Electronic Parts Sources

You have discovered a bad component on a PCB and now you need to replace it. Where do you go to get electronic replacement parts? A quick Google or Bing search will likely find you many of the major resellers of electronic parts but we thought we would list some of them here. This list includes only companies with online ordering so if you need the part NOW, it is best to search for a local supplier.
For added excitement, we tested their web site ordering process by simulating the purchase of a common 74LS04 through-hole IC (quantity 5 using their search for part, add to cart, checkout). We proceeded up until a credit card was required. We have added comments with each vendor listed.
Of course, our comments relate to these vendors at the time of this blog posting so your experience could be different.
This list is not an indication of endorsement so always do your research before ordering online.
Of course we probably missed a few sources so please feel free to list your favorites by commenting to this post.

So without further ado, the list…

Digi-Key – Probably one of the largest and most popular sources. They have been around since 1972 and sell internationally. You can order small or large quantities and they carry a huge stock of parts. The online ordering was fairly easy to navigate but at one or two points you found yourself looking for the right button or link to click.

Mouser Electronics – Another large parts warehouse based in the USA but also sell internationally. Their online purchase process was very easy to navigate and did not require registering an account. They do have minimum order restrictions.

Radio Shack – Despite rumors of their impeding doom, Radio Shack has been around for a long time and have an easy to use online presence that appears to be nicely designed for mobile use as well. Ordering small quantities did not appear to be limited and the search function was simple.

Allied Electronics – Allied is a USA based supplier with offices throughout North America so you may have a local office near you. There web based experience took some effort having you locate your part by type through a series of filters (“semiconductors” to “integrated circuits” to “logic integrated circuits” and so on) until you narrowed down to your part. A buyer with little electronics knowledge might have a difficult time with this process. In this case, typing “74LS04” into their search field yielded no results. It helped to know the manufacturers part number.

Jameco Electronics – Jameco has been around as long as Mouser and Digi-Key and will sell to international locations. Searching for the 74LS04 yielded a choice of several brands and adding to the cart was easy. Checkout did not require registration.

All Electronics – Based in California, USA, this company has a more limited selection of electronic components. They did not have our sample 74LS04 IC listed. They do carry many electro-mechanical parts such as motors and solenoids. Their online checkout process was easy to use.

Newark – One of the oldest companies on the list (1934) and now part of the Element 14 network, Newark offers a big selection and sells worldwide. Finding the 74LS04 was easy using their Search function and yielded several choices. They do not offer a checkout as a Guest function and required registration.

Parts Express – True to their name, Parts Express allowed us to find our 74LS04, select it and get to the checkout (without registration) in matter of 30 seconds. They are one of the smaller distributors but have a good selection specializing in audio and video components. They will ship internationally.

Vetco Electronics – Based in Washington state USA, Vetco is a smaller supplier founded in 1989. They do list our 74LS04 part and their search function made it easy to locate. Checkout started with a registration process so we ended the test there. Their site does look somewhat dated but gets the job done. International orders appear to be possible.

Avnet Express – Part of the Avnet Corporation, this is their online parts source. The Search function listed several 74LS04 components but package type (DIP, SOIC, etc…) was not clear. Once we found the correct package type, checkout led to a registration page so we stopped there. Otherwise the experience was fairly straightforward. It was not obvious if they accepted international orders but we assume it is possible.

Futurlec – At first the site design strikes you as archaic but finding the 74LS04 with their Search worked and checkout was easy without registration. They also sell many electronic kits for enthusiasts.

Fry’s Electronics – Fry’s is a well known source with many “brick and mortar” USA locations (a literal toy store for electronic enthusiasts). They also sell online for orders shipped or available for pickup at your local Fry’s store. Their Search yielded the correct part quickly but checkout required registration otherwise the experience is similar to the companies listed above. We are not positive but orders from outside the USA do not appear to be possible.

Farnell – Part of the same network (Element 14) as Newark and using the same online store engine, Farnell is recognized as one of the largest worldwide electronic parts sources. We selected France as our country and the online store popped up in french as expected. Finding and ordering the 74LS04 was the same as Newark (listed above).

NTE Parts Direct – Many of the sources above sell NTE parts but you can also go direct. NTE Parts Direct is the online outlet for electronic parts and is fairly easy to use. Search and checkout were easy. This source appears to ship only to USA and Puerto Rico.

eComp Electronic Components – This company specializes in obsolete and harder to find mil-spec components. They do not sell direct online but allow you to request a quote for a specific quantity. They did list several versions of the 74LS04 and had decent quantities available. This company may be a good source for legacy military parts and can sell through GSA.