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Another way to save on spares

Thread starter #1
I don’t know if anyone else is amazed at the range of prices for ordinary parts … eg. resistors can range from fractions of a cent to a few dollars each. I have no idea if they ever sell any of them at those higher prices.


... and you might have gathered if you’ve read any of my posts … I’m a bit of a scrooge. If I can save any money on parts or processes … I’m all in.


So one thing I often do when buying parts online from the bigger suppliers is to search by ascending price.


Of course if there’s only a handful of options there's no point … but if it’s something generic with search results of hundreds or thousands … try it.


A while ago I was looking for some bridge rectifiers. There were thousands of results in my initial search … and I clicked the results by ascending price.


Then wading through I spotted a 50 amp 1000v bridge rectifier that I use a lot of … for $0.33 each. I thought it must be an error … they’re normally $6 or 7 each.


After checking the datasheet and convincing myself these parts were legit, I bought 250 at $0.33


I watched for a while and the price remained the same for at least a month before it went back up. So I have no idea if it was a mistake or they were just trying to reduce stock … but I got a bargain.


It was a KBPC5010 Solid State brand device Pt No. 2101168 from element14 … and they’re still available on the same part number at $6.37 each (1 off) … or $4.14 (250+)


If I find anything like that again I’ll yell out. Hopefully some of you will have some luck too.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#2
I occasionally buy stuff in huge lots too when the prices are really cheap.

A while back I needed to add a glow coil intake air preheater to one of our old diesel tractors to make it start better in the winter and one coil was $28. I found a lot of 100 of them online for $250 - $300.

Now that tractor has 4 of them and so does then latest one we picked up last winter and a few have been used for other things like high current load banks and whatnot. (Not sure what to do with the remaining 85+ of them yet.) :p
 

unclejed613

Well-Known Member
#4
i'm picky about parts sources. when i was working at a service center, we had a rash of out-of-warranty repairs coming back to us multiple times. as it turned out, some of the vendors we were buying parts from were selling counterfeit output transistors. one set of counterfeits was ruled the cause of a customer's house burning down. i began testing output transistors, and found the best non-destructive indicator of whether a transistor was counterfeit (besides some external visual clues, which weren't always decisive) or genuine, was the C-B and C-E capacitances, and in some cases the forward voltage drop of the B-E junction. i performed some destructive testing, such as measuring the capacitances, and then breaking the transistor open and measuring the size of the silicon. most of the counterfeits had 3mm silicon dice, while the originals had 5mm dice. a few of the counterfeits had a parallel pair of 3mm dice, which still came up too small on the capacitance test (18 square mm is still less than 25 sq mm). i gathered all the measurements i could (my manager thought i was wasting time, and assumed that new parts from a parts vendor were always legit), and sent my results, pictures and some test samples to a company VP of Services. the VP called me and asked me "so, we've been using these same parts for several years, give me a business case why it matters" i said "because they burst into flames when they fail". by the end of the week, all but one vendor that had sold us counterfeits were purged from our supply chain, and within two or 3 months, the remaining vendor had dumped their stocks of counterfeit parts, and began buying their parts from the equipment manufacturers.

so, i have stopped using discount suppliers like Centerpointe, (especially Centerpointe). back in the 1990s, Centerpointe was a legitimate reseller of Toshiba, Sanken, Sony, NTE, and Panasonic semiconductors. however sometime in the early 00s, they seem to have lost their relationship with those manufacturers, and began selling counterfeits. even their NTE devices were knock-offs (NTE parts were not "fakes", but often relabeled parts that were "close enough" in parameters to replace several hundred different part numbers in most situations), and didn't meet the specs of the NTE parts themselves. i should have known something was afoot when they no longer had the Toshiba transistor books available.
 
