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Ordering samples

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chris414

New Member
Okay so I ordered my first samples the other day from Microchip via my local electronics store (the PIC18F2550). When I ordered, they asked me to email them a basic description of the project I'm using them for - why would I have to provide this information? Is it a policy of the electronics store, or of Microchip itself? Does Microchip keen track of who it's giving free samples to so they can limit the number they send to you?
 

dknguyen

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
It's Microchip's policy (every manufacturer that provides free samples, really). Basically, if I'm giving you free stuff, I can pretty much decide to do it based on any criteria I desire. Yes, Microchip does keep track and yes, they may choose not to send you samples if they don't like your purposes (both of these would probably have been more obvious if you ordered your samples online from Microchip Direct rather than your local electronics store).

THey are much more likely to send it to you if it is for you are designing something for your company or if you are a student working on a project. The chances are greatly reduced if you are a hobbiest who wants the latest 32-bit chip to make your LED blinker.
 
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Boncuk

New Member
The chances are greatly reduced if you are a hobbiest who wants the latest 32-bit chip to make your LED blinker.

They are further reduced if your email address looks too much private, eg. gmail.com.

Find yourself a well sounding company name, e.g. fixtronics (we fix everything :))

and there are (almost) no obstructions for free sample deliveries.
 

chris414

New Member
Okay well I actaully am an electronics student... is it better then to use my university email address and email them directly, or to go through local electronics store?
 

HarveyH42

Banned
Free samples has been a long standing marketing program, intended for students, engineers, and manufacturers. With the internet, the program has been severely abused by hobbyists, Ebay tycoons, and just plain idiots who ordered the just because its free.

Since it's marketing, the company wants to know a little about your application, to help them sell their product, and develop future products. Pretty sure that if you are honest with them, and provide useful information, you will be rewarded with the freebies. If it sounds like minimal, basic answers just to fill in the blanks, they might just dump your request in the trash with the hundreds of Ebay stock requests...

You should read through some of the past threads here. Some good tips on how to scam free parts from most companies. A few from people who got the free samples, and need to know how to use them (how to build a programmer, how to write programs, what are the good for...).

I'm a hobbyist, and buy or salvage all my parts and materials. Never requested any free parts, and have declined a few that were offered, when I requested some additional information. Hobbies cost money, and I have several others besides electronics. Save for what you need, work with what you've got...
 

blueroomelectronics

Well-Known Member
Problem is if the system is abused as it is in some countries it gets cut off. I was under the impression Microchip now charges shipping for free samples in North America.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
Problem is if the system is abused as it is in some countries it gets cut off. I was under the impression Microchip now charges shipping for free samples in North America.

Those damn Americans are always screwing things up. :) Charging a small fee was a good move, should shut out a good portion of the freeloaders and leeches. The person would need to give real information, and proof of ability to actually pay for something, which seem like the bums are either unwilling, or unable to provide.

I really don't have a problem with free samples, just some of the past threads kind of upset me. For a specific project, and willing to be honest with the company, best of luck getting the chips.
 
Okay well I actaully am an electronics student... is it better then to use my university email address and email them directly, or to go through local electronics store?

I'd say use your .edu mailing address. It's helped me out several times. That way you have a legitimate reason for ordering (check the terms and conditions to see if students are allowed to order samples, etc.)
 

GatorGnet

New Member
Last time I got some free samples from microchip, it was free. I went back recently and the shipping now cost about as much as just buying what you need. :(
 
Microchip's shipping charge is $7.95, and if I remember right, they've limited it so you can order a max of 2 types of chips with a max of 2 or 3 each, so in most cases digikey or mouser is cheaper (boo).

I don't like paying, cuz every time I pay for something it has to be approved by the big cheese. I find myself avoiding pay places until I have to go there, but that usually means parts that can be sampled are first in line to be tested and evaluated, at least when the parts are very similar in price and performance.
 
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