$100 free from your favorite hobby supplier!

We were wary at first when the email came in with the headline “SparkFun is having a free day” and figured surly this is in relation to recent events? But no, after 7 years of loyal customers, SparkFun is simply giving back to the community.

It’s interesting to think that without their services, we wouldn’t have some of the amazing hacks we introduce every day. Such as the DIY mood lamp, or Cell phone alt-variometer, or Arduino iPod remote control. And their free day will allow some disadvantaged hackers the ability to finally flex that muscle sitting between their shoulders. What do you plan to make?

Mark your calendars folks, On January the 7th 2010 SparkFun is giving every household a $100 (until they reach $100k), if that’s not an incentive to wake up early, what is?

As a side note, do you think we’ve had enough posts about SparkFun lately?

[Thanks Diego]


  1. mr_seeker says:

    Woehoei, free stuff!

  2. monkeyslayer56 says:

    great now that its posted here instead of reaching the limit in 5 min the limit will be hit towards teh end of teh day… if at all… *sees the smoke from server meltdown all the way on the east coast…)

  3. Zero says:

    Yay, that’s awesome! Lets start the contest for the craziest little project for under $100 in Spark Fun goodies :)

  4. IceBrain says:

    Too bad I don’t have anything similar to SparkFun in my country. All we have is local suppliers who are worthless for anything less common than LEDs, and small online shops which charge more for shipping than foreign shops :(

  5. pppd says:

    I’d like it more if they said they would randomly choose 100-1000 people after they made a purchase. This could be a refund, a store credit or whatever.

    This way you would only buy what you really need and wouldn’t encourage abusing the promotion.

    @IceBrain, where do you live?

  6. Skitchin says:

    All I can say is AWESOME!!! Guess I’ve got till then to figure out what I’d make.

  7. Josh says:

    I hope I get one. It may let me finally start on an Arduinome.

  8. Zeecue says:

    What should i get,i would really like to start using a ardunio, so i can use it for different kind of stuff.
    So i was thinking about the Arduino Duemilanove, is there anything i need more than just the arduino, to do some basic stuff?

    Besy Regards

  9. Diego Spinola says:

    “We were wary at first when the email came in with the headline”

    At first I didn’t quite believe it myself ;)


  10. Bob says:

    “It’s interesting to think that without their services, we wouldn’t have some of the amazing hacks we introduce every day”

    So haven’t they already “given back”? (Whatever that means… in the past I’ve sent them money and they’ve sent me electronics; I always thought it was a fair exchange. They don’t need to “give back” to me and I don’t need to “give back” to them.)

    Hey, I love free stuff as much as the next guy. But it’s weird that SparkFun would think they have some moral obligation to do this.

  11. blue carbuncle says:

    That is extremely nice of them!!! Thank you so much!!!

  12. markii says:

    Wow how great!
    However, does this mean that order no. 1001 will be charged for the full amount? It’s kind of a lottery in that case :)

  13. Hackius says:

    Icebrain: where do you live?

  14. Chris says:


    No one said anything about a “moral obligation.” It’s just their way of saying “thanks” to their customers.

    Some people will complain about anything.

  15. DC says:

    Does sparkfun accept international orders? And if so, does this deal include international orders?

  16. Skitchin says:

    @Zeecue: Check out sparkfun’s Beginner’s Electronics Kit, lots of great goodies in there.

    Sparkfun’s website already seems to be getting hit. I’m sure the news is bound to spread even more and really screw over my chances of getting at some of that bread. Hopefully not every single person does a full $100 order…

  17. Fallen says:

    It’s also a great form marketing.
    McDonald’s did it with coffee, Harvey’s with hanburgers, etc.
    It’s $100 worth of stuff, but that’s not what it’s costing them. It’s probably marked up 100%, so this campaign is probably costing them 50 grand. That’s pretty cheap as far as marketing goes. They’ll have to give 1000 people stuff…but they’re going to have hundreds of thousands of people trying to get it. It’s a really great idea.

  18. Iv says:

    DC : they say the only catch is that you have to pay for shipping.

    Nothing I read disqualifies international shipping.

  19. Alan Parekh says:

    Wow is this the first electronics company to give away that amount of goods? I have never heard of such a thing before. But as Fallen mentioned it is inexpensive as far as a big marketing campaign goes.

    Good luck to all!

  20. pppd says:

    @Alan Parekh How about all the free samples many companies give away :) ? Sparkfun products are a bit overpriced already so yeah, it will cost them much less than $100 per customer.

  21. Chris M. says:

    International orders are accepted for sure. You still pay shipping.

    Also, the post on the SparkFun site mentions they are upgrading the servers in December. Hopefully they can take the heat!

  22. Alex says:

    hmm, $100,000 / $100 is 10,000 people.

    Given how much press this is getting, I expect SparkFun to be out $100,000 in free stuff in about 5 minutes..

    If this gets Slashdotted… kiss your chance to get in on this goodbye, they don’t have a big enough pipe to fit the internet into. :(

  23. Iv says:

    And we all know that it will be slashdotted at some point :-)

  24. Peter says:


    100000 / 100 = 1000 :)

    I expect they’ll be out of the $100k in the first minute, maybe less.

