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Radio Shack Bankrupt? How will it affect Instructables users? Answered

Recently Radio Shack has declared bankruptcy. I know that tons of projects here on Instructables rely on Radio Shack, and some have even been sponsored by them.

How is this going to affect our ability to find and buy electronic components?

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/radioshack-files-ch-11-bankruptcy-222534944.html

Discussions

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gmoon

3 years ago

From Wired mag yesterday (3/31/15): Sprint Has Officially Saved RadioShack From Extinction

RE: the article: Sprint stores will occupy approx 1/3 of each retail location. This could save the stores that haven't already closed due to the bankruptcy process.

If true, who knows what will constitute the remaining 2/3 of the retail space? RS sure seems to have nine lives...

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Electrospark

3 years ago

All the Radio Shack here has closed long ago and have been replaced by The Source, which here anyway has almost no electronic components and their price are crazy. Last time I went there I paid $7 for a buzzer.

Now I only order from china on ebay and wait a month to get my electronic components.

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gravityisweakElectrospark

Reply 3 years ago

You must be in Canada. Back when I lived in Toronto I used to work at The Source and was told that it used to be Radio Shack there. That was a long time ago indeed.

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sjmnetx11

3 years ago

will radio shack maintain the do-it-together website of instructables < radioshack.com/dit > or other radioshack.com websites ? I was also wondering if makershed would take over some of radio shack since the two groups had some shared product lines.

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gravityisweak

3 years ago

It makes me sad to know that the only brick and mortar store I can go to if I want to browse electronic components will soon close its doors. I agree all the suppliers you mentioned are good, but they are also only online.

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caitlinsdadgravityisweak

Reply 3 years ago

It goes back to the "showrooming" effect that is putting brick and mortar stores out of business. Sure, RS was the only place to take a look and touch electronics parts - if they had it in stock, but it was way cheaper to order online and had options to see if the parts were actually in stock. I am still leary of of ordering stuff overseas and waiting a month for shipping though.

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Kitemancaitlinsdad

Reply 3 years ago

I am probably the worst kind of customer for stores - I go there, handle the goods, get a feel for what I want, then go and buy the same item online.

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gravityisweakKiteman

Reply 3 years ago

Good point, and with their incredibly high prices, nobody can blame you. I went there for a battery holder and I think they wanted $4 for a single AA holder.

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mpilchfamilygravityisweak

Reply 3 years ago

The advantage of online stores is they have less overhead to pass on to the customers. Brick and mortar stores have to have a 3% to 6% markup on everything to make any money. It's the same reason Comp USA went under. They are in the market of serving Geek and Nerds. Those fairly well verse in technology so they are the first to adopt and see the benefits of online shopping. Hate to see Radio Shack fade away but they have held out longer than they probably should have. They tried just about everything.

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Toga_Dan

3 years ago

Just saw the 1st store in my area shut down. They say to expect 1/2 of their stores to close.

It certainly is tough to compete with online shopping, BUT I think theres a larger underlying reason for this decline. Kids in physics classes today run computer simulations as "experiments." Shop classes are on the decline. Our outlook is that if somethin is manufactured, its probably overseas. Discrete components? Does anyone learn that anymore?

Is there a way to keep a brick n mortar alive when so few people still solder stuff? BRAINSTOrm:

vending machines for components. Cheaper than idle employees ?

mini radioshack under roof with a bigbox, the way starbucks works. 80 square feet seems enough for them.

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susanrm

3 years ago

What about its partnership with this site?

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Computothought

3 years ago

Rumor has it that some stores will just have new ownership and others will just go away. It is up tot he court and or it's trustee. Some companies have been bought out of bankruptcy.

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gizmologist

3 years ago

I've been shopping at Radio Shack for roughly 43 years, and I'm saddened by what they tried to do with themselves. They tried to be like the big-box stores, selling cellphones and laptops (Of course- that's where the money is!) but in the process they forgot their roots: Parts, Batteries, and Accessories. You can't compete with Best Buy like that, and my visits to Radio Shack have been increasingly rare in recent years. I now buy nearly all my parts on eBay, where (for instance) I can buy 10 button batteries for the same price as one locally.

In my opinion they deserve their fate, just like newspapers that can't move into the internet age, or Blockbuster Video blowing it in the streaming arena.

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gizmologist

3 years ago

I've been shopping at Radio Shack for roughly 43 years, and I'm saddened by what they tried to do with themselves. They tried to be like the big-box stores, selling cellphones and laptops (Of course- that's where the money is!) but in the process they forgot their roots: Parts, Batteries, and Accessories. You can't compete with Best Buy like that, and my visits to Radio Shack have been increasingly rare in recent years. I now buy nearly all my parts on eBay, where (for instance) I can buy 10 button batteries for the same price as one locally.

In my opinion they deserve their fate, just like newspapers that can't move into the internet age, or Blockbuster Video blowing it in the streaming arena.

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gmoon

3 years ago

I dunno how it will effect this community, but I was a Radio Shack customer for years, along with other mail order retailers that have either gone under or changed radically (Olsens, Allied, etc.). It was still a great place to go for some last-minute components.

But Radio Shack never had the "loose parts in bins" approach that other, older retailers used to keep costs down. The "everything bubble wrapped" thing probably reduced theft, but most hobbyists shrank from the high cost...like $2 USD for a transistor you could buy online or via mail order for nine cents. Order 6 or 7 things online and the extra shipping costs disappeared.

I don't think this will effect our ability to find components much--RS never had a great selection. But there is always something that stimulates creativity when you need to work with what's available...and those projects always stimulate others to build, 'cause the parts are available at a store nearby.

I will miss it, even though I haven't spent much time there recently...

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

Just a matter of money.

A store needs to pay rent, insurance and has costs for the people working there.

If they have a lot of outlets that is quite costly.

Profit margins can't be pushed indefinately and as pointed out, people like to go as cheap as possible - which mean going online.

It is said to see that not just small businesses go the way of the Dodo but we can only blame everyone for it ;)

We have no real stores for electronics in AU, the few that we have usually have only very limited stock - they won't survive for long either :(

I think we will see more online stores with direct sourcing in the future, like in the automobile section : order on demand with a very specific timeframe....

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Kiteman

3 years ago

I have only once been into a Radio Shack store, and then only to see what the fuss is about. My first port of call for components has always been ebay, my second has been a google search for a specialist supplier. This is probably a large part of Radio Shack's downfall.

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caitlinsdad

3 years ago

I would doubt they would pull any of their ibles if they claim the intellectual property rights on them as an asset for liquidation but Radio Shack is in the position they are by being the last place to get components for builds. There are so many mail-order places to source parts and stores like Microcenter have ramped up to stock hobbyist parts. Have you looked at mouser, digikey, jameco, sparkfun, adafruit and even ebay?