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Our Technical Support team will be out of the office on Wednesday, April 23 starting at 12pm. Tech Support will reopen with normal hours on Thursday, April 24 at 9am. Thank you

SparkFun in MicroCenter


As some of you may have already noticed, SparkFun has been rolling out items in retail packaging for a while now. Initially, this was for our distributors who wanted to have some of our items nicely packaged on their shelves. For the past several months, however, we have been working with MicroCenter to establish a presence in their retail stores.

Now, it has really happened. We currently have stock in every MicroCenter store in the country (and on their website). That is, as of right now, 23 stores (with a 24th on the way). In most stores you can find our stock in the DIY section by the books (though in the Denver store we are mysteriously placed by the video games).

SparkFun goes to MicroCenter

SparkFun section in MicroCenter

We are really excited to be able to have a retail offering on shelves at stores around the country. We want to make it as easy as possible to make your project ideas become reality, and when you discover you need a component you can head to MicroCenter and (hopefully) get what you need. Our retail offerings are quickly expanding at this point and we will continue to add more and more retail items as often as we can!

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Reminder: We have our Intro to LilyPad Class tonight in our classroom at SparkFun Electronics starting at 6pm. We still have seats open and would love to see you there if you are in the area.

Intro to LilyPad Class Poster


Comments 102 comments

  • You guys need to get your stuff at Fry’s as well

    • I second this. There is not a Micro Center in Washington, but a Fry’s.

    • Thirded!
      Unlike Micro Center, Fry’s actually sells raw electronic components like resistors, IC’s, MOSFETs, wire, switches, LEDs, etc. Sparkfun products would be a perfect fit!
      Plus, there’s a Fry’s right by my house, and the nearest Micro Center is across town! Hehe.
      But seriously, Fry’s is perfect for you guys! Have you SparkFun'ers had the pleasure of visiting a Fry’s store?

      • 4th’d! That is, if a Fry’s exists near me. I hate living in this virtually electro-DIY-free part of NY.

        • Another vote for Fry’s. I live near Phoenix, where there is a Fry’s about 10 miles from me, but there are no Micro Centers in Arizona.

    • YES.
      When I first saw the SparkFun retail packages on this website, I immediately checked Fry’s since I have bought their electronic components before. Their selection is just BEGGING for sparkfun to step in and bring their mixture of fun and the details you need on electronic components. I bet they would love to have a partnership with sparkfun.

    • Sob. I remember Fry’s. I left California 15 years ago, apparently never to return. They had everything there! Electronics parts, wire, Unobtanium ingots, even a 3/17 occipital left-leaning Heterodyne Wrench.

  • You guys definitely need a retail presence in Radio Shack. They’re trying to restore their image with DIYers, and your products would do a lot for that with minimal effort on their part.
    Plus, your color schemes are approximately the same. ;)

    • I second this. SparkFun products at Radio Shack would be a great improvement to what Radio Shack is now carrying. I’m glad Radio Shack is back to serving the DIY market, and carrying SparkFun products would be a great way for them to bring that business back in the door.

    • I’m pretty sure Radio Shack is all talk. There may be a Shack a block from my house, but the Microcenter 5 miles away is getting my business!

  • SparkFun - The new radio shack.

  • Ever since they built a Fry’s near me I have been an infrequent visitor to MicroCenter. I guess that is about to change.
    As Rat Shack has morphed into a third rate cell phone store, it is nice to see someone new retailing goodies like this.

  • That’s awesome news! There’s a Microcenter about five miles from me, in Cambridge, MA. I’ll have to check it out. Hopefully, this isn’t the “24th store”. :-)

  • That’s Great now all you have to do is negotiate with maplin here in the uk for us uk fans.

    • seconded, they should sell them in maplin or at least rapid.

      • Maplins, yeah but rapid the postage is so high that it’s cheaper to get them straight from sparkfun. Rapid are extremely cheep though.

    • I’m not sure maplin is worthy of sparkfun… But i guess it would be cool anyway.

