What’s with the 42?
It’s a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, my absolute favourite 5-book trilogy ever. Like 42, custom mechanical keyboards can sometimes be the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Which leads us nicely to the next question.
Why open a shop?
The cost of entry to this wonderful and weird rabbit hole of a hobby can be quite high, and availability of many parts in Europe is not great. That is why I, u/piit79 a.k.a. u/42Keebs, after running several rounds of Mill Max socket group buys decided to open a small on-line shop.
The main focus of the shop is to offer a wide range of in-stock budget through-hole kits (almost) anyone can build without having to stop eating for a month. Plus some other useful items that are not as easy to get in Europe for a reasonable price, like the aforementioned Mill Max hotswap sockets, switch lube, films, springs etc.
Where are you located?
The full shop address is 42. Keebs, Lucemburska 11, Praha 3, 13000, Czech Republic.
Aren’t you just selling other people’s work?
In essence, I am. However, 1) I always make sure I’m allowed to do that by the kit’s license, and if not, I contact the designer to obtain permission in exchange for a share of the profits, and 2) even if I am free to do that by the license, I still contact the designer and offer them a share of the profits from every sale. And last (but hopefully not least), I have made quite a few modifications and improvements to various kits – these are always open-sourced in my GitHub forks.
Why are your prices quite a bit lower than elsewhere?
Because this is not a “proper shop” 😄 The main reason I opened it was to make the kits available to the community. I run the shop for fun, as a side-project alongside my normal full time job. That means I have low overheads and I can afford to work with slim margins. I try to pass those savings on to you.
Why GBP instead of EUR?
Until recently I thought there was no way to withdraw EUR out of PayPal without getting screwed on the currency conversion. Due to historical reasons I have a UK PayPal account with excellent standing, so that’s why I’m using GBP at the moment.
That said, I’m currently trying to persuade PayPal to change the withdrawal currency of my card so that I can avoid the costly currency conversion. The shop currency should hopefully be changing to EUR soon(ish). [Update 6/2021] Well, they don’t want to give up their fees. Who would’ve guessed..? Anyway, I’ll keep trying.