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Where To Get Sets and Parts For discussions about swapmeets, rallies, NVCF and BVWS, car boot sales, antique and charity shops, dealers, newspaper adverts, the local tip and just about any other source of equipment (other than eBay).

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Old 26th Oct 2017, 8:42 pm   #21
OscarFoxtrot
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Default Re: Maplin stores

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I also don’t need disco lights, a small ride on car or a quadcopter
I don't need them either, but I could be tempted
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 10:28 pm   #22
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I seem to recal this was discused on the forum previously, perhaps when Radio Shack disappeared? Maplin had exchanged hands in 2004 for £244M, and then again in 2014 for £85M. Searching Google for information post 2014 reveals very little. I think that in the last 12 months I have spent £9.99 there (the analogue multimeter, much acclaimed on the Forum); don't think I've been in-store more than once in the same period.

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Old 26th Oct 2017, 11:25 pm   #23
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Back in the 70's I worked part time helped out in a shop in Torquay selling everything from components to complete PC's

The buisiness lost money on every resistor we sold.

Yet the buyers complained that they could buy the same part from advertisers in PW PE etc cheaper.

And the truth was they could if they discounted the postage and the minimum order.

I got bored arguing with these people but they always came back sadly

It has ever been thus.

Cheers

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Old 27th Oct 2017, 12:19 am   #24
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Maplin has saved me many times on a Sunday morning..and Christmas time too when your lost for present ideas, Maplin usually has some fun novelties on offer.

If it does go it will be a sad day and probably killed by town centre shop new business rates rather than anything else.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 12:25 am   #25
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I do appreciate the quoted lyrics Lawrence [post 20*] although they captured a convulsive period in world history and not just a moment in a company's Corporate existence

I suspect that there may be a period of retention/recycling and recovery of components in the future [which may be a hobby in itself] in the absence of any handy retail outlets. We might even go back to making it all ourselves individually as during the twenties and thirties.

I agree that staff generally, do their very best except for an episode in Bolton when one jobsworth Android [without looking up from the till screen] asked, are you over 18? [I was buying solvent switch cleaner!] When I said "What do you think? I got the angry response that the question was a purchase requirement-ie that it was all my fault! Not qualified in customer relations or humour it seemed. I'll draw a view over the rest of this commercial exchange.

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Old 27th Oct 2017, 1:58 pm   #26
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I won't be sorry to see Maplin go. Their component counters are useless and everything else they sell now seems to be overpriced trash. A solar phone charger that by design cannot generate enough voltage to charge any phone? A utility knife with a plastic button that broke first time but cost more than a Stanley? A model helicopter than cannot lift its own weight?! Yeesh. Good riddance.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 3:33 pm   #27
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I do think Maplin's website lets them down. For example, last time I looked they were rating zener diodes by current. Very odd. I frequently give up using the website and resort to an ancient catalgue. They do stock one or two nice things, like a 4 pole double throw toggle switch, and they have a very nice instrument case in bone coloured plastic. I'd miss them if they closed.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 6:02 pm   #28
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Well for my part ,I would be really sad to see Maplins disappear.
I have had nothing but good service and helpfulness from the Gloucester branch, and the staff have been first class in every way.
I am a regular visitor there and I do buy components and bits n bobs quite often.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 7:46 pm   #29
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Retail shops are fast becoming obsolete due to many reasons.

You pay high rates to the local authority who then employ traffic wardens to frighten your customers away and put you out of business.

The demand for components must be very small these days reducing as surface mount and other photographic assembly methods supersedes the old valve holders.

You cannot run a couple of hundred shops on the sale of a few bits and pieces.

It's the end of an era. [Actually it was two decades ago.] John.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 3:57 pm   #30
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Maplin's problem is that they inhabit the bottom end of the market in almost every product category. Their PA/Disco lines are the stuff that any sensible DJ would be embarassed to use (with the exception of the occasional product) so they only appeal to those holding the occasional houseparty. Yes, the slightly higher market segments are very competitive but at least there's probably more profit margin as you go up market.

I wonder if there is an opportunity for someone to do a Toolstation/Screwfix style operation for electronics? Go for cheaper locations (with easy parking) with very little on display. You just choose from a catalogue and order at the counter.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 4:19 pm   #31
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Default Re: Maplin stores

RS do this with their trade counters.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 4:52 pm   #32
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Default Re: Maplin stores

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Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
... I wonder if there is an opportunity for someone to do a Toolstation/Screwfix style operation for electronics? Go for cheaper locations (with easy parking) with very little on display. You just choose from a catalogue and order at the counter.
I used to work in a large science lab (1200 staff of our own, several thousand more on the same site in neighbouring more-or-less science-based operations). When I first arrived we ran a stores which supplied the basics. We also had a single-supplier contract for electronics which swapped between RS and Farnell and promised next day delivery with no minimum order. Eventually stores was closed and everything had to be bought in.

I was told by a reliable source that at one stage our supplier (Farnell at the time, I believe) offered to stock and staff an on-site warehouse, with a counter, and run an internal charging scheme all for free. All they wanted in return was a reasonable deal on the rent (we had spare space) and the ability to serve external customers as well (some of our space was conveniently located outside our security fence, and we were an 'open' lab in any case).

Our management simply said no .

