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Author Topic: Sparkfun overpriced  (Read 12169 times)
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That isn't wonderful in it's self, how hard can it be to stick the correct address label on the correct box?!  They should be checking this sort of thing.


 Oh come on now. Have you never made an error in your personal or work life? The real question is did you own up to it and try and correct the situation when and if it was brought to your attention?

 We are all free to buy or not to buy from any vendor we choose. E-bay is a prime example, many people would never risk buying a thing there, based on others personal stories or their own personal experiences, while many others would feel a real loss if that market place shutdown because of some dishonest or incompetent sellers.

 Life is not black and white and SparkFun is neither evil or altruistic.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 06:36:44 pm by retrolefty » Logged

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When I started the hobby I had no idea what compnents were priced at or what people or corporations charged for items in this type of thing. I can say that I have purchased items from them, never had a problem and at the time felt it was a fair price for the item I purchased at the time. At the time I was new and I kind of still am to all of this. I purchased items with the click of a button, all items were included and the instructions were online where I could follow them. Now that I have a little more knowledge I can look up other sources, build projects from existing parts or source them for cheaper in other areas.

Over priced? I guess maybe. It depends on your skill level and what you are looking for.

I could care less what color the box is. They can buy stickers for a fraction of the cost of their little boxes. I order stuff from china now and if it comes in a funky wrapped envelope I could care less if the solder connections are right and it works as described.
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Thier products are nice, but you can find them for alot cheaper elsewhere. The component support email sectionp is very helpful. They are clearly hobbiests themselves.
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I have to think that SparkFun not prey on newbies, but I'm sure they owe a lot of their trade to them, it seems counter intuitive to market themselves to newbies, far better to appeal to both by being fairly priced?  Also there is the risk of people seeing the prices on sparkfun as a barrier to entry into the world of hobby electronics
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 07:04:57 pm by Gray_Malkin » Logged

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Boy, look at all the haters who wish they thought up the business model that Sparkfun did.

Sorry, but if their service and pricing was as terrible as all the anecdotal evidence being presented here .... they would be out of business, not becoming one of the largest electronic hobby-level suppliers on the internet (which they are heading towards). It doesn't matter if you are selling tomatoes or transistors, if your service is bad and your prices are not competitive you will go out of business, not grow every year like they have been doing.

I have no affiliation with them, I am however a customer that has had nothing but perfect service (no components failed) and if you watch for when they have their sales, you can get great prices on things. In fact, I have seen them extend their sales for people who asked in the forums even after the expiration dates. Doesn't sound like bad customer service to me.

If you think sparkfun is expensive, what do you think of these guys then -
http://www.acroname.com/robotics/parts/R272-LCD03.html - 56 bucks for a 20 X 4 LCD. You have got to be kidding me.

Oh look sparkfun has the exact same thing....for $17.00.
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=256

Point being, everyone is in this business to make money. Shop around, get the best prices, just like anything else. You may pay a little more for convenience from Sparkfun, but there are plenty of people trying to cash in on the booming electronics hobby business that have prices that are significantly more inflated than Sparkfuns and who appear to be out to take advantage of the inexperienced or lazy. SF isn't always the cheapest, (surplus houses, ebay and china will always win in that department) and they aren't the most expensive either, and ANY business no matter what they sell is not going to have a perfect transaction record.

Y'all have a lot of ideas about how to run an electronics supply business, so why don't ya start one and put them out of business?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 08:23:51 pm by Intenzity » Logged

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graymalkin - ??? foreign
mowcius    - foreign
Imahilus   - foreign
hakoni     - foreign

I see a disturbing trend here ... they treat their "foreign customers" better than the locals.
That must be a fact.

Maybe in my experience, I just wound up with the wrong customer support people (3 of them)
at Sparkfun and maybe they are now gone or fired?
 >smiley-sad >smiley-sad >smiley-sad
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English, not had dealings with customer support. Never needed to. Also just finding some one who sells a product for a higher price doesn't mean that the person who sells it lower is better value. Selling a house for 2million pounds doesn't make the overpriced one down the road for 250k a steal, it just means I make more profit.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 08:55:16 pm by Gray_Malkin » Logged

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We haven't had a flare-fest like this since that one time a lot of us got pissed off at some forum user and decided to make a thread about it.

