I have almost no cash built up so I usually start small to test (3 units from OSHpark), then do a smallish order 6-15 units, see how they sell, then ramp up into the 30’s at a time from there (having enough margin to grow inventory is critical).
I’d have more cash on hand, but this side gig is to fund my hobby robotics and it took a big hit this summer working on the Full Size Jeep robot for AVC. I just don’t get the volume to justify ordering in the 100’s at this point. Maybe some day.
Sometimes I know ahead of time if something is going to sell well, like my Turntable Strobe, because I knew the market going in. In that case, after the initial test batches, I posted to get a sense of numbers/interest. Then I did a big order to match the interest as I had enough cash to buy up front.
I’ve noticed that initial sale volume tends to peak after release, and then tapers off to a more-or-less steady stream after. I’ve seen this with most of my designs.
It’ll be interesting to see how OpenMV plays out. We’re doing a beta of 30 units soon. I’m curious to see if we can justify ramping up from there, if we can bootstrap it or if we have to do a fundraiser to make that happen, or what.