  25. wolfy02 says:


    Yea, their servers are down at the moment, i’ve been sitting waiting for around 8mins for their homepage to load. I know my net is slow, but DAMN.

  26. Alex says:


    yup… I am retarded.

    The Internet at the door for 1000 slots is an even worse ratio.

  27. Skyler says:

    Alex, work on your math. $100,000 / $100 is 1,000. :D

    I’ll be shooting for this. We’ll see what happens.

  28. chris says:

    great now that the cat is out of the bag there is going to be no chance of getting it, i was hoping this would stay quite and i could score some cool crap :_( i wonder if you can submit orders and if your not one of the free ones cancel? if so i might still try

  29. mowcius says:

    If anyone read the website properly they would see that it states that:

    You will see whether or not your order qualifies for a credit in the checkout process.

    So it is not like the lottery, you will know if you will get it free before you pay for it…


  30. sam says:

    my birthday :) (everyone mark that too!)

  31. nave.notnilc says:

    hey people, if you can afford to buy the stuff (i.e. are not a penniless student or something), don’t take the chance away from someone who can’t afford it. this is like the free samples from IC manufacturers, don’t do it just to get free stuff.

  32. goliath says:

    perfect, this is my chance to expand my arduino collection, i need a nano and a mega.

  33. Tim Otto says:

    Nice, I’ve been looking for an excuse to get back into the home-brew electronics world and this is perfect!

    Also great marketing for Sparkfun, never followed a link to them until it had the word “FREE” attached, and now I’m kinda hooked.

  34. macpod says:

    It would be awesome if they included batchpcb orders in this too. At any rate, very cool sparkfun!

  35. CH says:


    Students aren’t penniless, they can afford Uni, and probably have better prospects of a good job.

    And don’t think Manufacturers aim free samples at isolated hobbyists either, but hope to promote larger orders.

    If you can use it, why not apply? Whether something is affordable depends on how much it’s neeeded; everyone still has to work to pay for it.

  36. Targen says:

    There’s free public higher education in many countries, and even in places like the US there’s students that -are- penniless and manage to get a decent higher education through loans (which are to be paid -after- their education is done and once they get the better jobs you mention) or simply scholarships/grants. And, in any case, after paying a decent university’s tuition, one is probably left penniless.

  37. 1000 packages? It won’t take minutes, but about 2 seconds. Anyone who is a Wooter will know…

  38. IceBrain says:

    @pppd: I live in Portugal (Europe, near Spain). It’s not the desert around here, but I find it hard and costly to get many less common components.

  39. Coffeeman says:

    AWESOME! FREE STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope no one tries to bring down there shiny new servers with a DOS attack before it starts…

  40. SupaDuck says:

    I’m planning on ordering their beginners set so I can get into building stuff. Thanks a lot Hackaday/Sparkfun ! You guys rock !

  41. Bov says:

    Hasn’t anyone noticed this is right on the heels of that mess about BlueSMiRF?

  42. cheerful phil says:

    I am going to sell mine on Ebay!!!
    Get some sweet christmas loot parting that out and
    individualizing the sales…

  43. Blue Laser says:

    @Cheerful Phil,
    That’s the kind of nonconstructive activity that makes these give-aways useless. Get items YOU plan using. To try to make a buck here makes no sense. If SparkFun really has nothing you want/need on their site, why do you even visit this website?

  44. Ron says:

    I’m not filthy rich or anything, but I can pay for my own stuff. I’ll sleep in and let someone else have some fun.

  45. cheerful phil says:

    blue laser because it is america and I can. Maybe I’m donating the money to feed starving gay baby whales to Ethiopians. Maybe I’m buying another furby just to do it. Maybe I’ll have a contest to see who can guess what’s in the box that I bought with the box from sparkfun that probably just contains a record player spooling off cassette tape to trail out of my car window or a crossbow that shoots alligators with a flashlight tied to it lol. Whoever guesses what it is wins all of the money i made on that box. I guess I will need two sparkfun boxes then. One for the contest and one for myself for operating costs of said contest. I should try for more is the moral of the story?

  46. John says:

    @Cheerful Phil
    I agree with Blue Laser and add that you’re a scrooge. Seriously, it’s obvious that this give-away is aimed at encouraging people who are just getting into electronics to get a real project or two together.
    If you have nothing better to do with a great opportunity than steal it from someone else to rip off some poor fool, I pity you.

    Sheesh….Who knew scrooge read Hackaday.

  47. John says:

    Oh, and I guessed the moral of your story too!
    The only thing you can count on more than people trying to do something nice once in a while is some asshat trying to take advantage of the system.

  48. therian says:

    If I see some of spark funproduct on eBay recently booming, I promise I will personally do all I can to hurt yours rating

  49. Dave says:

    i really would like to have this nes-controller in the back…

  50. ebidk says:

    This is all kinds of awesome :) Too bad for me though I don’t have the extra money I’d need to throw in a hot-air rework station by January.

    Of course their stations also have the problem that they’re 110V not 220V so I’d need a converter to run them here.

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