My purpose with this list is to spread the knowledge of the different free sample programs in the hobby electronics community so we can build more cool things.
If you know of a free sample program that is not yet on the list or are responsible for running a free sample program and want to correct anything I've written about your program, or want to get removed from the list for some reason then please send me a message, in the latter case preferably with a reason.
Step 1: Ethics of Free Sampling
"I suppose there are ethics to requesting free samples. Here are some of my personal rules:
1) NEVER resell samples. I see lots of eBay listings for chips in quantities that match the max sample quantities of some vendors. It pisses me off. (Of course, this COULD be another "sample channel" officially endorsed by the vendor. But it doesn't look that way.)
2) Don't lie more than necessary. I think making up a company name is fine, but inventing 10000 fellow employees and a product that will sell 10k/year of a chip is over the line. (This has been especially interesting as I've transitions from student to engineer at unknown company to engineer at extemely well-known company. These days If I ask for a sample, I'm likely to get a phone call from an enthusiastic salesperson hoping for a win in our next big product, and I usually explain that no, the best they can hope for from me is to get inserted into some odd piece of custom lab gear.)
3) Don't be greedy. Some vendors limit you to so many samples per month, or per order. That doesn't mean you should submit new sample orders every month, or order the maximum number of samples allowed. (OTOH, be aware that for many of the chips we're talking about, the order processing and shipping costs more than the chips themselves...)
4) Spread Good Publicity. If you pubish a project that used a sample, be sure to say nice things about their product. If you can't find something nice to say about a chip you sampled, you probably shouldn't say anything at all. ("Don't look a gift horse in the mouth"?)"