Author Topic: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy  (Read 10022 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline FreeThinker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 791
  • Country: england
  • Truth through Thought
EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« on: November 10, 2010, 05:40:12 pm »
As Dave said you can be put through the wringer to get your 'Free' sample.Especially the ones that want to know your intended project.Competition TIME!! Who can get a free sample with the most bizarre project (does not need to be a real project just one that gets a free sample) How about a Fart analyzer? or a Time Machine? Just how gullible are these marketing bots? as stupid as they think we are? may be a laugh! ;D
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline JohnS_AZ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 499
  • Country: us
    • About.me
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 06:10:59 pm »
It amazes me that people whine about having to jump through a few hoops to get FREE samples. Come on! Stop by a McDonalds next time your out and ask the kid at the counter for a free sample of a Big Mac. Having to answer a few questions, or explain what your application for the part is is nothing compared to what the chip maker is spending.

Suppose you ask for a sample of a $5.00 part from Maxim. You might think you got a free $5.00 part and you'd be wrong. You got someone to sit there, review your request, and enter an order for you (a buck or two), you got the shipping box, the packaging, the tape and the label (another buck or two), you got a guy to pull your request, go find the part in the warehouse, break a rail of parts to get your single chip, and the pack the whole thing up (surely another few dollars), you got them to ship it to you (another few bucks and getting higher every day), and then you got your part ($5.00). Some years ago a sales manager at Motorola told me that the overhead cost to process a free sample was $35 on average, PLUS the cost of the part.

What really surprises me is that in the current economy, and with the costs of fuel and shipping, and any of them are still sending "free" samples to people not working on "real applications" for fortune-500 companies.
I'm either at my bench, here, or on PokerStars.
 

Offline baljemmett

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 07:19:14 pm »
What really surprises me is that in the current economy, and with the costs of fuel and shipping, and any of them are still sending "free" samples to people not working on "real applications" for fortune-500 companies.

This would have surprised me too if I got the sample I asked Maxim for -- alas instead I got a polite note explaining that, due to increased manufacturing costs, they couldn't authorise any samples in DIP packaging.  Fair enough, I thought, especially since I'm just another chancer hobbyist!

(Eventually found the part I wanted on eBay, as Farnell now have a £20 minimum order value here and none of the other distributors I could find stocked the chip -- which was why I tried the free sample route when I noticed the option on the parts search page!)
 

Offline FreeThinker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 791
  • Country: england
  • Truth through Thought
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 07:22:49 pm »
Don't think FREE think information harvesting.It's not some altruistic need but a purely financially driven, cost effective means to reach a target market segment.If it cost money they wouldn't do it.
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline FreeThinker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 791
  • Country: england
  • Truth through Thought
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 07:26:24 pm »

This would have surprised me too if I got the sample I asked Maxim for -- alas instead I got a polite note explaining that, due to increased manufacturing costs, they couldn't authorise any samples in DIP packaging. 
;D ;D ;D BUT they still harvested your details......go figure!
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline baljemmett

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 666
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 07:46:20 pm »
This would have surprised me too if I got the sample I asked Maxim for -- alas instead I got a polite note explaining that, due to increased manufacturing costs, they couldn't authorise any samples in DIP packaging. 
;D ;D ;D BUT they still harvested your details......go figure!

Ah, I don't mind; they got a personalised e-mail address that can be blackholed if they take liberties, but the marketing bumpf they send out can actually be quite interesting from a "that's some cool technology I'll never need" point of view :)
 

Offline FreeThinker

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 791
  • Country: england
  • Truth through Thought
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 07:53:28 pm »
I use this http://spamgourmet.com/ very useful 8)
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
MOONDOG
 

Offline JohnS_AZ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 499
  • Country: us
    • About.me
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2010, 07:59:25 pm »
Ah, I don't mind; they got a personalised e-mail address that can be blackholed

That's one of the best thing about owning a domain. I can make up email addresses at will, use them, and add them to the black list file at any time. Plus, I get to know who's doing stupid stuff with my addresses.
I'm either at my bench, here, or on PokerStars.
 

Offline Zad

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1013
  • Country: gb
    • Digital Wizardry, Analogue Alchemy, Software Sorcery
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2010, 03:40:58 am »
Yup, I use the customised domain method too. Today I got three emails addressed to the name I used for my car insurance quotation with Performance Direct in 2007 and two to the name I used at a jeans shop a few months ago.

