Maplin collapse. A sad day. — Oculus
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Maplin collapse. A sad day.

DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player

Just heard that Maplin has collapsed into administration.


It's sad news for those of us who enjoyed wondering around the store, getting inspiration for those little electronics projects we like to mess about with. It was also a useful place for the occasional emergency PC component purchase... for when you just can't wait for an on-line order to come though. With the disappearance of Tandy (RadioShack) and now Maplin, my high street is becoming a much less geeky and altogether less appealing place to visit.


It's obviously worse news for the 2,500 UK staff who work in the 200 stores and I'd like to wish well for the future.

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Comments

  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    Oh boy, I love maplins, I used to get a lot of electronics parts for my tinkering, soldering etc. It's also a great place to just browse. Got my sound mixer from there too. Boooooooo
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  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    I blame Amazon, I increasingly get almost everything from there, even shampoo or basic groceries.
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player

    Yep, it was one of those stores I'd always go in when passing. The last thing I bought in there was enenloop batteries & charger packs, 2 for 1 offer so I got a spare charger. My last PSU was from there too, that was an emergency!


    The staff always seemed pretty friendly in a John Lewis kind of way which is always nice. Most shops I like to be left alone but the occasional geeky chat is a good thing.


    On-line is definitely the culprit, sooner or later there won't be any reason to leave the house :(

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  • matskatsabamatskatsaba Posts: 275
    Nexus 6

    On-line is definitely the culprit, sooner or later there won't be any reason to leave the house :(

    Deffo not.
    I started to order stuff from ebay because of the following reasons:
    -Maplin didn't have it in stock
    -Even if it did, only a few pieces per component (which is kinda huge problem if it comes to resistors, capacitors and such)
    -Even if I placed an order there personally, the wanted item took over 2-3 weeks to arrive (if at all)
    -The price of a single capacitor was higher than if I ordered a 20-pack from the same brand on ebay.

    Overall, the ware quality was below expectations. Cheap chinese stuff all over the store.
    There were of course branded things but nothing you couldn't buy at a PC store.
    Not sure its the same but the maplin closest to us employed people who didn't have a clue when I asked for specific components (for example I asked for a 470 microfarad 16v capacitor, and they were like o.O "wtf? can you look it up in the catalogue and ask for product number instead?")

    I simply started to order online because i got fed up with incompetent people who don't even know the purpose of the stuff they are selling, prices being 20x above ebay or amazon, abysmal waiting time, insufficient stock.

    You can blame the internet but they pretty much dug their own hole and so don't deserve even the smallest bit of sympathy.
  • elbofforelboffor Posts: 2,572 Valuable Player
    Have to agree with the above. Every maplin i have ever been into was overpriced and underwhelming in regards to staff knowledge.

    I once got into an argument over a hdd as the counter staff was saying a gigabyte was not a measure of capacity but a brand. And they only sold hdd's that are measured in gigabits as thats the "correct" terminology.

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  • matskatsabamatskatsaba Posts: 275
    Nexus 6
    Right?  XD 
    I remember a few years ago when drones became the thing...
    Paid a visit
    They didn't have drones for sale
    But they did have "Minihelicopters" XD
  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 6,044 Valuable Player
    Went to Maplins twice once to buy something and then went back to get a refund. Never in all my life did I have so much trouble getting a refund. They ended up giving me a partial refund because they said the packaging had been opened LOL. Well how else was I supposed to open it and see if it worked without opening it? 
  • ZenbaneZenbane Posts: 13,877 Valuable Player
    I blame Amazon, I increasingly get almost everything from there, even shampoo or basic groceries.

    Amazon is definitely causing a lot of these closures. I have a few favorite locals that closed up shop as well in recent months. The worst part about it (for me) is that I hate ordering from Amazon. They screw up more than 50% of my orders.
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  • Shadowmask72Shadowmask72 Posts: 3,463 Valuable Player
    Aww I purchased my tower case from there not so long ago as well as some other bits. As Daft says, a shame really but Amazon is to blame, this is what it does to businesses. It eats them all up because they can't compete but adds nothing to the local communities in return. We have a dangerous Amazon only world in the making if we're not careful.


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  • RedRizlaRedRizla Posts: 6,044 Valuable Player
    edited February 2018
    Yeah, I could get a cable that cost £5.88 from Amazon, while a similar one from Maplins would cost £19.99. I'm all for Amazon because it's cheap and there no quibble refund is less hassle. Charging ridiculous prices that Maplins charged will only land you in trouble. I'm sorry for it's staff though..
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player
    You'll always get staff that know and staff that don't. Same thing with PC World (before it became a white goods retailer) some staff didn't have a clue, some staff were enthusiasts... depends on the store. I suggest someone arguing over gigabyte being a brand was pretty unique... unless you were arguing over the Gigabyte printed on the box of a  a Gigabyte branded Hdd! My point is, having a bricks & mortar option is better than not having the option.

