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Where can I get parts in Seattle besides Radio Shack?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Art, Sep 18, 2003.

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  1. Art

    Art Guest

    Does any one know where in Seattle to get cheap discrete parts &
    components besides Radio Shack? I'm looking for stuff for projects like;
    Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors, Transformers, Diodes, Transistors, IC's,

    The selection at Radio Shack is to small and the parts they have are
    relatively outrageously expensive. There used to be a shop here in town
    called Radar Inc. but they moved way out to Redmond putting the price of
    gas to get there into the mix. I tried Westlake Electronic but they told
    me on the phone that there hesitant and unwilling to cater to the small
    home electronics hobbyist any more.

    Know of any surplus or inexpensive shops within Seattle? Any one feel
    like opening a shop in Seattle?

  2. The Radar here in Portland doesn't seem much good for discreete
    R's C's, L's, etc either. Nearly everybody seems to have ceeded the
    market to mail/web-order like and
    Or any other town, for that matter.
    Seems like it doesn't pay anymore.
  3. Sofie

    Sofie Guest

    EXACTLY CORRECT..... "it does not pay anymore".....
    inventory, shipping, overhead, losses, returns, theft, not enough
    selection, stocking the wrong part, can't get the right parts, etc, etc..
    it is tough to compete with catalog houses that show complete
    selections in the catalog even if they aren't in stock. It seems that
    most prospective buyers want the catalog price but aren't willing to
    pay me to stock it, ship it, etc, etc. ..... even though I can offer
    immediate pick up and delivery and have already paid the shipping
    on all in store inventory.... and I don't have a minimum order amount.
    NOT enough business to stay in business if that is all you do is
    cater to the electronics hobbyist..... if it paid, you would
    see larger endeavors such as Radio Shack and others
    expanding their parts sales not eliminating it.
    I have parts that have been on the wall for years that I will
    not reorder when and if they are sold.... I make better money on
    repairs and sales of new and used equipment..... the parts
    business has never been a big money maker for my store.
    Best Regards,
    Daniel Sofie
    Electronics Supply & Repair
  4. I'm willing to pay a surcharge to my local store if they have something in
    stock; but it is true that I order from the big distributors if I know what
    I need far enough in advance and if I have enough to make the minimum order
    and shipping worthwhile. So that leaves just the last-minute stuff for the
    local store, and that's hard to make money on.

    I was cleaning up my basement workbench (which is not where I mostly work)
    and found a 2001 Digikey catalog on the bookshelf. In two years, their
    catalog has almost doubled in size - probably because everything has to be
    in through-hole and surface-mount versions. I can't imagine how a
    storefront operation could possibly handle an inventory explosion like that.

    Art, I'm in Seattle too. I rarely shopped at Radar, mainly because their
    stock was pretty random and they were often too busy talking with their
    girlfriends on the phone to come and help a customer. Their surplus
    operation was great - I'd go down there to browse that whenever I had a
    spare hour around lunchtime, and often bought stuff - but their retail
    operation was of limited value even when it was still here.

    In Renton, a suburb of Seattle, there is a new Frye's. I don't know if they
    stock electronic components; I know they list them in their catalog, but
    maybe they're not in the stores. Anybody been to this one?

    Perhaps we small businesses, individual hobbyists, etc. need to band
    together - lord knows I've got a lot of components lying around, and if
    someone needs something I might have it. Everyone else is the same, but
    everyone's collection is a little different. If there were some way to
    manage that inventory... it's funny to think that when I'm ordering
    something from Digikey, my neighbor two blocks away might have it sitting
    around unused.
  5. "Walter Harley" wrote ...
    There probably aren't any two Frye's that are the same, but they
    seem to be at the same point in history that Radio Shack was
    10 years ago. You can see the same DEvolution happening there
    for those of you who missed it at RS.
  6. Probably the best way to go about it for common parts in small
    quantaties is to simply post a wanted message to the "components"
    group of this sci.electr bunch. You cross posted this to enough of
    them, you just missed the components group. Anyway, many people would
    probably be willing to send you stuff for a few bucks for a few things
    thrown into a padded mailer.

