I ordered two from Mouser this week.
And paid in much in S&H (if not more) to buy the two from Mouser then it
would have cost to get 50 from China... ;)
And what would I do with 50 when I need 2?
I often order from DigiKey or Mouser, but I build ("manufacture") some
electronic products in small batches, and I can often piggy-back some
personal items onto one of those orders to save shipping.
I also frequently order items will-call from Jameco, which is located about
two miles from my house. They certainly don't have the huge stock or
up-to-date parts that DigiKey and Mouser do, and their web site is
atrocious, but I certainly can't beat the convenience. They have a far
larger variety of stock than Fry's or Radio Shack ever did, and they're
generally a lot cheaper than a retail store, or even DK or M.
Surprisingly, there's still an old-school electronics store in the area,
too: Sam Mateo Electronics. They even have an old-style drug store tube
tester, although they don't stock tubes any more (I think).
When I'm buying parts, or almost anything except for tools, I usually order
more than I need. Over the (many, many) years, this has resulted in me
having a range of parts and other material "in stock" that I would have
totally envied in my younger years. I've now reached the point where I'm
trying to adapt my designs to make do with the parts I have in stock, rather
than having to order new ones. Unlike in earlier years, this isn't due to
cost, but rather to try to use up all of the *stuff* I've accumulated over