We used to use Farnell for all our purchases of electrical components. However in September they introduced a "handling charge" of £3.95 on small orders, with no warning. The "shipping" is free but the information on the website is very unclear, and for most people the distinction between shipping and handling is irrelevant.
Prior to this new charge, I would have given them 5 stars, in large part because it gives the flexibility to order things when you think of it, instead of waiting to build up sufficient order size. Searching their site can be painful, but their live chat tech support are very good at the search part.
Farnell - if you read this, think again. In the meantime, I'm off to find a new supplier.
Once you have found what you want it is easy to order and the delivery time is excellent but the "on line catalogue" is very frustrating. Sometimes it is quicker to go elsewhere although you know Farnell stock it.
I highly recommend farnell for the purchase of electronic components. They really bring parts that would be otherwise unavailable to the end consumer. The only negative the the minimum order but i can understand that given the volumes they must push to make a profit. There components are whole-sale priced for the most part.
I've used Farnell as a company for decades and still find them the best one-stop shop for rapid prototype requirements. Delivery, in general, is next day and reliable. As I say in the title the breadth of stock is impressive. Why only 4 stars? I find the web-site itself lacks a little something. The search engine is cluncky and can be frustrating at times. The components are there and will be delivered in a very timely manner but it takes too long to find them...
I used Farnell for many years as a business customer sourcing all sorts of components and engineering materials. Their level of stock across all ranges was far better than the competition and delivery hardly ever wavered from next day. I use them now as a retired engineer and keen electronics designer, especially in the Arduino/Raspberry Pi/general microcontroller world, and their service has not changed. As well as the stock, backup support of data sheets on the web site is invaluable. I like the regular new product updates. Element14 was a novelty, and I still don't know what it is, but the service hasn't changed!
Not only does Farnell offer an extensive range of products, their delivery service is excellent. Having been a Farnell customer for many years I have never had cause or entertained the idea of placing an order with the supplier I used to deal with - RS Components.
Support is excellent.
Web site search can be slow.
More linked referencing would be a great benefit (IE : When buying a connector header links to the socket and pins would be displayed.). At the moment you have to search for linked items separately and this is time consuming and not always easy.
I use Farnell for a number of our stock items, because the turn round times are really quick, I do not have to carry larges amounts of stock here, knowing I can get the product within 24 hours.
Farnell is a reliable quick component supplier with an easy to use product search facility that is much simpler and quicker than their obvious competitor RS.
Element14 as a forum/website is complete rubbish and does absolutely nothing for me, whenever I've tried to access data on this website I always come away unsatisfied.
Does what we need: provides the parts we need when we need them.
Another advantage is that I work a lot internationally, particularly in France. I can send a Farnell number to someone there, and they can order locally.
We had an invoice overdue for payment. We advised when the payment would be made but without further communiaction our account was changed to a cash account and a new account number etc. applied to us. Consequently we do not purchase as much from Farnell as previous and always try other suppliers in the first instance.
Variety of. stock is impressive. Delivery is usually superb.
Technical asistence and general help is very good, very little time to wait on the phone, and that's important to me whilst operating in Spain.
Farnell have a wide range of stock. It can take a while to find what you want on their website, but the product information is detailed enough to make informed purchases. Delivery is usually next day.
Although a very good over all service, there has been a few occasions we have struggled to get decent prices, also when we order small parts they have turned up as if they were just thrown in the bags plus we have received incorrect parts or mixed parts
Small or large, orders are treated the same. 99% delivered the next working day. RS boast free delivery but sneak in a handling charge for small orders.
No problem is to small. having had a recent problem our customer contact spent time and effort in resolving the problem. Not many suppliers would bother if there was not a large order in the offering.
Farnell/Element14 carry a large range of stock - most of what we want tends to be on the shelves as well. The prices are not necessarily quite the best on the block but the delivery costs, even on small orders, more than makes up for this.
Good rang, great delivery for UK stock.
Only problems for me are;
a) US stock means a high delivery charge
b) I wish they would pack components in ziplock bags like mouser do
Otherwise a great service
I always turn to Farnell before any other distributor for anything from test equipment to fuses & production consumables... lately I have used them as first port of call for ferrite cores and bobbins use in smaller quantity manufacture here as the larger UK specialised ferrite distributors are not really stockists any more.
There are few areas where RS are cheaper but not many !!
FARNELL ARE VERY EASY TO DEAL WITH , VIA PHONE OR THEIR SIMPLE ON LINE ORDERING FORMAT , ALWAYS KEPT UPTO DATE WITH ORDER PROGRESS AND ALWAYS DELIVERED WHEN IT SHOUD BE , WHAT MORE CAN YOU ASK
IAN MCGLINCHEY @ LIFTCARE - ST HELENS
Farnell have a great range of products and accurate stock levels provided on the web site. The two things I really like about Farnell are the speed at which things get delivered (almost always it's the next day) and the fact that postage charges are built into the product cost, so there's no ridiculous extra P&P to pay, especially for small items.
Farnell have been around for some time, and so have I!
In all the years i've been using Farnell i have never had reason to complain, sure they get things wrong some times, but then don't we all? The important thing is on the rare occasion they do get something wrong they sort it out without any fuss and normally by the next day.
Can't ask much more really! You can trust this lot, I assure you.
I really like the fact that the quantity available is displayed along with the quantity price breaks - and if you want quite a few of an item a quick email of telephone call and you can make a saving on those numbers. The confirmation of order and status updates keep you informed until the parts land on your desk, always the next day. Even returns proved not to be a problem - I recently managed to order the wrong variation of a product but they still refund without a re-stocking fee that some charge. On the rare occasion that an item is out of stock you are kept fully informed as to progress with the back order.
I have one criticism - the minimum order charge - in addition this doesn't include P&P or VAT so one ends up having to spend considerably more than the basic cost of items - I am always looking around for additional items to fill my "scrap box" to make up the minimum. If there was a way that regular customers could perhaps be spared this minimum, that would be great - say a minimum spend in a 12 month period or similar.
Otherwise, I have to curb my enthusiasm to buy the latest evaluation board till I need several items.
Broad base but "US stock" needs to be watched. Otherwise, reliable. Prices usually reasonable, but check elsewhere first. Covers some of the more difficult items well, which is a good way to attract customers onto the web site. Considering the number of items stocked the web site sorting system is not bad, but it does still get confused between such things as mA, A uA, 0.1 A, 1A, which can give the searcher apoplexy. There are sites that get this into an even bigger mess. Ordering on line works well.
order parts one day and usually arrive next day knocks spots off competition ..first choice if i want parts quick up to now ive been very pleased with the quality of service from farnell unlike a local top name supplier who takes up to 3 days to get to me when im only 10 miles away so Farnell are doing something right and i will continue to use them
You provide an excellent level of service, there is little room for improvement. Your email updates keep me informed of when orders have been received and when I can expect delivery. Most items are in stock and arrive within 24hrs from order. When I do have issues your staff are friendly and knowledgeable. In the main, it's pleasure doing business with you.
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