Author Options:

im looking for any electronic parts! Answered

thing's such as computer parts, stereo's, broken game systems, item's such as these. i live in Illinois


Is this a question?

In the market for electronic components there is a trade-off between newness, selection, and price.  That is to say it is hard to find a parts source that maximizes all those criteria.

Let's start with low (or free) prices:

The absolute best deal (er lowest price) you will ever find on electronic components is by pulling discarded electronics out of a dumpster, e.g. old CRT monitors, radios, DVD-players, etc. Then you pull the components off the boards using a soldering iron. The disadvantages of this method include: the work involved in extracting the components, plus poor selection, i.e. you get what you get.

Also worth mentioning is the local "dollar store". Occasionally you can find a good deal on parts here, e.g. a fm radio, containing headphone jack, various pF sized capacitors, etc, for 1 USD. It works exactly the same as the dumpster-method mentioned above, except you have to pay 1 USD per item.

The next best deal is the surplus retailers. Places like
The selection of parts to be found from the surplus sellers is very good.  Unless you're looking for something very specific, there's a good chance you can get cheaper from the surplus guys, provided you could not find it cheaper than that in a dumpster or dollar store.

Next would be the retailers that sell factory-new components. Their prices are usually higher, since you're paying for actual new, from the factory, parts. Also they tend to have the best selection/availability, almost everything "under the sun".

The Hong Kong retailers often have good prices, but long shipping times to destinations in the former U.S. Also I've never even contemplated what would be involved in returning something to them.

As you have likely already discovered, the absolute worst place on Earth to buy parts, combining both high prices and very limited selection, is Radio$hack. The only thing they've got going for them is their vast network of brick-and-mortar stores, with a franchise (probably) near where you live. 

Ask arouund and see if any one has any old eletronics (you will need a soldering iron to get them). Also look at dumps and on the side of the road to find eletronics. If you want specific parts its better to buy your own. I know that old casset players in cars have SPDT (single pole doubble throw) (micro) switches that can be usefull. The best way is to pick up anything and everything and store it for later. Old toys usaly have things like motors in them and resistors and capastators.


6 years ago

Ask the school district if you can have their junk stuff, better yet offer to haul it away and dispose of it for them for a small fee. They aren't used to having things done for them for free.

Since it isn't worth shipping these: Talk to your friends and neighbors. Watch the curb on trash day.