FRC Blogged-FIRST Chocie-Liquidation

As you may know, AndyMark has been executing FIRST Choice on behalf of FIRST since its inception in 2011. Since then, very small volumes of excess inventory have accumulated. The nature and volume of the selected items are too small to put in Kickoff Kits, distribute via FIRST Choice in 2014, or ship in Spare Parts cases.

Instead of scrapping these materials, we’re going to make them available to FRC teams, for free.

Please understand that there isn’t enough dispensable inventory to supply everyone, but it’s important that these items end up with teams if they want them.

AndyMark is going to make these items available under the following parameters:

Items are available in a limited time frame, specifically 8/19/13 (12pm noon ET) to 9/13/13.
Teams are responsible for shipping costs.
Items are available to 2013 FRC teams only (will be confirmed by asking for team number upon checkout)
There will be no hard limit on the quantity of items ordered, but please be reasonable with your order. If outliers are identified (e.g., someone is trying to scoop up a significant amount of inventory), the order will be placed on hold until FIRST has an opportunity to contact the team to better understand the situation.
Items going out of stock prior to your purchase will automatically be removed from your shopping cart.
Visit to access the FIRST Choice Liquidation.

Thank you to the team at AndyMark for performing this service for us, as well as the FRC Suppliers for their generous donations!

If you have any questions, please send them to [email protected].

I don’t see why things such as the photosensors and terminals can’t just be put into next year’s FIRST choice, assuming extremely similar items will be there next year(considering they’ve been there nearly every year). But this is a welcome addition that enables you to get some stuff that you would otherwise have to eliminate from your FIRST Choice list due to limited points.

Quantities too low? Discontinued parts?

My, that Igus slewing ring looks purty.

Don’t snatch the last one up! Also, I am pretty sure this was out of stock in FIRST Choice this year. Maybe they got an untimely delivery?

Are we really doing this again? Isn’t this the same system that got people so upset last year. I know it’s not the real FIRST Choice but it’s still just who has the quickest mouse. Especially with no quantity limits per item at all and currently no way for anyone to know how many of any of the items they have in stock. At least not yet, they could post item quantities on the 19th.

If I’m ordering and I think 3 IR sensors is reasonable but then find out they only had 10 to give away maybe that is too many for one team.

Also how are these items going to be considered for next year’s robot? Are they kit items (doesn’t seem like it), are they previous years’ kit items, or are they some other category? Seeing as some of these parts are discontinued and would then be no longer available to all teams, they wouldn’t fit the 2013 definition of a COTS part.

I like this idea, just a little unsure on some of the details. I think as long as the people ordering actually use the items they get for their team and they just don’t sit on a shelf, it’s a great idea.

Too bad the stuff couldn’t be auctioned off to teams, and the proceeds donated to charity…

Fastest mouse it is…:mad:

This is what I heard when I read that.

This looks worse than First Choice(did I really just type that? :confused: ). There are no credits, no order limits, and no team #id login or password. I don’t think someone has to be Yoda to figure out what’s going to happen on the 19 if nothing changes unfortunately.

Oh not again…

Am I really going to have to stop teaching in the middle of my class (or get someone to cover) on Monday morning to make an AndyMark order? How do they choose these opening times? Mentors ARE AT WORK trying to earn a living in what little time we spend away from FRC.

It’s like Black Friday at Best Buy. People are going to get virtually trampled on this one, again…

I know I don’t have to make an order but when there’s goods this good that are just being handed out, I have to make an order. You just can’t pass on an opportunity like that. When it’s free, who says “no thanks”? At least charge something for them maybe.

Also, so what happens when you try to press your luck, order gets sent to FIRST for review, and you end up with nothing? How much is too much? Can we pre-request quantities, or at least know the quantities?

Why don’t they just eBay the darn stuff and roll it into their operating budget? Heck, I’d be content with them sweeping it into an office cake fund, just for us to not go through this again.

Or a scholarship, or a donation to charity.

I’m pretty sure that when items are donated for FIRST Choice, there are contractual and legal statutes that are expressed or implied. It would probably not be legal for FIRST to sell or raffle the items for any monetary gain, even if it was “for charity”. Any income associated with this would then have to be accounted and it would just be a mess.

It’s simple and straight cut. These are overstock items with a first come-first serve fulfillment. It is what it is. There undoubtedly will be more items available for FIRST Choice come competition season, so be vigilant and assign a team member or mentor to acquire the parts as soon as the flood gates open.

AndyMark has decided to stress test their servers. This could amount to a self-inflicted DDoS attack.

To be fair, their servers didn’t go down this year due to traffic when FIRST Choice went live. It went down manually because of the coding issues.

As an aside, FIRST vastly improved their servers between 2012 registration and 2013 registration to mitigate the problems most people had in registering.

Yes, this system may not be the greatest. And yes, it will be a race of who has the fastest mouse. And maybe there will be that one guy who just sees free stuff and takes a lot to collect dust on a shelf (but not enough for FIRST to have to question his order). And it would have been really helpful if FIRST could have at least disclosed the quantities that they are starting out with (live updates on quantity would be even better). But FIRST isn’t trying to make a big deal out of this. They have some stuff that they don’t need anymore. Rather than throw it away, they decided to give it out to teams for free. Appreciate that! They didn’t want to go through the huge effort to put some system in place to make sure that everything was fair. They just want to do something nice for the community. And they are even going to be watching to make sure there aren’t any extreme abusers (I’m sure they aren’t going to stop many orders, only the ones where people are purchasing IR Transmitters and lazy susans by the dozen). So just remember that FIRST didn’t have to give out any free stuff at all.

P.S. Most teams drop off of the face of the earth until September, so there shouldn’t be as much competition as we think there will be.

P.S.S. This is probably the kind of thing where the lead mentor doesn’t have there to do it. A mentor, a student, or even someone that’s not on the team could order stuff, have it shipped to the normal place, and if necessary get reimbursed for shipping.

Anyone have any luck?

Every time I hit order, it gives me more notifications that stuff is no longer available or quantities had changed. Lost out on most everything of significant value…

Finally got the order to process 12 minutes after noon.

I lost the game.

Well that was a waste of 15 minutes of my life. By the time stuff finally got to my cart not much was left. After I updated my cart, even less left. I’m not spending money to ship a handful of stuff I could get locally for the equal price. I sure hope they get this FIRST Choice thing figured out before the time we really need it in January!

Started with 8 different items and every time I waited for shipping calculation items dropped out…so a shipping recalculation was required and guess what?..more items dropped out. Eventually not ONE item was available:mad: Last time I ever go through this frustrating process (odds are better here in Vegas!)