Sign In

Help Us Out: What Have You Bought at RadioShack?

Published
RadioShack
RadioShack made news recently when it announced that it will close 1,100 stores nationwide, which got us wondering: What type of shoppers frequent the electronics chain?

Come, let us pick your brain in our latest survey. (It's short!) We want to know if you've made a purchase in the past year at RadioShack, and if not, what you think people are buying round those parts. Click here to take the survey.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
41 comments
jharmon64
I love Radio Shack. Admittedly I don't have much reason to go there, but I really like going to a small shop that actually has people who know what they are talking about.

I recently got 2 new cell phones there. Sometimes they are even cheaper than the Verizon or Sprint store is.

I will support them whenever I can.
crowelle
The Tandy Corporation was a family-owned leather goods company based in Fort Worth, Texas. Tandy was founded in 1919 as a leather supply store, and acquired RadioShack in 1963. The Tandy name was dropped in May 2000, when RadioShack Corporation was made the official name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_Corporation
kryptonitekeeper
I got an awesome r/c race car
linthead76
Their PC's were Tandy brand.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tandy_1000
crowelle
On a completely unrelated note -- anyone remember when RadioShack was related to Tandy? Get your leather punches with your electronics. An odd combination!
crowelle
It seems like every time I walk into RadioShack, it is like the sales staff is nervous that I am there. When I think of brick and mortar retailers that are enjoyable to shop at -- I think of those who let me browse without bugging me too much. I want you there as an employee, but don't watch every move I make (Honestly, I am not going to steal anything) and stop asking if I need help. I have a voice, I can ask if I need anything. RadioShack has become like a liquor store -- you go in, pick up what you need (and by need, I've exhausted any other option to purchase and I want it NOW), avoid browsing as you are being watched like a hawk, and get out. Like others, I certainly do not see RS as a place where you are going to get a competitive price on a name-brand product and I would worry about an exchange or refund policy. I too do not like being quizzed as to my cell phone contract and HATE being asked for an email, address or even a zip code.
dealnews-Lindsay
@Grampa_cheap_ass We didn't delete your comment, it was pending approval.
seanscottusa
You have a problem in your survey… I can only select one category of purchase, but I have purchased in three categories.
Fatmanfighting
Brick & mortar retail electronics is barely surviving and Radio Shack is the Quicky Mart of retail electronics. People only go to the Quicky Mart for an over priced gallon of milk, not to go all their shopping. I think Radio Shack could position themselves as the quick stop electronics shop. But it's future as a place to shop... no go.
kerney
I have purchased batteries and some small, non-critical electronics replacement components. Radio Shack came into the Midwest in the early 70's after taking over Allied Electronics and proceeded to destroy this previously reputable company, replacing quality electronic kits and stereo components with cheap, unreliable and low end crap. Used to be that if you wanted state of the art electronics, you went to Allied Radio and spoke with geeks who really knew the equipment, but were able to speak in normal language. Radio Shack ended all of that, trying to be cutesy with their "cigar box" registers and the dumbing down of the electronics market. And I hate that they used to always ask for a name, phone number and/or zip code even if you paid cash for something like a battery.
Ricochet-Rabbit
Also...anyone else remember all the RS dedicated computer stores which popped up in the early 80s? Usually they were in the building space next to the normal RS. Got to know all those employees by name. Parts and upgrades for my TRS-80 Model III were only supposed to be installed by their techs which of course had hefty labor charges. They would always sell parts directly to me for that computer and the techs were happy to give hints and tips. I'd also get a heads up on any killer sales and close outs on parts.
Although a bit pricey, they also offered great programming classes. I took two of them when I was 12 and still have the books and certificates...heck, I still have that Trash 80 Model III.

