How we can deal with parts high prices?

I order from Digi-Key and mouser all the time. Make sure you have it set for $CDN currency, duty and taxes (DDP) get included as part of the sale. Just make sure it over $100 to get the free shipping, you have to select the free shipping too. Mine always defaults to ups, so I change it the free fedex express, get it delivered in 1-2 business days. I use PayPal which is linked to a chequing account.

I never had this issue with my Canadian account in the past.
Carefully shop around.
I tend to buy from RS Components but they can be expensive and often only sell in 10's or 100's when I want just one.
I find CPC cheaper for a few parts.
Some things are ok on ebay but the last BAT85's I bought off ebay were zener's ! So dont buy from that seller now.
I use AD9201 A2D's and they are £15+VAT at RS and £1.50 at Ali Express and they work.
Recently a couple of vendors have started minimum buys or you pay postage which is a nuisance.
I dont buy power semiconductors from China or ebay as they are often fakes and weak.
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Was just discussing the circuitry of some Philips high voltage tube lab power supplies of 50 years ago.
What struck me was the relatively small number of parts for the performance, these were real designs.
So maybe the answer to parts shortage/high prices is to get back to really thinking about a design, solid engineering rather than copying app notes and whatever you find on the 'net. We're so used at throwing opamps etc. at any function or signal you need, maybe now is the time for Intelligent Design ;-)
It will be harder, need more effort, but probably generate more satisfaction. The real diy.

Very true indeed Jan! Availability of components was limited and prices relative high in that time. Costs of components has dropped to almost nothing since the start of the solid state age. An enduring electronic bull market. And now the bear has emerged suddenly.
As a buyer of components for a small engineering company, I've seen prices sky rocketing and stock plummeting in the last two years. The mil spec four pole connectors I used to buy for $20 has risen to $177... on stock again at the end of the year. All disasters happens at the same time and no one can predict the uncertain future.
But who has the knowledge, craftmanship or skills to design smart yet simple circuits with outstanding specifications with the current limiting resources? Most engineers this day rely on the first result of the most used search engine and copy-paste ad infinitum. Solid education, understanding en application are lost. In comparison, there are no engineers or tradies who can assemble a Saturn 5 rocket anymore. It's now flying to the moon in a credit card contraption.
Alright there you sober buggers - I'm reviving this thread - so I can add to the list of complaints regarding high prices!
(please do not censure/edit/remove this post - the style I chose is to simulate the reaction one should have if they see what I'm talking about!)


My complaint does not lie in the high price of components, rather, the ABSURDLY (it is not too strong a word in this case) high price of SHIPPING for said electronic compoennts. I'm gonna cut the drama crap here and let ou see what I'm talking about:
absurd price.png

In cse it isn't clear enough, that's 170$ for shipping an item that WEIGHS 15 grams! AN ****** OUNCE (or about):
shipping price.png

Excuse me for the font size increase, but I'm trying to equate the seriousness of the situation with the absurdity of my message presentation.

In what world does shipping a voltage regulator in an envelope (or miniature box) from USA to Canada cost over 50$ ??? Qu'Est-ce que le phoque d'actualité? de ******?
And this isn't only from this seller, I have seen this level of shipping prices from sellers on ebay for various types of items, DVDs, LPs, clothing, etc...I am sure you have noticed absurd shipping prices have increased (not to mention ebay's policy on avoiding combined shipping on items from the same seller?) on mostly everything? But 170$, is it actually possible for someone to accept this shipping price?

JEeezes Lord of the holy place I'm standing in! Gueaurhrhharh!

to quasi-paraphrase Peter Frampton, Do you feel like I do? anyone? une explanation...?
I'm not shipping a guitar from Japan here...

also, adding to the ***** section, why am I seeing ads for bras? I'm not a woman, I don't look at bras, I don't shop women's stuff... I don't even have a GF?!!$%?&
bras on diyaudio.png
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The absurd shipping is an issue of the eBay international shipping program, that automagically calculates these prices, the seller is normally not involved.
Their algorithm needs a good look.

I agree, but the shipping costs are calculated on the size and weight so if the seller hasn't added these to the listing, ebay probably estimates them, and also they add on any local taxes & duties.

I'm always careful to use accurate size and weight as I've been caught out in the opposite sense - the buyer has been charged way less than they should have been.
I have a similar problem with my specialist car electronic parts so I try to discreetly point overseas buyers to my website.

Another hifi module seller told me he was sick of ebay and was closing his ebay shop and only selling from his website.

However, ebay employ 'mystery shoppers' who try and catch me out. Tricks like asking me amend the invoice to reduce the vat, mark the item as a returned repair, tempting me to give them my web address etc.

ebay has changed for the worse over the last few years and I aim to close my shop sometime this year.

On the downside, the buyer will be charged by their Customs for any vat & fees before they can receive the order so there is not really any escape. Of course it is unfair on them because UK buyers don't have to pay vat as I am not registered whereas they do. I particularly hate the charging of VAT (& final value fees) on shipping by ebay.
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International shipping is a nightmare now.
international orders are not only high on p+p charges but VAT is also added on item and p+p.
Killed my international sales dead.
VAT has always been due, but it may have been disguised as import duty.
The only change is that with Brexit, it is now also owed on EU shipping from GB.

