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Everything Else » How do I avoid a $5 shipping on components that are less than a dollar?

April 26, 2013
by jmuthe
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I notice that there are times when I would like to order a single component from an electronic supplier and I was happy to find that it was only 40 cents and I only needed one of them. I then realized that I would have to pay over $5 in shipping costs for this component which seems silly to pay much more for the shipping than the actual product. At first I thought that I could save money by trying to buy as many component as I want in one order so that I would only have to pay for shipping once. However, even if I got ten of these chips or 10 different chips for 40 cents each, I would still pay more for shipping than for the components. Plus, I don't want to buy a whole bunch of components that I don't really want just to make the shipping cost seem more insignificant. The other problem with trying to bundle them is that it would only work if I could get all the components from the same place. However, if I wanted to get three different components from three different places then I would have to pay three separate shipping fee. I understand that it costs money to ship products and I usually am willing to pay it but, in my opinion, the shipping cost should never be more than tweny percent of the cost of the product. Is there any way that I could save money on the shipping costs for very cheap components?

April 26, 2013
by pcbolt
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jmuthe -

I think you're stuck with the shipping costs. The only way around it is to either try and find the components at an electronics store (I have about 3-4 Fry's stores near me that have some components) or try for a co-operative approach. If you have a college nearby, you might be able to piggyback on their shipments, or a hobby club or a business might have regular shipments. Of course spending money on gas to get places adds a hidden cost but you can manage ways to minimize the impact.

April 27, 2013
by jmuthe
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I suppose that if an electronic component supplier was close to where I lived I could just travel there and buy it myself to save the shipping cost. However, does anyone know of a store I could travel to that is close to where I live? I live in a town in Eastern Queens, which is a burough of New York City. It is located just a few blocks west of the Queens/ Long Island border. Just to be clear, when I say an electronic store I mean one that sells a great variety of discrete electronic components; not one that sells fully made electronic products like radios or alarm clocks. I heard that Radioshack used to be like that and they still have some basic discrete electronic components like resistor, capacitors, and transistors, but not much more than that. Now it mostly sells fully made electronic products or accesories for them.

April 28, 2013
by Ralphxyz
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jmuthe, there were some great small component shops in mid town Manhatten 20 years ago.

It tough to distinguish an electronics component supplier from the phone book but if you look you will find them.

Of course I still like to cruise Canal street for the electronics surplus stores.


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