Last edited:

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#5
i'm picky about parts sources. when i was working at a service center, we had a rash of out-of-warranty repairs coming back to us multiple times. as it turned out, some of the vendors we were buying parts from were selling counterfeit output transistors. one set of counterfeits was ruled the cause of a customer's house burning down. i began testing output transistors, and found the best non-destructive indicator of whether a transistor was counterfeit (besides some external visual clues, which weren't always decisive) or genuine, was the C-B and C-E capacitances, and in some cases the forward voltage drop of the B-E junction. i performed some destructive testing, such as measuring the capacitances, and then breaking the transistor open and measuring the size of the silicon. most of the counterfeits had 3mm silicon dice, while the originals had 5mm dice. a few of the counterfeits had a parallel pair of 3mm dice, which still came up too small on the capacitance test (18 square mm is still less than 25 sq mm). i gathered all the measurements i could (my manager thought i was wasting time, and assumed that new parts from a parts vendor were always legit), and sent my results, pictures and some test samples to a company VP of Services. the VP called me and asked me "so, we've been using these same parts for several years, give me a business case why it matters" i said "because they burst into flames when they fail". by the end of the week, all but one vendor that had sold us counterfeits were purged from our supply chain, and within two or 3 months, the remaining vendor had dumped their stocks of counterfeit parts, and began buying their parts from the equipment manufacturers.
Nice one, flames can kill and not enough people bother to do what you did.

Burst into flames......life is precious risking it to save some money is awful.
 
Thread starter #6
I occasionally buy stuff in huge lots too when the prices are really cheap.

A while back I needed to add a glow coil intake air preheater to one of our old diesel tractors to make it start better in the winter and one coil was $28. I found a lot of 100 of them online for $250 - $300.

Now that tractor has 4 of them and so does then latest one we picked up last winter and a few have been used for other things like high current load banks and whatnot. (Not sure what to do with the remaining 85+ of them yet.)
Haha ... I have a few stories like that too. I convince myself I'm going to sell the excess and make a killing ... but rarely get around to it.
 
Thread starter #7
Look at Tayda Electronics. They have great prices on many components and reasonable shipping rates.
Thanks, I'd never heard of them before. I've had a look at their site and will keep them in mind.


i'm picky about parts sources. when i was working at a service center, we had a rash of out-of-warranty repairs coming back to us multiple times. as it turned out, some of the vendors we were buying parts from were selling counterfeit output transistors.
Yes, I went through the exact same issue 20 odd years ago. Also heard some of the horror stories ... and potential risks.


i began testing output transistors, and found the best non-destructive indicator of whether a transistor was counterfeit (besides some external visual clues, which weren't always decisive) or genuine, was the C-B and C-E capacitances, and in some cases the forward voltage drop of the B-E junction. i performed some destructive testing, such as measuring the capacitances, and then breaking the transistor open and measuring the size of the silicon. most of the counterfeits had 3mm silicon dice, while the originals had 5mm dice. a few of the counterfeits had a parallel pair of 3mm dice, which still came up too small on the capacitance test (18 square mm is still less than 25 sq mm). i gathered all the measurements i could (my manager thought i was wasting time, and assumed that new parts from a parts vendor were always legit), and sent my results, pictures and some test samples to a company VP of Services. the VP called me and asked me "so, we've been using these same parts for several years, give me a business case why it matters" i said "because they burst into flames when they fail". by the end of the week, all but one vendor that had sold us counterfeits were purged from our supply chain, and within two or 3 months, the remaining vendor had dumped their stocks of counterfeit parts, and began buying their parts from the equipment manufacturers.
Wow ... awesome effort. Fantastic to hear your efforts made such a difference ... may have even saved some lives.

I remember hearing about potential law suites over issues with techs not fitting the correct replacement electros in switch mode supplies in Panasonic Videos ... and having house fires etc. Kept me on the straight and narrow. :)


I probably should have pointed out that I was referring to element14 (Farnell to you guys I think), RS Components, Mouser and Digikey etc with my sort by price approach. While I do buy from other vendors occasionally ... it is pretty much only because the big four can't supply the parts I want ... and it's taken me long enough to work out their online catalogues and ordering systems that I don't have the energy to chase elsewhere.