But I guess I'll put in my 2 cents.

TBH they're a fine company, although some things are overpriced and many of their products are very very similar to the products of others' just with their own logo on the pcb's. I personally don't find anything wrong with that, and it doesn't infringe on the creative commons agreement most of us follow, right?

Now as for the company, socially speaking, it's a nice gang. I was at their HQ for their Autonomous Vehicle Comp. and they put on quite a show. My team had some issues with our robot, so to help us out they brought us up to one of their debug rooms (or whatever) and tried to help us out as much they could. They even threw in a couple of replacement parts for free.

Anyway... The above is just a personal experience, but hopefully it contributes to this rather riveting discussion.   smiley-wink
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Jezuz - it has to be said I wasn't expecting this response my self. I could be seen as a troll for starting such a flare :S

Oh it does infringe, they aren't share alike as described by CC 2.5, and I have rarely seen attribution
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 08:59:02 pm by Gray_Malkin » Logged

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they just sell stuff with no knowledge on how it works...
Umm. I don't agree with that.
They don't always provide a lot of info on how to use the products but I'm sure that most of the people at sparkfun could connect up most of their products without too much trouble.

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They are clearly hobbiests themselves.
Indeed. This is clear and I think that is why they are a nice group of people/company even if the products can be a little expensive.

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some things are overpriced and many of their products are very very similar to the products of others' just with their own logo on the pcb's.
Also agreed  smiley

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Now as for the company, socially speaking, it's a nice gang. I was at their HQ for their Autonomous Vehicle Comp. and they put on quite a show. My team had some issues with our robot, so to help us out they brought us up to one of their debug rooms (or whatever) and tried to help us out as much they could. They even threw in a couple of replacement parts for free.
Glad we have some more positive things coming out. Lets not just think of the bad things. They have done a lot of good things in their time as an electronics company.

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I see a disturbing trend here ... they treat their "foreign customers" better than the locals.
That must be a fact.
I don't think this is justified. I have never had a need to deal with customer support about the products I have purchased, never had an issue. When I have wanted to make a comment or ask a question, I have used the box on the site and have been greeted with a nice email a day or two later answering my question.

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That isn't wonderful in it's self, how hard can it be to stick the correct address label on the correct box?!  They should be checking this sort of thing.
Ok. They have revenue of over $10000000 a year. If they work for 48 weeks, 6 days a week, that is then a revenue of $35000 a day. If the average item is $50 per item (just guessing here) then that equates to about 700 products a day.
If you had to send out 700 products a day, would you be able to check every single one or would you expect that occasionally something might go wrong.

Mowcius
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 12:32:59 pm by mowcius » Logged

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This is turning into quite an interesting thread!

If I had some extra money lying around, I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from sparkfun instead of another company.

I like the idea that they're personable and hobbyists themselves.

I can't give input on their customer support, though.
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This is turning into quite an interesting thread!
Indeed it is.

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If I had some extra money lying around, I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from sparkfun instead of another company.
I think I'd buy from somewhere else and just buy more stuff smiley-razz

Mowcius
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I have never had a problem with any of their products so I am not sure what their tech support is like. Every item I have ordered has worked as described out of the box.

 I thought the price for the items were fair at the time. I felt better at the time ordering from a larger well known company than from several smaller lesser known companies. I just felt more comfortable at the time purchasing from them for their price.

Now that I have a little more knowledge and most of the toys have been purchased I get most of the little stuff from ebay or local. If they had an item that I had a need for I would not hesitate to order from them again. Their website was easy to use, they shipped the package fast and it was at my door within days of my pushing the submit button.

My experience has been great with them. If I have to pay a little more for that ease of use and fast service I would be happy to do it again.
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Ok. They have profits of over $10000000 a year. If they work for 48 weeks, 6 days a week, that is then a profit of $35000 a day. If the average profit is $5 per item (just guessing here but probably close when you take out all other costs) then that equates to about 7000 products a day.
If you had to send out 7000 products a day, would you be able to check every single one or would you expect that occasionally something might go wrong.

would you like some leprechauns while were in fantasy land?
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would you like some leprechauns while were in fantasy land?
Why what was the fantasy?

Ok, sorry I meant revenue... I messed up...
Hehe, nobody saw a thing  ;D
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 12:33:22 pm by mowcius » Logged

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