Where To Buy Electronic Components?

Buy electronic components online

There are a bunch of places to buy electronic components.

Myself, I love to go to a brick-and-mortar store to buy components, because then I can get them without waiting. Unfortunately, many cities don’t have these anymore. So what do you do?

The solution:

Buy electronic components online. And if you’ve never bought components before, check out the links at the end with tips on how to choose components.

Below I’ve listed the stores that I’ve either used myself or that I’ve been recommended. After the list, you’ll get my favorite electronic component distributors with some comments about each of them.

List of where to buy electronic components

Amazon – www.amazon.com (US / Worldwide)
Adafruit – www.adafruit.com (US)
DigiKey – www.digikey.com (US / Worldwide)
SparkFun – www.sparkfun.com (US)
Jameco – www.jameco.com (US)
All Electronics – www.allelectronics.com (US)
Lee’s Electronic – leeselectronic.com (Canada)
Bitsbox – www.bitsbox.co.uk (UK)
Spiratronics – www.spiratronics.com (UK)
Rapid Electronics – www.rapidonline.com (UK)
Quasar Electronics – www.quasarelectronics.co.uk (UK)
Planeta Electrónico – www.planetaelectronico.com (Spain)
Electrokit – www.electrokit.com (Sweden)
Jaycar – www.jaycar.com.au (Australia)
Protostack – www.protostack.com (Australia)
Seeed Studio – www.seeedstudio.com (China)
Tayda Electronics – www.taydaelectronics.com (Thailand, US)
Farnell – www.farnell.com (Worldwide)
Mouser – www.mouser.com (Worldwide)

If you don’t see your favorite store here, add it in the comments below and I’ll check it out.

My Top 5 Favorite Electronic Component Distributors

Jameco

www.jameco.com

Jameco has lots of parts, and they seem to be extra fond of hobbyists. They have a project-section with lots of project tutorials and shopping lists.

They are geared mostly towards the US, but do shop world-wide.

Jameco is one of those good ol’ companies you can trust, as they have been around since 1974.

DigiKey

www.digikey.com

Digi-Key has a very large selection of electronic components. It is probably the cheapest of the electronic component distributors (but I have not done a detailed comparison).

If you know what part you are looking for and what it is called then Digi-Key usually have it. But, it is not a good place to look for something that you don’t know the name of in advance.

They have low prices and fast shipping. The downside is that the documentation is not always as good as I would want and many products lack pictures.

Some components lack data sheets as well, but usually you’ll find the datasheet online somewhere else with Google.

Farnell

www.farnell.com

Farnell’s customer service is very good and they have a good free resource for design advice. They have a good selection of electronic components, modules and tools.

The documentation is usually ok but some products lack pictures and data sheet. Their prices are also a bit more expensive than Digi-Key.

Sparkfun

www.sparkfun.com

A very good place to find modules and components aimed at hobbyists is Sparkfun.

Of all the electronic component distributors, this is my favorite place to “hang out” and just look for cool stuff. They have pictures of all their products (actually I think the reason they started Sparkfun was because other distributors lacked good pictures of the components) and good documentation. Customers can discuss the components and help one another.

At Sparkfun, you can browse around and find what you are looking for even when you’re not sure what exactly you are looking for!

They have many good tutorials and articles about electronic circuits. Sparkfun radiates a good vibe that makes you want to shop there. It seems like the employees have fun at work, and I love that.

They are a bit more expensive than Digi-Key, so I usually go there for their custom modules or to find the name of what I am looking for.

Here is an interview I did with SparkFun.

Seeed Studio

www.seeedstudio.com

Seeed Studio is very similar to Sparkfun both in their selection of products and in their vibe. They make an effort to provide good pictures, tutorials and documentation of the parts. They design a lot of their own modules.

Seeed Studio also provides some very useful services like PCB manufacturing, PCB assembly, and a portal to sell your own kits. Also a bit more expensive than DigiKey.