Having said that ... I don't assume you're suggesting I have to worry too much about them being landed with counterfeit parts and causing us some grief.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#8
Haha ... I have a few stories like that too. I convince myself I'm going to sell the excess and make a killing ... but rarely get around to it.
Pretty much my plan, since I used to do that fairly often, but shortly after I got them all I got hit with a scammer buyer on ebay and ebay did absolutely nothing to help me out once it became clear that if they did they were going to eat a near $2000+ sale. :mad:

As is I have at least $5k, if not closer to $10k now, in misc items I could dump at any time since I know I will never use them all. :(
 
Thread starter #9
Pretty much my plan, since I used to do that fairly often, but shortly after I got them all I got hit with a scammer buyer on ebay and ebay did absolutely nothing to help me out once it became clear that if they did they were going to eat a near $2000+ sale. :mad:

As is I have at least $5k, if not closer to $10k now, in misc items I could dump at any time since I know I will never use them all. :(
Ouch ... that's gotta hurt. Certainly takes the fun out of it.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#10
Ouch ... that's gotta hurt. Certainly takes the fun out of it.
I got out of it and left them with the bill anyway but it took having to close down my home bank account to do it. ;)

I filled out a report in detail with paypal detailing everything that happened and what ebay was not doing about it then locked down, and then had to shut down my home bank account (paypal and ebay will backdoor withdrawal you on a locked bank account:mad:) they were linked to so they had to fight it out with ebay over who got stuck with the bill and since ebay still sort of owns paypal they ate it in the end anyway.

The strange thing was ebay claimed they had no clue how a shipping insurance scam worked (their help center forum is loaded with hundreds of examples and stories of it that explain exactly how it works and what ebay does about it, nothing) yet my bank knew exactly what was going on (well known problem in the banking industry with ebay/paypal and how they don't protect their customers from fraud) as soon as I turned in the paperwork showing the buyer had filled a damaged item claim with the shipper (who paid them) and kept that money plus the items, and then went on to request a refund through ebay and paypal for damaged goods.

For years I sang ebay and paypals praises, but not now. They are both well known crooks in the industry. :mad:
 
Thread starter #11
I got out of it and left them with the bill anyway but it took having to close down my home bank account to do it. ;)
So does that mean you can never use ebay again ... or have to set up again under a new name and accounts.

I've often seen people grizzle against paypal but didn't realise it was that bad. Glad you got out in time and left them with the mess.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#12
So does that mean you can never use ebay again ... or have to set up again under a new name and accounts.
It means I won't use a greedy crooked company that screws its own customers just to get out of owning up to its protection policies. :mad:

Same with paypal. When I had to literally close out my primary bank account to get away from paypal (you cant block them from withdrawing from your account because they have endless (off primary banking tracking records) alternative routing numbers to use to get to you, block one and they and just use another and another and and other until they get your money) my bank people said that the practices like that that they use would get most banks shut down for.

You cannot disconnect a bank account or credit card from paypal/ebay unless you are closing your account while you have a zero or positive balance. But if any vendor or like has a pending payment or withdrawal or you have a pending claim on hold with them they can do what they want with your money, but you can't touch it when a claim is in play, and they can take weeks to months to process it, which is convenient because ebay automatically times out all claims at 10 days so if you haven't been paid back by then (you never will be because processing the claim takes longer than the timeout period) you're screwed.

Its their way of weaseling out of getting stuck with the bill when someone gets scammed under their own protection plans. You get scammed through them they force you pay, then they review the event and determine if they owe you coverage for it, to which they never pay up because ebay will automatically shut down the claim at 10 days after they have forced you to refund your money to a scammer buyer, who does not have to return your item because the (your) shipping company insurance (they filled for) might pay them for it.

They get your item, they get your shipping insurance and ebay/paypal's buyer protection program refunds their payment to you back to them, for a damaged good claim that will take weeks to process, giving ebays/paypals claim departments more than enough time to time out an close thus alleviating them from ever having to pay you back.
 
#13
TCM - you have me very confused: "the buyer had filled a damaged item claim with the shipper"

There must be some massive difference between US and UK law, or I'm misreading things;

when you send an item, you buy insurance as well as paying postage / shipping, with either the post office or some other carrier.