    I disagree with the them being overpriced too... unless you mean a few percent. My PSU was probably 5% above online price which is fair enough given a physical store overheads, that's life, and it saved my bacon getting some work finished that day.

    Don't get me wrong, 95% or the electronics I buy comes online but that doesn't mean Im happy about losing the other 5% option. 
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  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    Zenbane said:
    I blame Amazon, I increasingly get almost everything from there, even shampoo or basic groceries.

    Amazon is definitely causing a lot of these closures. I have a few favorite locals that closed up shop as well in recent months. The worst part about it (for me) is that I hate ordering from Amazon. They screw up more than 50% of my orders.
    Never had an issue with them, and I can seemingly return items that I've had for a year with no questions asked. Just recently I returned my Bose QuietComforts because I scratched them, got a new pair no hassle. An electric oil heater broke (well out of warranty) .. returned and refunded with no questions, they even arranged to have it picked up at no extra cost. Their customer support is second to none. I ordered a GPU once from another retailer, wanted to return it because I ordered the wrong thing by mistake, too 5 weeks to get it sorted!!!
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  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    You'll always get staff that know and staff that don't. Same thing with PC World (before it became a white goods retailer) some staff didn't have a clue, some staff were enthusiasts... depends on the store. I suggest someone arguing over gigabyte being a brand was pretty unique... unless you were arguing over the Gigabyte printed on the box of a  a Gigabyte branded Hdd! My point is, having a bricks & mortar option is better than not having the option.

    I disagree with the them being overpriced too... unless you mean a few percent. My PSU was probably 5% above online price which is fair enough given a physical store overheads, that's life, and it saved my bacon getting some work finished that day.

    Don't get me wrong, 95% or the electronics I buy comes online but that doesn't mean Im happy about losing the other 5% option. 
    Agree with brick and mortar 100%, when I went to PC world I got to check out and play with several DSLR's ... I chose one because of how it felt in my hand. Mind you I left the store and bought it on Amazon :/
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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,591 Valuable Player
    Bloody hell, awful news but the shops had gone noticeably down hill during the last 15 years or so, but it was still good to pick up things if you were in a rush to get something that day. :(
    "This you have to understand. There's only one way to hurt a man who's lost everything. Give him back something broken."

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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player
    edited February 2018
     Agree with brick and mortar 100%, when I went to PC world I got to check out and play with several DSLR's ... I chose one because of how it felt in my hand. Mind you I left the store and bought it on Amazon :/

    Yep, I'm definitely guilty of doing that too.


    If it's only a few % difference though I'll stick with the store, returns are just soo much less hassle. I don't want to keep plugging John Lewis but the last TV I bought was a big purchase, Sony had just released its Android TV platform & I took the plunge on a 55 incher. 3 weeks after I bought it, they reduced the price by £350, just took the receipt in & they refunded the difference there & then. That's the kind of thing we'll never get from an on-line store.


    A big loss for me was Yoyotech, they used to have a superb little store just off Tottenham Court Road, must have spent a fortune in there... on-line only now. Don't even know what computer stores are left on TCR now.

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  • nalex66nalex66 Posts: 4,467 Volunteer Moderator
    I've pretty much stopped buying retail for PC stuff in the past few years. I get everything from New Egg or Amazon now. Actually, it's not just PC stuff. More and more, I'm finding that I just can't get what I want from retail stores, especially if I'm at all picky about what brand or model I'm looking for.
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  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,591 Valuable Player
    Yup, I got my Rift and Touch controllers from John Lewis for the same reason. Their after-sales support and customer service is second to none here in the UK.
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  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    edited February 2018
     Agree with brick and mortar 100%, when I went to PC world I got to check out and play with several DSLR's ... I chose one because of how it felt in my hand. Mind you I left the store and bought it on Amazon :/

    Yep, I'm definitely guilty of doing that too.


    If it's only a few % difference though I'll stick with the store, returns are just soo much less hassle. I don't want to keep plugging John Lewis but the last TV I bought was a big purchase, Sony had just released its Android TV platform & I took the plunge on a 55 incher. 3 weeks after I bought it, they reduced the price by £350, just took the receipt in & they refunded the difference there & then. That's the kind of thing we'll never get from an on-line store.


    A big loss for me was Yoyotech, they used to have a superb little store just off Tottenham Court Road, must have spent a fortune in there... on-line only now. Don't even know what computer stores are left on TCR now.


     Maan I remember getting a Voodoo 2 card and a Creative Labs DVD Encore drive (with decoder card) from TCR, it used to be so lively ... only a few left now. AND YOU COULD HAGGLE!
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  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player


     Maan I remember getting a Voodoo 2 card and a Creative Labs DVD Encore drive (with decoder card) from TCR, it used to be so lively ... only a few left now. AND YOU COULD HAGGLE!

    haha I think the first time I ever haggled in a shop was in TCR getting a Blaupunkt car stereo for my sister's birthday...must have been 30 years ago! Watched my first proper surround-sound demo in a shop there too, the Praxis explosion shockwave from Star trek VI, must have been off VHS cos that would have been 91 or 92, remember it vividly!


