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Topic: Your latest purchase (Read 325226 times) previous topic - next topic


I frequently don't understand the business model of selling an item and taking a loss on the shipping... But I'm also enough of a pragmatist to be happy getting stuff on the cheap..

I too can't see how they are making any profit at all with including free shipment. All I can think of is that their government is subsidizing or reimbursing the shipping costs. Nothing else makes sense?



I order a 8 High bandwith transistors ( BFR90 ) from the UK. It took 2 week. I ask the cleck at my PO box office - at Shoppers, Most Eastern oversea mail goes to Montreal and take the road throught the 401 < - Canada's busiest Highway. And off course going to the Post Office Custom in Mississauga <-- West of Toronto.  A bit more quicker than from Vancouver. I don't know about the US mail setup.  That was nice to know about the Canadian mail system - Canada Post.


My Futurlec order came from China in 12 days. I'm not on the East Coast USA but not so far it makes a real difference.

Nick Gammon on multitasking Arduinos:
1) http://gammon.com.au/blink
2) http://gammon.com.au/serial
3) http://gammon.com.au/interrupts


I too can't see how they are making any profit at all with including free shipment.

Didn't someone say recently, that on eBay you can get the exact same thing at two price points:

* More expensive, but "free shipping"
* Cheaper, but you pay for shipping

Perhaps that's how it works. Although I have got some stuff recently that seems cheap either way.
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

More info: http://www.gammon.com.au/electronics


Feb 22, 2012, 01:41 pm Last Edit: Feb 22, 2012, 01:43 pm by focalist Reason: 1
The thing is, I make a habit of grabbing the bottom of the bottom of the barrel.  I can see how a vendor might sell a one-off at a loss to get rid of it, or a new vendor making a mistake on how to list.. and learning a lesson via losing a little money on shipping.

The bottom of the barrel often is a loss even on the item itself, much less the shipping-- and yet vendors place the items up and sell them again and again.  A good example is a hundred 5.1v zeners for a dollar including shipping.. I don't see the diodes actually having a cost to the distributor of less than a penny each- so it equates to a loss on both the product and the shipping.

There has to be some kind of subsidy or kickback from their government (market dominance thing maybe?) for these prices to be true-- and they are.  Vendors like marcmart or kuuco (among others) regularly HAVE to be losing money otherwise.. and they have been around a couple of years- unlikely if actually operating at a loss... of course, it is possible that these items are a loss leader, to get folks like mentioning their names, like I just did.. in which case, it's very cheap as a form of advertising.


Maybe they are hoping for large amounts of business, or there is some sort of joint shipping company that everyone uses that is cheap, or government run and free


My motors/drivers arrived yesterday - they are a lot smaller than what I imagined; now I am trying to think up how I will make the CNC frame (thinking Micro-Ax - that, or 1 inch 80/20)...anyway, it's a future project.

Last night, I ordered some more darts/belts for my Nerf Vulcan, 200 plastic gears from another Chinese supplier, and a copy of Mondo 2000 issue #16...

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Feb 22, 2012, 07:35 pm Last Edit: Feb 22, 2012, 07:45 pm by liudr Reason: 1
Give me a link to "USB ASP Programmer -- a dollar shipped" Master El-cheapo! Is it a USB ISP programmer? I really want one.

Parts in China are quite cheap to start with. Then if you are in ShenZhen, a boom town next to Hongkong, you walk your packages to Hongkong post. The free port ships cheaply. It's the USPS or UPS etc that charge too much for shipping. They need to pay tax too since entire US is not a tax free country. See this:


They get their parts mostly from China, where all of these parts are cranked out at amazing speed and quantity.

This one on the other hand:


Must have been made by Chinese royalty or coated with thick gold $). If all you see here is SPE type of price, then ebay is a shocking experience. I do think the ebayers make money, even when they sell 100 of something for $1 including shipping. The Chinese has an old saying about selling with little profit to make more sales. There is also a huge salary difference. You have to double the price in the US to cover basic costs, salary to be the lion's share. Over there, a $600/month salary is not too bad for a college student just starting out. You can hire someone that reads and writes English to post/sell on ebay. Over here, you need maybe $3,000 to find someone with a high school degree.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


I got a usbisp for like 6$, couldn't find cheaper than that, you musta got lucky on a bid lol


This one on the other hand:


The thing I like about SparkFun, though (being that I live in Arizona) - is that it's a hop/skip away; if they have a part that I can't get locally (or don't already have) - and I need it quick (and/or "new"), then SparkFun is fast - I can generally order on a Wednesday morning and get it by Friday. The only thing faster is surplus from Electronic Goldmine (just across the valley - unfortunately, they don't have a walk-in store!). Of course, I do most of my shopping at Apache Reclamation, Goodwill, and Fry's Electronics - and I have a large stock of junk, so I rarely need to shop for things, and don't mind waiting on stuff from China in most cases...
I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


You don't have digi-key in your backyard like I do (2-4 hours away is back yardish for shipping).  XD
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Feb 23, 2012, 03:27 am Last Edit: Feb 23, 2012, 03:38 am by focalist Reason: 1

Generic USB ISP programmer... A buck shipped.

Now the thing is, hunting for this type of deal takes time, and you have to be willing to put things away for when you need them, not buy them when you need them.  Bottom feeding really leaves you at the mercy of the supplier, who may not consider the loss leader their highest priority.. Though I almost never get screwed over..

You have to remember sometimes I have to kill hours at a time in the middle of the night, best with some kind of mindless thing.  If I save five bucks on parts, but it has taken three hours to get there in terms of searches and bids, its not really practical.. Especially since the volumes you buy are hobbyist levels at best.. It's a one off or a promo to get a deal like that...


Thanks! The list of processors has no 328 so is it working with 328? Thanks!
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


MacOSX "Lion."
None of my old PPC apps work now :-(
Does anyone know of a reasonably priced draw/paint package that will read Corel Photopaint 11 .cpt files?


I'll find out when it arrives in a few weeks.. but since it does list 168's, I can't imagine that it would have a problem with ATMEGA328. hadn't even noticed that it wasn't on the list.  It's ISP, so I would imagine if it fits the specifications for one, it would fit for all.

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