If there is a problem, the insurance (that you paid for) pays you directly. The contract for delivery is between you and the shippers and only you can claim on the insurance.

If you chose not to buy insurance, you lose out if the item is lost or damaged. That's basic law in many places and is (or was) also a part of ebay's terms and conditions - you cannot pass responsibility to the buyer or (legally) say they are responsible for losses with an uninsured item

What was the scam?
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#14
TCM - you have me very confused: "the buyer had filled a damaged item claim with the shipper"

There must be some massive difference between US and UK law, or I'm misreading things;

when you send an item, you buy insurance as well as paying postage / shipping, with either the post office or some other carrier.

If there is a problem, the insurance (that you paid for) pays you directly. The contract for delivery is between you and the shippers and only you can claim on the insurance.

If you chose not to buy insurance, you lose out if the item is lost or damaged. That's basic law in many places and is (or was) also a part of ebay's terms and conditions - you cannot pass responsibility to the buyer or (legally) say they are responsible for losses with an uninsured item

What was the scam?
The way the scam works is that the buyer files the shipping damage claim with the shipping company thus locking the seller out from being able to file the shipping damage claim with them,that would get the item automatically shipped back to them at their cost, if it passes on site shipper inspection for 1 - 2 day priority shipping handling without choice (near $1000 for the size and weight of the items I sold) plus payment (minus return shipping costs) back to the seller for whatever insured value they had on it.

From there the buyer then notifies ebay that they received a damaged item thus starting the ebay claim process, which automatically times out after 10 days whether it's resolved or not, most likely ending in the automatic refund of the sale back the buyer, even though they may still have the actual item at their location.

The catch that makes the scam workable is that it likely can't be resolved in 10 days because shipping companies usually take way more time than that to do their end of the damaged item claim processing and even if they do the buyer can stall them out on the on site item inspection by telling them they won't have anyone around to meet with until some date after the ebay claim automatically times out giving them a full refund even while they may still have the item.

Now from there being, they the buyer, initially filed the claim they can either drop the claim or push it and try to get paid the insurance money for it being they are who lost money on the damaged item (seller got paid before it shipped and shipping company assumes they still have that money since they did not file the claim).

Beyond that if the damaged item claim is legitimate they can agree to can likely keep the damaged item too since the shipper will do nothing with it but throw it away once the payment is agreed to.

In the end they got their purchase money back from ebay and still have the item even if the damage claim is denied. Or they get the ebay refund plus the shipping damage insurance payment too plus more than likely keep the item on top of it all. Thats what these guys played for and scored a near $2000 purchase plus the insurance claim payment for the sale value of the items.

You as the seller are out the item, plus seller fees, plus time, plus all the other hassles as well and ebay marks you down as not doing properly packaging or as a bad seller selling damaged goods if they so choose and ebays new buyer protection system does not allow you to mark the buyer down as a scammer to warn others even though they can leave you a negative rating for supposedly selling bad goods.

For a small value items it is simply not worth a large scale sellers hassle to deal with or risk a negative mark against them so they let it go. However since I'm not a large scale seller and it was not small low value items I went after it hard.

Now as how my case played out. The damaged item claim was filed with ebay and UPS back to back which forced paypal to pull the payment back from my bank and put it in limbo at paypal on ebay behalf.

I didn't mind it at first, until I read up on how the scam works, to which I then dropped all my pre shipment pictures on ebay to show it was very well packed plus a statement from my local UPS store manager agreeing that it was very well packed in a high test commercial construction cardboard (commercial flooring protection sheeting) wrapped around wooden crating that would have crushed anything it fell on and to top it off the items were both hard packed plus bolted solidly to the crate framing so they had zero chance of bouncing around more than exceeding all of UPS's shipping requirements.

