A while back I was looking for a cheap supplier of small electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, stripboards, pin headers (for my Raspberry which I hope I'll some day get), diodes, voltage regulators, leds, IC sockets and smaller ICs. I'm well aware large corporations such as Mouser and Farnell sell all of these items at really low prices and with a colossal catalogue. Though, where I come from, those companies are a total rip-off for hobbyists due to shipping costs and a minimum order value of €50.00.
Ebay sellers are quite vast, though ebay is not an ideal website to buy lots of low-value items. Then there's Futurlec which has an excellent selection at reasonable prices.. For this thread I'd like to write a little review on a company called Tayda Electronics (http://www.taydaelectronics.com/
The best way to review is to show what I bought a while back:
All which is shown in this picture (except for the red circuit board in the middle) was bought for $18 including shipping. Insane isn't it? These guys are not your average eBayer. Tayda packages each type of component in an individual seal-bag and labels it according to what's in and how much is in. I'd say about half of their website consists of items cheaper than 10 cents ($). Buying resistors, diodes and capacitors at 1 ct each feels good man.
Anyway; onto a more serious review. Tayda electronics doesn't have a lot of cool stuff in stock you'd expect to see at the larger corporations. They have what you'd expect your local electronics store to have: jacks, opamps, 555, cmos 4000s, ADCs, RTCs, trimpots, standard (mos)fets, volt reg (positive and negatives), pwm, timers, motor drivers, pin headers, atmega, PIC, SMD, some circuit boards etcetera. What I miss are many semi-higher quality ICs like Analog Devices opamps, 16 bit ADCs, they don't have any DACs at all, variable capacitors none, proper lightsensors none, their resistor collection is missing a couple values (this can be really frustrating), etcetera. In my last order I received one wrong component, though I didn't really mind because I ordered like 400 components. I won't bother asking for a refund on 20 cents lol. Note that Tayda has a minimum order of $5 and about 2~3$ shipping costs. I have not tried ordering one of their aluminium enclosures; though it might increase shipping costs significantly. Please check on your local import tax laws!! I believe for the EU you pay no tax up until a value of €23. I normally don't buy for more than €20 to avoid tax. For other countries, such as Australia, this ceiling is way higher.
What I especially like about Tayda electronics is how they deal with catalogue suggestions. A while back I requested they stock up on opa2134 (a higher-end opamp) and 3.5mm stereo jacks (they only had 1/4th inch). About a week later, they had both in stock at extremely competitive prices. I'll be reasonable and say they probably won't accept requests for extremely rare ICs or components that have a low demand, but I get the impression they accept lots of requests all the time.
Cheap though limited-selection of quality electronic parts perfect for any hobbyist. Their (small) collection of SMD components suggest (semi)-professionals could also be interested. Very well packaged in individual labeled seal-bags to protect them and make it easy to have a tidily sorted out hobby box. Components with thin leads (ICs and DIP sockets) were stuck into polystyrene foam for further protection. Delivery was about 2 weeks for me (Western Europe, they send from Taipei Taiwan). When they don't sell something, don't hesitate to contact them.
As for Raspberry-pi related stuff: the double-row pin-headers they sell are about 30 cents and mine were really high quality; much better than I had expected.
Take a look at their website and you'll be surprised how much one dollar can suddenly get you!