Author Topic: When curiousity cheats your wallet  (Read 5490 times)

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Offline slateraptor

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When curiousity cheats your wallet
« on: January 10, 2012, 06:43:19 am »
Walked into a local Radio Shack today to pick up a few banana plugs and gator clips. Walked out with banana plugs, gator clips, and a $2.19 TL082CP op amp; damn impulse buys. Anyhow...

Sure, $2.19 really isn't much; it's like 2 McDonald's double cheeseburgers. However, principle dictates that I feel like a complete consumer tool after discovering that I paid 5x more than the going DigiKey 1-off price for the sake of curiosity (damn you, 13V/us slew rate; damn you, lack of patience).

And for the record, yes, I consciously weigh every prospective commodity purchase against the Golden Arch standard.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2012, 06:58:37 am »
are burgers really a dollar? i thought the Mc burger was well past a dollar... like 10 years ago? IDK... I quit eating McDonalds (& most other fast foods) after watching Supersize Me

I don't mind paying a little more for a part at Rad Shack if I need it right then to finish a project. I figure I have to pay a premium for the ability to walk in and walk out with the item in my hand right then. If I needed clips, banana plugs and a Op-Amp, I would have just ordered the lot from eBay or Digikey as they are usually here in a couple of days and shipping is peanuts.

I'm pretty sure charging accessories and A/V interconnects are what allows Radio Shack to stay afloat.
-sj
 

Offline ipman

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 07:11:02 am »
Just be happy to be a privileged man to find a needed component in a store at any price.
Here we pay more than you pay at Radioshack for a component to be shipped in a week or two, and shipping is usually ten or more times the value of the component. Even tough our wages are at least ten times lower.
End off-topic.
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Offline slateraptor

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 07:54:17 am »
Just be happy to be a privileged man to find a needed component in a store at any price.
Here we pay more than you pay at Radioshack for a component to be shipped in a week or two, and shipping is usually ten or more times the value of the component. Even tough our wages are at least ten times lower.
End off-topic.

I find it difficult to believe that Romanian engineers get paid the equivalent of US $3.50-$6.00/hr. :-\

It seems like the situation in Europe is that your govn't is more liable to cheat its citizens, while in the US, it's the commercial sector.


are burgers really a dollar? i thought the Mc burger was well past a dollar... like 10 years ago? IDK... I quit eating McDonalds (& most other fast foods) after watching Supersize Me

Well, a proper double cheeseburger, with 2 slices of meat and 2 slices of cheese, now goes for a buck and some change. A McDouble is effectively a double cheeseburger with a single slice of cheese and sells for a buck. My Golden Arch standard is really more like the dollar menu standard.

When I was a kid growing up back home, I used to wonder why ex-pats with a college education more often than not tended towards the frugal side of living. I've discovered first hand that there's a very high probability of the "college experience" playing a dominant role in long-term lifestyle choices. :P
 

Offline ipman

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 07:59:44 am »
Even McDonalds is more expensive here, allmost twice  :)
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Offline RJSC

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2012, 11:52:02 am »
I find it difficult to believe that Romanian engineers get paid the equivalent of US $3.50-$6.00/hr. :-\

Well, here in Portugal, EE salaries start at 700€ (895 USD) month which is 4.16€ (5.30 USD) hour if you work 8 hours a day on a 24 business days month. On other months the salary stays the same.
However the majority of employers force you to work overtime with the phantom of being fired, so, the per hour salary drops even further.
And there are plenty of Romanian immigrants here who say that Romania is poorer than Portugal.

Of course this only happens with sub 35 aged Engineers, the installed sharks from good old times still have their big salaries, and the newer generations are paying for it with by earning less and less to do the same.
15 years ago an EE out of college was worth 1250€ (1500 USD) a month, now it's 700€.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2012, 12:09:47 pm »
If you factor in what Digikey charges, ~ $10, for shipping for a single op amp, you have a bargain; Radio Shack stuff is only when you absolutely need just a few parts to make something and time is what you saved versus money; online guys save you a bundle but you need to buy in quantity to offset minimum purchase and minimum shipping fees, as they exist.



Walked into a local Radio Shack today to pick up a few banana plugs and gator clips. Walked out with banana plugs, gator clips, and a $2.19 TL082CP op amp; damn impulse buys. Anyhow...

Sure, $2.19 really isn't much; it's like 2 McDonald's double cheeseburgers. However, principle dictates that I feel like a complete consumer tool after discovering that I paid 5x more than the going DigiKey 1-off price for the sake of curiosity (damn you, 13V/us slew rate; damn you, lack of patience).