That went well and forced the buyer to provide proof of damages which they then gave a few very low res questionable pictures a few day later showing the items inside the crate were damaged in questionable ways but the crates themselves were never shown from any workable angle to prove they were busted up in shipping. Given that it put the ball in ebay and paypals courts to resolve (about 5 - 6 days in the claim timeline at that point) which meant that if the buyer did not provide proof that the items had been shipped back I got to keep my money and ebay and or paypal eats the costs on things under their scam protection plan.

My butt was solidly covered, and they knew it, so they just ignored me for the remainder of the claim until it timed out. At day 7 - 8 I had a pretty good idea what's happening since the ebay help forums people pretty much told me that they were going to screw me by simply ignoring the evidence until things timed out or I got a lawyer involved.

I went to my bank and filled a forced recall on the paypal back transfer and had them lock them out of my account. Paypal then went around that reversal and block with different undocumented at that time transfer routing number, which my bank forced a return and block on that too. Then we did it once more time from a third unknown paypal transaction routing number (they have a bunch of them) at which my bank said that I was best off closing the account because paypal plays dirty games and has an unknown number of off the primary banking records accounts they use to beat people who block them. That's what I had them do once the third forced refund cleared into my account.

I never got my items back and UPS did send me a notification weeks later that they paid the buyer the shipping damage claim since the driver at the buyers location did a 'drop and go' on a high value shipment that was supposed be inspected and signed for before accepting, and let them keep the items too, since they would have just thrown them in a dumpster.

Personally what I could see of the damage in the pictures, the items were suspiciously cosmetically only (plastic body and framing damage (no critical to function component damage whatsoever and no definable proof of the crating ever being punctured to do it) and at worst could have been salvaged for parts with minimal effort.

For that, ebay and paypal will never get my business again and UPS now knows me as the guy who ships near indestructible packages.
 
#15
That's sick..

If it were me I'd sue UPS - the buyer had no contract and no rights to any payout; you paid for the insurance so any benefit goes to you.
(And I'd be complaining to every government & trade body there is about the fraud).
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#16
That's sick..

If it were me I'd sue UPS - the buyer had no contract and no rights to any payout; you paid for the insurance so any benefit goes to you.
(And I'd be complaining to every government & trade body there is about the fraud).
I don't see what me sueing UPS would accomplish. It would cost more in legal fees than what the items are worth by along shot. No gains there to be had.

Besides, I'm the seller. I already got paid. They screwed over the buyer on the damaged item and owe them the money they spent. That what the insurance is for. To pay the person who's item got damaged. ;)

If the seller got the insurance claim money I could ship fragile $5 items insured for the maximum amount UPS will allow in crappy packages and then make fortune on damage claims.

The thing is, I've dealt with shipping damages many times over the years both in private and at places I worked and when a damaged in shipping item showed up the sellers always said to file a damaged item claim with the shipper since it was insured. If I wanted my money I had to go and get it from those who damaged it. The seller has zero responsibility for what happens once the package leaves their hands.

ebay and paypal refunding my money to the buyer while they are also getting the shipping insurance payment is the BS part. :mad:

The only thing I don't like about UPS is that if I want my item back after they broke it I have to pay next day shipping prices to get it back which makes no sense given I have no reason to pay them premium rates to bring me back a broken item I already got paid for that they owe the buyer money for. They screwed the customer over, not me.

I'm paid, the item is out of my hands and I am done with it unless I have warranty related stuff tied to it and that's irrelevant to shipping. ;)
 

gophert

Active Member
#17
I don't see what me sueing UPS would accomplish
I don't see what it would accomplish either. Look at UPS's website on their claim process, you will see that all claims are settled with the SENDER. Your story is BS.

3. Claim Authorized
  • If the claim is issued, a Damage/Loss Notification claim letter will be emailed, faxed or mailed to the shipper of record; UPS will not send the claim letter to a receiver
  • If the claim is not approved, UPS will notify the shipper; the shipper can contact UPS with any questions or concerns
https://www.ups.com/us/en/help-center/delivery-issues/damaged-package.page
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
#18
I don't see what it would accomplish either. Look at UPS's website on their claim process, you will see that all claims are settled with the SENDER. Your story is BS.
Never used to be that way, or at least that's not how anywhere I have ever been had to handle such things (rejecting a shipment for damage when it arrived was the best that could be done) and not once did my local UPS people ever mention that while I was getting info from them in order to make my case with ebay that I was possibly being scammed on a shipping damage claim.

