Dumpster Dive Update & Recap

A quick look at a big day.

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Dumpster Dive 2017 has come and gone for you fine folks out there, but for us here at SparkFun, we’re just getting started. This is the first time in the history of Dumpster Dive that we attempted a build-to-order purchasing style that allowed those of you who wanted a box the ability to click the “Backorder” button on its product page, and we built the boxes in the order they were received. It worked! No website crash, no limited stock, and most importantly those of you who wanted (and were able to get) a Dumpster Dive were able to do so.

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Everything divided up and ready to go into boxes!

All in all, we had 473 orders come in in just 10 minutes for the Dumpster Dive on September 13th. You might be wondering, “where is my Dumpster Dive?” Well, we are glad you asked! Before the dive started we promised to begin fulfilling orders within 30 days of the event and we still plan on following through. We expect to start building Dumpster Dive boxes by the end of this week to the middle of next (in the order they were received, of course) in groups of 50 or so. As you can see from the picture above, we have divided everything going into each box by weight and cost to make sure you receive a mixed box of different parts with different value.

Obviously, everything wasn’t perfect with this Dumpster Dive, and we are still iterating on this ever-evolving event. Tell us what you think - how do you think Dumpster Dive can grow and change? We have a pretty clear vision for the future but we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Thank you again for making Dumpster Dive 2017 an amazing day!


Comments 19 comments

  • I was confused by the backorder button. I thought you had sold out, even though you said you wouldn’t. By the time I figured it out the sale was over. So better instructions earlier in the process would have helped me.

    • Same here. I refreshed for 10 minutes waiting for the “Backorder” button to change to an Order button. So I didn’t get one this year. Clarity in instructions would be great.

    • I was confused as well, but was set straight in the comments. I was able to get my order in, but I agree that an explanation in the lead-up posts for the sale would have reduced a lot of confusion.

      This was my first dumpster dive and look forward to random crap that I’ve paid good money to throw away. ;-) (Just kidding, hopefully there will be some random gem mixed in there that will be useful.)

  • Just 473? That’s not even one per second! Anyway, thanks for the update! I’m looking forward to seeing what will be in my box…

    My one comment (besides being able to open it up to folks outside the US), would be to make the time period NOT when most people are working (or in class). (Doesn’t really matter to me, I’m “retired”, but did set an alarm that day to make sure I was out of bed in time.)

    One thought about the “foreign orders”: once you’ve “cleared things out”, have one set of boxes/crates for things that definitely DON’T have shipping restrictions, and another set for things that do/might have them. (Maybe a color coding?) Orders from outside the U.S. can only come from “unrestricted” boxes, those from U.S. customers can come from either set.

  • jma89 / last year / 2

    As you can see from the picture above, we have divided everything going into each box by weight and cost to make sure you receive a mixed box of different parts with different value.

    I think that’s the key to this whole mess: Keeping the assortment evenly random and not just chaotic random. (I didn’t get in this time because I was a silly boy and forgot to set a reminder. Realized what I’d (not) done about 2 hours too late.)

  • My order just got cancelled… What happened?

    • M-Short / last year / 1

      If you haven’t heard from us yet please email customer service (cservice@sparkfun.com) and they should be able to help you out.

  • Well this is turning into a disaster! 2 weeks and still NOTHING!?!? Why did you wait until after it was over to start boxing? That makes no sense whatsoever! It’s all about weight. You could have pre boxed everything and had stuff leftover for the next one or just filled more boxes. Either way there wouldn’t be a three weeks and still on new order. This is getting RIDICULOUS! Very disappointed in the planning!

  • Hotwire / last year / 1

    Any word on ship dates?

  • Any updates for delivery? My birthday is just three days away.

  • I have been trying for years. I did read the lead up material and was ready for the back order button. Although, seeing the back order did give me a moments pause. This will be my first ever Dumpster dive. I am excited but happy to wait this year rather than try and miss!

    • Birthday has passed. Still OK< As long as we get the good stuff I will wait another two weeks.

      Just pack my box differently from “tankapotamus” please. LOL

  • I so much wanted to participate, but Hurricane Irma had other plans… Oh well, maybe next year!

  • I’m curious to know how much do you have left over?

  • I was able to get a box. I normally miss it every year. The only problem is that I do not prder from y'all much because shipping is too high. I know it can’t be dirt cheap, but I believe it could be better. Looking forward to next years dive.

  • Loved it! Third time in three years and this time I was lucky. 10 minutes didn’t seem long enough? Just curious if you had 2000 orders would you have enough parts to go around? Since there were only 473 orders and small table of parts(photo above), will you be optimizing the build of the boxes. Meaning, a decent look at a part can tell if it just needs thrown away i.e. surface mounted board that has cut through most circuits. If you send out by end of month I may just get it on my birthday in early October. :)

  • How about opening it up to your neighbours in the north?

    • xtopher / last year / 2

      That is definitely something we want to do, along with other countries. We still need to figure out how to safely make that happen.

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