Here are suppliers for the harder to get maker items:

  • – Electronic kits, tools, and parts. Started by MIT engineer Limor Fried (a.k.a. Lady Ada), Adafruit also is dedicated to sharing ideas, instruction and inspiration for maker activities. They ship quickly and their prices are quite reasonable. They offer an educational discount for orders over $250, just send an email to and ask for it.
  • – Huge selection of electronic kits, also offer an educational discount.
  • Digikey and Mouser – these are more traditional electronic component distributers. If you need a lot of something, this is a good place to go, with decent quantity discounts.
  • is good for … cheap batteries, especially things like button cells for bristlebots. You’ll typically need to buy 100, but they are super cheap!
  • Ebay is good for things like LEDs, EL wire, etc. Read carefully, as some things come from china and take a long time to ship.
  • Tayda Electronics really cheap for common parts like pots, resistors, etc. Have a cool ordering page for passives that let you order 1 of this value and 5 of that. Says they are in Thailand but seems to ship from the US.
  • McMaster Carr all kinds of mechanical parts, fasteners, tools, materials (like tubing, aluminum bar stock etc.