The Dumpster Dive is today!

Get your clicking fingers ready.

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Update: The Dumpster Dive sold out in a record 5 minutes! Thank you to everyone who ordered, and thank you to those who attempted to grab one in the surge of traffic. If your order says "backordered" (a symptom of dozens of simultaneous orders) but you received an order confirmation email, we will be fulfilling your order. For those who missed out, we certainly understand the frustration of missing out on a limited item that everyone is trying to get at the same time, and we appreciate your feedback to help improve future Dives!


The glorious day is upon us – the Dumpster Dive is here at last! At noon Mountain Time on the dot today, you'll have the chance to pick up a box of mystery treats from the formidable SparkFun collection of electronic bits and pieces.

alt text

We will have two box sizes available: 1/2 lb and 1 1/2 pound. Be sure to read our two important rules before you start clicking like a crazy person:

  • There will be no backorders allowed, and all boxes are while supplies last only.
  • To give as many people as possible the chance to get a Dumpster Dive, we are capping each order at a maximum of one of each size box.

The Dumpster Dive - 1/2 lb.

DD-13779
38 Retired

The Dumpster Dive - 1.5 lb.

DD-12012
14 Retired

Those of you who have been through this before know these are VERY LIMITED and tend to sell out in a matter of minutes. We've tried to give as much advance warning as we can, but we only have so many Dumpster Dives in stock and when they're gone, they're gone. If you don't get your hands on one this time around, though, don't despair! This won't be the last Dumpster Dive. Now get ready...get set...Dumpster Dive!


Comments 76 comments

  • Thanks Sparkfun, didn't get anything this time around (or the last time for that matter...). But I think was great anyway, you did what hundreds of other sellers would never do.....they'd sooner toss it all in bin rather than deep discount it for their customers ( I work in retail/wholesale I know how goes..)

    besides, I think it worked they way it was intended to work, a limited number of items who ever gets them first wins....no different than a black Friday event, and way better than some of those bait and switch schemes. At least Spark Fun let us know how many are available at the start. Wish I had a better internet connection, but my company uses stupid barracuda that only sometimes works, yet always chews up bandwidth.

  • Sigh---slow Sparkfun servers got me! I wasn't able to get the 1.5 pound, only the half pound. Is this where I whine for three days about how unfair slow servers are? :p

  • For those in other timezones (or this one) who want to know exactly when this is, here is a handy Countdown Timer

  • I don't have fast enough internet for the dumpster dive, I got t in the cart but my the time I checked out ( a minute or 2 later because of my internet) it was sold out. It would be nice if once it's in the cart it could be reserved for like 5 minutes so those of us without a fiber connection can get it.

  • Well, that was a waste of time. Everything ready to go, dumpster dive in my wish list, add to cart as soon as available, checkout, and...website crash, website crash, website crash, 1.5lb oos, modify cart, checkout, website crash, website crash, website crash, all out of stock...

    Oh well, back to doing something productive.

  • This promotion always seems to frustrate more people than it's worth. This was my third dumpster dive attempt. I will not try a fourth time. Congrats to all who were lucky enough to grab a box!

  • What a bunch of whiners. I've never heard so much griping because someone missed out on what is basically a garage sale! If all Sparkfun hears are negative comments about the Dumpster Dives, then it won't be too long and there will no longer be any more Dives. Be happy if you got one and be happy if you didn't and try again next time. Keep being awesome Sparkfun, don't let these naysayers get to you!

    • Their going to stop, because people complain that they DIDN'T get to buy something? That makes no sense. If that many people like it they know people will be upset and want to vent their frustration. That's just human nature. If anything, they will try to improve something this popular, not discontinue it!

    • then it won’t be too long and there will no longer be any more Dives

      Fine by me

  • What a joke. Go to place order with both and it kicks me back because the 1.5 sold out, finally load back up with just the 0.5 and same thing... OOS It should be a reserve system where you have 3 minutes or so to complete the purchase otherwise you lose it and it returns to stock.

  • So I got a "Backorder Confirmation" e-mail. What's that mean?

    • Me too; I got charged, but the order status is they'll ship "when they're back in stock"? So do I have a box or not?

      Edit: Looks like they tweeted that means it will be fulfilled.

  • Well that was one of the most exciting yet depressing waits for a page to load I've ever had. Maybe next time!

  • Had a 1.5lb in my cart and just couldn't checkout fast enough before they were out of stock. There was only 35 of them.

    I quickly switched gears to the 1/2lb box and got fully checked out, went back and looked and there were 11 left from the original 150. So close!! w00t!! Happy hacker here :)

  • OK, a little confused. Got SF e-mail saying the order is back ordered and I won't be charged until available but also a message from PayPal confirming the payment !!??

  • The whole process was a joke. Had it in may cart. As soon as I went to pay it was back-ordered. Thanks for nothing except wasting my time.

    • You need to seriously rethink this whole process... cause' it ain't working for s***.

