Hi im trying to find out the best way to get new parts. :)
Too few options. I don't buy from manufacturers but rather online stores like digikey or others. I buy from sparkfun occasionally. They were quick and handled customer service nicely. YMMV. I will buy parts from other places like digikey (huge, in my state so quick), and dipmicro (low cost, in Canada but ships from US). I also buy from ebay a lot. I try one seller out and stick with them for that particular part so spare my time to search another seller.
Still just starting out myself, but for ordinary parts… Ebay. If I find a seller I like, and they have a website, I’ll go via that.
I have a Maplin store just down the street from me, but they charge daft prices when they actually have any parts in stock.
Best bet… do a search for common parts, and then look for a store operator near enough to you that the delivery time will be reasonable fast.
I try Farnell first, then if no joy Digikey and Mouser. Then wherever I can get the stuff.
I go along to my local electronics shop, just a 5 minute drive away :D. RS is also good where ever you are, as they ship world wide (I think!). http://www.rs-components.com/index.html They say:
RS distributes over 450,000 electronic, electromechanical, and industrial components from around 2,500 suppliers under the trading brands of RS Components and Allied Electronics.
I've had good experience with iteadstudio.com for shields and dev boards, (very cheap) and pcb milling. For everything else, i use mouser.com
I've bought from a number of places including Sparkfun and Digikey but I've found Jameco has better prices on some parts. It always pays to shop around. Futurelec has really good prices if you're willing to wait a month or so for them to ship from Singapore or wherever they are.
Jameco has some cheaper parts just like allied electronics does but most parts are above average price I found from say mouser, digikey, or other super-large distributors. I went for both, but not any more. Their thin catalogs are less intimidating to beginners though.