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  • I went to Radio Shack and...

    Nearly had a stroke at the prices... 9$ for a small pack of heat shrink tubing? 15$ for a variety pack of 1/8 watt resistors? Yes, I can see that the remaining stores will be closings, even if they won't admit to it.
    Radio Shack is great when you must have a component today, but geez, I'll wait a few days for Digi-key to send the part, but not only that, in a life time supply quantity of that part for less money. If I REALLY have patience, I will order the parts from Hong Kong, stuff like Dupont connector housings, heat shrink tubing, etc...

  • #2
    Yeah, they are shot. All the brick and mortar electronics supply houses have closed up. I worked servicing TV's in the early 80's and it was starting to get tough back then to get parts, locally or even from the manufacturers.

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    • #3
      I use MCM Electronics for new components. Fast delivery, often next day.
      I also use Surplus Sales Nebraska, BMI Surplus, etc if the prices are OK.
      And Sphere Research in Canada for parts for the old test gear here.

      Comment


      • #4
        Radio Schmuck has always been a poor choice for anything other than batteries. I'm amazed they didn't fail decades ago.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by polaraligned View Post
          Yeah, they are shot. All the brick and mortar electronics supply houses have closed up. I worked servicing TV's in the early 80's and it was starting to get tough back then to get parts, locally or even from the manufacturers.
          When I lived in the bay area, I used to go to Al Lashers, it appears they are still in business.

          Comment


          • #6
            Used to be a time when the employees knew what a resistor was - or a diode or cap,

            now they just give you a blank stare,,, but they are experts on cell phones,,, not really whats inside of them - just how to use them...

            times have changed...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
              Nearly had a stroke at the prices... 9$ for a small pack of heat shrink tubing? 15$ for a variety pack of 1/8 watt resistors? ..
              I'm sitting on a fortune!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                Used to be a time when the employees knew what a resistor was - or a diode or cap,

                now they just give you a blank stare,,,
                Been there... and then they finally closed the store. But it's no different than most any other business these days. I went into an Airgas store wanting to pick up some 4047 TIG filler rod. Had half a dozen employees including the store manager tell me there was no such thing as 4047. Only 4043. I told them to look it up on their own web site. Sure enough - "Well I'll be ......"

                Ever been in a fast food joint when their point of sale registers were down, and they had to figure out how much change to give you by using their own math skills? Wow.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Until a couple weeks ago I thought RS was totally out of business. Surprise..there's still a store in the mall near me.

                  I needed a couple connectors. Looking at the staff on duty I was trying to decide which one was going to make this purchase the least painful. As it turned out the young lady who first greeted me as I walked in knew what the connector was and did I want solder or screw? I was impressed.

                  Each 4-pack was $4.99. I only needed one. Still, if I had ordered online for $.29 each the shipping would have been more, plus the wait. Unless something is Amazon Prime, I'm seeing this more and more, you bite the bullet and pay the local exorbitant package price which is less than shipping.

                  There was a time back in the day when I needed a piece of tooling or whatever that it wasn't such a big deal to order UPS next or second day, not anymore.

                  BTW, I have a friend with a 50+ employee manufacturing business, all retail. He ships UPS exclusively with enough package volume they send an empty truck to his location in late afternoon. A couple years ago he told me the least expensive package he could ship is $8.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Highpower View Post
                    Been there... and then they finally closed the store. But it's no different than most any other business these days. I went into an Airgas store wanting to pick up some 4047 TIG filler rod. Had half a dozen employees including the store manager tell me there was no such thing as 4047. Only 4043. I told them to look it up on their own web site. Sure enough - "Well I'll be ......"

                    Ever been in a fast food joint when their point of sale registers were down, and they had to figure out how much change to give you by using their own math skills? Wow.
                    Sorry, never happened. They would have no way to take the order, nor would they have any idea how much the items on the menu cost, nor would they have any idea how much tax to add...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Somewhere you always pay for shipping. If you buy from a local store, the cost of getting it from the manufacturer to their shelves is built into the shelf price, even at Wal-Mart. If you buy on-line, only part of that shipping price is already in the price, the part from the manufacturer to the on-line seller. So, for that and other reasons, their price is lower. But then it has to be shipped from them to you.

                      Both ways it is in there, just with different ways of listing it.

                      Oh, and for those on-line merchants who advertise "free shipping" the price of that "free shipping" IS in the price. It has to be. But that may be the best deal because they often get low rates from the shipping companies and have every reason to pass it on to their customers as they don't want their prices to look too high.

                      As for Radio Shack, I am sorry to see it go. We still have a store or two here in Beaumont, but I wonder how long they will last. Since their primary reason for existence seems to be cell phones, I suspect they will have a similar mortality rate. I get my electronic parts from companies like Digi-Key, Mouser, Newark, MCM, etc. I am not big on the direct-from-China sources for most parts as I do not trust the quality. But I do buy occasional items that way when I see good recommendations for them in places like this BB. One warning, DO NOT TRUST ANY CHINESE BATTERIES. Take them out when the device arrives and throw them away. Their primary ingredient is CORROSION and it comes out FAST.

                      We do still have one traditional electronic parts store, Ralphs. It seems to be part of a small chain. I don't know how long it will last. When I go there I am often the only car in their lot. I have observed this over a period of 10 to 15 years so it is not a recent decrease in business. But I suspect they sell to a lot of the local industry, probably with phone-in orders. That can work if they do it well. If one resistor will keep an oil well pumping or a ship to sail on time, well figure it out for yourself.