      • you should really re-think your sense of entitlement....they specified very clearly that it was a gamble, there were limited items, and you have clear checkout before it 'yours'.

        I think it worked they way it was intended to work, a limited number of items who ever gets them first wins....no different than a black Friday event, and way better than some of those bait and switch schemes. At least Spark Fun let us know how many are available at the start. Wish I had a better internet connection, but my uses stupid barracuda that only sometimes works.

        • Well... The item showed up in my cart as available, I immediately clicked go to checkout, and the availability went to the back-ordered state before the checkout page finished loading. So I believe I am "entitled" to a little bit of griping.

          If I was just slow off the line and at the back of the pack, then granted that is my own doing. But this was not the case.

          I suppose that I should have included that explanation in my original post to provide a little context.

          • yeah...a little bit, and be fair I did gripe too...a little bit. Also, I didn't mean to call u out specifically, just that I was tired of reading all of the negative comments from the nay-sayers, know-it-alls acting like it was some scheme to steal their time and sell it to the devil or something....

  • This will be my first dive, I am so excited! Wonder if I can click fast enough!!

  • It'd be cool if we could just backorder them at any time, to be fulfilled whenever you assemble more of the boxes progressively through the year. Rather than the annual gold rush. This could reward our community for building a longer-term relationship with SparkFun.

    • Or maybe it's randomly offered when you are checking out with another order. "Random surprise! Would you also like to add a Dumpster Dive box to your order for $20?"

  • Nice try Sparkfun, but next time you hype a big sale for your customers, you should probably have more server room so the sales queue doesn't get clogged. Also, have more than 15 items in stock (since there are no backorders allowed).

    I think companies that do this sort of thing do more damage to their public image than good. Instead of a good feeling about SparkFun, right now I'm feeling rather p*ssed off and cranky. Not feelings I'd want to encourage in customers. Humbug.

    • Yeah, I got screwed by the disappearing stuff in my cart trick during DD and I've never really had the affection for sparkfun that I used to have before that. I used to place an order almost every month, but in the last 2 years I've only placed 2. I haven't stopped ordering stuff, just switched to a different company in NYC that sells much of the same stuff. Sparkfun is now only for stuff that I can't get elsewhere.

  • i'm sorry my english isn't really good, I think I just get one (the small) but my order history say: This item is currently backordered.This order will ship once all items are in stock. what does backordered mean? did I get it?

    • It means that it was out of stock while you were checking out. "Backorder" typically means you pay for it and then it ships when they are in stock again.

      Edit: They tweeted that if it says it is backordered, it will be fulfilled

  • Yeah, your servers melted.

  • Wow. Mine was snatched while I was checking out.. :(

  • Had both in cart for a bit and could have gotten the 0.5 pound one but tried to add one more item that was set up to get free shipping and missed out. Oh well. There were 150 0.5 pound boxes and what looked like 35 1.5 pound boxes.

    It's interesting how the past two dumpster dives, the 1.5 pound box was just $10. The value now isn't quite the same as before but still there for those that got one! Congratulations! It's the first one I missed out on but that's $30+ more I've saved in the end!

    • I'm kinda hoping the box has more expensive junk in it this time given the price increase. Presumably, SF got rid of the cheapest discards when they moved the office.

  • How about you guys fix your website so it doesn't run so ungodly slow? Both items in cart and while waiting for it to load to checkout they are already sold out. Pathetic SF.

    • I don't think you realize just how much load happens when this thing goes off. I'm sure we'll get a nice write-up with all the juicy details in a few days.

      (Right SparkFun? :-) )

      • on’t think you realize just how much load happens when this thing goes off. I’m sure we’ll get a nice write-up with all the juicy details in a few days.

        True, but I am sure there were some scrubs that were DDOS (flooding ISMP, UDP, SYN, fragmented packets, or spoofed-packets) the site to just prevent people from getting orders through, just like people do on Woot-BoC. Production sites shouldn't run as slow as it was a few mins ago, unless they are hosting on a toaster.

        I got a 0.5 lb one which made me happy, but the slow speed and 50X errors were annoying.

        • Doubtful. Have you ever tried getting a BoC from Woot! back when they were good?

          Their servers would be practically offline for 15 minutes at a time. Due only to sheer load. HTTPS isn't a "cheap" session to maintain, and they can't offload much if anything to a CMS during a checkout.

          Plus you're basically leaning on a SQL database for every step of the process, likely with multiple queries for each page load. I'm not sure how they're set up, but it might be just a single (very) large box for everybody. Take-thou-turn applies greatly here.

  • Received my .5 box today. Quick!

    Lots of assorted bolts/nuts/standoffs/resistors. A few defective circuit boards, a broken big-blue button. Managed to get a decent FTDI programmer of some sort. Overall? Meh. I've had better dumpster dive scores. Such is the risk.

  • I got screwed. I went to hit the submit order button and it kicked me out then said they were gone.