  • Woah. That rocks!
    There’s actually a Micro Center near here. I’ll have to go check it out.
    Obviously, they’ll never be able to stock your full inventory, but everyone who has never heard of you and walks past will hear their inner geek yelling “Lookit! Lookit!”

  • Come to Canada, eh?
    edit: By that, I mean SF should really look at Canadian distributors.

    • Actually I think Digi-Key would be a good match for SparkFun. They have digi-key.ca, which means no customs fees and low-cost shipping. They’re usually extremely fast in shipping orders, too.

      • digi key have distributers in nearly every country :D

        • I would spend ALOT more money than I already do if I didn’t have to pay the high shipping costs to Canada. I think I’m going to bug Solarbotics to carry more of your stuff.
          And, yes, I know shipping is more expensive for non-North Americaners, but seriously, we’re your neighbours.

          • Not to mention customs fees. I rarely order something because I usually get hit with 10-20$ in customs fees and UPS adds another 30$ brokerage fees on top of that.
            When your order starts at 40-50$ with an empty shopping cart, you don’t order at all.

        • Well, even better then! :D

      • Whoa! If Digi-key carried SparkFun stuff, that would BLOW MY MIND!! (in a good way)

  • For UK/Ireland you should talk to Maplin (http://www.maplin.co.uk ) a Radio Shack clone with retail outlets in most towns. They could badly use some fresh modern kit to sell. This is their idea of a PIC programmer: http://www.maplin.co.uk/pic-programmer-48074
    !

    • Wow, that PIC programmer would have been OK about 5-10 years ago… The cost/features ratio on that thing is really, really bad.

      • its still better than what Radio Shack can put out. no microcontrollers whatsoever. Very few chips too!

        • The Radio Shack I have here actually has 1 microcontroller kit (avr or arm bassed I think) that costs about $100 and is below par of the arduino inventor kit. (looks promising though.)

          • The only thing even remotely like that that I have seen at local Radio Shacks are Basic Stamp 2’s… with the stamp soldered to the dev board! and it is HUGE! It has USB, though (I think). Anyway I love my arduino and am getting into FPGAs for processor and OS development. It would be great if Radio Shack carried an Altera DE0, or Sparkfun, for that matter.
            PS. Does any body know of any Electronics Surplus in Middle Tennessee?

    • Free delivery though…

  • So when can we expect to see Sparkfun at the Shack :)

  • Woah, congratulations! Next time I need a SparkFun part, I’m going to look at MicroCenter first. I hope your sales do well!

  • Damn you! I had managed to get down to one Microcenter visit a month. Looks like that’s out the window.

  • The SparkFun product should be located in or near the ‘Book’ section in most stores (DIY). There are one or two stores where SparkFun is in the ‘Gaming’ section (Denver).

    • I would think (because of how people are today its sad) that you would be more noticed by the game section…even if it is not a game.

  • Well, I know what im doing tomorrow ;)

  • Yup. Checked out Micro Center in Mayfield Heights and spent more than I wanted to just because I was shopping at SparkFun.

  • i went to my local microcenter and i asked for an arduino. first it was $13 more expensive two they didn’t know what an arduino was. i didn’t buy it there and order one from an internet store near my house and went to pick it up

  • Dude. DUDE. I work five minutes away from a MicroCenter. I know where I’m going on my lunch break tomorrow.

  • Stopped by the Houston store on my way through town, just to support your retail effort. Nice display by the book section. Out of stock on a lot of stuff. Overspent my months hobby budget in one stop. Go Sparkfun!

  • I went to the Mirco Center in Minneapolis over the weekend. They had hardly any SparkFun retail packages in stock. Also, what they did carry was hard to find as it was hidden behind boxes of other stuff waiting to be placed on shelves. The place was kind of a dump too.
    There has got to be a better chain to distribute to. I won’t be going back any time soon.

