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January 4, 2010
News - Free Day Recap
about 9 years ago
It was a duemilanove and an ethernet shield plus some basic components. I'll concede that I got a rare steal on the ethernet shield, because they are normally nowhere near as cheap as I got it for.
MY original point was that saying "good riddance" to those who complained and suggested that they might leave is NOT going to help SparkFun retain customers and be profitable. Hence "Back at ya"
I'm just saying that this was negative PR and that page hits do not translate into $ very well. When most people can't even get in to have a look at the promo, their experience will be negative. When they reach the final page within minutes and spend the next two hours trying to get their order to go through, they're going to be really pissed off. Whether it's conscious or not, customers will remember that bad experience and their opinion of the store will rest on it.
I didn't have space in the original post to mention that my credit card number was stolen during this event. I don't blame sparkfun for this, but their security must have been zero-to-nil during the high-profile event.
Back at ya. I spent twenty minutes on eBay and picked up the same stuff I was about to pay $130 for here, at a grand total of $27.54. Guess I got my $100 off after all.
This was a failure. Look at the stats. Look at how many American's got in vs how many from other countries. While english-speaking geeks the world over have been trying, only those within close proximity had a real chance. The numbers get smaller and smaller the further away you go.
Now, take a look at twitter. I counted over 100 people bragging that they were using botnets, bragging that they were going to sell their "winnings," or that they had done some other dirty trick. How many upset, dissapointed and estranged geeks did you create vs. how many new customers have you gotten? I'll wager that you've actually experienced a net loss in customers.
Once more back to the stats. More than 110,000 visits. 1035 actual sales. 9% of your new and old customers made it through, while 91% were snubbed.
Sparkfun, if you ever consider doing something like this again... please revise your plans. This did much more to hurt your reputation than it did to help you.
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