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Old 25th Aug 2017, 9:25 pm   #1
Phil G4SPZ
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Default A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I popped into my local Maplins today for a couple of electrolytic capacitors for specific repairs, 1000uF at 16V and 4.7uF at 450V. Both were in stock, and at the till when I went to pay I took a tenner out of my wallet. But the cost of both was just over 40p!

The salesperson acknowledged that component prices have been reduced. Whether this extends across their entire range of components I don't know, but I was pleasantly surprised.
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Old 25th Aug 2017, 9:47 pm   #2
dave walsh
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I sincerely hope this doesn't mean they are off loading the whole product range Phil. Either way it could be time to stock up

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Old 25th Aug 2017, 10:18 pm   #3
MrBungle
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

They have been offloading them apparently. My local one admitted that they got rid of the only guy who knows what a resistor is.

Not *that* bothered with the prices of mail order these days. I can get some brand name capacitors for not much more delivered to my door next day via ParcelForce from RS.

I just replaced a huge 15,000uF 25V Sprague long life can (from a Tek 7603) with an EPCOS one for 4 from RS!
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Old 25th Aug 2017, 10:35 pm   #4
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I used to work for Maplin years ago when they held reasonable stock of parts. Sadly the component/hobbyist side of things gradually decreased in both demand and stock holding. Only go there now for emergency supplies especially since RS and Farnell offer free postage on orders.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 10:03 am   #5
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I get stuff from Maplin quite a lot, the people in there are completely clueless though! I gave a list of two parts (a resistor and a capacitor) to a friend who was going there for the sake of convenience. They came back with two of the completely wrong values after handing over the list which clearly specified which I wanted. A bit annoying as I wanted to get on with the project. I usually order from RS and occasionally eBay if I can't find the part I need. Maplin is for if I'm passing or I'm in a hurry for parts.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 11:12 am   #6
Hermit6345
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

Yes, the lack technical knowledge is not a new problem. Several years ago I wanted some resistors. As I walked away from the parts window I realised from the colour code that they had given the wrong values. The lad did not know the code and his superior told him to take a DVM off the shop display and measure the values. It turned out that the resistors I had been given were in the wrong drawer. I think that Maplin's prices were a bit high and there are quite a few places to source components. Farnell, RS, Rapid, Cricklewood to name a few.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 11:21 am   #7
Dai Corner
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

Maplin do offer a Click & Collect service which presumably checks stock in the chosen store to avoid a wasted journey and should ensure the correct item is purchased even if a non-technical person is collecting on your behalf. Goods are available within 30 mins.

I haven't used it myself yet but find the similar services at Toolstation, Screwfix etc useful.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 11:42 am   #8
Boater Sam
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I would not be surprised if Maplins stopped altogether, their position in the market place is now unclear.
Surprising that Phil still has a tenner to spend so near to his holidays!
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 12:35 pm   #9
David G4EBT
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

For some time now, Maplin's have run an online website that they call an 'Outlet Store' which is a quite separate strand of their business from their main website & stores. They use the 'outlet store' for end of line items and for de-stocking. Unlike the normal website, you can't have items delivered to store for collection - you have to pay delivery. The outlet-store website currently has 240 pages of items across all categories, with 30 items per page listed, so that's some 7,200 items that are on borrowed time.

A couple of weeks ago I wanted two ABS project cases (120 x 65 x 36mm), which I put on my watch list. I've been away in Ireland till yesterday so it wasn't convenient to order them. I've just checked the website - all gone. Couldn't find any supplier with just the right sized case, so have ordered the nearest I could find from China. These are what I was after:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ABS-PLASTI...19.m1438.l2649

Here's the 'when it's gone it's gone' Maplin outlet site:

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/maplinelectronics/

It makes no commercial sense for Maplin to stock electronics components - low value, low turnover, and in inexorable decline. With so many stores, (217 at June 2017) if they stocked such things as resistors, caps, diodes, pots etc in any depth they'd have more in the shops than at the warehouse. Trying to compete with Premier Farnell many years ago almost put Maplin under. They're having a clear-out of kits, projects and modules. This link might be of interest:

http://stores.ebay.co.uk/maplin-elec...=p4634.c0.m322


It's had chequered fortunes and several owners over the years since it was established in the back bedroom of Doug Simmons house in 1972. (Doug was a BT engineer). It was last put up for sales in March 2014 and expected to fetch 100 - 200 mill. It actually went for 85 mill in June 2014. Seems to be on an even keel right now and they're expanding the ranger of items, but only on high margin high turnover 'here today-gone tomorrow' stuff. They seem to do well on batteries.

Maplin's history is worth a read - at least, I think so:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maplin_Electronics

Hope that's of interest.
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Old 26th Aug 2017, 9:13 pm   #10
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I still quite often buy from Maplin as they're just down the road from me (less than 15 minutes walk, and near quality comestibles purveyors like Farmfoods and Aldi). But the range keeps shrinking. E.g. their last "upgrade" (you know, the website goes down for 2 days and comes back up in an even less helpful form) meant the end of most KK .1 inch connectors and so far as I can tell they've got rid of most cable except hook up wire.

Other main problem is that most components are in literal 1s and 2s. I have a bit of a running gag with them of saying, "damn it, I'll buy your whole stock!".

It's a pity because it's so handy to have a shop that you can just walk into and buy a CMOS IC, or a few diodes. But there probably isn't much money in that for them compared to little helicopters.

My main orders usually go to Farnell these days.
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Old 27th Aug 2017, 1:04 am   #11
Oldcodger
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

A lot of the "average" Maplin blokes are technically illiterate. But some of the managers are highly qualified. My local shop manager is HND qualified and from chats he's a music bloke- building his own music amps.
But Maplin has/is digging it's own grave , by leaving the old path. Where as other folks looking for components might be looking at RS.
LOOK AT http://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalD...s/local-branch
There might be one near you, and they only care if you want to spend. My local branch is a couple of miles down the road, order /pay tonight, and collect tomorrow.
Whereas Maplin might be out of stock and you have to wait a few days.
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Old 27th Aug 2017, 10:10 am   #12
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

I'm not sure why RS branches exist. I live right near one and I just get everything delivered anyway.
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Old 27th Aug 2017, 10:54 pm   #13
Oldcodger
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Default Re: A pleasant surprise at Maplins

Next day click & collect. No delivery charges. Lot more convenient than waiting in for delivery.
Best way with Maplin is to check on line if store has item,and if so ,reserve. If not, order & pay on line for store collection. Lot faster than home delivery.
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