Society of Robots - Robot Forum

General Misc => Misc => Topic started by: SmAsH on December 29, 2009, 06:56:19 AM

Title: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on December 29, 2009, 06:56:19 AM
Well, i thought i would let everyone here at SoR know about sparkfuns free day on the 7th of January.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id=305 (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/news.php?id=305) I know I'll be participating!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on December 29, 2009, 10:06:47 AM
BLAST!!!!

I thought about posting this a month ago when they told everyone about it. But then i got worried that if too many people tried to place an order, mine would never go through. (I have been a wooter (woot.com) for 4 years and never got a BOC because of this).

Call me paranoid, but I'm glad someone posted it, and now i can blame SmAsH when i can't get my order through.  >:(
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: z.s.tar.gz on December 29, 2009, 10:08:42 AM
This is a lie! Nobody do this or check that link! Especially don't try and redeem your free money!

Seriously I'm blaming you if I don't get anything! (Just kidding, I'll only hold a paranoid grudge)
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: waltr on December 29, 2009, 10:33:33 AM
I think its a great idea but I'm placing an order this week. I can afford it and I don't want the items I want going out of stock.

Good luck to all on the 7th.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Razor Concepts on December 29, 2009, 10:49:26 AM
Haha, fellow wooter! I bet you also think that it will be nearly impossible to get one seeing how far the free day has spread through the internets  :D

I've managed to get one BOC, they always have them right around the time I get home from school so its pretty easy to camp out for 2 hours try to get one.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on December 29, 2009, 04:45:58 PM
Do you see what you have started?  http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=9935.0 (http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=9935.0)

@ Razor -- I will be at work when the sparkfun deal starts, meaning i will have to submit the order from work. Not sure if being on a US Govt network will give me better chances or not, but i'm gonna try.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on December 29, 2009, 05:26:46 PM
Yeah, i knew posting this would piss a few people off....
But if you didn't know about it, wouldn't you want it posted?
I'm just hoping i can get a few sharp ir's as they aren't sold ANYWHERE over here :)

Let us pray that the website doesn't go down. I have to get up at 2am on the 8th (grumble grumble)
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Joker94 on December 29, 2009, 07:25:44 PM
well it thought it was 2:30 for me and 3am for you .

too late but it may be worth it.

Joker94
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on December 29, 2009, 07:31:10 PM
Hmm, i'll double check that...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hertz32 on January 06, 2010, 08:49:14 AM
AAhhh i live in the uk im going to have to pay a lot for p&p
*sobs*
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Joker94 on January 06, 2010, 05:24:49 PM
do a dummy run and your postage will be calculated.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hawaii00000 on January 07, 2010, 02:27:05 AM
So what if you place an order assuming you'll have the credit, but your like #1001. Then you gotta cough up $100
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 02:56:00 AM
That would be uber gay but i think it tells you when you click buy if you are eligible for the credit...

Edit:
Quote
You will see whether or not your order qualifies for a credit in the checkout process.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hawaii00000 on January 07, 2010, 03:20:17 AM
I think says you MAY qualify... hmmmm
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: arixrobotics on January 07, 2010, 09:33:06 AM
Its not yet 9am MST but the website is down already  :(  I can't get in...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 09:39:25 AM
Its not yet 9am MST but the website is down already  :(  I can't get in...
lol, just goes to show how many of us are desperate for free parts ;D
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 07, 2010, 09:58:45 AM
Wow. Big failure. They didn't think through the fact that some people will be happy with their plan, but MANY will be disappointed.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 10:05:07 AM
Yeap, so many peoples hopes will be crushed by this :-\
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: chelmi on January 07, 2010, 10:23:03 AM
Disappointed? maybe... but certainly not by SparkFun!
If I don't get what I wanted, it's not sparkfun's fault, it's just bad luck. It's like the lottery: if you don't win, you don't hold anything against the system. It's just bad luck...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hawaii00000 on January 07, 2010, 11:43:07 AM
Trying for 1hr 45min... fail
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 11:58:22 AM
Well, we tried... And failed... Damn my slow internet!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 07, 2010, 12:37:55 PM
Add me to the "tried" list.

I actually completed the order. Took a long time. I never got my confirmation email, so I just looked and the items that I ordered were unceremoniously returned to my cart.

Again - free stuff or not - this will reflect poorly on SparkFun's choice.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 07, 2010, 12:53:39 PM
THIS WAS NOT A LOTTERY!!! Lotteries involve tickets and winning numbers.

Sparkfun billed this as a way to "repay their customers" since they had success during a depression; and therefore they should have only re payed those who actually placed order to help them through that depression. Instead, they burned a lot of loyal customers.

