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LED's from ebay.

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Bullwinkle Jones, Apr 25, 2004.

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  1. There seems to always be a great deal on LEDs by EBay sellers. Has anybody in
    ABSE or SEB had any experience with any LED's purchased in this manner?

    I found on auction the other day (too lazy to look up now) that had 100 white
    LED's for $4.99.. Too good to be true?
  2. Neil

    Neil Guest

    I just received my 100 bright white LEDs from Ebay on Friday, and I paid
    $2.00 for them ( but I think I paid 8.00 US for postage). All that I can say
    so far, by testing them with a button cell, is that they seem exactly as
    described, and seem really nice. They arrived on Friday in a small padded
    envelope from Hong Kong (with some really cool stamps on the envelope, I may
    add). I find it amazing that I can buy items from someone close by that
    takes weeks to get here, but it takes less than a week for a guy in Hong
    Kong to get me my leds. I have to say that I was a little worried about
    buying from someone in the orient (which I didn't realise until AFTER the
    sale was over), but so far, I am happily surprised. I've paid just as much
    for 100 LED surprise pacs from US suppliers, and paid considerably more for
    shipping, and gotten a lot less for my money.
  3. 100 leds for $10, not bad. Which seller?
  4. Neil

    Neil Guest

    The guy that I bought form-his ID is hkemart, and he always has lots of
    different types of leds for sale, but there are hundreds of guys selling
    bulk LEDS at really good prices.
    Ive bought many things on ebay, and this was the furthest mailed. Im
    currently waiting on a antique painting from New Zealand that is several
    feet wide and tall, as well as a statue from Tibet, so we'll see how they
  5. Jean-Yves

    Jean-Yves Guest

    Le Sun, 25 Apr 2004 9:50:57 +0200, Neil écrivait dans le message
  6. Hey, practically everything you buy comes from "the orient", right? They
    can't be all bad :)
  7. Neil

    Neil Guest

    Yah...maybe I will get a customs bill, but I calculate it to be (based on
    current duties, and the item being $2.00) around .23 cents. I doubt that
    they will bother.
  8. I would expect they calculate duties on the shipping costs plus
    the item costs. And assume they ignore everything below a total
    of $35-$50.
  9. Taxes and duty (if any) are not calculated on the shipping cost
    (vastly oversimplified version, but good enough for this context). You
    should not include shipping cost in the value of stuff you ship
    overseas. They let stuff through below a a certain amount, depending
    on country, but a box worth $40-$50 US will usually attract sales
    taxes, duty (if any) and a Post Office service fee in Canada.

    BTW, some have reported 5-10% bad units in LEDs from eBay suppliers.
    Our China factory has two quality levels, with very significant price
    difference. The high price is for Europe and North American buyers and
    all the parts meet the data sheet specifications. The low price is for
    Pakistan, India etc. and the parts contain many fallouts and other
    floor-sweepings. The third-world buyers don't mind sorting through
    them to save a bit of money. Maybe they are like some hobbyists! ;-)

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  10. When I have something shipped to the Netherlands, I have to pay
    duties depending on the kind of goods, and 19% salestax, and some fees,
    but the salestax portion is calculated over both the shipping costs *and*
    the costs of the goods. I don't exactly why and when they decide to let
    it slip through. Cheap 'internet' cigarettes never escape their attention.
    They even catch empty PC cases, which hold about ~15 cartons of cigarettes.
    That's 150 packs...
    Floor-sweepings! Imagine that, from the end of the month, all kinds of
    different colors and diameters ;)
  11. Exactly, they're junk. I bought 200 on Ebay from a hong kong vendor,
    and they have dimmed to nearly nothing in the last 6 months I've had
    them on as a night light. My advice is to avoid them and buy decent
    quality LEDs from reputable companies. I just bought another 50 from for a dollar each, and $2 shipping. He
    accepts paypal. Just a satisfied customer.

  12. In the late '70s when red LEDs first became available, the stores sold
    floor sweepings for premium prices. You could look into the LED when it
    was on (hey, it was dim enough to look into!) and see maybe half a chip
    in there. Yeah, really! And that was for a buck apiece! Later maybe a
    quarter apiece.
  13. Were you running them at 50mA ? ;-) How do the new ones behave?
  14. I don't have a serious purpose for them, and re: white LED's they were just an
    example. I was actually just trying to get a feel for the quality of basically
    all the 'steal of a deal' LEDs on EBay. I'm thinking about buying a bunch, and
    even if 50% are bad, it's still a good deal for my purpose of experimenting.
    I'm actuallying thinking about multiplexing a bunch for an LED sign, computer
    controlled of course.
  15. Watch the shipping charges too, sometimes they add $10 or even $20 US
    for something that costs $2 to airmail, which means that the real cost
    is much higher. They do this partly to catch your eye and partly to
    deprive eBay of their fees, which are based on cost before shipping is
    added. I see one that has $20 for first and $18 for each additional

    I also have some argument with listing the "maximum" brightness (and
    "typical") rather than the "minimum". ;-)

    IOW, they guarantee the brightness will worse than some figure, but
    not better than anything..

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  16. John Miller

    John Miller Guest

    Lots of us who are slingin' solder in retirement don't mind it a bit, either
    (now that the company is no longer buying the parts).

    What's today's closest equivalent to Poly-Packs?

    John Miller
    Email address: domain,; username, jsm

    How many retired bricklayers from FLORIDA are out purchasing PENCIL
    SHARPENERS right NOW??
  17. Neil

    Neil Guest

    To tell you the truth, I've been looking for a replacement for Poly Pacs
    since Poly Pacs went out of business. Until I started buying components from
    EBay, the closest thing that I could find was Electronics Goldmine. ALL of
    their bulk packs are great, and inexpensive as well. Now, I buy all my
    hobbyist items from EBay, weather it is 1000 NPN transistors for a Buck, or
    as I wrote in a prior thread, 100 Leds for $2.00. OK, maybe they are
    possibly sweepings, or not first quality product (although so far what I've
    gotten seems factory fresh)...but so far the price has been great, as well
    as the product. After all, I am just a hobbyist, and if 1 transistor out of
    100 is bad.....oh well. And yes, you do have to watch shipping charges,
    because they can nip you in the but, but like everything else in life, you
    have to read the details carefully, and ask questions.
  18. I used a 6VDC unregulated wall wart to powwer them, and I calculated the
    resistors to give a current to be about 30 mA each, but that depends on
    the AC line voltage.

    The new ones behave just like the old ones. They're Nichia NSPW510BS 50
    degree 1800 mCd white area illuminating LEDs. The old ones I bought
    were Nichia NSPW500BS 20 degree white spot LEDs.

    I'm gonna sub these in place of the dim H.K. LEDs and see how they work.
    I'll let you know in several months. ;-)

    I have a strange feeling that some of the cheap LEDs use a phosphor that
    is some organic type of compound. I suspect that the cheap LED dies
    have a tendency to get contaminated by the phosphor as they're
    operating, and that causes the dimming. I also notice that the LED's
    voltage rises as time goes by. The LED may start out at 3.2V, and as it
    dims it may go to above 4VDC.

  19. Dave VanHorn

    Dave VanHorn Guest

    I remember Poly-Packs! High school days.
    I bought leds from them that you could sort of tell were in fact on, in a
    dark room. :)

    That was when semiconductor lasers went in for 40A 50nS pulses, and were
  20. Bad thing about this is that it's a real bitch to have to replace bad
    LEDs after you have hundreds of them stuffed on the display board.
    Especially if a lot of them start to go bad... :-(
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