By Cathleen Shamieh

Unfortunately, there isn’t a store in a shopping mall close to your house where you can just walk in, pick out all the electronics parts you need, plunk down about $100, and go home and start building projects. Even RadioShack stores no longer carry a wide variety of electronic components.

So, you will need to order many of your supplies online, which means you have to plan to allow time for shipping. The good news is that you can save a lot of money by shopping online, and you can get most of the components you need in just one online trip. You may still need to go to a couple of local stores to pick up some tools and other supplies.

Here are some recommended suppliers:

  • Tayda Electronics: With warehouses in Colorado (US) and Bangkok (Thailand), Tayda ships worldwide. Allow 1–4 weeks for delivery, depending on where you live. The website is easy to use. One visit to Tayda and you can order every electronic component and some of the accessories you need at reasonable prices (many for just pennies).
  • Fry’s Electronics: Between its stores (in several US states) and website, Fry’s stocks many of the electronic components and accessories you need. Fry’s ships worldwide.
  • Farnell element14: Start at the website’s launch page and select your country for the Farnell element14 company in your region. (The US company is branded Newark.) You’ll find all the electronic components and many accessories you need. The website is geared toward industrial customers, so be prepared for highly technical product descriptions.
  • RadioShack: RadioShack’s online and in-store stock of electronic components seems to be dwindling, but if you really need a certain component right away, and your local store (US only) has it, it’s worth the trip. Expect to pay significantly more at RadioShack than at other online suppliers.

You can also find most (or all) of the components, accessories, tools, and supplies you need on Amazon or eBay. However, the product information is often spotty, so be sure you know exactly what you’re ordering and be aware of shipping prices and delivery time frames.