    That's another thing we're going to lose without shops, getting lustful over tech demos, it's definitely stimulated my spending over the years.

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  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,235 Volunteer Moderator
    In australia we had 3 main electronic store chains:
    - Tandy (in america the Tandy corporation owned Radio Shack). Sold some electronics components, but turned into a household gadget store, was bought by Woolworths (grocery store), then bought by Kogan and became online only.
    - Dick Smith Electronics. This was the most common components store. Tons of cool stuff. It was bought out by Woolworths, transitioned into a Tandy style household gadget store, then was bought by Kogan two years ago and became online only. (deja vu?)
    - Jaycar. This is the only well known component chain still running physical stores in Aus. They are definitely a gadget store (drones, toys, etc), but there's still aisles of resistors, capacitors, switches, sockets, etc. Plus a whole arduino section. I'm expecting them to be bought by Woolworths then Kogan.

    From my experience, the real big one against these stores is Aliexpress. While it can take 6-8 weeks to ship, you can bulk buy huge amounts of components for a fraction of the price.
    For example, I just bought 12 Arduino Unos, each with a usb cable, for a total of $44au. But a single Uno with no cable from Jaycar is $29.99au. A pack of 8 resistors is $0.48au at Jaycar, but a pack of 100 is $0.87au on Aliexpress.

    The advantage of Jaycar style stores is I can walk in and buy on the spot. But when I don't mind waiting, I'll buy from Aliexpress. Plus they have some crazy stuff, look at this: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Wholesale-Heavy-Duty-225A-3p-Double-Throw-Knife-Disconnect-Switch-Delivered-Safety-Knife-Blade-Switches/32694816812.html
    That's a 225amp knife switch (3 pole double throw) for only $29.57 (it's on a 12% off sale for the next 10 hours). Imagine hooking that up to, well, anything!

    Speaking of Aliexpress, the 30kpps laser galvanometer I ordered just left Shenzen 6 hours ago and is on it's way to Aus. :)


    It is sad to see the physical stores go though.
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player

    Blimey @kojack, that knife switch is a new one on me, not seen anything like it!


    I used to deal with big open knife switches for DC escalators & lifts back in the day... all mounted on big slate panels but that kind of thing was outlawed a long time ago!

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  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,235 Volunteer Moderator
    I might just buy one, hook it up to an arduino and use it as the landing gear control in Elite Dangerous. :)

    Here's a cheaper one. Only 63amp and 2 pole, but it's $5.40us.
    https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Wholesale-Heavy-Duty-63A-2p-Double-Throw-Knife-Disconnect-Switch-Delivered-Safety-Knife-Blade-Switches/1746002_32695823276.html
    (There's a 32A one for $3.51 too)

    But can you really live with just 63A when a 225A is available?
    httpsae01alicdncomkfHTB14OJmKVXXXXXlXVXXq6xXFXXX7Wholesale-Heavy-Duty-63A-2p-Double-Throw-Knife-Disconnect-Switch-Delivered-Safety-Knife-Blade-Switchesjpg
  • DaftnDirectDaftnDirect Posts: 4,719 Valuable Player

    The last serious job I did was the traction install at Cockfosters & Northfields Depots, 1200A circuit breakers by Hawker Siddeley, I could put you in touch with the rep if you fancy trying one of those out!

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  • LZoltowskiLZoltowski Posts: 6,739 Volunteer Moderator
    Cockfosters ...

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  • Techy111Techy111 Posts: 5,811 Volunteer Moderator
    Pah you lot saying TCR has no comp stores !!! I know a few lads who have a big lorry parked around and things fall off it all the time  :D 
    A PC with lots of gadgets inside and a thing to see in 3D that you put on your head.

  • kojackkojack Posts: 5,235 Volunteer Moderator
    Going a little off topic... but on aliexpress I just found a 5KG pull force electromagnet for only $3.36. If I buy ten or so, I can make a rail gun!
    :)

    Actually I'd love to go magnet fishing. But I'd be worried that a permanent magnet would get stuck on something too heavy to lift. So I'd want to use an electro magnet. I can get a 600KG pull force electro magnet for only $76us. I'd probably need a car battery or something to power it.


    I've been on aliexpress a lot lately because my students are making custom game controllers for a subject. So I've been buying bulk supplies (arduinos, leds, resistors, wire, etc) in advance to save them the shipping time, plus for me to experiment with.
  • snowdogsnowdog Posts: 6,591 Valuable Player
    All that went completely over my head. Here in 'Nham (Tottenham) you can't get knife switches but just about everyone has a switchblade knife lol :o :D :D :D

    Toys'R'Us have also gone into administration too. Probably pound shops have contributed to both of these companies going down the toilet too.
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  • kevinw729kevinw729 Posts: 4,409 Valuable Player
    Sad news - will be missed. Spent hours at the Tottenham Court road location in London - always helpful.


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