Sparkfun overpriced

Do you guys think that Sparkfun is over priced? And what about seeedstudio? Also, what about their respective board making services?

Do you guys think that Sparkfun is over priced? And what about seeedstudio? Also, what about their respective board making services?

Sparkfun - yes.
Seeedstudio - no.
What about them?

let me do a happy dance for spark fun and their 5$ multiplexers and 45$ china Hakko soldering iron ripoffs for the same price as the real Hakko

;D

I can understand why Sparkfun is overpriced, I mean you have to make a living, right?

But I’ve never ordered from them specifically for that reason.

Well SparkFun must be doing something well as they seem to have been having tremendous growth over the last couple of years. I especially like the user feedback comments associated with most product listings.

Call me a fan, I like their little red boxes :wink:

Lefty

When you buy something from Sparkfun do not even think about returning it.
If the product is defective they will attempt to fight you tooth and nail.
Their customer product support rating is -10 on a scale of 0 to 10. (10 being the highest)

Their excuse for their poor customer support is they are growing so fast and cannot keep up.
Let it be known, if you buy some overpriced item from them don’t even expect to return it without
a fight and a call to your bank about a stop payment on your Visa or Mastercard.

:frowning: >:( >:(

I have never had an issue with sparkfun but I have not purchased a lot due to the price of the products.

From a presentation video I watched, Sparkfun profits are apparently over $10M a year.

I like the company for what they do but I would not recommend them as a cheap store.

When you buy something from Sparkfun do not even think about returning it.
If the product is defective they will attempt to fight you tooth and nail.
Their customer product support rating is -10 on a scale of 0 to 10. (10 being the highest)

Their excuse for their poor customer support is they are growing so fast and cannot keep up.
Let it be known, if you buy some overpriced item from them don’t even expect to return it without
a fight and a call to your bank about a stop payment on your Visa or Mastercard.

This is your personal opinion. Is this just the one issue you have had?
The issues I have heard of from other people have been minor and have been sorted pretty quickly and efficiently.

Mowcius

I can understand why Sparkfun is overpriced, I mean you have to make a living, right?

everyone else is making a living without gouging customers, and I bet some of those people actually design their stuff, really look at sparkfun products, the majority of their products are ripped directly off of google, and even sometimes its just the sample application in the datasheets! Which is not neccacarially a bad thing, but they slap “copyright x sparkfun.com” all over everything then charge a extreme premium for it.

The stuff they do design in house often time does not work right out of the box, there is not a single week, sometimes days that we dont see Sparkfun X wont work, If buying this crap means we dont have to “shave the yak” (also meaning you never learn anything and have to continue to go back to sparkfun for any and every need) why should people spend months trying to get it working?

Their phone support is 50/50 I have heard both sides, returns is impossible, the customer is ALWAYS wrong, their forum system is a mess and mostly ignored by staff

Well SparkFun must be doing something well as they seem to have been having tremendous growth over the last couple of years. I especially like the user feedback comments associated with most product listings.

I debate their level of growth, they seem to always be fudging that, for example it was eariler this year they were showing off their google maps representation of the building, as a 5+ story tall complex, and its not

Also big growth out of companies like this is BAD for the hobby market, look at the last 2 that got high and mighty on their prices and selection, radio shack and allied, those 2 with their completely ignorant sales staff and WTF pricing killed hobby electronics in the 90’s

Call me a fan, I like their little red boxes

Call me a realist, plain brown boxes cost about 40 cents a unit in moderate bulk, printed boxes cost well over a buck each, least from the supplier (and quantities) I deal with at work, I understand branding but dont try and sell me a 50 cent part for 5 bucks and ship it in a 1.48$ box, and expect me to rave on the value of it all

I much rather see a company doing everything to bring me the best quality product they can at the lowest possible price

I got an order the other day with 3 sparkfun products (didn’t order from sparkfun directly though)
A 4x3 keypad, an IR receiver (includes demodulator) and a 20x4 display.

The keypad works, and is a nice one. Smaller than I expected, but this is my fault.

The IR receiver works a treat aswell.

Haven’t hooked the display up yet.

However, during my hexapod project, two mates of mine were working with the sparkfun SD shield. They basically had to rewire the shield and drop the voltage on the control signals to 3.3V for it to work…
Got the keypad library from the playground, got the IR remote library from someplace else (forgot where), and the LCD library comes with the IDE.
Didn’t find helpful comments or remarks on the sparkfun products, plus the rediculous price of the IR receiver, I’m no fan (the keypad and LCD were fairly priced)… but don’t dislike them either. They’re basically what I expect of a company that carries the inventory they do, they just sell stuff with no knowledge on how it works… they do have some things that are nice… which is what matters?

Wow, ok, I’m glad to see I’m not just cheap :stuck_out_tongue:

I look at some of the stuff sparkfun sells, an it is all very nice, but the branding annoys me - I’m not bothered by say Adafruit adding branding because they have a nice ethic worth bragging about - sparkfun “hmegh”.

I think Sparkfun would get more trade if they dropped the prices, but they do those free weekend things occasionally - which is cool.

yea it is if you happen to be in the area

I agree with everything you said, Osgeld.

Like I said, I’ve never bought anything from them, and the only reason I would is if I can’t find the same product somewhere else in the USA (I despise waiting 10-20 business days for a delivery :P).

When you buy something from Sparkfun do not even think about returning it.
If the product is defective they will attempt to fight you tooth and nail.
Their customer product support rating is -10 on a scale of 0 to 10. (10 being the highest)

That may be your experience, but not mine. I’ve received a shipment from them without a vital, very expensive item ($50), replaced by a very cheep item($0.1), but a simple email, with photographs of received items, was fixed very swiftly, quick and kindly from sparkfun, no extra questions asked, no fuzz, even if I live half a world apart. I’ll give a +10 for customer support from them. Prices compared to my neighborly countries, sparkfun is quite reasonable, and their website is quite active and exciting.

That may be your experience, but not mine. I’ve received a shipment from them without a vital, very expensive item ($50), replaced by a very cheep item($0.1), but a simple email, with photographs of received items, was fixed very swiftly, quick and kindly from sparkfun, no extra questions asked, no fuzz, even if I live half a world apart. I’ll give a +10 for customer support from them. Prices compared to my neighborly countries, sparkfun is quite reasonable, and their website is quite active and exciting.

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.

when its a obious screw up they will dance for you, if its “open log doesnt work and I want a refund” its a different experience (which is one of their wonkier products)

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?