This was more like a parent having their kids fight it out to see who gets a Christmas present. Not Cool.

</vent>
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: parallax on January 07, 2010, 12:54:50 PM
Add me to the "failed" list too.  :-[  I started just when it opened and by the time I managed to fill my cart it was done, because I kept getting dropped from the site. I imagine their servers were in no way able to handle the load. They said they would post statistics about "Free Day" at some point... I am curious to see just how many people tried to get in on it
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: chelmi on January 07, 2010, 01:00:52 PM
Guys! It's not SF's fault if you didn't get your free stuff... They made a very generous gesture today, be grateful.
Grow up and stop whining...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 07, 2010, 01:32:42 PM
Grow up and stop whining...

That's rather offensive. Those that disagree with you are immature whiners?

Sparkfun billed this as a way to "repay their customers" since they had success during a depression;

That is a legitimate point, but probably would be lost on SparkFun. A rewards program for frequent orders would actually reward those that ARE their customers.


I have to wonder (and will never know for sure) if this has done more harm than good. My opinion is that it makes their business look pretty amateur.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: chelmi on January 07, 2010, 01:35:45 PM
Grow up and stop whining...

That's rather offensive. Those that disagree with you are immature whiners?


No, but people who complain they didn't get a present are whiners.

I have to wonder (and will never know for sure) if this has done more harm than good. My opinion is that it makes their business look pretty amateur.
Look around! that's how it works everywhere. If you want to buy tickets online for a very popular sport event or a show, you will face the same issue (unavailable website, order hard to finalize,...). What do you suggest they do?
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 07, 2010, 01:52:51 PM
Grow up and stop whining...

That's rather offensive. Those that disagree with you are immature whiners?


No, but people who complain they didn't get a present are whiners.

That is your opinion. Personally I'm not resorting to name calling. I feel everyone deserves their right to opine on the subject.

I have to wonder (and will never know for sure) if this has done more harm than good. My opinion is that it makes their business look pretty amateur.
Look around! that's how it works everywhere. If you want to buy tickets online for a very popular sport event or a show, you will face the same issue (unavailable website, order hard to finalize,...). What do you suggest they do?

Clearly I'm suggesting a way to reward their loyal customers. That was their stated intent. Their execution caused discourse. Most businesses look poorly on customers developing a negative opinion of them. It was mere speculation on my part that this may have generated negative relations with a set of their customers as a result.

Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hertz32 on January 07, 2010, 02:36:27 PM
me and mi dad tried to get a pololu 3pi but i didnt work out oh well looks like mi first robot will be bought bit by bit  :( oh well plz have a look at my post in electronics about a cerebellum alternative
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: z.s.tar.gz on January 07, 2010, 03:23:33 PM
I didn't get anything, but easy come easy go right?
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 04:39:25 PM
Yeah, but i do agree with gearmotion in that it was best internet connection wins...
They should've had some kind of selection process before hand or something, i mean a heap of the people that got stuff from free day would've never purchased from sparkfun before and i think that is kind of stupid. Imagine going out into the mall and tossing $100k in the air, it wouldn't be fair would it?
I too think this could impact negatively on sparkfun...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Razor Concepts on January 07, 2010, 04:52:54 PM
Internet connection really doesn't have much to do with it, besides the speed of your clicking the submit button. It was just whoever was lucky enough to have the server respond to them.

Also nothing is ever fair  ;)



But anyways, best marketing strategy ever? This probably cost SF ~$30,000 and they got the number 1 hit on google for several hours, and they are in the top 20 searches 5 times right now. Best 30K ever spent by a marketing department.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: z.s.tar.gz on January 07, 2010, 05:17:00 PM
But anyways, best marketing strategy ever? This probably cost SF ~$30,000 and they got the number 1 hit on google for several hours, and they are in the top 20 searches 5 times right now. Best 30K ever spent by a marketing department.

I know! Sparkfun is completely engraved into my brain now, whereas before I just thought of them as just another electronics store.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: webgeek on January 07, 2010, 05:36:52 PM
You can add me to the list of whiners apparently. I was pretty frustrated with the whole experience. I really needed those parts for my project and after all their bragging that the servers were upgraded I was pretty angry after not being able to get in. I'd populated my cart weeks before and was poised with my finger over the button. The current stats are something like this: 1 person out of 70 or so was able to place an order. If I'd known the site would crash minutes before the free day started I'd never have planned on it being able to get some parts. Ultimately I'm more angry that they made me look like a fool for assuming their offer was a realistic one - 1 in 70 combined with crashing servers isn't realistic at all. That's my fault and I won't make that mistake again. As soon as the free day was over and I stopped grumbling about it, I hopped over to Trossen Robotics and snagged every part I needed. I'm sure I'll go back to Sparkfun in the future but I'm pretty irritated right now and I won't be back until I simmer down some.