    A while ago there was a short attempt to get hobbyists to post have
    and want lists on a web site a kind sole (R. Steve Walz) on these
    groups dedicated room on. Not sure if he is still willing to do it or
    not, but the original posts are still up there. You can find them

    I did a couple trades with people from that attempt at a online
    electronics swap meet. Maybe someone knows of another place this kind
    of thing goes on for trading or getting dirty cheap, other people's
    unneeded surplus stuff.

  7. Vector Viper

    Vector Viper Guest

    Not in seattle, but Active Electronics was a wonderful place for discrete
    they are still online. The place closed about a year ago...

  8. eidsvikDM

    eidsvikDM Guest

    There is an electronics parts store inside the Fred Meyer building in
    Bellevue, across from Sears. on 148th I think
    MartyMcFly likes this.
  9. Yes, there is. It's called Vetco if I recall well. There's another on NE
    20th st. (in Bellevue too) somewhere around 132nd ave, on the south side of
    the street. I can't remember the name.

    Andras Tantos
    MartyMcFly likes this.
  10. Vetco *used* to be on NE 20th, and *moved* to inside the Fred Meyer.

    They have the most insanely inflated prices of any local store I've seen. I
    mean just really, really bad - especially on test instruments, but also
    everything else. I want to shop there, to support the local guys, but every
    time I'm just blown away. And their parts collection is all surplus, not
    really a place you could go if you need a particular value of C or R.
  11. Vetco *used* to be on NE 20th, and *moved* to inside the Fred Meyer.

    I didn't know that. I was talking about some other store.
    Yeah, agreed. But I could buy some surplus stuff there for my experiments.
    Monochrome LCD displays for <$10 for example with a backlight inverter for
    about 8 more.

    Andras Tantos
    MartyMcFly likes this.
  12. Glowplug53

    Glowplug53 Guest

    C & G in Tacoma, Electric Dimensions in Tacoma(old mlitary surplus)
  13. Dan Fraser

    Dan Fraser Guest

    Just north of Seattle there is a great electronic components shop.
    Active Electronics. OK, its a 3 hour drive north of Seattle in Burnaby BC.

    The best thing is to just order the parts you need from Digi-Key or Mouser.

    Dan Fraser

    From Costa Mesa in sunny California
    949-631-7535 Cell 714-420-7535

    Check out my electronic schematics site at:
    If you are into cars check out
  14. Al Savage

    Al Savage Guest

    I live about two hours south of the Peace Arch crossing into BC. I
    hadn't travelled to Surrey and points north in a couple of years, but
    last month I made a run up that way. Guess what: we're living in a
    post-9/11 world now -- I had to do a lot of talking coming back, because
    I didn't have a passport -- never needed one in all the years I've been
    doing runs up to BC.

    Passport costs run ~US$100 here, totalled up. Don't think I'll be
    shopping in BC again soon.


    The guy who ran the surplus desk at Radar (Kevin H) has started a
    surplus junk store. It's in Ballard. His website is new and doesn't
    yet have his inventory online, but you can take a look:

    House Of Science
    825 NW 49th St.
    Seattle, WA 98107

    He's closed on friday and saturday, but open sunday and the rest
    of the week. Hobbyist types generally hang out there on
    sunday afternoons.

    (((((((((((((((((( ( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) ) )))))))))))))))))))
    William J. Beaty SCIENCE HOBBYIST website
    EE/programmer/sci-exhibits amateur science, hobby projects, sci fair
    Seattle, WA 206-789-0775 unusual phenomena, tesla coils, weird sci
  16. Now THAT is interesting news. Kevin was definitely the coolest one in the
    gang, with a great eye for surplus. I always found the surplus shopping at
    Radar more interesting and rewarding than the rest of the store.

    Kevin had earlier said he was going to be continuing the surplus operation
    out at Radar's new place in Bothell. Do you know whether that happened or
    not? That is, is H.O.S. the totality of Radar's old surplus operation, or
    is it just a subset?
  17. Art

    Art Guest

    (William J. Beaty) wrote in

    This is really good news. Kevin has always been really helpful and
    friendly. I tried looking for House of Science along 8th NW but at the
    time it was a spur of the moment idea to do so and as a result I did not
    have the address with me so I was unsuccessful in my efforts to find the
    place. Next time I'll try taking the address along with me for the ride.
    Thanks for the info, Will!
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