A radical reduction in the price of small industrial bits

Posted on September 9th, 2011 in Driving Emotion by Julian Edgar

If you have been reading AutoSpeed for a long time, it’s very likely that you like making things for your car. And if you have followed our longstanding approach, it’s also very likely that you like using bits in your car that were never intended for automotive applications!

Things like cappuccino pumps to power intercooler water sprays, or pneumatic valves and fittings to build your own boost control. Or DIY electronic modules to power an added airflow meter… things like that.

This sort of lateral thinking is great – often, you can achieve an outcome that’s better than taking a more traditional approach. It can also lead you into all sorts of interesting shops – specialist industrial hose and hydraulics suppliers, electronic components shops – even those selling parts intended just for trucks.

But something that has always annoyed me has been the very high prices this type of reseller charges. That’s partly because they have quite different pricing for retail and trade customers (why? – especially if both buy just one-off parts) and also because, with a relatively small turnover and a large amount of stock, you’re paying for stuff that may sit on the shelves for years.

So clamps and clips and fittings and small valves – they’ve all cost a motza.

But – and this has happened only very recently – sellers on eBay have now turned to industrial supplies.

I’ve been browsing this area and the prices are simply unbelievably low. Including international freight to your door, I’d say that prices for small industrial bits and pieces are up to one-tenth the dollars I’ve been charged over the years.

Need boost hose fittings or valves? Want a pressure sensor that will interface with electronics? In fact, talking about electronics, want some off-the-shelf pre-built modules? What about nuts and bolts, solenoids, spray nozzles, small pneumatic cylinders – it goes on and on.

So if you are building something yourself that requires small industrial parts, go first to eBay.

I sure will.

One Response to 'A radical reduction in the price of small industrial bits'

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  1. Ford Man said,

    on September 11th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Add batteries to the list too. $4 for a button cell at Bunnings or 6 for $1 online including postage.