UK Buying Group?

The robot pot nears being full for the first batch of stuff which will be something like:


  • Picaxe 28x1 Serial Starter Kit
  • SRF05 Ultrasonic Range Detector
  • Breadboard
  • Battery Boxes and Leads
  • Lots and lots of random components

I will be getting all of this, of course, from Tech Supplies and one of the things I noticed was that they sell resistors for a fairly reasonable 71p per hundred. The only thing is, I don't want a hundred of them, and I would prefer to have a range of values without shelling out a ton on them.

It's been mentioned before, but it got me round to thinking: Would anybody in the UK like to form a buying group to help with postage and this sort of thing?

How would this work then?

For small orders like the resistors, I was thinking that we could split the postage from Tech Supplies pro-rata (So I would end up paying most of it this time because my order will be large by comparison) and then I could pop a mix of them in an envelope with some bog roll and send it second class. It might work out a bit like the example on the left there.

What? How Much?
100 mixed resistors £0.71
Pro-rata postage £0.12
2nd class stamp £0.27
Envelope £0.10?
Bog Roll Free*
Total £1.20

* Non-returnable

To avoid getting murdered on PayPal fees or similar, a bank transfer would probably be easiest. Obviously the benefit of this sort of buying increases as the value you get increases, but to start with it might be better to start small to earn a little trust. If you wanted to get some more stuff I probably wouldn't mind, but it might be best to keep it in the small pounds for now.

For the resistors specifically I was going to get a mix of three for myself, possibly 330Ω, 1KΩ, 10KΩ, but we could add to this or change it (if they are rubbish values) for every batch someone wanted to buy.

So, anybody interested?

Still a good plan
On principle, it’s a good idea, BUT would it work by the time we pay the postage from your centre of operation to our respective bases.

Postage Costs

Well, if people are buying bricks, it’s not going to work, but for electrical components I don’t see you will often need more than a second class stamp or two and a jiffy bag. Even half a kilogram is 90p which is a lot of components. If you also take into account that I’ll be paying around 95% of the postage from Tech Supplies this time, then it has to be a good shout this time.

In the case of the resistors and other packs of items, it allows you a better distribution of parts if more than one person wants it.

I would suggest that if people want some items that they list them here and then we work out prices all up including re-postage, if you like the way it looks like it’s going, then we’ll do it. If people don’t, then we won’t bother and lessons learned.


I’m behind this fromthe POV that we can buy large quantities and mix-n-match.

Unfortunately, I can’t see anythig I need at the minute. I did a bulk-buy a couple of years ago and sold my excess on eBay!

Adhoc System

Maybe when people are doing a buy they can put a shout out like this, which should naturally give us an opportunity to do it every so often. I was going to get the stuff anyway, so it’s no great hardship to me, but I thought it might be a good opportunity for others to get a few bits and bobs on the side.

So maybe not this time then. But if you are umming and aahing, get of your bum, because I only have to dodge 2 more pints!

My father is part of a stamp

My father is part of a stamp club (philatelic society) who send big boxes to each other all the time.

I would suggest a small bag of common resistors, such as a bag of 1M’s separate from 200k’s for instance, a well labelled bag would help so you don’t end up trying to work out what you have based on colour codes.

I can see the advantage of trust and buying in bulk, you could get resistors and capacitors cheap in bulk together with the microcontrollers. Once established, larger items could be dispatched such as ultrasonic units etc.

How will payment work?