Cheers,

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Old 1st Nov 2017, 7:25 pm   #33
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Default Re: Maplin stores

It’s not for me to do Maplin’s publicity for them, but I don’t think it’s widely known on the forum, that Maplin has an online ‘Clearance Outlet', which is wholly owned and managed by Maplin Electronics Ltd but which operates entirely independently, offering products that aren't available in store or via Maplin.co.uk. Basically, it’s an e-bay shop, with ‘buy-it-now’ prices and payment only by paypal.

To comply with forum rules I won’t give the e-bay link but ‘Maplin Clearance Outlet' in google will find it.

At the Clearance Outlet you can buy new and refurbished items with a 365 day product guarantee. The new items are products that were previously available through Maplin but have been discontinued. Well worth looking at the Outlet from time to time - a lot of the low turnover items that we're interested in (as well as stuff that we're not), is being cleared from stock in the High Street stores and funnelled through the Outlet. I’ve bought several items such as ABS project boxes and soldering iron tips for irons I have that are no longer stocked, at considerably lower prices than when carried in the High Street stores.

In some instances the packaging may be damaged. The product inside will be pristine. Refurbished items are customer returns, a large proportion of which have never been used, but may or may not be in its original packaging. They may be unwanted gifts or products customers have simply changed their mind about, which have then been returned to Maplin’s. They’ve been checked, inspected, repaired (if necessary), graded and re-boxed, with all accessories necessary for the item to function. (All refurbished items are clearly marked in the description).

Maplin stores are a separate entity and aren’t able to refund or assist with Maplin Clearance Outlet purchases. The Clearance Outlet will help with any queries by email via My eBay. All of the items sold by Maplin Clearance Outlet carry a label advising they are not returnable in store.

Hope that's of interest.

(Posted for information - not discussion).
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 10:47 pm   #34
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Default Re: Maplin stores

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I wonder if there is an opportunity for someone to do a Toolstation/Screwfix style operation for electronics?
CPC in Preston was like this last time I was there. I expect there are other branches.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 10:53 pm   #35
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Hi, The Maplin store on Teesside Park, Stockton - on - Tees has recently closed leaving only the Middlesbrough branch in our area. I tended only to use them for the odd "emergency component" though mainly due to their prices.

As a slight aside I was in the Teesside park branch some months ago and overheard a young lady say to her boyfriend "I haven't a clue what anything in here does" and I didn't have the heart (or b**ls) to respond with "Neither do most of the staff"

Andrew
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 11:47 pm   #36
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I remember writing to the sales director at Maplin back in the early 70’s complaining about their policy of sending out those components they had in stock and putting the rest on back order. As an impecunious late teenager I was always trying to build something from one of the magazines and failing to complete it because Maplin didn’t stock enough of the products listed in the catalogue.

It seems they haven’t improved.
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Old 1st Nov 2017, 11:58 pm   #37
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Default Re: Maplin stores

RS have taken that position now. Everything is always back ordered for a month.
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 12:11 am   #38
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I'm a little bit surprised that Maplin has kept going for so long.

Originally they were a mail order company, a bit like RS or Farnell. Back in the late 1980s - early 1990s, when they started opening High Street shops, some of the stores were a bit like Argos or the RS trade counters. Not many goods were on display, instead you had to look up what you wanted in a catalogue, then give the catalogue numbers to the shop assistant. Not very elegant, but it worked. And in those days they mostly sold components and kits which didn't need to be displayed in an elegant way.

Nowadays they seem to have become like Tandy, selling radio controlled toys, gadgets and audio equipment as well as components. But Tandy disappeared from the UK many years ago. Sadly, Maplin seem to be heading the same way.

I will be sad if they do go altogether, although I'm not their best customer. On the odd occasion, I do buy a component or two from them, if it's not worth paying the postage for an online order or I don't want to wait. Some people moan about the pricing - 30p for a resistor that costs 1p online - but I think it's reasonable. Consider the cost of the shop assistant's time and the storage space for all of those components. I doubt if it's actually very profitable for them. And I might only buy a component from Maplin once or twice a year. I'm not going to keep them afloat like that.

Maplin do have a clearance section on their website which sometimes turns up some bargains. There are also a couple of traders who appear at my local car boot sale, selling customer returned Maplin goods for a fraction of their retail price (typically 10% of the new price). Some of the items are clearly damaged or have parts or accessories missing, but despite that, I've had a number of things that have worked, either straightaway or with a little fiddling. That's why I'll be sad if Maplin close down altogether, there'll be no more cheap ex-Maplin goodies at the car boot sale!
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 12:23 am   #39
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Default Re: Maplin stores

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Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesperrett View Post
I wonder if there is an opportunity for someone to do a Toolstation/Screwfix style operation for electronics?
CPC in Preston was like this last time I was there. I expect there are other branches.
As far as I know there aren't - which is a pity as CPC sell a much more useful range of products as far as I'm concerned. I must admit that I'd forgotten about the RS trade counters which is a bit remiss of me because the nearest one is quicker to get to than the nearest Maplin!
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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 12:32 am   #40
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Originally they were a mail order company, a bit like RS or Farnell.
Named after the proposed airport at Maplin Sands I believe. That was abandoned in 1974, which gives an approximate time line.
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