                      Originally posted by DR View Post
                      Until a couple weeks ago I thought RS was totally out of business. Surprise..there's still a store in the mall near me.

                      I needed a couple connectors. Looking at the staff on duty I was trying to decide which one was going to make this purchase the least painful. As it turned out the young lady who first greeted me as I walked in knew what the connector was and did I want solder or screw? I was impressed.

                      Each 4-pack was $4.99. I only needed one. Still, if I had ordered online for $.29 each the shipping would have been more, plus the wait. Unless something is Amazon Prime, I'm seeing this more and more, you bite the bullet and pay the local exorbitant package price which is less than shipping.

                      There was a time back in the day when I needed a piece of tooling or whatever that it wasn't such a big deal to order UPS next or second day, not anymore.

                      BTW, I have a friend with a 50+ employee manufacturing business, all retail. He ships UPS exclusively with enough package volume they send an empty truck to his location in late afternoon. A couple years ago he told me the least expensive package he could ship is $8.
                      Paul A.
                      SE Texas

                      Make it fit.
                      You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You can get quite a few components from Microcenter, and they have 25 stores in the US:

                        http://www.microcenter.com/site/stores/default.aspx

                        There is also Fry's, especially on the left coast:

                        http://www.frys.com/ac/storeinfo/sto...ite=csfooter_B

                        I have amassed a huge "inventory" of electronic parts, but many of them are obsolete, or have become damaged by storage in a damp location. And very often I can't find a part I need, or it's something new or different from what I have, which are mostly thru-hole components. However I also have a pretty good assortment of SMT resistors, capacitors, diodes, BJTs, MOSFETs, LEDs, and the like. I ordered quite a few when they were on sale or much cheaper in 100 or 1000 quantity. I have lifetime supplies of many common 1/8 watt, 1%, 0805 resistors that were less than a penny apiece.

                        There's still a market for traditional components among ham radio fans, audiophools, "vintage" electronics buffs, robotics, and Arduino experimenters, but many of those are becoming more modularized. Perhaps Radio Shack could survive by setting up a kiosk in Walmart but they probably could not provide employees to give advice on experimenter parts except perhaps for a retiree who would be happy to work for a pittance and small commission. I have a friend who still sets up tables at hamfests where he spends all day selling maybe $50 worth of "receding edge" components like tubes. But he enjoys talking to other ham radio fans who stop by.
                        http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                        USA Maryland 21030

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RT 23 south bound Wayne N.J. , Wayne Electronics , is about the closest thing to a good electronics store around here.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Radio Shack is on their deathbed. Every time I walk into our local store, I'm almost always the only person in there other than the store clerk. And almost all the floorspace is dedicated to their cell phone programs (which I'm totally not interested in). Surprisingly, they still have an electronics section in the back of the store. Small and narrow, but it is there. And like someone else said, everything is maxi-priced. Although I suspect virtually no one buys any raw electronic components from them in modern times, I mean who does stuff like that anymore? Heathkits and the like went out of fashion more than 30 years ago. Repairing consumer electronics went belly up nearly as long ago. I suspect they only keep the electronic parts in the back simply as a last vestige of their past so no one can say they totally lost track of their original business vision. Another thing is that the store clerk was a middle aged man. He was smart, educated, polite, helpful and he knew the difference between a zener diode and an electrolytic capacitor. I don't know how much they paid him, but he wasn't the usual retail cash register dummy. He seemed to be standing watch over the dying store like a knight guarding the Holy Grail.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                              Somewhere you always pay for shipping. If you buy from a local store, the cost of getting it from the manufacturer to their shelves is built into the shelf price, even at Wal-Mart. If you buy on-line, only part of that shipping price is already in the price, the part from the manufacturer to the on-line seller. So, for that and other reasons, their price is lower. But then it has to be shipped from them to you.

                              Both ways it is in there, just with different ways of listing it.

                              Oh, and for those on-line merchants who advertise "free shipping" the price of that "free shipping" IS in the price. It has to be. But that may be the best deal because they often get low rates from the shipping companies and have every reason to pass it on to their customers as they don't want their prices to look too high.

                              As for Radio Shack, I am sorry to see it go. We still have a store or two here in Beaumont, but I wonder how long they will last. Since their primary reason for existence seems to be cell phones, I suspect they will have a similar mortality rate. I get my electronic parts from companies like Digi-Key, Mouser, Newark, MCM, etc. I am not big on the direct-from-China sources for most parts as I do not trust the quality. But I do buy occasional items that way when I see good recommendations for them in places like this BB. One warning, DO NOT TRUST ANY CHINESE BATTERIES. Take them out when the device arrives and throw them away. Their primary ingredient is CORROSION and it comes out FAST.

                              We do still have one traditional electronic parts store, Ralphs. It seems to be part of a small chain. I don't know how long it will last. When I go there I am often the only car in their lot. I have observed this over a period of 10 to 15 years so it is not a recent decrease in business. But I suspect they sell to a lot of the local industry, probably with phone-in orders. That can work if they do it well. If one resistor will keep an oil well pumping or a ship to sail on time, well figure it out for yourself.
                              I went through big packs of Costco alkaline (Duracell) AA and AAA and practically every one of the damned batteries leaked. I just got some Harbor Freight Chinese cells and I am getting good run time and so far no leakage, and they are CHEAP. I have no illusions about HF quality but it is not all bad. To be fair, leakage is a common problem with most alkalines.

                              Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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