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January 12, 2007
News - Yay! Let's Play Copycat
about 5 years ago
This is full of irony. As much as I like Sparkfun and prefer to buy from domestic companies, they’re what made me open the door to dealing with Chinese vendors in the first place.<br />
I needed a bunch of 2-pin spring terminals. Sparkfun has them, but at $1.50 a piece. Ouch!<br />
Fortunately, Sparkfun hadn’t followed the mood-setting quote about concealing sources. The datasheet on the terminals reveals the manufacturer.<br />
That manufacturer will gladly sell anyone up to 10 samples of the terminal for only $0.14 each. So Sparkfun is marking this part up at least 1,000%, and they probably pay even less in quantity!<br />
Of course shipping makes that more expensive, so I made the best of it by stocking up and sampling many other connectors as well. For $30, I got what would have costs hundreds at Sparkfun.<br />
So I can see why Sparkfun is laughing about the Chinese stealing their website design. They’re laughing all the way to the bank, because they’re making a fortune off the Chinese by selling their goods for ridiculous markups.<br />
Here’s some constructive advice. Instead of Sparkfun giving a bit of their wealth back to us in gimmicky events like Free Day, why not reduce prices instead? Had the markup been reasonable (a few hundred percent), they would have gotten my order; as I do consider paying a little more worth supporting a domestic company. And they would have gotten other orders too, since I’ve recommended buying directly from the manufacturer to several others on public forums who’ve complained that the price of connectors at Sparkfun would break their project budget.
No public wish lists :(
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