-Mike
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 05:37:39 PM
The review of freeday! Your fortune tells of a long forum post ahead! Stats included!
Quote
Well... Free Day has come and gone. It was most definitely not without some hiccups (ok... ok... full belly burps). We apologize for anyone who was unable to take part in the $100k give away. But let's revisit the goals of the Free Day (from the original announcement) and see how we did:

"First and foremost, we want to give back. We've had a stellar year in 2009, and it's all because of you. So please, have a beer (or a Stepper Motor Driver) on us."

Did we accomplish this? We think so. This was Free Day's primary goal because our customers are the biggest part of what makes SparkFun work. Their innovation and creativity makes this "world" turn. In our opinion, the beauty of DIY electronics is its openness - this type of technology should be available to everyone to play around with. We thought limiting the promotion to just our prior customers would really be going against this notion. So we opened it up - to everyone. This left some people feeling jilted and some people ecstatic - but overall, we think this was a good thing not just for the people who got their order through, but for the whole DIY electronics community.

"Second: We wish we could sponsor more groups but we don't have a sound way of selecting appropriate projects. Because we can't afford to say yes to everyone, we have to say no to everyone. It pains us every time we have to do it. So this is a way for us to evenly enable all the students and great minds of the world to pickup a $100 worth of free gear. Go for it!"

I think the answer to the first questions answers this as well. We hope we helped a few people accomplish projects they've been dreaming up!

"Third: Free Day will possibly create a maelstrom of site traffic, the likes of which our servers have not seen. At the beginning of December, 2009, SparkFun will be graduating out of its high-chair and moving into a server cluster. We are excited to have the breathing room, and Free Day will help us evaluate just how much breathing room we're getting. We'll do everything in our power to keep the site up but please understand that the site may go down."

This was, of course, more than just a test for our servers - we could've done that virtually and I think anyone who participated in Free Day knows how this worked. Our server went down three times during this ordeal. Once, it really broke on its own (the day before Free Day). Yikes. The other two times, we took it down on purpose before Free Day started to make upgrades we knew we'd need to have even a fighting chance of completing the day. Did our upgrades work? Yes and no. Yes, we were able to finish Free Day. No, it didn't go as smoothly as we hoped. Our site was slow as molasseses. We learned a ton in the IT realm of things and will use that information down the line.  We hope in the meantime your F5 key is still intact and functioning.

"Fourth: We turn 7 years old! SparkFun is now over 70 employees and is the ripe old age of 49 (in business and dog years). We'd like to celebrate our birthday with a party."

Was it fun? Sure! But what we are really looking forward to is what comes down the line a week, a month, a year from now. We hope someone out there got a few things from Free Day and will create something really cool, or just start down the path of DIY electronics and get the same enjoyment we do out of this cool stuff.

So now let's look at some graphs and stats!
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FreeDay1.jpg)
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FreeDay-Visits.jpg)
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FreeDay5-M.jpg)
(http://http//www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FreeDay-Guess.jpg)
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FreeDay3-M.jpg)
Quote
We received over 2,000 guesses as to when Free Day would expire! The winner of $200 was off by three seconds! Guess: 10:44:44. Amazing!

Fun Numbers:

    * Total given away: $100,587.80
    * Total free day orders: 1,035
    * Total units sold: 12,185
    * Largest order (before discount): $425.42 (discounted $100.00)
    * Smallest order (before discount): $34.53 (discounted $29.95)
    * Average order (before discount): $126.73
    * Most popular product: COM-08532 (Basic green LED - 145 units)
    * Most products in one order: 153 (he had all 145 green LEDs!)

Distribution of countries (by number of orders):

    * United States      803
    * Canada     66
    * Australia     38
    * United Kingdom     27
    * Netherlands     18
    * France     16
    * Germany     13
    * Sweden     12
    * New Zealand     8
    * Finland     8
    * Spain     8
    * Italy     6
    * Switzerland     5
    * Singapore     5
    * South Africa     4
    * Brazil     3
    * Portugal     3
    * Turkey     3
    * Denmark     3
    * Sri Lanka     2
    * Austria     2
    * Belgium     2
    * Hungary     2
    * Estonia     1
    * Iceland     1
    * India     1
    * Chile     1
    * Czech Republic     1
    * Mexico     1
    * Greece     1
Quote
On Monday of this week, we were up to 33,000 visit, way above our normal average. Tuesday 41,619 - nearly a record for us (record was Free Day announcement of 46,442). Wednesday (we went down twice that day, once on purpose, once because the database broke) we hit 72,047 visits! That's incredible! We knew Free Day was really going to hurt. On Thursday, Free Day itself, we are still waiting for Google Analytics to catch up but it's obvious we will peak over 111,493 visits today. We took the site down once at 8AM to make some last minute mods, but were able to keep the site from completely breaking down. We were effectively under a self-inflicted denial of service attack but pages loaded, albeit slowly! 111,493 visits! Ow it hurt!
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/free_day_usage.jpg)
Quote
We went from 5mbps back in December to 32mbps in January. Necessity is the mother of invention. With load on our servers hitting nearly 10 times anything we've seen before, we learned very quickly how we needed to patch and streamline our site to squeeze every ounce of throughput out of our little e-commerce system. Our site is now running snappier than ever and this is one of the biggest days we've seen in our history. Nice job IT.