To be honest, I think most of Dave's points were null arguments. Nice rant though.

Time and Availability. If you order free samples (or purchase from abroad) when you need them tomorrow then you are mad. Simple as that. Do people really order them and then complain that they haven't arrived after a fortnight? I don't know, I suppose they must. The same applies to anyone who designs a part into a product. Do they really design them in because samples are available, without checking bulk availability?

Being a tight arse. My last samples order value was $85:90, with a similar amount back-ordered. Budgets are always tight here, but now they are getting REALLY tight and many of us don't have a large parent company which can lose £50 here and there without worrying. Don't forget that Farnell, RS etc really don't like dealing with hobbyists and small businesses. They will wriggle and squirm to avoid you buying from them (at least here in the UK).

The thing with sampling through local distros is a pain but fortunately doesn't seem to happen so much now. Atmel were absolute buggers for it. Tell them that you are purely a design business and you are contracted under non-disclosure to a third party who will take care of the manufacturing aspect. Amazing how they can't be bothered talking to you when you do have a problem though!




Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 31388
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2010, 04:38:05 am »
To be honest, I think most of Dave's points were null arguments. Nice rant though.

Food for thought, as always.

Dave.
 

Offline sonicj

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 756
  • Country: us
  • updata successed!
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 06:11:29 am »
if you design around a non-common part based solely on the fact that it was free and don't bother to check availability then you're a idiot.

 

Online EEVblog

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 31388
  • Country: au
    • EEVblog
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2010, 09:21:32 am »
if you design around a non-common part based solely on the fact that it was free and don't bother to check availability then you're a idiot.

I know people that do this, that's what prompted the rant.

Dave.
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12135
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2010, 09:56:28 am »
I only request freebies if I can't get parts easily from normal distributors - as Dave said, the speed is a major factor. I've found TI to be one of the best (I don't use Maxim) - samples UPS'd from the US to UK in 2 days and no follow-up hassles. Some mfrs I've come across charge a reasonable flat shipping fee - this is probably a good filter to weed out timewasters.
The whole free sample system is a result of big companies that historically made it hard for employees to do small purchases ( A subject covered in a recent AH show), however this seems to be less of a problem as it once was as companies have had to become more flexible, design is outsourced to smaller outfits and most distributors take card orders.
Obviously you need to take care about long-term supply and check out the reason you couldn't get it from a distributor before designing in.
From the manufacturer's point of view, if you can't afford to buy samples there is no way you are a serious volume customer, as part cost is insignificant compared to other costs developing a volume product. This is probably also the reason for the abovementioned unwillingness to sample DIPs - few people use DIP in volume, and if you are a serious customer you can afford proper prototype PCBs for the SM package.
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline saturation

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4788
  • Country: us
  • Doveryai, no proveryai
    • NIST
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2010, 12:59:13 pm »
It really doesn't make sense to design around something that can't be sourced properly.  However, freebies have always given me a chance to play and stock my parts kit without cost, a lot of what is needed for construction is a one-of-kind solution at home, and when I need such I just build it with whatever I have in hand, with no cost for parts.

However, getting samples is not easy as when I'd tear that sample request mailer from a magazine; now they build the databases better and its more a source for harrassing phone calls than freebies.




if you design around a non-common part based solely on the fact that it was free and don't bother to check availability then you're a idiot.

I know people that do this, that's what prompted the rant.

Dave.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline dengorius

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 96
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2010, 07:48:10 pm »
I hope that, after attending the show, this would have been a "The big bang theory"-like rant. The title sounded just right :P
 

Offline george graves

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1259
  • Country: us
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2010, 03:19:08 am »
I'm working with a part that I can't can't find at digikey or mouser.  It's physical shape is what I need - and there is nothing else like it.

Octopart will show some suppliers - but they want you to do a RFQ or some non-sense.  Any suggestions on how to deal with companies like that?

Offline Chad1

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 30
  • Country: us
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2010, 08:58:20 am »
if you design around a non-common part based solely on the fact that it was free and don't bother to check availability then you're a idiot.
I know people that do this, that's what prompted the rant.
Dave.

