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Old 11th Mar 2018, 7:00 pm   #1
electronicskip
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Default Remember Reps Freebees?

One of the perks of the job was always the visit of a rep, you never knew what he was going to bring in or show you.
In my time I was given so much stuff from electronics reps ranging from tape recorders ,sodastreams , shavers, a Walkman and lots of Batteries from the Ever ready man.

All were samples really for the shop but the reps used to give us one or two extras if we asked nicely.

Also the bottles of beer and wine at xmas.
Anyone get anything unusual or similar ?
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 8:11 pm   #2
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

The Charles Hyde rep was always good for a few pens and a bottle or two at Christmas.
The Belvoir components rep came from Melton Mowbray. He always brought a good chunk of Stilton at Christmas. Something I now have to go to Stamford to get. Ask in a supermarket if the Stilton is from Melton ....
Best freebee was a G11 from the Pye rep, we were to use it as a repair jig. It was one of the sets they had used on long term test to check reliability under adverse conditions, it was positively sooty! Boy had that set had some repairs!
Rich.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 10:24 pm   #3
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

I remember the RS and the Farnell reps coming round. They didn't usually leave much though. I still have a Swiss army knife I got from Marconi. We used to use a lot of Marconi test gear and it was often sent for cal. The main test gear reps used to magically arrive just in time for the "clear out of budget/spend it on new kit" window around about February!
Alan.
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 10:47 pm   #4
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Still get freebies off the reps…

Last year from one supplier I asked If I could swap the normal box of Christmas chocolates for some 470uF 450V electrolytic, 0.1uF and 0.22uF 400V polyester capacitors for an amplifier project!

Terry
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:10 pm   #5
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

I can remember our Farnell rep popping round & being suitably impressed with our RS catalogue.

Not only was it still wrapped up, the whole bundle (5 separate books plus a CD-ROM in all) was holding the workshop door open!

We received all manner of goodies in the post following her visit, of which included a large tin of chocolates at Christmas

Later on, the RS rep showed up, asking if we'd seen their new catalogue, of course we had, it's holding the door open! Not nearly so impressed ...

SEME would send all manner of goodies with their rep, infrared remote control tester keyfobs were great tools to have, the Willowvale chap would show up with a case of cables, plugs etc, all good stuff & appreciated.

The chap from Elna furnished us with some seriously good electrolytics for an amp project I happened to mention, told him it was a homer too, a week later, a bag of goodies arrived as a 'sample' ... Some 18 years later, the amp still sounds fantastic

Mark
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Old 11th Mar 2018, 11:34 pm   #6
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Nothing more spectacular than a golfing umbrella- now 30yrs old but I can't grumble at the quality- I retired it once in favour of a replacement, which turned inside out on its first outing, victim of a force 3 breeze. The old one came out of retirement and has a habit of always finding its way home. In the nineties it got left in 3 pubs, one office party, shops, etc. I guess it doesn't look worth stealing.

I copped a expensive free meal and as much red wine and cigars as I could take courtesy of a salvage company back in the day, then found out later that the invitation shouldn't have been extended down to 'grunts' and I had effectively been invited by accident. (Expletive deleted..)

I and 12 others were left as a skeleton crew in a decaying office block designed for 250 bods, in charge of a portfolio that a different branch had 'refused' to take on until 12 extra weeks had passed. We then found out that all the other departees had arrived at the shiny new stalag to find a gift of a bottle of Moet and a box of chocolates on their desks. Did we get freebies..? Yes we darn well did, but only after the union rep did his stuff.

This hollow building became more sinister as the smell of rotting started to be noticed in the lift, especially first thing in the morning.. There was fun to be had speculating about the possible cause, and the smell started to worsen day by day.

It turns out that the cause was quite mundane- the canteen staff had been laid off when we moved buildings and on being told they could not take the leftovers from the freezers simply....switched the freezers off. Amongst other comestibles, several pounds of frozen prawns were fighting to get out by the time the cause had been discovered.

I still recall the security guard looking on in silence as fire extinguishers, clocks and anything that wasnt bolted down made its way out of the building in the last few days.

Sorry to lower the tone.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 7:54 am   #7
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Only a very few,infrequent freebies from my Willow Vale rep. He would sometimes leave me small packs of components that appeared from the back of his car.

However, more frequently he would try and interest me in various test equipment that he had ‘found’ . Cash only, obviously ....... I bought many items that way. Scope, variac, BK 467 CRT tester, to name a few!
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 9:57 am   #8
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

The majority of 'freebies' I remember getting were mugs, phonecards-with-a-tenner-of-credit-on-them and things like shoulder-bags, briefcases or wallets.

This was from test-gear suppliers like Wandel&Goltermann or Rohde&Schwarz or Schomandl - and optic-fibre-installation/test equipment (Pilkington/Barr&Stroud) and some scientific/lab equipment (Fisher, Fisons Instruments).