Every order isn't going to ship on Free Day, or for a few days after. We've got extra tape guns on hand, but please be patient and give us some time to catch up! We will get every order out but it will take at least a week to get back to our normal shipping speed.
(http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/sparkfun-freeday.jpg)
Quote
In the end was it worth it? Completely! Either way you slice it, we got $100 worth of goods into the hands of 1,000 new customers and repeat friends. Did we anger people? For sure, but as lukeweston on twitter so elegantly put it: "This is a bizzare form of nerd torture". We had a blast and hope you enjoyed the excitement and entertainment of the morning. Cheers!
[email protected] IRC almost dying!
also, some of the hackaday comments explain what happened...
http://hackaday.com/2010/01/07/sparkfun-free-day-is-nearly-upon-us/ (http://hackaday.com/2010/01/07/sparkfun-free-day-is-nearly-upon-us/)
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 07, 2010, 06:13:56 PM
I'll post what i posted on there article, as I do feel betrayed by SF, not by the event itself, but by how they played it off.

"I'm sorry, I can't believe you are still claiming first and foremost "you wanted to give back". In order to give 'back' required the person to have given to you first, ie loyal customers only. What you did was 'give away' to anyone and turned what seemed like (and you still believe apparently) a warm sentiment into a cheap lottery joke. Had I know I was facing 1:70 odds i won't not have wasted my time.

This is my opinion, and I entitled to have it. Sparkfun has joined the league of evil companies with PR stunts like this."
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Ro-Bot-X on January 07, 2010, 08:25:15 PM
Yes... Now what? When will I be able to get my needed part that costs like $25 and was the first on my list? I can afford to get only that part and I need as soon as possible. But after so many orders to prepare, it will take some weeks until they'll get to mine. I guess I should look at Trossen or other sources, if I'm lucky, perhaps they have it in stock.

Well, I guess many people feel the same. I can do what I want to do without that part, but some people can't. I kind of knew it will turn out like this and didn't set my hopes high. I'm only sad for the guys that really needed the parts. And upset on the guys that got their parts and resell them. That is total disrespect. I would not buy a part from such a guy, ever.

From all the stats SF gave us, there is something missing: how many people were new customers. I hope their number was worth hurting the loyal ones.

So, from now on, I'll talk about this day as "the sparkfun lottery day"... (lower letters intentional).

At least I managed to make a few people happy by giving away 6 R-Dev-Ino boards: one guy from LMR forum and  Chelmi, Joker94 and Smash from SoR. It's not a big value, but it makes me feel much better, because I know they are going to use them for robotics.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 07, 2010, 08:33:50 PM
At least I managed to make a few people happy by giving away 6 R-Dev-Ino boards: one guy from LMR forum and  Chelmi, Joker94 and Smash from SoR. It's not a big value, but it makes me feel much better, because I know they are going to use them for robotics.

Cheers!
If I'm ever in Toronto, you get a beer!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hawaii00000 on January 07, 2010, 11:51:35 PM
Quote
I have to wonder (and will never know for sure) if this has done more harm than good. My opinion is that it makes their business look pretty amateur.

Maybe that's true to some extent, but the certainly got a lot of publicity out of it. Personally I'm probably going to end up buying some of the items I put in cart, especially since I already had my mind set on getting them. Its all part the advertising.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Joker94 on January 08, 2010, 04:49:45 AM
At least I managed to make a few people happy by giving away 6 R-Dev-Ino boards: one guy from LMR forum and  Chelmi, Joker94 and Smash from SoR. It's not a big value, but it makes me feel much better, because I know they are going to use them for robotics.

Cheers!
If I'm ever in Toronto, you get a beer!

I will too  :D
 
thanks very much again Robot x ;D

Joker94
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 08, 2010, 09:28:37 AM
At least I managed to make a few people happy by giving away 6 R-Dev-Ino boards: one guy from LMR forum and  Chelmi, Joker94 and Smash from SoR. It's not a big value, but it makes me feel much better, because I know they are going to use them for robotics.

