I think the only thing in their favour is the convenience factor.
There's a branch in most towns etc.
If you need a 1K resistor on a Saturday afternoon then you can get one. You'll get shafted for it but you'll get one lol
They used to be brilliant before they got ideas of grandeur. Thirty odd years ago when they were a mail order only outfit for hobbyists they were way cheaper than anyone else for just about any electronic components and their customer support techies were second to none. They always boasted that their techies made every project and used every chip that was in their catalogue just so they were familiar with it.
Maplin even did a technical electronics magazine full of all kinds of wonderful devices from build your own egg timers to metal detectors to remote control systems etc. Always a good read !
The staff could tell you the difference between each component, & were often a good source of help if you needed any.
In the early days of the shops they insisted that their staff had some form of qualification in electronics. This has obviously gone by the wayside as the shops have evolved to sell pc & audio equipment with components becoming a progressively smaller part of the business.
Nowadays a lot (not all) of the staff they use were rejects from MacD's.
I would agree there. I've haven't found one of their shop staff that can actually read the resistor colour bands or knows the difference between capacitor types for years. Ask them anything remotely technical and you just get a blank stare !
funny actually i got a good deal last week, i needed some rechargeable D cells for our twins rockers and vibrating seats, all their own brand batterys were half price, i had purchased some a few months earlier and they were £7.99, last week i payed only £3.50. everything else seems over priced or obsolete technology. i think they are struggling with most online prices now.
My wife did buy me this for xmas but at a special price of £90 i think and have to say it is the best thing i have ever had (pc wise roud because i was sick of converting movies all the time.
never had a problem with it and picture quility is superb especially wired with the720p upscaler
Ah, Maplins. Was in the Stoke store whilst at uni (so about 7 years ago) to hear a customer being told by a spotty sales assistant that he'd couldn't convert his USB webcam to serial - the customer had tried using a USB to PS/2 connected to a PS/2 to serial adapter designed for mice - and to get more USB ports he would need a new computer!
Had to step in at that point as I knew exactly where the USB hubs and USB PCI expansion cards where - about 6 foot away - recommended the expansion card as we were still USB 1.x and some devices would only work with hubs if they had an external power supply and it was cheaper than the powered hubs.
Having said that I've had some things from them that I just haven't been able to source elsewhere in the UK/EU.
They're convienient though, I've popped in a few times to get something I needed that day, not 3-5 days down the line... Yes, I knew I was paying more than I should have, but by the time you factor in the postage, they aren't far off...
As said, finding some items elswhere is a 'mare, where as you know Maplins will have them...
Anything priced over £50 though, is usually way over-priced... (IYSWIM?)
it's all about convienince really 90% of there stock is overpriced but if you need it on a sunday afternoon there isnt really much option. The end of line/managers special and b grade returned stuff can be good value though.
I got thrown out of my local maplins for asking for some resisters and LED's cos the staff were too lazy to help me locate the producing in there shite catalogue. I actually had an eye infection so reading was hard cos my eyes were watering. 3 staff (well spotty nose MacD rejects) and NO other customers.