Being a full-time student, it's very helpful in today's market to have advantages over other students. Learning about things you can't learn in a classroom is one of them, and Dave's blog is a great, great tool. This bit of info will help me for the rest of my career. Thanks, Dave!
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 12135
  • Country: gb
    • Mike's Electric Stuff
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2010, 09:58:47 am »
I'm working with a part that I can't can't find at digikey or mouser.  It's physical shape is what I need - and there is nothing else like it.

Octopart will show some suppliers - but they want you to do a RFQ or some non-sense.  Any suggestions on how to deal with companies like that?
Always ask for pricing in medium-to-large qtys as well as the qtys you actually need, so they think you're a potentially big customer. If you'll only ever want 100, ask for 100x and 1k pricing, and when you order the 100 tell them it's for a pre-production batch.
Always use a company name - make one up if you don't have one.

Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
Mike's Electric Stuff: High voltage, vintage electronics etc.
Day Job: Mostly LEDs
 

Offline allanw

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 343
    • Electronoblog
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2010, 06:52:35 pm »
I accidentally stumbled across this forum thread and it made me sad:

http://forums.benheck.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=28376&start=0

$11 DC/DC converter modules
 

Offline george graves

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1259
  • Country: us
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 10:32:11 am »
I didn't know Ben Heck had a forum.  Good to know!

Offline Neilm

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1457
  • Country: gb
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2010, 08:49:50 pm »
if you design around a non-common part based solely on the fact that it was free and don't bother to check availability then you're a idiot.

I know people that do this, that's what prompted the rant.

Dave.

I bet they only did it once.

It is a hard price but experiance pays

Neil
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. - Albert Einstein
Tesla referral code https://ts.la/neil53539
 

Offline PetrosA

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 625
  • Country: us
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2010, 09:25:18 pm »
For me the problem has a slightly different face - I would love to have access to some sort of loan or sample system for certain things. Take commercial LED luminaires as an example (they have purpose mounted LEDs, not screw base ones) - they start at the $100 mark and the sky's the limit in price. Often, the fixture they replace costs 1/3 or so, so customers who may only need a few are unlikely to risk it if I can't say I've had personal experience with the LED version. All I can do is show them some technical spec sheets and hope for the best. Oh well...
I miss my home I miss my porch, porch
 

Offline JohnS_AZ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 499
  • Country: us
    • About.me
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010, 03:42:51 pm »
They probably do have a loan system ... you get at it through the dreaded and evil SALES REP NETWORK!  (I can say that because I was a sales rep for a number of years :) )
I'm either at my bench, here, or on PokerStars.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 545
    • Throw Away PIC
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2010, 06:19:22 pm »
When I'm considering parts for a design my first stop is usually the data sheet.  Before I go too far, my second step is to see if the part is available at Digikey and Mouser at a price that makes sense.  If it is, then I'll go back to the data sheet and start looking at the details.  A lesson learned from designing a few circuits around parts that have a 26 week lead time....if you order 1000 of them!
 

Offline tinsmith

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 29
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2010, 07:59:32 am »
Bugger free samples. How do I get this free overnight shipping thing? Does it even exist for the US? That would be much, much more useful to me.
 

Online Mechatrommer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9730
  • Country: my
  • reassessing directives...
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2011, 04:25:02 am »
sorry for bumping this. but i got reminded when eetimes emailed me. here the link to bulk resistivity test (but i'm not sure what they mean by bulk), i thought how to measure massive amount of resistors, but turned out not be like that. but might useful to others (might not), check the linked pdf, adios:

http://www.eetimes.com/design/test-and-measurement/4212791/Measuring-the-resistivity-of-bulk-materials?cid=NL_TestMeasurement&Ecosystem=test-and-measurement
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline ElektroQuark

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1220
  • Country: es
    • ElektroQuark
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2011, 08:09:38 am »
Sorry Shafri, but I don't see the relation of this with the free samples. ???

Online Mechatrommer

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9730
  • Country: my
  • reassessing directives...
Re: EEVblog #126 - The Free Sample Fallacy
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2011, 08:49:04 pm »
good! for 16 hours waiting, at last! i found a "non-ignorant" member. i give you 10 marks EdoNork! it should be here... https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=1970.msg33439#msg33439
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 08:51:09 pm by Mechatrommer »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf