How to make finding electronic components easy

Finding electronic components can be difficult sometimes. But with a little help, and a few suggestions, you can find exactly what you’re looking for. There may be a local spot in your city to source components, but many other suppliers will need to order the parts. It may be easier and less expensive to order the part yourself.

The best option for finding electronic components is to cut out the middleman and order directly online. There are a number of retailers that will have almost anything you need. The difficult part is knowing exactly the right part and finding it easily among thousands of other listed items.

While some websites will show a listing for a part or component, it may not be clear how to order it. Many sites will list components from different manufacturers with a link to follow in order to make the purchase. Finding a website that lets you locate the part and then buy it at the same time is a much better choice.

One more thing you may run into is a component or Arduino board that has been discontinued. But don’t worry: there are several places that have hard to find components. With a little luck, they’ll have the components you need. Usually discontinued parts can eventually be found with a bit of diligent searching. If you run into trouble, you can try asking about it on an electronics forum.

Online parts

There are basically two types of websites for finding parts. There are sites that list components you can search for across different manufacturers. And there are distributor websites that show only their own products that are available. Most online parts websites will offer a wide range of components. To find a part, you can search by category or by using a brand name. There will be multiple sellers listed, but you can usually see what’s available.

The downside to component searches is you can’t always tell what’s in stock and the prices may not be clear. Distributor websites will show prices and available stock, but you’re not going to be able to easily compare them with other manufacturer options.

Distributors

Distributors will have the newest parts. Distributor websites will also have a powerful search engine making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Your search can include specific manufacturers and parts that are currently available will be listed. It’s also easier to learn about components and their specifications on a distributor’s website. Distributor websites are great for newer parts.

Electronic parts search engines

It should be no surprise that there are search engines designed specifically for finding electronic parts. The search engines will locate a part and list all the important information, prices, available stock, specifications, and datasheets. There are several of these search engines online and it only takes a quick search to find one. However, some are ad or sponsor-driven, so definitely consider more than the first option you find. Every option is going to be similar, but be sure to search for more than one if you’re not satisfied with the results. Sponsor and ad-driven sites tend to favor and showcase promoted parts, so consider that before buying.

Arduino

Finding Arduino project parts is a little different. The best Arduino parts suppliers make finding the parts you need extremely easy. Arduino sensors and electrical drive systems can be found on supplier sites. Some suppliers are located in the US, but always check before placing your order — many may come directly from manufacturers and factories overseas, which can mean exorbitant shipping prices and weeks to months of shipping time.

Conclusion 

Finding parts doesn’t have to be difficult. Local retailers will usually have to order the components themselves, and that means you have to wait. By searching online yourself, you can find just about any component you want. Websites will sometimes show components, but it may not display a link for making a purchase. The best websites will show the component and offer an option to purchase from them directly, or at least link to a site where you can.

There are search engines designed specifically for finding electronic parts and components. You are able to see the various options and make comparisons. Searching can be done using the part number or by searching manufacturers. Many of these search engines are sponsored or ad-driven, so it’s best to shop around for better pricing.

Distributor websites will offer more information, display what’s in stock, and have an easy way to complete a purchase. The downside is that you are not able to compare the part or component with other options or manufacturers.

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