what's the purpose of component distributors ?

I'm finding it difficult to understand the reason for existence of component distributors like Arrow and Avent in this country. Non-stocked items seem to impose 2 to 3 months delivery lead times and none have seemed to catch on the idea of online part number searching. They rather employ a guy sitting at a phone and have them type numbers into a database as I spell them out. Then I'll usually wait another 3 days for the quote. Could they get any more inefficient than this? I can't understand who pays their wages. At the cost of about A$50 extra I can in a few minutes search for overseas stocked items and have them on my doorstep 4 days later. Anyone else have similar opinions ?

Reply to
Adam S
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With the global internet market these days, on the surface appears there appears to be little purpose to having local distributors. Although I have to admit to often getting better technical product support if I go through the local distributors (who aren't technical, but have the contacts with the manufacturer). This can be important on high spec components like $500 FPGA chips or some beta silicon that often need lots of technical support, sometimes talking directly with the chip designers themselves.

It's also a guaranteed way to get genuine parts in volume, esp if the manufacturer doesn't sell direct.

And it's also handy for the finance department who only have to set up accounts with a couple of distributors instead of dozens. This can be a big deal in some companies.


Reply to
David L. Jones

Yep, we used to buy from Arrow only if the parts in question were not available from anywhere else. And then it was only a pricing issue.

For some reason, everywhere I've worked always discouraged overseas purchases unless there was simply no other option (no-one was selling them here).

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Reply to
John Tserkezis

Adam S"

** Says a damn lot about how dopey YOU are and very little else.
** Locally based importers do not need to stock a single item.

They just lie in wait, like hungry sharks, for YOU to order some ...

** Those on-line sellers are likely breaking legal agreements they have with the component makers. Hence there is NO maker's warranty on whatever TOTAL SHIT is packed in the box you finally get.

Could sell you seconds, returned stock or BLATANT FAKES - anytime.

It happens - a lot.

When it does YOU have SFA chance of getting a refund since the purchase was made OVERSEAS and hence is not covered by Australian consumer or trade law.


...... Phil

Reply to
Phil Allison

can you give us a example? how much does it cost roughly?

These days when I need parts for prototypes etc for the company I'm doing work for, I automatically go first to the Digikey then Mouser websites in the US, make up an order and send it off to whoever has the best price/availability. OK, so freight's the killer but I always have exactly what I need within a few days without wasting time trying to get things locally, and time's money as they say.


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Good points Adam. My pet hate is that supposedly "technical" stores like Jaycar clutter their ads with such nonsense as farting ashtrays. I know, someone will say "lighten up"...

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Yep! Just recently had about $500.00 worth of components on order with Arr0w. Originally the 6-8 weeks delivery was no problem as there was no rush on the job at that time. After I had placed the order, the customer decided they now needed to rush the job through. I ended up purchasing another lot of parts via Digikey and delivery was 1 week - excellent service.

When the Arrow shipment finally arrived, I did the sums and it was actually more cost effective to in this instance to purchase direct from Digikey and, as a bonus, get

1week delivery.

The other peeve with Arrow was the fact they charged the credit card immediately I placed the order, not on delivery of the goods.

Just for your information, I was speaking with the local X-ON rep recently and she told me they purchase quite regularly through Digikey. She said they were happy to add any parts we required to their orders but we would pay a "small loading fee". I dont know how much "small" is, however on a few low value, special components, this option may be viable as the freight charges are the killer on small orders. I have never done this through X-ON and would be interested to hear from anyone who has.


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The problem is mobs like Arrow ad Avnet are swallowing up the once reliable and friendly smaller distributors. There are less people to turn to these days.

Reply to
Adam S

On-line sellers ===========

What happens if there is a problem with parts purchase from on-line sells? and technical assistance is needed.... or a bug is found in the silicon?.... do they offer overseas tech support? Who pays the freight back to get the parts inspected?

If the data sheet is incorrect or needs interpretation or better understanding - do the on-line sellers offer this tech service?

Do the on-line sellers advise you of obsolescence? ... So they can prevent you from designing in an obsolete part? It's often said.... it is more probable to design in obsolete parts from on-line sellers becuase the stock may have been siting on the shelf for a while.

During the life time of some parts they are improved and may have a different revision or a new silicon spin - does the on-line seller - sell the older "buggy" stock first before supplying fresh new "working" silicon.

Do the on-line sellers offer product change notifications?


Reply to
Joe G (Home)

There are some wierd tax bullshit that goes on. I work for a large company that has 30,000 employees. Basically we cannot purchase from anyone that is not australian based and not working with Australian dollars, this is a company that turns over billions. There are some sort of import tax reasons behind it, but paying rediculous prices for distributors ends up cheaper. I don't know why exactally, but last time I brought over seas for a $300 electronics part, the tax and other charges added, we ended up paying nearly $600 AUD.

We specifically goto people and tell them how we want to order and buy, and pay them to order for us just to get parts in a week instead of as you say, waiting 1 week for a quote and 2 or 3 months for parts that are apprently in stock in tiwan etc.

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I once rang arrow to do an order and said they didn't have those parts no more and couldn't get them. I then explained how I just made an order with those same parts and could they try to get them. A few clicks on the computer later it was "oh ok yeah I think we can get those for you". This was a $13,000 order too. I have had similair experiences with breamac and others.

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