A question I’m frequently asked: “I’d love to make this circuit or DIY electronic project i saw online– but, i went to radioshack and all the stuff costs so much!? Where can I get the components cheap?

Well, sadly as “The Shack” has transitioned away from radio building and into a cell phone kiosk, Radio Shack now charges REDICULOUS prices for simple components. I’m glad to say, with the internet now everywhere, you don’t have to go to the shack and pay these prices. But since online ordering can take some time, its a good idea to plan ahead and stock a parts bin, so you’ll have most of the common components on hand when you see that great DIY electronics project online.

Where do I shop? Well, my favorite for stocking a parts bin is, handsdown, Goldmine Electronics- it is definately the best place to buy cheap electronic components. Be sure to check their clearance and assortments, but definately do a search for “surprise” — nothing could be better for stocking a parts bin!

For around 8 dollars (pricing might have changed) the assortment in their large surprise box was more than enough resistors, capacitors, doohickeys, switches, knobs, forĀ  many projects. Because every surprise box is different (though they seem to run in batches), I’d recommend adding one surprise box to your order whenever you find yourself back on their site for some specific parts.

Over the course of time, I’ve received everything from small cell phone lcd screens, to mostly complete cell phones, more snap-in 120v lamps and mono 3.5mm jacks than i could ever know what to do with and lots of other really neat stuff to tinker with.