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[DPRG] "Free Day" at SparkFun is January 7

Subject: [DPRG] "Free Day" at SparkFun is January 7
From: Anton Olsen anton at antonolsen.com
Date: Mon Jan 11 19:21:16 CST 2010

Lets not forget that $100k in product didn't cost them anywhere near
$100k. I have no idea what their margin is, but I bet it's somewhere
between 50 and 75%, putting the actual cost of goods closer to

Compare that to other advertising costs and it starts to look like a bargain.


On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 5:36 PM, Rick Bickle <rbickle at intconsys.com> wrote:
> Randy,
> I'm in total agreement with you regarding disdain for the entitlement
> mentality, but does a free giveaway promote that?
> It seems to me that given the fact that they were going to spend x
> thousand dollars on advertisement anyway; They simply chose to do it in
> an unusual way (i.e. free stuff). Based on the number of posts and
> excitement it seems to have generated on the DPRG list, I'd say it was
> probably good advertisement. Furthermore, it probably makes customers
> (or potential customers) of theirs check the website regularly in hopes
> of finding such an offer again, which achieves the end result of
> advertising...
> -Rick
> -----Original Message-----
> From: dprglist-bounces at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-bounces at dprg.org] On
> Behalf Of Randy M. Dumse
> Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 4:44 PM
> To: 'Dale Wheat'; 'Jeff Koenig'
> Cc: dprglist at dprg.org
> Subject: RE: [DPRG] "Free Day" at SparkFun is January 7
> Dale Wheat said: Friday, January 08, 2010 10:15 AM
>> Just some musings I jotted about "Free Day":
>> http://blog.dalewheat.com/nathan-seidle-is-a-genius
> Dale, probably not surprizingly to either of us since we often
> have differing opinions, I am not in agreement with your blog
> position. First I have a whole different sense of the morality
> of business. I see business as a value for value exchange where
> both parties win. A give away is not business at all, but
> something opposite. Getting something for nothing is the
> mentality of entitlement.
> I eschewed the whole idea of a free day, and made no effort to
> get something for nothing. However, I am a frequent Sparkfun
> customer.
> Now it seems to me the genius thing to do was to reward
> customers with free stuff if anyone, because after all, it was
> the customers who made the give away possible. So I don't think
> it is genius to offend customers, who know their loyalty paid
> for the giveaways, by giving away to any comer, amny with no
> interest in robotics, just grubbing for free stuff they can then
> sell on eBay (for instance). So the customers who were offended
> were not the kind you don't want. Just the opposite. They were
> the customers that made his fortune. To imply they aren't the
> customers anyone would want is doubly insulting. That's no kind
> of genius at all.
> Somehow this seems to be like the parables in Matt. 18:21-35
> (parable of the unmerciful servant) and Matt. 25:14-30 (parable
> of the talents) in reverse. He rewards the unworthy
> indiscriminately, and seems not a good and faithful servant to
> those who have treated him well.
> Your opinion may, of course, differ...
> Randy
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