I just returned from another visit to Shenzhen. This time it was all business as I needed a lot of networking stuff in preparation for my home automation project on the new townhouse.
What better place to get everything at great prices, but from the largest electronics market in the world? In the heart of the city sits a 1 km2 area that is all wholesale electronics. Thousands of businesses crammed into high rise buildings selling everything from soup to nuts. It is a daunting environment and not for the fainthearted. Noisy, busy, and confusing comes to mind here. Once you get used to it, the things here are amazing.
This is the world center of manufacturing, assemble, wholesale and export of electronics. Of course we all know Apple products are built here. I decided to get right down to business and hire an assistant to help me through all this. His name is Tide. He is the man to use if you need help there. Go to www.electronicsshenzhen.com.
Time now to explain what happened……
First, I needed some pcb connector plugs. Two to be exact. They are 12 pin J connectors. We quickly found the booth that sells them. Well, they won’t sell me 2 or 4 or 10. Minimum quantity….1000! My God, I only want 2. So, ok, then how much to buy 1000? Look at my receipt…50 RMB, which is $7.90. In the US, I pay $9.50 for 2!
Let’s move on. I needed 32 plastic spacers so I can mount a pcb to a board. These are 1/2” plastic tubes with a hole down the middle for a screw. This time I had to buy 5000! I talked them into splitting a bag and selling me 2500. I paid 60 RMB or $9.52. They run about $1.00 each in the US.
Relays. I needed 4 DTSP 12 VDC relays. Cost about $6 ea in the US. The relay sockets are another $4 in the US. Here I paid $1.80 for a relay and a socket!
This is an AMP crimper tool. Funny, AMP is made in the USA. It costs $80.00. Not this one! This copy costs me 80 RMB, which is $12.69. Everything, including the packaging, is 100% identical.
The list goes on and on. But for some fun stuff, I did buy some gadgets as well.
Beautiful leather iPhone case shown here. I got this pic from a website, but this is the exact case I bought. This site sells them for $44.29. I paid 45 RMB which is $7.14. How fun is that?
Then I got a battery power pack. This one looks like the iPhone and is a 5000ma charger thet can charge two devices at the same time. Weighs about 3 oz. I paid 100 RMB ($15.90). You can get on the net for $27.24.
I just bought the iPad 3 back in the US. They make a new cover for it that will turn on the iPad when you flip it open. Apple wanted $49 for it in the US. I found the same cover in Shenzhen, which also included a full plastic cover for the back of the iPad, which apple didn’t have. I paid $9.54 in Shenzhen for both pieces!
Finally I got this USB digital microscope for my PC. This thing goes from 20x to 200x magnification. I just found it at Amazon. You can get it for $65. Not me….. I got it for $39.76.
So there you go…..Happy shopping!