And that is why I've given away the things that I've given away - I hope that they are used and appreciated. CircuitGizmos has shipped "extra" things every once in a while. But it isn't played as a contest when it is an obvious marketing ploy. I certainly wouldn't want to fake doing some "good" and as a result anger a bunch of people. That makes little sense.

So question for SoR: How could I give something back to SoR members without it being an ugly marketing ploy? How would I make it fair to say "I want to give away X"? Start a new thread here and have people post to qualify? Is that fair? Unfair? I'm curious how I can generously give something away without it creating any ill will.


 
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 08, 2010, 11:01:30 AM
I'm curious how I can generously give something away without it creating any ill will.

I think Admin has the best idea, make a contest for people based on how well you write tutorials. You reward someone deserving and create an awesome collection of tutorials for beginners to use.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 08, 2010, 11:33:07 AM
I'm curious how I can generously give something away without it creating any ill will.

I think Admin has the best idea, make a contest for people based on how well you write tutorials. You reward someone deserving and create an awesome collection of tutorials for beginners to use.

Oh, I didn't want it to be WORK... :-D

I've actually given away these: http://www.usbmicro.com/documents/2CDECB6069BC98A8B0B408E789A25B26FDF6DF71.html (http://www.usbmicro.com/documents/2CDECB6069BC98A8B0B408E789A25B26FDF6DF71.html) to people that have provided some application or example ideas. I could offer one as a reward to whoever comes up with the implementable best idea on how to use one.

I'd hate to do that if there was little interest. Are people here interested?

Also - The devices can be used with Linux, but I have little sample code for that. I'd offer one in exchange for Linux code.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: z.s.tar.gz on January 08, 2010, 09:03:18 PM
I'd use one of those to interface my vintage Model M keyboard to usb.
And I think I can probably work up some code for linux too, but I'm not making any promises until I've actually done some research.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 08, 2010, 10:07:00 PM
I'd use one of those to interface my vintage Model M keyboard to usb.
And I think I can probably work up some code for linux too, but I'm not making any promises until I've actually done some research.

I'd like to see something like that. PM me when you need more information.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: parallax on January 09, 2010, 07:57:12 AM
Whiners? Maybe a little, but what's wrong with a little whining now and again? People are disappointed; it's understandable. I know I am- ;)

$100 in free stuff would have helped out a lot to get my project farther off the ground. Oh well.

I'm just as happy seeing the statistics for the day though, (for instance: 2400 people in the Sparkfun iRC  :o and Sparkfun was the number one search term on the internet for a while   ;D) It's cool to see the attention "Free Day" drew to hobby-ist electronics in general. That can only be a good thing I think!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Razor Concepts on January 09, 2010, 08:05:10 AM
Whiners? Maybe a little, but what's wrong with a little whining now and again? People are disappointed; it's understandable. I know I am- ;)

$100 in free stuff would have helped out a lot to get my project farther off the ground. Oh well.

I'm just as happy seeing the statistics for the day though, (for instance: 2400 people in the Sparkfun iRC  :o and Sparkfun was the number one search term on the internet for a while   ;D) It's cool to see the attention "Free Day" drew to hobby-ist electronics in general. That can only be a good thing I think!

True, but for example, free day was posted on SlickDeals, a site with a ton of cheap people. I saw posts saying "I don't know what this stuff is but I guess I'll get something and eBay it afterwards"
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Joker94 on January 09, 2010, 08:08:34 AM
i tell you what if only i could talk some sense into them >:(

they rewin it for all the ameture roboticists that needed it to furthur their robotics and knowlage.

Joker94
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Soeren on January 09, 2010, 11:48:46 AM
Hi,

Guys! It's not SF's fault if you didn't get your free stuff... They made a very generous gesture today, be grateful.
Grow up and stop whining...
I have to second that notion!

I am sure nobody that got their (measley) $100 worth won't complain - Nobody that doesn't win the sweepstakes, some lottery etc. blames it on the company behind the event.

Remember they're a business and the bottom line being in the green is their primary goal - They've gotten lots of exposure due to this, so I'm 100% that they will have gained on the stunt. Giving away stuff is better than not giving away stuff, no matter who gets it and who don't.
Being sad for not getting some free stuff is OK, but claiming that the company is gonna go broke, is cheating or whatever for that reason is just utterly childish.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: parallax on January 09, 2010, 12:19:16 PM
Whiners? Maybe a little, but what's wrong with a little whining now and again? People are disappointed; it's understandable. I know I am- ;)

$100 in free stuff would have helped out a lot to get my project farther off the ground. Oh well.

