Buying components from eBay?

How bad an idea is it to buy things like potentiometers and LED's from eBay?

I've never bought potentiometers, but I did buy a batch of white LEDs from a guy who goes by the name "Asia Engineer"; he shipped quick, and had good communication, and his prices were fair. The product was as described, and the LEDs work fine.

It could be okay. I've got some stuff from eBay coming from Taiwan or China, which they weren't working properly, and I've got stuff that worked perfectly fine. I would'd buy anything expensive. Pots and LEDs should be very cheap, if they don't work, it wouldn't be a big loss.

I've bought lots of bulk components from Asian E-bay sellers, not a problem and there are some real deals to be had with careful shopping. As always check the sellers feedback, check what their main line of listings are, check number of transactions, etc. You should be fine.


One thing to note, eBay listinfs of LED's with included resistors are not always the greatest. I purchased a bulk order of LED's which came with resistors, and the resistors were not what they were suppose to be. The color coded bands were not accurately reflecting the actual amount of ohms they were suppose to impede, about 2% of the resistors were off by around 25% (above and below) which sometimes led to dim led's and some led's that burnt out quickly.

Just be sure to test the resistors with a multimeter you trust.

I wasn't completely mad though... it was about 5 dollars for 100 UV led's with resistors ;D

Alright, I was gonna buy a bunch of stuff in bulk! Sounds like its not a terrible idea! So what about the Arduinos that are sold super cheap, Ive heard they are fake?

So what about the Arduinos that are sold super cheap, Ive heard they are fake?

You have heard correctly. Don't buy Arduino boards from ebay...

I have also purchased shift registers, LCDs, LEDs etc off ebay without ever having an issue.


I've bought a few bags off stuff off ebay, all seemed fine.

Sure electronics have their own ebay shop, unsurprisingly it's the cheapest I've found their matrix displays and I got a load of RGB LEDs too.

I’ve bought a lot of electronics components and modules on eBay without problems…
I’ve bought everything from simple components and IC’s to FPGA board and to larger development boards.

Sure Electronics is a good seller, I’ve used him/them a couple of times. I can also recommend WideHK!


Not what I expected! I'll definitely be checking some of these sellers out, thanks! Anyone ever use an Arduino clone from here?

Anyone ever use an Arduino clone from here?

I don't think I would have a problem with an Earthshine device; they have provided the community with one of the best "beginners guides" to the Arduino I have seen so far (for free online!) - as well as as a starter kit that goes with it (you pay for the kit, of course) that includes parts and such to complete the "course" in the guide and learn about how to properly use the Arduino.


Sweet Jesus! Thats an awesome starter kit.

So far all the cheap parts I've bought off Asian FeeBay sellers have been good with the exception of a DVI to VGA adapter for my PowerBook.

I'm pretty poor these days. As much as I hate to send my money to non-US vendors the few pennies I have need to get me maximum yield. Thus far the dirt cheap stuff off eBay has been mostly OK.

so far, I've bought all my components online, except some less-common stuff and the ATMega324 with bootloader. stuff like LED, resistors, wires, capacitor. pretty much like everything.

I even bought an arduino board off ebay. Everything seems to work fine. I am not sure if it's fake. but i haven't run into any problem whatsoever yet, so good enough for me.

:D good luck!

o, a lot of ebay stuff are GREAT price. but shipping from Asian seller takes quite a LONG time (to U.S. anyway, sometimes a month-ish)

but that's just my experience

I've bought stuff (in general) from China for years. Never have I had a problem. Recently, bought LEDs, LED matrix boards, and a few other odds n sods... the shipping on it was quicker than a guy that lives about 30 miles away from me on a first class post item (large letter size)

I even bought an arduino board off ebay.

I personally guarantee its a fake. Unless its sold as 'compatible' which is a slightly different matter :)

But there are fakes and fakes, some are as good a quality as a real one, some are utter crap.......

I buy stuff from China from Ebay all the time. Usually takes 2 or 3 weeks to arrive, but never had a problem

:D I'm so lucky that I live in China and I can buy cheap parts easily from internet. ;D ;D ;D

I've bought lots of stuff from ebay HK sellers but also UK and Canadian sellers.

Haven't had any problems so far.

My 2c worth on Earthshine is that the stuff I've bought from them is absolutely fine, and they're nice people to deal with. I believe the boards are DFRobotics ones, so not your usual knocked-off dodgy ones; certainly the DFRMega I have here is fine.

And Mike's starter guide is, as has been previously posted, an excellent one.