Hi, I'm Adam, Welcome to Local Bytes!
I started LocalBytes in 2021 with a straightforward goal. To provide smart home devices that do not connect directly to the Internet.
In June of that year, we spoke to many factories that produced Tuya-based devices and eventually found one willing to work with us with an order for 1000 smart plugs. It was one of the most ambitious endeavours I had personally started. It is time to start progressing to the next level.
As of today, Friday the 1st of September 2023, LocalBytes is no longer a side hustle; it is my full-time job. I am incredibly grateful for the support of our community, who have made this possible.
As such, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to review what is changing, what is not, and what we have been doing but need to clarify.
Our first order of business is improving our restocking processes. From our perspective, we should always be available for you to order from us. This involves a little more planning on our side, but now I am full-time, this should not be an issue.
As we speak, we have our largest batch of plugs in production. We will see the introduction of ESPHome for our UK plugs. Europe will receive ESPHome when we are ready to restock.
Nonetheless, we will maintain our current procedure where, in case a product goes out of stock, we will allow pre-orders once the products have left the factory. The exception is new products (more on those later), where we may offer preorders before the first match goes into production. We will comment as always, remain transparent when this is the case and do our best to keep you updated on their progress.
We will review our policies once our current restocking cycle has finished. For example, our shipping policy is not up to date with where we currently ship. Our returns policy lacks clarification as to the process involved. Furthermore, our products do not currently list any form of warranty.
This has to change; the documentation we publish should be accurate so that we can stand by it 100%. However, we will not be pulling the rug out from underneath you. However, we will clarify the length of our warranties, with examples of what is and is not covered. We hope this will allow new customers to trust us even further, despite being a small business
We have recently added a new section to the site called The Incubator. I run this company for you, our community. To engage further and make better decisions as to our priorities, we will be releasing our upcoming products via the incubator.
This allows you to keep an eye on what we are working on, forming part of our commitment to the community. We aim to release everything that goes into the incubator, and it will allow you to sign up for notifications relating to those products.
At the time of writing, we have three products that are incubating. A pre-flashed multi-gang plug socket, a LocalBytes branded WLED controller, and a "Super Secret Project." We added selectors for UK/EU standards and Tasmota/ESPHome firmware regarding the pre-flashed multi-gang plug socket. This will essentially form a vote on which variants we focus on producing first (with the other variants following in the later batches).
I never want to be in a position where I run a business that I would not recommend to my friends and family.
Adam Allport | Founder & CEO
We are committed to providing the best service we can. The changes that we are going to be making are so that we can better serve our community.
We do not do seasonal discounts. Whether it is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year, or My Birthday, it is not happening.
We don't plan any Factorio sale. I'm aware, that the sale can make a lot of money in a short period of time, but I believe that it is not worth it in the long run We want to be honest with our customers ... with the sale, as you are basically saying, that someone who doesn't want to waste his time by searching for sales or special offers has to pay more.
Please note that this does not mean we will never add promotions. Where it makes the most sense (e.g., LED Strips) if possible, we will be adding bundles. We can do this because buying items together directly relates to a saving we can pass to you. However, these promotions will not be time-limited or linked to a season. They will be consistent and reliable. Just like us
Similarly, we will maintain our free UK/DE delivery on orders over £30/€35.
We do have a few affiliates that have supported us from day one. Customers using affiliate links may receive a small discount, and the affiliates will receive a kickback. The discount for such affiliates is £1... just as a bit of a thank you.
Local Bytes is still run and managed by myself. We have no other employees, and I intend to keep it that way for now. That said, all our fulfilment is handled by a third party, and we will bring on a freelance PM to aid us in keeping new projects on track, etc.
Having fulfilment handled externally allows me to take the necessary holidays to remain working at my best. It also allows me to spend time with family, as I am not tied to one physical location.
That is it; we have zero plans to outsource support or similar. As you have supported us over the past few years, I will continue to support you.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this post. Hopefully, it will answer any of the questions that you may have after this announcement. If not, feel free to reach out on any of our socials, and I will keep this post up to date if anything big is missing.
I'm truly excited to take LocalBytes to the next level, and I can't wait to bring the community along for the ride. This company would not exist without developers much smarter than myself developing tools such as Tasmota and ESPHome, nor without enthusiasts to make those projects worthwhile.