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Topic: Where do you buy your Arduinos? (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


As the subject line asks, where do you buy your Ardunios and other stuff and why?

A couple of months ago I was going to buy 2 Uno's and a bunch of other stuff and was looking for a seller.  I was half thinking of Sparkfun, but their price on some stuff was fairly outrageous.  A friend suggested another place, and when I checked with them, the order was going to cost about $20 less!  And I got more stuff, so, of course I went with them.

Now here's the thing.  I was recently in a email conversation with on of the folks at the shop I bought that order from about some questions I had (yeah, try that with Sparkfun) and somehow we got around to how many Arduinos they sell.  They said that since December their Arduino sales have completely tanked.  Only 1 to 2 a week, if that!  Then I checked the stock index at Sparkfun, they sold 200 in 2 days!!  Now, Sparkfun charge $30 for an Uno and Aztec (the other store) only charge $28. :smiley-eek-blue:

So, I'm a little confused.  There are all sorts of other examples too from that order I had.

2N3094 - Sparkfun $0.75 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 15
ATmega328 w/bootloader - Spakfun $5.50, Aztec $4.25
ATtiny85 - Sparkfun $2.84, Aztec $1.80
12mHz Crystal - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 4
LEDs - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 5
RGB LED - Sparkfun 1.95 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 2
10K trimpot - Sparkfun $0.95 for 1 single turn pot, Aztec $0.99 for 3 multi-turn pots
400 point breadboard - Sparkfun $5.95, Aztec $3.99
0.1uf capacitor - Sparkfun, $0.25 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 10
CDS photocell - Sparkfun $1.50 for 1, Aztec $0.99 for 3

There was more, but I think you get the point

Given then that Aztec sells the Arduino for $2 less than Sparkfun, and pretty well everything else, what's going on? I mean, I could understand if they sold maybe 10 times as many, after all Sparkfun has been around  long time and are better known, but 1000 or more times as many, and at a higher price?  I don't get it.
Dirt Biker


I've bought a few things from SparkFun over the years, not common components for sure ( for basic parts is hard to beat http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ on price). What I do like about SparkFun is their user reviews and comments on most all their products and their publishing of links to schematics, datasheets, arduino software libraries to support specific offerings. AdaFruit is also another company that goes out of their way to add support stuff to their offerings. So maybe that has something to do with the following and sales that some arduino distributes have over others?  Price alone is not always what closes a sale.  ;)


The last time this came up, I put together a list of places I look at or buy from: http://www.the-meissners.org/electronics.html


I make my own, haven't bought one in several years.

Parts sources:
blank uCs from mouser, they generally have the best price
avnet.com, (TPIC6B595s)
phoenixent.com,(connectors,wirewrapping - best if >$50 total)
arrow.com, (only source for some things, like AD595 ADC)
PCBs from iteadstudio.com, internationalcircuits.com

Sparkfun.com, gravitech.us, adafruit.com, nkcelectronics.com, pololu.com, mdfly.com for the occasional module in no particular order
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.


Sparkfun is an example of excellence in marketing.

Most people out there, first-timers, new "makers" out there, only use Sparkfun as the source for their parts.
The newbs are not intimidated by SF.
For example: Say a newb needs an NPN transistor (because his MAKE book says he needs an NPN transistor).
Go to SF, and search for NPN transistor, and you get (2) results.
2n3904 - $0.75
BC547 - $0.95
He reads the great reviews and comments about these products from the other newbs, and so he feels confident buying it and paying $0.75 for an NPN.

If you direct the newb to go to Mouser.com, and search for NPN transistors.... you get 6,309 results.
A newb will say "which one do i use?"  They'll probably run back to Sparkfun and just pay their exorbitant prices.
At mouser, the same 2n3904 is $0.07
while the bc547 is $0.06

So I guess people pay for the confidence knowing they're buying the right part because their other fellow "makers" out there are buying the same exact part... plus they feel good they're supporting open hardware/open source, blah blah blah makers blah blah blah.

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