Not necessarily "the best" but I use Farnell because they take credit cards, offer free next day delivery if the "ex VAT" price is > £20 and it comes via Royal Mail (which means if I'm not in, I don't have to drive 15 or 20 miles to a traffic jammed depot). It also means ordering on a Thursday night brings a Saturday morning delivery.
It can be difficult to find what you want as their catalogue is humungous.
I use these http://www.rapidonline.com as they are pretty cheaper and give free delivery if your order is over £25 ex VAT UK Mainland only and sometimes deliver next day as they send your order out the day you make it,well mine came next day and i will be making another order soon for some more wire for my layout for the DCC.
All Components www.allcomponents.co.uk carry a useful range both of components and tools. They also attend many exhibitions. Prices are higher than Farnell or RS Components - I don't know how they compare with rapidonline mentioned above. I have found them to be a very helpful bunch.
PS to dwb - David, have Farnells followed RS in doing their catalogue on CD? I've an RS account and having a cd catalogue rather than paper copy takes up far less room - not so easy to browse through, though!
Depends on what exactly you're looking for?? LEDs, Switches, Wire etc then all the above are OK, with perhaps Rapid being one of the cheaper retailers.
There are lots of others like Maplins who not only have web sales but many shops around the UK. Maplin Electronics Another good source of electronic items is Squires who are also priced competitively and deliver next day in most cases Squires Tools Unfortunately their web site isn't complete as yet but their address and phone number is shown. The have a really large and useful catalogue that's free too! Well worth the phone call to obtain one.
>David, have Farnells followed RS in doing their catalogue on CD?
I'm sure they probably do, but I've found a way of using their online search engine which works for me, so I've not bothered to check. I used to enjoy browsing the Farnell catalogue at work many years ago when it was still a single volume.
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