Read my interview with Seeed Studio.

How to choose components?

If you’ve never bought components before, it’s a bit intimidating. Some stores have A LOT of different components.

But once you get the hang of it – it’s easy. And suddenly you’re not limited by the supply of one store. The whole world is your shopping center.

Here’s a tip for beginners:

DigiKey has about every component that exists in the universe. That’s great, but a bit overwhelming. Start your search by using a more hobby-oriented shop like Sparkfun or Bitsbox. There you’ll find the most standard transistors, resistors, and capacitors that usually work for most beginner projects. Find the part numbers and use these to order from whatever store that has the best shipping option for you.

Here are a few articles that will help you choose components:

More Electronic Components Tutorials

104 thoughts on “Where To Buy Electronic Components?”

    • They’ve gone through some changes back and forth, so I’m not really sure what they are anymore. But seems like they are selling components online now. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
    • YES! I love Arrow.com and it’s my go to, especially when I only need one or two item, I love that they have free next day shipping with no price minimum.

      Who wants to pay $5-$10 shipping when all you need is one $0.50 5w 10 ohm resistor?

      Reply
  1. Three Internet sources I can highly recommend. Each has its own “inventory type” and their websites have fairly compete technical specifications.

    (1) MPJA http://www.mpja.com New, in Florida
    (2) All Electronics http://www.allelectronics.com/ Surplus & New, in So. California
    (3) Circuit specialists https://www.circuitspecialists.com/ New, esp good instruments, in Mesa AZ

    I live close to #3 and I go to their warehouse and pick up my parts. I have ordered parts from all three several times a year for the last ten years.

    I also have a pot power calculation question.

    X Y, Richard

    Reply
  2. There is also Transfer Multisort Elektronik – TME – https://www.tme.eu/

    Polish company with 9 subsidiaries in Europe, and more coming (China, USA…).

    They have also a sales and customer services’ office for African and Middle-Eastern Markets. Their delivery time and prices are interesting.

    Flo

    Reply
  3. http://www.aliexpress.com has a lot of components. Many of the components have to be bought in bulk, but the bulk prices can be lower than single item pricing at the retail store. For example, buy 100 2N3904 transistors for $1.08 USD total, plus free shipping. It can take up to about a month to arrive however.

    Reply
  4. I recognize that this website is ran and operated by Oyvind N. Dahl, an expert in Electronics. Having said that, I have learned some unique knowledge over the last 2 years that may qualify me as a Guest Columnist. In particular, I can give a few pointers on how to buy from Element14 to minimize cost and delivery time. Are you receptive?

    Reply
    • I haven’t used them in many years. Before, they were only focused on business-to-business and I think they didn’t even sell to you if you weren’t a business. I took a quick look at their webpage now, and it seems like they are more up-to-date with things.

      I recommend you try them out and post your experience here.

      Best,
      Oyvind

      Reply
      • Here’s the deal with Arrow. They ship from world wide. Need a $.50 part (A1015GR) to be shipped from NL $43. You have to pick and choose.. I found Electronic Surplus in OH but checkout seems to be only PayPal. Am still working on that issue. Also notice not any new comments.

        Reply
  5. For my business, I use Mouser/Digikey frequently. Because they provide the most complete selection of parts for my projects.
    https://www.mouser.com
    https://www.digikey.com
    But Electronics is also my hobby, I spent a lot of time for searching parts for my hobby projects. I usually visit Hobby Engineering.
    https://www.hobbyengineering.com
    Recently, I found a online store called LCSC on EasyEDA, an online PCB design tool I’ve used for a long time. The price is incredibly low. the MAX6675ISA+T bought from LCSC is $2.8, but $17.2 from Mouser. That’s so surprise.
    https://lcsc.com/product-detail/Micro-USB-Connectors_ValuePro_micro-USBFemale_MICRO-USB-5S-B-Type-horns-High-temperature_C10418.html
    https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/amphenol-fci/10118194-0001LF/609-4618-1-ND/2785382

