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Author Topic: About "free samples"  (Read 3073 times)
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I want SparkFun, etc., to source a few thousand of these matrix driver packages (significantly less than $5 in quantity), so they can reduce the single-quantity pricing!

And miss out on at least $4 in profit?  Sheesh!

Would $9.50 be enough, or how about $8.99? =)

!c
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And miss out on at least $4 in profit?  Sheesh!

I absolutely want vendors I like to make a healthy profit.  Since these parts are popular in the hobby community, it seems to fit their part line, and customers save the double-shipping whenever one vendor has two related products, over having to shop two vendors.

But as you say, even shaving off a buck gives them a healthy markup.  This balances the risk of not selling all their lot, and the other costs incurred for each catalogue item.
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Note about free samples.

This all depends on what exactly it is you are requesting for, but mostly applies to semi conductors and the like.

The free samples that you receive are (usually, but not always) chips that did not meat the manufactures specs. There is nothing Wrong with the chip per-say, but something caused it to be rejected. It may be something as small as a pin being 0.0001mm out of alignment or the marking might be slightly smudged. These "rejects" are often given away as "Free Samples" or otherwise thrown out.

As far as the manufacture loosing money, not to worry - they would have to give away a hundred times more than they sell to loose money. Once the master plate is made, they can run thousands a day for pennies. This is the same reason that the latest CPU is > $2000.00 when first manufactured and a year later you can buy it for $89.00 from Tiger direct. Once the R&D and initial run is paid for, the rest is 98% pure profit.

So if you only need 1 or 2, go for that free sample. It actually cost Mouser or Digikey more in processing your $2.00 order than its worth. If the manufacture don't offer free samples, call them. Tell them you are a student or hobbyist, most places will be glad to send you 1 or 2 as long as you pay shipping.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 03:17:24 pm by Jassper » Logged

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I just looked at the MAX7221, which in single quantities is over ten bucks.  Plus the shipping.  Yow.  On the one hand, that's the difference between affordability and not, for small projects.  On the other hand, that's an even bigger "how do they think they get more profit out of me by giving it away" guilt.

Maybe I can help you this time smiley-wink
See if this will work as a sutable replacement, $3.55
http://avnetexpress.avnet.com/store/em/EMController/Bus-Line-Transceiver/austriamicrosystems/AS1106WL/_/A-7547200/An-0/R-7547200?action=part&catalogId=500201&langId=-1&storeId=500201

Here is the Datasheet,
http://www.2k1.co.uk/components/austriamicro/AMS_Displays_Interface_ICs_Catalogue.pdf
« Last Edit: January 24, 2009, 03:44:42 pm by Jassper » Logged

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The free samples that you receive are (usually, but not always) chips that did not meat the manufactures specs.

Well no actually.

Free samples are given to engineering companies to see if the part is suable for a product. These samples are often subjected to rigorous tests and failure to comply will rule out that manufacturer from ever being chosen for a volume order. I know that is the way it works at any company I have ever worked at.
Therefore a manufacturer would be a complete fool to offer "seconds".  
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 05:21:24 am by Grumpy_Mike » Logged

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Free samples are given to engineering companies to see if the part is suable for a product. These samples are often subjected to rigorous tests and failure to comply will rule out that manufacturer from ever being chosen for a volume order. I know that is the way it works at any company I have ever worked at.
Therefore a manufacturer would be a complete fool to offer "seconds".  

Well, Thats true to an extent, like I said, it all depends on what you are asking for. A new product is one thing, a 555 timer is already proven.
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I would also be surprised if a company ships rejects to someone evaluating
their products. Risk a sale, tarnish your reputation for a part that costs you
ten or twenty cents to make? Also you would have to have separate
stockroom space to hold rejects. It is more trouble than the cost savings.
I can see the end of the quarter push when you run out of the "good stuff"
and someone ships the "samples"  smiley-wink

I worked at Analog Devices and Harris Semiconductor (now Intersil) and never
heard of this practice. I think the more likely scenario would be to dump the
rejects in a bin and sell them to a surplus house.

(* jcl *)
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just as a side question to that whole sample ordering business..
From what i have been experiencing it is 'harder' to get any parts on DIP base than anything else.. am i right, or just browsing the 'wrong' companies?

By the way - i was rejected once although suppliing them with (real) project and company data... so rejecting does happen ><
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Believe me, Mike, I calculated the odds of this succeeding against the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid[ch8230] and I went ahead

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Other than the hobbyist business and legacy designs I would expect the demand for
DIPs to be close to zero. Samples of DIPs and parts with older technologies are
a lot harder to get.

At On-Semi it seems like all of the new ICs are only SMT. At TI I have noticed
that there are logic families that they only sample in SMT.

(* jcl *)
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