I'm just as happy seeing the statistics for the day though, (for instance: 2400 people in the Sparkfun iRC  :o and Sparkfun was the number one search term on the internet for a while   ;D) It's cool to see the attention "Free Day" drew to hobby-ist electronics in general. That can only be a good thing I think!

True, but for example, free day was posted on SlickDeals, a site with a ton of cheap people. I saw posts saying "I don't know what this stuff is but I guess I'll get something and eBay it afterwards"

@Razor Concepts & Soeren: I think you guys are both right. As Sparkfun got a ton of exposure over this it could certainly make good business sense. What's $100K now if it might lead to $200K in new sales down the line, right Soeren? However, I really wonder if it was the right kind of exposure to really do a lot of good for them. As Razor pointed out, there were certainly a more than a fair share of people swooping in just because of the word free...

I wonder if they will ever try something like this again? I also wonder if it will truly be profitable for them in the long run as well.

 

 
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 09, 2010, 12:29:15 PM
Hi,

Guys! It's not SF's fault if you didn't get your free stuff... They made a very generous gesture today, be grateful.
Grow up and stop whining...
I have to second that notion!

I am sure nobody that got their (measley) $100 worth won't complain - Nobody that doesn't win the sweepstakes, some lottery etc. blames it on the company behind the event.

Remember they're a business and the bottom line being in the green is their primary goal - They've gotten lots of exposure due to this, so I'm 100% that they will have gained on the stunt. Giving away stuff is better than not giving away stuff, no matter who gets it and who don't.
Being sad for not getting some free stuff is OK, but claiming that the company is gonna go broke, is cheating or whatever for that reason is just utterly childish.


None of this i disagree with, nor is what I am complaining about.

This is what i posted elsewhere, and is my argument:

I'm ok with what happened today. Sparkfun wanted to test their servers, and they did so by treating us like dogs. They threw a few "free" steaks out and watched us fight over them without regard to who actually got the biggest piece. I am also ok with this, i mean, it worked didn't it? And they got tons of PR!

What i am upset about is the fact they still continue to claim "they wanted to give back". This is BS. There are ways to give back without upsetting current and future customer.

SFE got there servers Load tested (and some PR) today by dangling a few steaks in front of their customers (like we were dogs) yet are still trying to claim "we did it for you". I find it hard to believe so many don't have a problem with this.

This was not "lottery day". I'm sure no one get's mad with the Local lottery every time they don't win after buying tickets. But the lottery never said they wanted to 'give back' to all the ticket buyers.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hertz32 on January 09, 2010, 03:05:57 PM
i sepent £20 in phone bils cos im on dial up  and think about the people who didnt get any one in about 10,000 got free stuff only 4 in uk  spark fun wont be getting my money unless it urgent
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: SmAsH on January 09, 2010, 03:17:53 PM
Well, for starters i think all those people who spent two weeks customizing their cart, thinking about what they are going to do with their new components would probably end up buying the components now anyway...

I think this could've been better organized, more like a sponsorship program spread out over the year...
"Show us what you are going to do with our parts and you can win" sort of thing...
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: webgeek on January 09, 2010, 05:24:59 PM
Quote
Well, for starters i think all those people who spent two weeks customizing their cart, thinking about what they are going to do with their new components would probably end up buying the components now anyway...
I did - about one hour later from Trossen and saved some money to boot.

Mike
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 09, 2010, 07:17:32 PM
HAHA, i have already started purchasing parts from other sites tonight. I am no longer loyal to sparkfun as i once was.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Admin on January 10, 2010, 01:02:37 AM
Doh! I forgot about this! I wanted to buy a GPS . . . oh well . . .

I'm a business oriented person, tech-minded, and forward thinking. Personally, I think the SF free day was a historical marketing experiment. As someone mentioned before, SF spent only $30k, and got *huge* viral publicity for it. Think about this - a single marketing employee costs ~$50k/year. An instant $20k savings there alone!

Not only that, it encouraged nearly everyone to search through the SF product line, so everyone is now aware of what they offer.

This represents huge profit gains for SF, and $100 saved by 1000 lucky customers. SF published server stats, but I promise you they won't publish the large profit gain they'll see in the next 3 months!

Giving stuff away for free, for a profit, to me is the future. SF was the first to do it on a very large scale. I've been doing this for years with SoR. Others will follow.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Gertlex on January 10, 2010, 04:02:01 PM
I didn't get anything of course.

And I'm fine with that.  It was blatantly obvious that competition was going to be much higher than the 1000 people that would have gotten stuff if everyone went for $100 of stuff.  I tried, and like most, my luck is only average.