I still have and use a red-silk-lined leather wallet given to me by the rep for "Dista products", the UK arm of a large US pharmaceutical company. And I got a nice little half-pint aluminium vacuum-flask from Worldcom, given to me in 1999 a few months before Worldcom-US went under in the turn-of-the-millennium 'dotcom crash'. This is great for taking mulled wine with me when out walking!

My most recent freebie back in 2014 was a "Pebble Smartstick" - a small USB-connected Li-ION battery for topping-up the charge on your phone when out-and-about. That came from a Tesla salesman.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 10:20 am   #9
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

At the companies I'm involved with, I think Wurth Electronics are the most renowned for their freebies: every rep visit results in at least a packet of gummi bears, and a colleague of mine managed to blag a full set of Wurth-branded cycling clothes!

Chris
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 12:24 pm   #10
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Transformer reps in the '80s were very good for "transformer oil". It was often 70° proof and made in Scotland. Marconi (as in MEDL at least) did decent pocket diaries in a useful leather wallet. I'm still using (after about 10 years) a very nice leather wallet from a Leoni Cables rep. Half decent pens and useful A5 pads of squared paper were also welcome. Latterly reasonable size (for the time) USB sticks were handy to have.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 1:47 pm   #11
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Many companies have an anti-bribery policy which extends down to accepting freebies. One of the customers in the 'day job' don't even accept pens! Calendars have been accepted after being declared and authorisation given.

Many reps understand this, and the culture has changed. Which is a shame - some branded freebies were rather nice!

The best I have is an Analog Devices overnight bag. It came loaded with data books at a (free) design seminar a few years back.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 3:56 pm   #12
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post

The best I have is an Analog Devices overnight bag. It came loaded with data books at a (free) design seminar a few years back.
Ahh, I'd forgotten this (see pic).

Well used and the only free cloth bag I've ever had with handles short enough that it doesn't drag on the floor when carried by a shorty!
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 5:49 pm   #13
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Remember the Radio Spares rep visiting the workshop back in the mid fifties, he always gave us one or two small components from the latest catalog, which was “paper”thin, in those days.
Cheers
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 6:24 pm   #14
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kalee20 View Post
Many companies have an anti-bribery policy which extends down to accepting freebies. One of the customers in the 'day job' don't even accept pens!
The advantage of being a self-employed consultant is that you get to set ''company policy'' !

My bigger worry was if 'gifts' were to be declared to the Inland Revenue or not. I had to draw the line at a Christmas time offer of a case of rather-good Single Malt whisky by the marketing-department of a computer-company with 3 letters to its name.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 7:00 pm   #15
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

The only freebee I got during my time at Plessey was a meal and a couple of pints in a local pub from a Semiconductor rep.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 8:55 pm   #16
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

We had a guy from the local tube re-gunners come regularly to pick up worn tubes and return re guns. I mentioned once that I had a Sony 9-90 vintage set with a dud tube I was refurbishing. He said "I'll do that for you as a sample". He made a good job of it too, I still have the set.
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Old 12th Mar 2018, 9:18 pm   #17
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

Some years ago I was using well over £1,000 worth of lamps a week ! being in charge of lighting maintenance at a department store.
Gifts were always appreciated, both generally useful items and also samples of new lamp types before these were listed for general sale.

I remember one department being refurbished and lit entirely with the then new AR111 lamps that then cost about £10 each.
To the horror of a director, a routine weekly check for failed lamps found about 100 failures, so that is £1,000 spent in one morning on lamp replacement for one department.

I used to joke that we used every type of lamp that was made, and a lot that were not !
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 10:23 am   #18
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

About 1970 we sold loads of tape/cassettes and I still have several new packs of playing cards with BASF or Agfa on them. Not bad for nearly 50 years old. Also have unused Papermate pen and pencil sets that came from one of the suppliers.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 11:23 am   #19
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

In the '60s I was with Wigfalls in Derby, and we had a great R.S. rep. named Rod Dewsbury (I think). Never got any freebies, but he would always have a good, brand new, joke every time he called. We looked forward to his visits just for the jokes. An excellent rep, and he knew all about what he was selling too, as distinct from a lot of the "driftwood" that visited places I was at later in my career.
My best freebie was a Philips colour bar generator generator I won in a competition in the Philips service magazine in the (?) late '70s. - Still in the workshop!.
Sadly, I lost my copy of the mag. with 'photo of the presentation of the said device in it. Tony.
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Old 13th Mar 2018, 5:36 pm   #20
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Default Re: Remember Reps Freebees?

One freebee I forgot to mention in my original post was actually a huge Cuddly rabbit complete with the Rabbit telecom Logo on its clothing given to me by one of their reps for promoting the Rabbit telephone system!

I've still got it to this day, albeit in the loft in a suitcase .
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