  • I checked out the microcenter near me and there was a stand by the books section… very awesome!
    BUT,
    * it was sparsely populated(I guess there must’ve been a rush…
    * the retail packaging was… loose? items with headers, resistors, batteries, had actually shifted all over the place and was stuck somewhere in the packaging where it wasn’t supposed to be. I haven’t seen any with missing components, but this just bothered me.
    Just my 2cents…

  • Made a visit to my local MC today to check out the SF section. In the VA store it’s on the back wall of the Magazine section which is on the left side of the store. I snapped a shot with my phone and sent it to a local friend and SF fan.
    The selection was kind of narrow (hopefully because everyone is buying up the products) so I didn’t get anything. Besides I’m also torn between getting products directly from the source on the internet or supporting a local store and SF at the same time. I also need to work out if 5% sales tax is more than shipping. :) If they’d had the GPS shield kit I probably would have sprung for it. I’m thinking of using the 406 module as a GPS source for my Nikon D90 (from what I can tell it should just hook in as soon as I hack off a connector from a remote shutter release cable) and the kit will allow me to use it with an Arduino when I’m not using it with my camera.

    • It had a bunch more stuff memorial day weekend, and less stuff two days later. I personally bought a bunch of Sparkfun stuff and a MakerShed starter kit from there. I hope they carry more stuff.
      It needs to move out to either the video game area or the tools section. Just to get more notice.

  • This would of been a good tie in to a contest. Sparkfun gift certificate to the first person at each of the 23 stores that sends in a picture of the display and them holding a product. Maybe keep this in mind for Fry’s (hint, hint).

  • Whoo!

  • Where are the New Products? I don’t have homeschool group today! Need… Product… Post… Help… meee…

  • I’m going to hang out near the Sparkfun display at my local Microcenter wearing thick-rimmed glasses and tell people that I was ordering from you guys before you were mainstream.
    I also get electronics from this other place. You’ve probably never heard of them, they’re pretty obscure.

  • Awesome. Microcenter near Atl look out - I’m gonna browse.

  • I checked out the rack at the Mayfield Ohio store several weeks ago and was very pleasantly surprised by the wide selection of products! I had definitely imagined a much smaller offering.

  • I really hope you can get into a Fry’s near San Diego, Ca some day. Not easy to get this stuff anywhere out here.

  • HAWAII PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Last time I drove to pick up my sparkfun order it was 87 miles round trip.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/70688136
    Now it’s literally a bike ride (about 3 miles) from my house.
    Sweet.

  • Awesome! I checked out the St. Louis MO store tonight. It’s in the far back corner, but you can see the red SF from pretty far away. If I ever need an Arduino TODAY, I know where to go.

  • sparkfun is awesome and I wish I had a decent electronics store near me, but alas I do not:( sad panda

  • Arrrrgh! It takes just as long to drive to Micro Center as Boulder! (The trip is worth it to either though)

  • My local Microcenter has had stuff for a couple months now. It’s in the back in the gaming section with the Makershet stuff. I’ve already spent about $300 with them.
    Pricing is the similar to Sparkfun’s web site except for the Bluetooth Mate Silver which seems to be priced as if it was a Bluetooth Gold. $65 vs $39. I’m not sure what’s going on there.

    • Hey - there was a mistake on pricing and it will be remedied. Micro Center and SparkFun normally price everything the same, if not very similar. Thank you for catching that!

      • Yup, it’s been fixed. I bought two of the Bluetooth Mate. I wish they had the regular non-mate version because the pinout works with the prototype shield and other items but I guess they are stocking it for a device in particular.

      • Yup, it’s been fixed. I bought two of the Bluetooth Mate. I wish they had the regular non-mate version because the pinout works with the prototype shield and other items but I guess they are stocking it for a device in particular.

  • Having stuff at microcenter is what led me to this hobby two weeks ago. I found out about the hobby on friday, found out that microcenter carried on saturday and sunday I was already re-learning how to solder.
    I wouldn’t call it brisk but there was def. things there on sunday that weren’t there on tuesday when I went back - like the bluetooth module.
    There were no inventor kits :( had to go with a Makershed one from Microcenter to dive in. But I def. picked up another Uno within a week from there (sparkfun packaging)

  • How about an offering in Radio Shack for us unfortunate Cheyenne Wyoming folks that don’t even have a local Best Buy store?

