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Author Topic: The inexpensiveness of foreign component dealers relative to US dealers.  (Read 3031 times)
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Western New York, USA
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Poly Paks was around for a long time before 1976.  They seemed to specialize in rejected components.  I think I still have some LEDs that I got from them - the two leads are the same length and they are aligned parallel to the flat part of the base instead of perpendicular to it.  They also sold me some resistors where the color red was indistinguishable from brown.  The LEDs and the resistors worked OK, once you figured them out.

Don
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Anaheim CA.
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Poly Paks... I haven't thought of them in years... Yes I remember them Well.
They used to have a full page ad in Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics, Electronics World, 73, Ham Radio... $.99 each... bag of goodies. I bought a couple of those Grab Bags from them... Stuff too poor to sell otherwise and maybe some unmarked diodes and an led or two. Floor Sweepings, plain and simple. I'll bet that guy died Rich. In the 60's in Southern California if you "Knew" someone you could get a Bucket Full for the time to sweep them up. I did until I retired... I could always get a bucket of parts, SMT to be sure but a Bucket, Free. the only real issue was the ceramic caps as at least the ones I used were hard to 'read' without a meter.

Doc
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I buy virtually all my components from either eBay or Terry King's YourDuino.com.  I have only had one semi-bad experience, and that was an ENC28J60 that I ordered from a brand new seller on Ebay with zero feedback.  It never arrived.  The seller refunded my money right away, but I would have preferred the ENC28J60.

I get A LOT of my components as free samples from the manufacturers, including a couple MAX7219CNG+ that seemed to be the root of this topic.  Transistors, MOSFET's, TRIAC's, etc. all free for the asking.  Even got two of the brand new MAX44005 RGB Color, Temperature,and Infrared Proximity Sensors for free.

The best deal that I have found for general IC restocking is the IC Assortment V2 from YourDuino.com - 12 various IC's in quantities of 5 each, 10 NE555's, and 20 1N4148 diodes for $12.25.  Also got a great price on RGB LED's there.  I have mentioned this before, but the wiki that Terry provides is top-notch.

I would love to buy from a local supplier, but it's their own greed that drove me to look elsewhere.  I never begrudge someone trying to make an HONEST buck.  But trying to sell me a component that I know cost them $.20 for $2.00 is just plain robbery.
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You have to remember tho, the cost of owning a wedsite is different than the cost of owning a store with utility bills, employees, taxes etc
probably some of that is just overhead, 2$ is ridiculous but then again its not like that many people buy that kinda stuff these days that they can lower there price and go for quantity sales
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So how do you get free samples? Every time I apply for them I get knocked back smiley-sad. Maybe it's something I say (or not)...
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Quote
Maybe it's something I say ...
It's probably your avatar.

Don
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Your avatar works better?

I hate it to use my phone just to see you (or your website or whatever, I won't look)
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Tucson, AZ
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I think what helps a lot is that I have my own business domain, so my email is not a public email address.  In addition to that I give them detailed information on what I want to use the parts for.
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Tucson, AZ
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You have to remember tho, the cost of owning a wedsite is different than the cost of owning a store with utility bills, employees, taxes etc
probably some of that is just overhead, 2$ is ridiculous but then again its not like that many people buy that kinda stuff these days that they can lower there price and go for quantity sales

If your business model necessitates a 9900% markup then you have some serious problems.

If I can buy a part for $.02, then I KNOW that a business such as RS can buy them for even less in the quantities that they can purchase in.

There is no way to explain away the greed and essential usury.
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So how do you get free samples? Every time I apply for them I get knocked back smiley-sad. Maybe it's something I say (or not)...

I made some samples orders for the first time last week.  I have already received samples from TI, Maxim, and Linear as of this morning.  What you need to do is use a corporate email address.  Provide a phone number (I use my home because that gets screened by an answering machine and no old lady to bother right now).  Give a relevant description of what you want to do with it, because they do ask.  Shopfloor lighting.  Industrial data acquisition and control.  Use your imagination.  Don't make yourself sound like a hobbiest looking for freebies.
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Even got two of the brand new MAX44005 RGB Color, Temperature,and Infrared Proximity Sensors for free.

From what I understand, semiconductor manufacturers are MOST happy to get the newest products into the hands of engineers, assuming the parts are not extremely expensive.  They want people using the new parts.  Www.findchips.com gives the price of this part at about $4 each (though there is no stock right now according to findchips).  I am not surprised they sent you this part.  They want you to write the post you did.  They want you to write a blog on how it's a great part that made your life simple.  They are hoping some professional engineers have the same experience or read your blog.

What I am surprised is that TI sent me a $35 ADC for the asking (ADS58B18).  Now that is good customer service.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to solder this thing.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 11:32:22 am by JoeN » Logged

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TI has always been very accommodating with my sample requests.  STM as well. In fact I just got an email that STM are sending me 4 ULN2803's that I requested yesterday.
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I remember Poly-Paks.  My very first hobby order was from them as a teenager.  I still have a few of the LEDS from a 99 cent pack.  Some were so bad that they barely illuminated or appeared to have bubbles in the epoxy case. One even had some form or foreign matter... like something black and greasy looking inside.

They were cheap, I didn't care.

FYI: I never have trouble getting samples... but I don't ask very often.
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TI has always been very accommodating with my sample requests.  STM as well. In fact I just got an email that STM are sending me 4 ULN2803's that I requested yesterday.

I just question sampling $1 commodity parts.   ULN2803s are useful and cheap and I already have a bunch of them but if I needed more, I would add them to my next Digikey or Jameco order and probably take 25 ($0.55 each for 10 or more at Jameco).  It's the more expensive parts that I just want to try out in quantity 1 or 2 that I make an attempt to do a samples order on.  But that's just me.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 12:55:28 pm by JoeN » Logged

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  Don't make yourself sound like a hobbiest looking for freebies.

Better yet is not to be a hobbiest looking for freebies.  Sample are meant to be for people who will buy more in quantity if your design uses it.
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