episode airing on April 8th, 2022, we’ve had some interesting conversations about the BusyBox Digital's $299 price. Some say, it's too much, others say it's a fair price, and a few brave souls (who are probably engineers who’ve taken one apart) think it's a value at that price. 

For this blog post we won't go over the $129 BusyBox Standard or the $59 BusyBox Remote which were both discussed at length when we recorded the Shark Tank episode because those conversations did not make the final cut, instead let’s focus on the Digital which got all the attention in the final edit.

We aim to be a pretty transparent company, so we figured we’d share our thoughts on why $299 is a good value. 

After the airing, our own team did a deep dive evaluation of what the price "should" be and came to a familiar conclusion, $299 is the right price, right now.  

Lori had a lot of great questions about the BusyBox Digital and Standard

We make the BusyBox Digital so that it will have a target lifespan of 5 years. We know some will run longer, but that's our minimum lifespan target and service window (for now).

Let’s go over some of the top cost drivers:

By spending a bit more “where it counts” it help the product to run well and survive environmental issues for over a 5 year (or more) lifetime.  - Fess, BusyBox’s CTO

What’s often overlooked by everyday product pundants is accounting for a lifetime of software support, even beyond 5 years. 

But not us.  We know the power of software and great usability.  So what’s coming?  Glad you asked!

And don’t forget, we don’t get to keep all $299 … not even close!  We need to leave room for resellers like Amazon. Amazon does SO much business for us and they are not our cheapest selling channel, but they do the most business and they take a pretty good chunk out of that price.  

And let's face it, for most of us, when we find out about a product our first move is to check it out on Amazon. So, they need a cut to do their job.

For the fun of it, let’s do a full 360 degree analysis.

Now, let’s pretend to be a company that wants to build a 1-year “throw away” product.  Let’s go for a money grab product and build it to last 90 days to a year.  Here’s what we have to do. 

That pretend scenario is not too far from reality, right? 

We’ve all bought a cheaply made product, with a bad app that as soon as a new release comes from Android/Apple the app stops working.  We inquire about an update and we never get an answer.  We bought cheap, and we got what we paid for, and now it’s time to buy again.  

To me, that’ okay, that’s a personal choice. If you’d rather Spend $100 three times over three years instead of $300 up front, that’s fine.  It’s a personal choice and that’s what makes you happy.  No worries.  But likewise, we ask that you don’t diss on someone who wants to spend $299 upfront and never worry again. 

My grandmother once said to me, “Buy the good stuff and cry once.” 

She couldn’t have been more right.  I’ve never regretted paying a bit more for “the good stuff” if I know it’s something I want to last a long time.  

All were a bit “overpriced” in the eyes of some, but they were all built-to-last and that’s what I love about the BusyBox Digital, it’s built to last. 

Can we make a BusyBox Digital cheaper?  Of course.  Will we cheap out on the hardware?  Nope.  It’s important to us that it lasts for years and years and isn’t in the ground as trash in a year or two.  

We have the margin we need to keep the software updated, improving all the time and to keep adding features that our users want.  If $299 is too much for you, no worries. But if you do spend $299 on a Digital, we believe someday you’ll look back and say “What a good value that was.”  That’s our mission. 

The BusyBox Team

Great shot of the Shark Tank Set and the setups for Professionals, Students and Creatives. Three models at $59, $129 and $299, there is a BusyBox sign for a lot of different users and applications.
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