  • darn - i got both into my cart, but by the time the cart page loaded for checkout the big box was backordered. I removed it before hitting submit. too bad, i think i would have gotten both!

  • I even made a script to add it to my cart the moment it was available via the "api", had address all ready, card ready, and then it took so long to wait for the shipping calculator, I missed out on the big box and had to go back to the beginning. So not even trying to beat the page load time helped. :P

    • I suspect the database was more of a bottleneck than the web server(s). I was impressed that, although I had some long page waits, nothing timed out on me. Whew!

  • EPIC FAIL!!!

  • Soooo, mine shows up as backordered even though I thought I made it all the way through. Now I'm not sure if I'm getting one or not. I'm not complaining, I'm just puzzled.

  • Managed to get a backordered 1.5 lb one, the servers took a shit so everything was loading so slowly.

  • Added dumpster dive from wishlist to my cart and checked out. Clicked continue waiting for confirmation, back to cart 1.5 lb sold out. Removed it clicked check out again, clicked continue .5 lb sold out. bummed...

  • was trying to pay for both and lost one in the process...you call that fair????? If in middle of payment they should be mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Damn. By the time (12:11) I got another item into the cart the boxes were all gone.

  • Could not get from through check out... then told all gone very sad!

  • Ho my stars! That was quick! The web site slowed down to a crawl and the time to go through the pages to pay by paypal there were none left... well, next year :-)

  • Had it in my cart, "Proceed to Checkout" kept bringing me back to the cart... Each time losing a box.

  • Tried getting both; sold out of 1.5 lb-ers; removed it from my cart and still managed to snag a .5 lb-er.

    Be still my beating heart...

  • Got one! 1.5s went INSANELY fast. Thankfully got a .5

  • Got 1/2 lb, it took a while to get from cart to checkout, pages timed out loading. Not as bad as Free Day, but it must have been busy in the Server room...

  • I don't have a fast enough connection to win at these, by the time the confirm order page returned the 1.5lb box was on backorder, and I didn't really want to pay $10 shipping for the 0.5lb box alone, so I surrendered.

  • Somebody stole these out of my cart. I had them in my cart, proceeding through checkout when they ran out. That's just not cool man. Not sparkfun-like at all

  • Yay, got one! Just barely though... the site was almost unresponsive for a few minutes there.

  • Almost....wanted to get one of each but the 1.5's sold out before I could get to the checkout!

    oh well...maybe next time, but I'm not going to 12.00 shipping for a $10.00 box.....

  • well that sucks. Had both items in my cart, had my address info loaded up, then the site wouldn't let me continue to enter my CC info. Ended up losing both items :(

    Oh well, I'll try again next time.

  • That was fun! Scored a 1.5 pounder. Thanks, SparkFun! Looks like everything is gone now.

  • That was fun. Got both in my cart, used an existing credit card already saved in my account, and then 1.5 box was out. Still, managed the .5 box.

  • YAYYYYY!!! "Thank you for your order! " WOW, this brought SF to a crawl through !!!

    Very amusing

  • Just happened to think I should mention for those who do not have NTP daemons (Network Time Protocol "background" programs) running, and want to set your watch or whatever to "official" U.S. time, there's a web site www.time.gov that can show you the current time. (My understanding is that, like the NTPD, it corrects for propagation delays in the network, so it gets you the precise time to within a few milliseconds.)

  • I trust that if I have some other stuff in my shopping cart, and manage to score DD boxes, that the "free shipping" will still apply! :-)

  • I hope some of those dumpster dive stickers are included

  • For international buyers, how will shipping be handlet?, kinda guesswork as the moment, or are there other products in those size/weightclasses that can be used to "test" how much it will be for shipping? And, I guess it still is like before, if you put it into your basket, it will be removed when others are adding it to their basket?

    • Shipping will be handled the same as any other product. I don't know any products off the top of my head that are similar in size/weight, but these are both in standard SparkFun boxes and weights are 0.5lbs and 1.5lbs. As for putting things in a basket, that does not reserve an item for you. The only way to reserve an item is to actually place the order. If someone else places an order and removes the last of stock then you will not be able to check out with that item. While this does seem a bit weird keep in mind this is how all our products work, and reserving items that sit in someones cart for months isn't a good idea. This just happens to be a unique product in that it sells out so quickly that it is possible/likely for us to be out of stock between when you place the item in your cart and when you go to checkout.

      • Maybe you could reserve them in the cart for a short period of time, and then release them. Or reserve them during the checkout process for up to 15 minutes. Many ticket sales web sites seem to do this.

      • Whatever you say. When you click "Secure checkout", at that moment the item should be LOCKED in the basket.. No, this joke is not for me..

  • Do we need to press a button or something or is it just like any other product?

    I remember a time when I thought the page would refresh automatically at a dedicated dumpster dive page.

  • The next time you do this please make it an hour or two later in the day.

  • Too bad it'll be towards the end of the month before I get any money. Well, that is if I get any money.

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