Last few things I bought this year were sockets for D-RAMS for my old Atari 8 bit and a small bulb and a holder for a car door courtesy light. They had what I needed. Employees were of course worthless but that didn't stop them from following me around and breathing down my neck.
sodapopper
I've actually never bought anything at Radio Shack, but I remember my dad buying tubes to fix the TV, probably around 1969.
SergSF
Survey cut out at Q4 when I answered non emergency purchase. I paid $15 for an no contract cell phone (Kyocera Event) which would be a horrible daily driver phone, but never activated it and it makes an excellent XBMC touch remote that I can read email on in a pinch. Now that they stock less and less electronic components (that I can order from DigiKey) there's almost no reason to shop at RS unless they're having a blowout sale.
alltimegreat
whats the problem with radioshack is that they are not in google when you want to shop online
alltimegreat
wireless headphones for TV and earphones, some electronic parts, magnets
Herennow
Radio shack is only good for last minute stuff you forgot. Otherwise, they are worthless & a Rip.
Kplan23
As a kid in I used to go to Radio Shack to buy their electronic project kits. I have great memories of 101 projects in one kit. This lead to many large Heathkit projects.Sadly today RS is staffed by people with the same electronics knowledge as a supermarket cashier. I recently had to get a garage door opener battery. Home Depot was out of the $3 Energizer 2 pac. I had to go to RS and spend $7 for an off brand 2 pack. When the manager saw my discontent he said he could save me $1 for a single pack. So I'm forced to pay $6 for 1 off brand battery rather than $1.50 for an Energizer. I had no choice and bought it. Then he tried to supersize my purchase by asking if he could check to see if I was past my 2 year cell phone contract.Prior to that visit I needed a replacement on/off switch for a monitor. The sales girl had no idea what it was or where to look for it. After waiting 20 minutes for the manager he could only find 2 switches that were close. I took both. Neither actually fit. I took the old switch apart. Cleaned the contact points and it's worked fine for 4 years.I'm sorry to see RS go, but their business model is long past it's prime. You have to sell at slim margins, not 4 times big box stores or 10 times online pricing. RS's niche market has dried up. Mister Fixit has been replaced by the disposable consumer.I just hate to see anymore vacant storefronts.
Ricochet-Rabbit
I loved Radio Shack when I was a kid. I'd memorize their yearly catalog and visit the local store at least once a week for my projects. Employees seemed to care about their job, knew me by name and would let me browse in peace.
My favorite part was the AS IS section. RS would sell returned items for next to nothing. 9 out of 10 times it was an easy fix or there was nothing wrong with the item. Top of the line cordless phones, car stereos, equalizers, CB radios etc. for $2 to $5. I still have many of these items today. Best part, they could order replacement parts for those items. All you needed was the model # and the component # on the unit's circuit board. They had the schematics on file and sold replacement parts for every item they sold!

RS died in the mid 90s with their idiotic cell phone push and commission hungry employees.. Now everything technical is contained in two small cabinets and their employees would be more at home working at a clothing store in the mall.
anna_malai
in last 10 years...

