If you are a student, or a budding entrepreneur, your R&D budget may be limited. But it is during this time that getting your hands on material is most important! I've had some success with (what is basically) e-begging so I'm sharing my strategies with anyone that can make use of them 1) be honest ("Engineers shall act in such a manner as to uphold and enhance the honor, integrity, and dignity of the engineering profession") 2) Know (more or less) what you want, and what you plan to do with it. 3) Do your research. Now that you have an idea of what you want, you can look for manufacturers (NOT distributors/resellers/etc) of the product. This is where your google-fu must be strong. things to find out before asking for stuff (write it down if you have to) the name (brand name, if possible) of what you want the size of the product the corresponding serial number the customer service email if you can, the name of the C.S. representative you're trying to contact 4) be respectful, courteous, and CONCISE- these are businesses that you're talking to. one person may be dealing with dozens of emails a day. SAMPLE EMAIL hope this helps!