And for the record, yes, I consciously weigh every prospective commodity purchase against the Golden Arch standard.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline benemorius

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2012, 04:38:11 pm »
If you factor in what Digikey charges, ~ $10, for shipping for a single op amp, you have a bargain; Radio Shack stuff is only when you absolutely need just a few parts to make something and time is what you saved versus money; online guys save you a bundle but you need to buy in quantity to offset minimum purchase and minimum shipping fees, as they exist.


True, of course. However it may be worth mentioning in case anyone is unaware that (last I heard, anyway) digikey will still ship for free if you send in your order with a check or money order by snail mail. That will take a heck of a lot longer than a trip to radio shack no doubt, but at least you really can have that opamp for $0.50.
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2012, 07:02:38 pm »
If you factor in what Digikey charges, ~ $10, for shipping for a single op amp, you have a bargain; Radio Shack stuff is only when you absolutely need just a few parts to make something and time is what you saved versus money; online guys save you a bundle but you need to buy in quantity to offset minimum purchase and minimum shipping fees, as they exist.

Agreed, although I was taking into consideration that my academic musings alone dictates that I make at least one moderate sized DK order per month. My curiosity largely spurred the impulse buy and I really should have known better.
 

Offline Deepak

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2012, 07:19:08 pm »
I don't mind paying a little more for a part at Rad Shack if I need it right then to finish a project. I figure I have to pay a premium for the ability to walk in and walk out with the item in my hand right then.

I wish I could pay a premium to walk out of a Radio Shack with a much needed part in hand. Usually I drive down and drive back empty-handed  >:(
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2012, 09:53:21 pm »
I wish I could pay a premium to walk out of a Radio Shack with a much needed part in hand. Usually I drive down and drive back empty-handed  >:(
lol! tru... if i walk out with something its likely a very generic part. lm317, irfxx0, etc...

last thing i can remember purchasing at RadShack was a bag of diodes for $2.99. i only needed one, but my options were $1.99 for 3 or $2.99 for 25. thats only $0.12 each, about half what digikey is asking for low quantities.   :o
-sj
 

Offline Ajahn Lambda

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2012, 10:01:58 pm »
I wish I could pay a premium to walk out of a Radio Shack with a much needed part in hand. Usually I drive down and drive back empty-handed  >:(


So true.  When they have that 'one thing' you need to complete a project, it's great, but man, those times are few & far between.  There's probably a bit of a bias that depends upon the customer's individual experience, level, expectations, etc.  I try not to be terribly critical of RS, especially since it's fairly pricey to keep things on the shelf that never move.


That's a pretty good score, sonicj.  Any idea what kinds or ratings of diodes came in the pack?
I am not a smatr poney.
 

Offline sonicj

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2012, 10:08:47 pm »
That's a pretty good score, sonicj.  Any idea what kinds or ratings of diodes came in the pack?
woops... meant to post a link. here

i think it was 10 x 1n4001, 5 x 1n-4002, 5 x 1n4004, 5x 1n4007 or something like that.... they also have a 50 pack of switching diodes for $2.99.
-sj
« Last Edit: January 10, 2012, 10:10:24 pm by sonicj »
 

Offline Ajahn Lambda

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2012, 06:20:46 am »
Hey, thanks!  Yeah, a good grab-bag of garden variety DO-41 thru-hole 1N400x 1A diodes.  Not too bad for $3. 


A few were complaining on the site about the lack of surety, regarding what's in the bag.  But in the back of my head I'm thinking, 'come on, if it's that freeekin' specific a part you need, or one of those doesn't work for ya...'   :P :)   


Ah well, no pleasing some/all people, although it would be much better to know I wouldn't be getting 25 1N4001 diodes by mistake.  I know my luck.
I am not a smatr poney.
 

Online Rerouter

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2012, 08:08:10 am »
its not exactly cheating your wallet when you can still make use of the part :)

cheating it is more like buying a corkscrew when you dont drink wine,

also this thread has given me some better perspective, being a second year apprentice in aus,
 

Offline saturation

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2012, 11:22:02 am »
IIRC if you don't open the package, its very easy to return stuff to Radio Shack.  The last thing I bought from them was solid copper wire, I think you'll find the price of $7 for 3 rolls of 100'@ fairly competitive with online folks.
Best Wishes,

 Saturation
 

Offline slateraptor

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Re: When curiousity cheats your wallet
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 04:30:04 am »
IIRC if you don't open the package, its very easy to return stuff to Radio Shack.

True statement, but at the going rate of gas, it'll cost me almost as much to get there. :P
 


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