1. speaker wire on clearance
2. RF modulator
3. couple of prepaid phones for netflix codes.
senn590
Protip: Get the exact same or better quality Chinese stuff online for 50%-99% less shipped without dealing with low-paid, commissioned salespeople. With every single former customer knowing that, it's hard for them to make any money selling actual physical goods. Instead, they try to sell services--cellular, satellite, warranty--none of which actually requires their "assistance" either. RadioShack is even more anachronistic, obnoxious, parasitical, and pointless than Best Buy, which is saying a lot. If you just love B&M shopping vs. online then you should go to Costco
DanBailey1981
I remember as a child being enamored with the electronics at radioshack. The innovative kits and and large selection of components got me really interested in actual building of electronics. Granted, I never really went beyond putting together some diodes and resistors for a college class their store is really only for odd and end cables needed immediately which are always much cheaper on monoprice or buying cell phones, which I only have at least 10 places to buy cell phones in town already.
Bashfuull
I go into RadioShack several times a year, probably once a month. I usually don't buy anything pre-assembled. I browse the arduino and micro controller components. I have also bought plenty of resistors, capacitors, switches and servos because you can't go to any other brick and mortar store (at least not in my area) for those items. Sure they are cheaper online but at the expense of paying for shipping and then waiting a week. As for anything else... only if it's on clearance because their prices are ridiculous.
tomdew
I buy some electronics at the private own RS stores. The corporate own stores don't stock anything
much different that Wal-mart.but at a higher price. Radio Shack started marketing to a different
consumer sometime around 2000 . It was a real electronic store in the 70-80 & 90s. I hated to see it change.
As far as I'm concern Radio Shack has be closed for a good while now.
Grampa_cheap_ass
A hdmi cable on Black Friday 2013 because I bought a blu/ray player so yeah it was a last min. Thing other then that I haven't been to a radio shack in years. XD R.I.P. RADIO SHACK
Kyle55
Most of the stuff there is 10 times the price i can get it for online
BboJim
I just checked, my last purchase was an online purchase in 2007, it was a splitter for a car charger for an iGo Tips power adapter.
Dodol
Last ten years, once, Last year, I think, it was at the mall, need to buy charger for my phone. Bought a wall/car charger combo and it cost me $30. And the sales pushing me for extended warranty. Way too expensive for deal news followers. So I'm glad they closed.
ibex333
I am glad Radio Shack is closing stores. It's about time. Here in NYC my customer experience with them was absolutely horrible in the recent years. The salespeople working there do not have any technical knowledge, but they sure have an attitude! Several times I'd come i and ask for a certain part and these people would tell me that they don't have it and such a part doesn't exist, almost mocking me and laughing at me for my "stupidity" for asking for a part that seemingly doesn't exist.

When I would point out to them that they have that specific part for sale in other stores, they wouldn't even bother apologizing for laughing at me earlier. They'd just tell me to go to the other store where the part is in stock. I always left the Radio Shack stores feeling like I was spit on.

Further, the shameless price gauging has got to stop. These sharks are charging $20 for an HDMI cable which can be had for $5 online. $25 for a box of DVDs I can get for $10 online, and so on...
lsapinoso
Switches and quick disconnects a couple of years ago.
snaimpally
A few years ago I bought a headset from RS for use with Dragon's Naturally Speaking. Thta is the last time I was in an RS store. Their stores are not very conveniently located. Most of the time, if I want electronic components, batteries, etc., I just go to Frys as they have a bigger selection and more informed sales people.
yank141
Last thing I purchased was a pack of AA batteries, over 1 year ago.
vwoom
Last minute, "must have" electronic/elecrical part..,.for the "MacGyver" in us.
Pilm
in the last 20 years i've bought:
1) spool of speaker wire on clearance
2) 47uF 25V capacitor for a refrigerator control board
kc5wmm
last time I bought something from Radioshack was the mid-90's. Atleast back then, I had an idea of what I was going to find inside Radioshack. These days, I don't understand what they are trying to sell? Is it cell phones, toys, stereo's, components??? Not to mention that the larger electronics they offer are cheaply made and often don't last long past the date of purchase. Goodbye Radioshack!
tnguye09
alligator clips for model kits
gizmovision
used to buy electronics components also. they dropped most of that and have become a cell phone reseller. they have them everywhere in the malls and online. at least with their over priced electronics you had 'options' . I won't miss them.
jaykayd
I went in because I needed a Compact Flash card right away. The girl that helped me didn't know what that was. She said I could get flash cards from the stationery section of a Target. Finally I showed her what I was talking about... they had one model to choose from (an 8GB version and I wanted at least 16GB). So I paid twice as much as I should have, got half the product I wanted, and decided I'd never do business there again.
linthead76
I used to stop by Radio Shack regularly. A few years ago they reduced their product lines to the point I am no longer interested in browsing their store. The only reason I go in Radio Shack now is the rare chance they may have an electronic component on hand that I don't won't to wait to be shipped from an online vendor. Also, the in-store prices are too high unless there is a sale and they quit mailing sale papers a couple of years ago.
winsorc
speaker wire
HeyTiger
electronics components, mostly. They abandoned that market for off brand electronics and cell phones and now they're on their way out.
kip3000
Switches and diodes
Leave a comment! or Register