All of those whining about fairness are demonstrating a profound amount of me-me-me entitlement.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: paulstreats on January 10, 2010, 05:11:20 PM
I didnt even try, because I realised that there was little chance in getting anything. I order from sparkfun because I like the products they sell, the shipping is fair and living in the UK, I usually get my orders within 7 days which is good. But most people here seem to think that they were entitled to something free.... You cant even give stuff away without people complaining these days.

I especially like the person above who actually spent £20 to try and get something for free. IRONY!
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 12, 2010, 09:04:54 PM
This was posted on SparkFun Forums, and it's almost poetic, (this person should be a speech writer ) I had to share:

"Well, kid, there's a word for that, and it's called "apathy". You will find there are ways to deal with problems, other than turning a blind eye and allowing any sort of treachery to become the norm.

Deceitful advertising is most worthy of subpoena, without a doubt. One of the first things a child should learn is not to believe everything they're told. An entire generation learned that very quickly through the infamously disappointing "sea monkeys". Nevertheless, tuning it out, considering it "OK" that advertisers are free to lie and benefit so greatly from it, is one of the things truly wrong with people today.

I'm new here, and I didn't win at free day. In fact, the site never loaded during free day, not once. I came across Sparkfun by chance, looking for the cheapest deals on a particular product, and the first thing I saw was the advertisement for free day. Saying that, regardless of whether I won or not, this sale was supposedly aimed at "giving back", which is quite different from "giving away". "Giving back" would mean "free day" only for those who have given to Sparkfun in the first place, preferably prior to the initial announcement of the sale. Not random people who just showed up, like me, or people who got told about this sale, especially those only interested in turning something, anything free, into profit.

To continue to defend that they were "giving back" is sickening, and maybe my stance would be a little more biased if I had won, but my point is true enough. Some of you are so faithful, and turn the other cheek that your precious Sparkfun had a giveaway, presumably to bring in new blood (let's see how that goes with the eBay crowd), while increasing their reputation with their loyal customers, who they've now earned even more points with, though they were "given back to" no more, and probably even less due to the ratio of Sparkfun regulars to random contest-seekers who showed up for free stuff.

An apology from Sparkfun, a blacklisting of the site, pretty much any behavior is far more understandable than this disgusting 'shugging it off and saying "it's ok"' mentality so many people seem to display these days. Sparkfun could've given away $1,000,000 in cold-hard cash to 50 people on the condition that those people have never spend a dime here before. It'd be controversial, but it's their right. As long as they don't blatantly lie about it and say they're giving that money for 50 regular customers when the adverse is true.

They said they were giving back. I, as well as many others, have pointed out that while they did give back some percentage (and to those who keep saying "you never gave to Sparkfun, you bought from them", who exactly would they be "giving back" to, pray tell? I'm so very tired of word games like this, and the wording in the case of free day is very obvious and needn't be misconstrued.), I'm sure a significant part of that percentage "gave back" to people who never "gave", had never spent a cent on this site before, and probably won't be returning unless such an opportunity for indiscriminate profit shows up again.

I too doubt their integrity, madsci1016. For this reason, and the fact that after a huge surge of orders, I would likely find myself waiting longer than expected at the usual price, I decided to take my business elsewhere. However, upon seeing all the "I won nothing but Sparkfun is great for giving back to us" sheep, I couldn't help but put my word in, as well as I know these sort of arguments are as purposeful as the worst of humanities blights. Unlike Gsm Man, I've yet, even in these years, taken the downhill route of apathy as the wisest path, and neither, I believe, should so many others, for we accomplish nothing good this way."
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 13, 2010, 03:06:50 PM
That is an interesting read.

There are people that are whiners, and there are SparkFun apologists.

And then there are people that point out that this event just makes SparkFun look ugly. Right or wrong, justified or not, I-got-my-free-stuff or I-didn't-get-my-free-stuff people are trashing SparkFun because of this. Like I have said elsewhere:

Quote
It was SparkFun's risk to take.

I'm sure they hope that this ploy that uses their community as free ad men to get on Google page 1 will result in more customers. When you start making big money like they are you stop caring if you p!ss off a lot of customers, as long as you get the chance to take money from many more.

This is a win if they got 5000 new customers for the 2000 that they stopped caring about. Net gain of 3000 people that they will get money from.

Money talks. SparkFun listens.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: z.s.tar.gz on January 13, 2010, 04:11:31 PM
What you don't take into account are the people who don't post on this (and other) threads because they just don't care either way.
Sparkfun is a business, and I don't know enough about how they really run it to make claims and state facts. So, until I can find further evidence, free day was simply an underwhelming event. Nothing more.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: GearMotion on January 13, 2010, 05:13:17 PM
So, until I can find further evidence, free day was simply an underwhelming event. Nothing more.

