Cool Stores for Electronics Geeks

You don’t need to just scour eBay to find the old capacitor or end-of-life graphics card. These brick-and-mortar stores that specialize in surplus and older electronics parts may have just what you need.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

May 22, 2024

3 Min Read
This visitor was fascinated by the selection of parts in Houston's Electronic Parts Outlet store.
This visitor was fascinated by the selection of parts in Houston's Electronic Parts Outlet store.Better Biomed Channel

At a Glance

  • Brick-and-mortar stores that carry rare and obsolete electronics and computer parts still exist.

For decades, electronics hobbyists would make a quick jaunt to a Radio Shack or Fry’s Electronics to find parts for their DIY projects. With those brick-and-mortar chains gone, one would think that these hobbyists would have no choice but to scour eBay or other online marketplaces and exchange messages on forums to find what they need. But online is not the only place.

Believe it or not, brick-and-mortar stores that sell old or otherwise obsolete electronics and computer parts still exist. They are not part of chains but are independently owned, staffed mostly by electronics and computer enthusiasts themselves who are more than glad to help and offer their opinions. While many of the outlets maintain websites and let you browse online, the real fun is visiting their stores in person to touch and handle products that harken back to the days of disk drive PCs, pure analog oscilloscopes, typewriters(!), early microprocessors, and maybe even vacuum tubes.

On YouTube and online, Design News found some stores that sell old electronics and computer parts. We have included their addresses, website links, and YouTube videos uploaded by visitors who recorded their visits salivating over various gadgets they likely have not seen for years.

Check out the videos and links for yourself.

Related:Can AI Help Revive an Old Computer?

Electronic Parts Outlet

3753 Fondren Rd B, Houston, TX 77063


Electronic Parts Outlet is chock full of basic components, wire, tools, connectors, surplus, project/educational kits, motors, robotics, micro-controllers, and hardware. It also carries vintage computer equipment, test equipment such as oscilloscopes, meters, power supplies and more.  From typewriters to vintage film projectors and cameras, the store has a treasure trove of electronics.

You can get a look inside the store here.

Apex Surplus

8909 San Fernando Rd

Sun Valley, CA 91352



Apex Surplus, located in Los Angeles County, is an electronics store visited by hobbyists, engineers, and Hollywood prop makers for decades. Its iconic Hollywood creations include the DeLorean time machine from the Back to the Future movie, built entirely from Apex parts. Stepping into Apex is like going back in time. It’s filled floor-to-ceiling with vintage electronics, military surplus, and hard-to-find parts.

Take a look here.

Chester Electronics

7709 Sheridan Road   

Kenosha, WI   53143

Although Wisconsin may not be thought of as a hotbed for electronics development, the town of Kenosha is home to Chester Electronics, which this traveler discovered during a trip and uploaded this video.

Related:Before the IBM PC, There Was the TRS-80

Good Bytes: The Computer & Electronics Goodwill Store

8457 W Center Road

Omaha, NE 68124


GoodBytes is Goodwill’s recycled computer store, packed with computers, monitors, keyboards, video game consoles, and other electronics and accessories. It’s the perfect place to get a first-time computer for kids or a college student in the family. Take a look here.

Let's Go Vintage Computer Shopping at RE-PC

Seattle Store
Address1565 6th Ave. So. Seattle, WA 98134
Phone(206) 623-9151 

Tukwila Store
Address600 Andover Park East Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone(206) 575-8737

Residents in the state of Washington have two stores specializing in electronics and computer parts to visit. You can view the wares in the Seattle store here.

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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