    Reply
  6. I really miss the days of going to the local radio shack. I went through a bunch of your list of website to buy componets. A few of the sites didn’t even have a means to search. A few that had search I typed in 2200uf 50v and came up dry on some of them. I mean I think everyone knows that’s a capacitor. I would just like one site that has a search, vast inventory, fair shipping costs to the USA and where the components are reasonably priced. Any ideas?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hey Jeff,
      I would recommend Digikey for that. But leave out that 2200uF and 50V in the search. You’ll get thousands of suggestions, but with a filter where you can specify 2200 uF and 50V.

      Best,
      Oyvind

      Reply
      • I’m going through the same run-around..looking for a couple pots ( potentiometers )….done an open search and a closed search…..I’m getting nowhere….have to start robbing from peter to pay paul..I want new components but have to salvage parts from other non working units..

        Reply
        • You’re not finding any potentiometers? Or you need something very specific? If you just want some standard potentiometers and are having a hard time browsing through digikey, I’d suggest sparkfun.com. They have a smaller selection, so it’s easier to make a choice.

          Reply
  7. I’m pulling my hair out trying to find a qty of 10 YPI6055C TO220 transistor. I can’t find any information, data sheet or substitutes. It’s like the transistor does not exist but I’m starting a Rockville car amp board with 8 of them soldered in. They are TP220 package not the metal can 2n6055. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Reply
  8. In Sweden Elfa (now ELFA Distrelec) has always been known to have a large assortment of parts, and they ship to at least all of EU: http://www.elfa.se
    For small orders I prefer Electrokit, they have a good assortment of kits, embedded computers, beginner’s books with components, and the most common components sold individually. The site is in Swedish and English and they ship within EU. Very quick service in Sweden, almost next day: http://www.electrokit.com

    Reply
  9. Here in Johannesburg a company called Communica which is a brick and mortar store sells a wide variety of electronic tools components solvents test equipment etc and R.S.Components Kyalami also brick and mortar and Hobbytronics which is in Port Elizabeth Eastern Cape on line trading from Jo’burg and quite a few more that seem to cater for Engineers

    Reply
  10. I have an account with RS Components online in the UK, for some of my components. I also use Maplin shops in the UK, but they are now in administration, so I am watching the outcome of this situation.

    Reply
  11. Impressive work, great recommendation for common-used parts,
    But if you need some hard to find parts,
    I would recommend win source,www.win-source.net
    also generously provide alternative parts guide to us.

    Reply
  12. It really does take time and a little bit of practice to get the hang of buying electrical components. After all, there are so many different kinds of electronics that it can be hard to figure out what you need to buy. Fortunately the article does provide a pretty great list of places to go where you can get help in choosing the right electronics.

    Reply
    • sometime i need to buy some electronic parts that it is difficult to fond in the market,jotrin electronics is a good choice to personal and small store,mouser,digikey is big distributor,they are have a request for quant

      Reply
  13. Hey you say that you prefer to go to brick and mortar stores, are there any that you would recommend? It would be better if they were a chain because then there would be more of a chance of one being near me.

    Reply
  14. I, for one, cannot stand online shopping. Waiting on delivery takes literally forever, and sometimes they deliver to the WRONG ADDRESS! Expensive items GONE! This is just my opinion but, I think brick and mortar electronic component stores have gone to the wayside because of the “dumbing down” of the USA. Of course they closed their doors, no one here hardly delves into that kind of stuff anymore. Closest thing we have here is a Best Buy, and they only sell overpriced garbage for the idiotic masses. Literally nothing for DIY’ers

    Reply
  15. For some hard to find oem parts NTE has massive cross reference guaranteeing at least equivalent cross characterizistics. Frys carries the for one and will order for you to p/u at store in short time. Hope this helps

    Reply
  16. Im looking for a transformer for the main power board of a whirlpool gas dryer …I have no idea where to buy one please help I have the specs if you need them …thank you!