I think I'll adopt that stance.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Admin on November 24, 2010, 02:02:45 PM
If the free day last year wasn't controversial enough, it's back:
http://www.sparkfun.com/news/487 (http://www.sparkfun.com/news/487)

This year you need to answer electronics trivia questions to get your $100.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on November 24, 2010, 02:26:22 PM
At least I can buy their whole "give back to our customers" this time. Last year was just complete BS.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Admin on November 24, 2010, 04:06:33 PM
Its just a marketing ploy, although a genius one at that. I see nothing wrong with that, and if I had a big company I'd probably do the same.

That said, 'give back to our customers' is BS, as you said. I ran some numbers, and they actually make a huge profit off of this. Nothing wrong with that, and a small minority get free stuff too. But its a bit too non-transparent/dishonest to me to label it as 'giving'.

There is no such thing as free lunch. :P
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Asellith on November 30, 2010, 12:06:59 PM
I checked my first order date and I make 4 years on January 11th 2007. So I should get $40 for free. Funny part is I'll probably spend over $150 because of it. Yah they make money and its a good idea. Plus an amazing load test for their new servers.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Crunchy Theory on January 13, 2011, 10:03:25 AM
Oh boy... I'm as far as the "Enter Quiz" button... but...can't...get...in.... >:(
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: BANE on January 13, 2011, 10:07:10 AM
just clicked on the "loyalty" button because i don't want to be greedy and it crashed.............. sob
Quote
Its just a marketing ploy, although a genius one at that. I see nothing wrong with that, and if I had a big company I'd probably do the same.

That said, 'give back to our customers' is BS, as you said. I ran some numbers, and they actually make a huge profit off of this. Nothing wrong with that, and a small minority get free stuff too. But its a bit too non-transparent/dishonest to me to label it as 'giving'.

There is no such thing as free lunch

so true.  It appears i will get $20 free but i will have an order over $160.............
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: waltr on January 13, 2011, 11:08:33 AM
I got past the login but never got the next screen before the money was gone.

Oh well...it was fun trying.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: knossos on January 13, 2011, 11:13:14 AM
The money isn't gone yet.  Still over $120k to go.
I got past the login but never got the next screen before the money was gone.

Oh well...it was fun trying.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: BANE on January 13, 2011, 11:38:24 AM
hey guys, i just read you don't need to spend the money and place your order right now.  you just need to copy that promotional code they give you and you have 60 days to spend it.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: knossos on January 13, 2011, 11:39:56 AM
Heheh, you have to make it to the code first :).
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: knossos on January 13, 2011, 12:16:28 PM
Free day is over.  I finally was able to start answering quiz questions, got to #4 and it was over.  Final tally: 3 hrs of refreshing a webpage for 30 seconds of actual quiz time and $30 credit (4th question kept getting a 404).
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: madsci1016 on January 13, 2011, 02:36:36 PM
Was an hour late to the party, and also had a 20 minute meeting. So spent most the time refreshing and only got past 2 questions...

Then, something happened at the end and it seems like all the traffic got through. went from 90k to 150k in 4 minutes. During the time I got through 6 question in 60 seconds (missed one) and then the game was over.

So, $67 isn't bad. Though I'm likely giving it to my girlfriend so she has an excuse to start a new project. She was at work today and couldn't do it.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Hawaii00000 on January 13, 2011, 04:48:28 PM
I just logged on to SoR for the first time in a while and realized that I had missed a free day by mere hours... unbelievable.
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: voyager2 on January 13, 2011, 05:27:34 PM
I tried too,
Firefox kept spitting out Problem Loading Page, or Server not Found.
Occasionally it loaded but I never got past the Enter Quiz button.

Never mind , most of what I had in my cart can be got as free samples hehe
Title: Re: Sparkfun Free Day
Post by: Ro-Bot-X on January 13, 2011, 05:40:37 PM
I was at work today but took my laptop with me. I did not find any unprotected wireless networks in the building, so I had to head out to a cafe to be able to do something about the event. I managed to get the SF home page to load, clicked on the Go button that took me to the login page, entered my user/pass and waited... after a almost half an hour I managed to get to the choice page. Seeing how long I have to wait for each page to load, I chose to take advantage of my $40 loyalty prize but to get that I had to wait another half hour. At least I got something. Last year I did not get anything. So, after more than an hour, I could get back to my work thinking what I can get from them (I don't need anything at the moment). Oh well. I knew it will be difficult to get the quiz done. Congrats to the ones that had the time, patience and good location to get the quiz all the way through!