@batteryman - eBay is only trying to catch cheaters. We did this ourselves.

Indeed, cost of everything has increased dramatically during the past few years and so have corporate profits - all time high almost everywhere.
This should be called greedflation instead, because this best describes the situation.

How to mitigate the situation:

1. Compare different retailers

This has saved a lot even 15 to 20 years ago when I was purchasing for a small company. Back then, the distributor landscape was more diverse than today so there was more competition and lower prices. Three times price difference between distributors were not too uncommon for low quantities (like one or two tubes of ICs, a tray or two of CPUs, a reel of MLCCs, in this range).
Most of the distributors I bought from back then were bought by larger ones, competition decreased and prices increased.
But basically this still works.
When big ones like Digikey and Mouser went greedy, I grabbed some "bargains" (means normal non-greedy price) at a small local distributor who wasn't greed infested.
Compare your shopping cart across different distributors / retailers.
Free shipping is priced in usually. Nice that shipping is free instead of some ridiculously high amount above some shopping cart value. But maybe there is a competitor with more reasonable shipping cost and lower price for some items and in the end you may save a bit?

2. Take advantage of discounts for higher quantities

Low quantities are always more expensive.
Means plan ahead and use the same parts across all your projects if possible.
Make up your mind which components you are likely to use and buy some more.
I try to buy components as universal as possible.
For example, film or ceramic capacitors: Higher voltage ones are not that much more expensive and if you buy 100x 100V capacitors, you can use them wherever given capacitance would be required and it may still be cheaper than buying 10x 25V caps for decoupling OP-amps, 20x 100V for the power amp and 20x fancy ones for the signal path.
Also helps to avoid bloating your ECAD library.

3. Avoid fancy components

There were heated debates about the sound of components, but honestly it mostly does not matter that much given proper design.
For example, metal film resistors are basically all the same.
You may find some at 0.03 cent each for 100 resistors, like Yageo MF0207.
Vishay MRS25 cost three times as much without added value for DIY.

Small signal transistors can be as low as 0.03 to 0.05 cent each for 500. Clever circuit design navigates around transistor shortcomings, like cascoding for example. A BC547 cascoded by a 2N5551 likely outperforms a single 20 years obsolete transistor from the golden age of amplifier design.

Power transistors have been expensive ever since. Stock now because next year they will cost 50% more.

4. Reuse, probably from scrapped electronics

Of course you need to make sure the parts are okay. Some parts are unlikely to go bad, like power transformers for example.
Many people throw away perfectly fine equipment, hardly used.

5. Go modular

This allows you to better reuse your own stuff. Don't design monster PCBs with too complex functionality. Like an amplifier can be broken down into voltage gain, driver and output stage. In case you mess up the voltage gain, no need to throw away the driver or output stage part of the PCB.

6. Avoid fakes

While some offerings on ebay or Aliexpress are tempting, chances to get fakes are high. In the end you will pay more first buying fakes and then buying proper components.
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It's an old trick with eBay sellers to list product at a low price and then make up their profits by charging more for shipping than is reasonable. I know the eBay international shipping program is also a mess - I've stopped purchasing from the US into Canada as it's simply not worth it to pay the shipping. I buy everything I can now from China because shipping is low cost and mostly use AliExpress for that. The exception is when I want regular parts that I can trust, I buy through Digikey.

As for high parts prices. Well, we got spoiled and lazy and we build complex projects with dozens or hundreds of parts and sometimes they look more like a commercial development than DIY. Then there are the boutique parts that some folk can't stay away from, older parts that were once junk box parts for DIY'ers took on some aura of mystique but they started life as cheap options and then people lost all perspective. In my opinion, our expectations have got well out of hand.
When Ge transistors first came out, a Mullard transistor was worth a week's wages and DIY'ers adapted.

It's funny how simple circuits, e.g. Nelson Pass forum, get a cult following. But this is where DIY used to be, circuits designed to extract extraordinary performance from just a couple of vacuum tubes.

I think there's plenty of fun to be had for all sizes of pockets.
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I buy necessary parts (Caps/Resistors/Transistors) from DigiKey, as they offer free shipping with a prepaid, mailed in order, kinda like the old days!!! They treat it as an online order when they get it,, free shipping and tracking, and packed an shipped with the same carrier I'm used to seeing,,, Just about everything else is from Hamfests,, Antique radio meets,, swapping with friends etc... The free shipping is handy with a small order!!!
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I sometimes use Mouser and they just charge UK vat and no shipping, which is very quick.

ebay have by and large stopped sellers from hiking the postage to make up for low selling prices.

I do use Aliexpress for bit and bobs, connectors, etc. Shipping is free or reasonable and delivery mostly within 2weeks. They do add UK vat.
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DigiKey and Mouser are great for ordering parts in Canada. Free shipping for $100 Canadian in goods bought. This is a great deal when buying heavy components such as transformers and chokes.

At any rate, I don't buy stuff from Ebay since I want to make sure that what I get are genuine parts. After I have spent all my time and effort to design and build my project, the electronic parts cost are not that big in comparison. Especially, when I build the amp cases from aluminum stock.