    Reply
  17. I checked all of them and I cant find the part I need It’s a Line Power Transformer Elytone Part#: EPS-4-24-W..Thanks again

    Reply
  18. What about Ebay. They have a lot of parts that are hard to find and low prices on some items when you buy 10 or 20 of something.

    Bangood also has lots of cheap components.

    With both you need a little of the “buyer beware” mentality.

    Reply
  19. More of a hobbyist place, shop.evilmadscientist.com has kits and other nifty stuff, as well as some parts (like candle-flicker LEDs) I haven’t been able to find in reasonable quantities anywhere else. (No, I don’t need 10,000….)

    Reply
  20. Anyone know where I can get a Semtech Corp SC1460 “capless” charge pump? I’ve scoured the web with no luck other than lots of data sheets.

    Reply
  21. I will use nationalsemiconductor.net or 1n4148.com and they specialize transistors and diodes made in China.

    Local brand, low cost, but good quality.

    Faster delivery to any countries.

    Reply
  22. Well, I’d recommend that if you’re looking to purchase electronic components always go straight to the source, directly through the manufacturer. Here are some reasons that my customers choose to go through me.
    1. Shorter lead-times
    2. Authenticity, reliability, durability & quality
    3. Cheaper Costs, not up-selling component/s 20, 30 points for ROI
    4. If in stock, fast same day shipping. Manufacturers tend to have stock that
    suppliers/distributors don’t.
    5. Forecast customers activity, therefore being able to have stock on components for
    next P/O.
    6. Thousands of components, having a wide assortment.
    Elianna Lolos
    [email protected]
    [email protected]
    (W) 973-429-8000 x132
    (C) 201-702-4845
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/elianna-lolos-b0851b199

    Reply
  23. It seems I am repairing VCR’s and cassette players for people. I guess a lot of digital converting going on. I’m in the need for pulley belts. Where is the best site for that.

    Reply
  24. In fact, the platform is one aspect, it is more mainly thing to have a good quality and a relatively favorable price,so that the cost can be reduced. And it’s even better if you can find some old chips.
    Here recommends a new platform with pretty good service named “fpgamall”, which I have cooperated before. The delivery speed is very fast, and all quality inspections have passed. It’s so great that I’d like to recommend it for your reference.

    Reply
  25. As an experienced electronic company for more than 10 years,Heisener is a good choice for you. Key Trade reference: Intel, Foxconn, Flex, Siemens, ses imagotag, Jabil.
    Any requirements for electronic components, please visit our website or contact me directly, we will do our best to serve your needs.

    Reply
  26. Newark Electronics is the world’s sixth largest electronic component distributor. It’s headquartered in Chicago.

    Reply
  27. Here,s something that I see on one touch on. Finding replacement LCD panels for TV/monitors. No where in US can be found.

    Reply
  28. Where is http://www.allelectronics.com ? They are out of CA and have the basics as well as a lot of good surplus stuff and unusual gadgets.

    Don’t know if they are still around, but BG Micro used to have a lot of older stuff I never heard of for prices that were pretty good.

    Reply
  29. Late to the party, but I’ve just used Profusion PLC in the UK for audio stuff:

    https://www.profusionplc.com/

    One of the few places where you can buy lateral power MOSFETs for building the power amp section of a hi-fi audio amp. Also carries a large range of discrete and chip components, all for audio.

    Reply
  30. Altronics.com.au
    https://au.rs-online.com/web/
    Wes.com.au

    Wes is more for the repairers while Altronics have more of the information for designing PCB’s etc.
    Radio spares is also very capable.

    Jaycar is probably the go to shop if you are starting out in Australia. I find Mouser and Element 14 a whole lot more intricate to navigate, but they have a vast array of parts for specialist jobs.

    Reply

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