Also, what exactly do I have to gain with a BS story here about a scam I was on the receiving end of? :confused:

But to be fair and expand on things for you, when I started dealing with them they said that if I wanted to take over the damage claim from whomever had opened it I just needed to get the case number from them since two claims cannot be opened on a shipment. I requested it though ebay and I and they got nothing in return.

That's basically how the scam works. If someone else has a shipping claim open on a shipment nobody else (the seller) can open one and thusly it stalls the ebay claim out until it times out at 10 days automatically refunding the purchase price to the buyer since the seller can not provide proof that the item has had anything done with it and it's the buyers word about damages that takes precedence over the sellers.

With the claim open on a shipment and no claim number to work with the shipper can not request a reverse shipment until the claim has been transferred, settled or closed.

That buyer is never wrong policy with ebay is why so many people have left them now and there are loads of examples of the various ways is used to screw over honest sellers on the ebay help forums and now even more and more news articles on the various ways the system is abused.

Under the experimental scheme, a seller can ask eBay to intervene before issuing a refund if a buyer returns a damaged or substitute item. Ordinarily, they have a week to resolve the dispute before having to part with their money, but an unscrupulous buyer can ignore contact and open a claim directly with eBay. In many cases it issues an automatic refund without any evidence from the seller being considered.

The seller has no recourse under PayPal’s seller protection scheme since this is invalidated when a buyer claims directly through eBay. And although eBay’s own rules require buyers to send disputed items back, refunds are sometimes released before this happens – or after damaged or substitute goods have been returned. Even eBay can see the flaw, and in a brainwave that would seem obvious to anyone else the pilot scheme requests photographic evidence when buyers or sellers allege damage or duplicity.
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2...g-sellers-buyers-manipulate-system-protection

ebay may be working on fixing it now but if so it's now well after my and countless others experiences with them went bad due to this scam and many others that used the same basic claim time out and automatic refund process as the primary scoring method. :mad:

The scam I got took on relied on UPS typically taking way more than 10 days to resolve a shipping damage claim, especially if a different person than the one their rules stipulate opened it. ebay would see that as 'in process of being resolved with the shipper' and thully refunds the buyer their money when the ebay claim times out even if the buyer never sent the item back.

If they can get UPS to give them the shipping insurance payout that's just a bonus for them. Some can weasel it some can't but either way they more often than not get the item for free thanks to ebays buyer protection policy and actions and well worth the try for a higher value item.

Does that clarify things a bit better? :)
 

large_ghostman

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#19
Few sellers put a return address on so stuff gets shipped to the buyer. Plus ebay policy says its to be shipped to the buyer and the seller pays return postage. In the UK paypal gives you buyer protection and you file claim, they ask what you want to do if you want the cash back or the items (your choice).

Then if the item arrives damaged you tell ebay, they get you and the seller to come to an arrangement OR they ask if you want a refund, even if you go the refund route and you got the damaged goods the seller has to pay return postage. Most ebay sellers hate this and the forums are (ebay) are full of buyers scamming like this. So its really hard to loose like this on ebay, the big exception is if you pay outside of paypal....then its all down to you.

So even if the sller claimed insurance it wouldnt matter as ebay would get paypal to refund YOU in full. In the UK we can go a step further than this, if you buy something and its over £100, you choose the credit card option with paypal, that way you even get credit card company protection on top of paypal.

I buy alot of lab glass from China (good quality), being glass i do stuff turn up broken once in a while, i contact the seller who often just refunds or ebay, who get me a full refund from the seller. Rarely does the seller want broken glass back so say you buy a distillation kit and just a flask is broken, many times i get to keep the lot and a complete refund........ So i also dont see how you can get scammed inside ebay if you use paypal.

But maybe the UK is different, i dooubt it but stranger stuff happens.
 

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