    • Seconded here–but only in this case for Louisville KY, or heck, ANYWHERE in KY not in the Cincy metro area (we have Radio Shack and…uh…Radio Shack, seriously. Closest Fry’s is in Indianapolis 150 miles away from the largest major city in KY (Louisville), closest Micro Center is ALSO 140 miles away from Louisville (in the Cincy suburbs); the Best Buy stores are pretty much consumer electronics only, no matter that the main repair facility is located there).
      The maker situation is sufficiently horrid here as far as parts go that it’s a GIVEN that any electronics projects will involve online ordering :P
      At least the local makerspace does list you as a resource, though :D

    • If you’re in Cheyenne you should just come down and say hi. Wish it’d be easy for us to have local pickup for Wyomingites as well, especially since Laramie and Cheyenne are closer than a lot of Colorado towns! Maybe one day.

      • It is nice that packages shipped to Cheyenne via USPS arrive overnight without the expense of FedEx.

  • Wow, great step, SF! Though, why are you promoting the lilypad so much? it doesn’t seem that popular at all?

  • I use to have one of those right down the street….then I moved.

  • no distributors in EUrope yet :-(

  • It’s tough for us Capital-District-of-New Yorkers. I have no idea where Yonkers is. If you’re interested in DIY electronics, your choices are:
    * Radio Shack (SUCKS!)
    * Ummmmmm… Uhhh… The… Home Depot? Yeah, just buy a drill there, and you’ll have a… years… supply of… drill parts…… Yeah, I need those on pretty much a daily basis Who am I kidding?!?!?!

  • Wow! congratulations guys.
    I have a microcenter near me. I’ll swing by there on the way home and get some pictures of the sparkfun section if it’s there.
    Also, I need another openlog. I will have to pick up one if those are in retail packaging.

  • Too bad there isn’t a MicroCenter in Florida :(

    • agreed…theres not much of anything unless you live in Orlando for those of us who live on the other side of the state its like the stone ages. (hobbyist wise)

  • and i didn’t knew that ghosts bought sparkfun products..Great job go on SparkFun!

    • I think the photo demonstrates that retail Sparkfun products “amplify” the quantum identity shared between the product and the individual that holds the product. Essentialy the product and the individual exist and do not exist at the same time when they are physically touching. Yet, all other objects remain unaffected, except Arion 1000W speakers.

  • thats awsome, now if this was only in the Netherlands… then it would be even better!

  • Congratulations! Always happy to see good things happening to good businesses!

  • you might want to roll out kits to http://www.youdoitelectronics.com/
    and http://www.elexp.com/ as well. They sell many kits, I didn’t know there was a micro center in Boston! Awesome, great job!

    • Another one location store that would be interested in your stuff is Baynesville Electronics outside of Baltimore MD
      http://www.baynesvilleelectronics.com/index2.ivnu
      They used to Jameco retail packaged products.
      Another store is Skycraft Parts and surplus in Orlando Fla
      http://www.skycraftsurplus.com
      Does anyone know of a list of these kinds of stores?

  • I saw the display in Columbus a few months ago, I returned to the store and it was GONE. I haven’t been able to locate it in the store since. And I’ve walked the place. Are you SURE ? :)

    • The SparkFun product should be located in or near the ‘Book’ section in most stores (DIY). There are one or two stores where SparkFun is in the ‘Gaming’ section (Denver).

    • I had the same problem too! Last I saw, it was on the back of the long wall that forms the checkout line (not on the checkout side).
      Glad to hear it’s working out since MicroCenter is actually how I initially found Sparkfun.

  • Too bad at my local (Dallas) Microcenter they seem to be continually out of stock on half the items. Well, too bad for me, great for Sparkfun.

  • Nice!

  • Very cool Guys!

  • Congratulations guys - the jump from online to retail is a huge step! Keep up the momentum!


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