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 Useful Components

Useful Components

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 This, is Useful Components. I am an electronics engineer who likes to locate difficult to find parts for your weird electronics project or repair job. I also like accurate item descriptions, good photographs, and on-time dispatch. I believe that this is reflected in my feedback ratings.

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Useful Components Main Contents Page Useful Components Dispatch and Post

Updated 4th January 2021

I despair.  The ebay programming monkeys have screwed International Postage Rate Tables.  Obviously, sending to AUS is the same price as to the EU.  No, it's not.  Obviously sending to the USA is the same price as to Europe.  No, it's not.  But the programming monkey children at ebay think that it is.  If your post to Ireland and EU looks a bit expensive, it's because ebay is a disfunctional crap website that is in the process of dieing on its pathetic sorry arse.  Sorry about that.  From experience, I call it "The Nokia Syndrome."  Sounds like a film!  Meanwhile, economy overseas postage reflects an average for rates to all global locations with good postal services.  Thanks for that, ebay UK general manager Murray Lambell, who is "Responsible for all ebay UK activities," now that Robert Hatrell has been promoted to ebay europe V.P.  How did that happen?  Screw your sellers, screw your customers, just climb that greasy pole, eh Robbo?

New Year 2021 thanks also to Suella Braverman who, as Attorney General in the UK, has ignored my notification of ebay system failures causing retail fraud on many repeated occasions.  If you want to read about it, copy and paste at will:)


I'm still shipping within 24 hours.  Royal Mail have mostly recovered from their extraordinary 'sticky bed' syndrome from earlier in the year, though occasionally it still takes longer than usual to deliver some items. 

I will close down Useful Components immediately if I get any cold-like symptoms.


I started editing this page on 3rd October 2020 and gave up the will to live.  If you want to hear a fairly competent middle-aged electronics engineer having an argument with many, many ebay customer so-called 'support' telephone liars, you'll have to cut and paste the following links and suffer their pathetic lies along with me.  I have since included descriptions from the main webpage.

Ebay Customer Service Problems Navigation Page

Ebay Isn't very good when it comes to customer service for sellers.  In fact, they are absolutely awful.  There will be some more pages visible here soon.  For now, here is the sorry story of closing down my "Interesting Electronics" ebay shop.  This is the page that was placed on the front page of the shop for a couple of weeks prior to closure.  It was updated as the process went along and is shown here for archive purposes.

The Closing of Ebay Shop Interesting Electronics due to UK VAT Limit Related Invisible Sales Throttling or Capping Systems.

Patience ended.  There's no point in making life more difficult than it has to be.

Ebay, and Invisible Sales Throttling, Caps, Levelling or Limits Related to UK VAT Thresholds

Figment of a paranoid imagination or obvious mathematical truth?  You decide.  I am not alone.

30th September 2019, Ebay Loses Orders From The System and Blames Everyone Else

You would think that not losing orders in an online marketplace system is fairly basic and essential.  No, actually.  According to ebay seller support, you should expect this to happen.

1st October 2019, Ebay Remove Vital Functionality From Seller Hub By Way Of An Upgrade

Your new web page design may arguably be more mobile friendly according to several outdated measures in the Ladybird book of, "How To, Web Design For Kiddies," but that's not very helpful if it no longer actually works.

2nd March 2020, Proof That The Ebay Messaging System Lost a Vital Message and Their Pathetic Response

I've long suspected that the ebay messaging system has been losing messages sent to me from customers and vice-versa, particularly when they are using an ebay site other than  Here's just one example, and a recording of the telephone call to ebay seller "support," which did little to make me happy.  Quite the reverse, in fact.

7th April 2020, Ebay's Much Vaunted Multi-Buy Promotions Fail, Make Me Guilty of Retail Fraud, and their Pathetic Response

On the 7th April a customer alerted me to the fact that when he had bought four items, correctly using shopping cart and everything, that he had been charged the full price for one item rather than the multiple purchase reduction price.  That's retail fraud!  Here is the ebay response so far.  I've since added many more instances of systematic Multi-Buy Promotion failures, and some analysis.

28-SEP-2020,  Ebay Systems Fail To Apply A Simple Overseas Postage Rate Correctly, I get Blamed For it, and Effectively Called A Liar.

Oh dear.  It's the multi-buy promotions failure excuses all over again.  "You changed the listing after the customer placed the order."  No, I did not!  "Yes sir, you did."  No, I didn't!

Thanks then, Robert Hattrell, VP of ebay UK, who is mentioned in many of those later telephone calls and who is "... responsible for all ebay UK activities."  This includes fraudulent retail price misrepresentation on a regular and ongoing basis, of which you were first notified eight months ago on 7th April 2020.

06-OCT-2020 Ebay Append Internal Computer Garbage to Customer's Address Line 2 For Their Own Purposes, At Everyone Else's Inconvenience.

This is yet another really awful software 'frig' to add some data to Royal Mail 2D barcode labels when printed via the ridiculously time-consuming ebay system.  I can only assume that some people actually use it, meanwhile the rest of us who print address labels by a proper method have to manually remove ebay computer garbage from the text.  Something is seriously wrong at Ebay Politburo Central.  Have we sacked everyone who used to understand the system properly and employed some cheap company to kludge every software change demanded by the marketing department for a whopping bonus?  Surely not!

Brexit.  So Good, it's on Both Information Pages


It appears that due to the impending UK EU exit, CN22 customs stickers now need to be applied to all packets, and indeed I am now doing that.  The efficient Germans were particularly prompt in applying this new rule very strictly, one might think about two months prior to it actually being required.  Unfortunately this resulted in three packets being sent back and one lost.  Sorry for the inconvenience on those.  Packets to Germany and other EU countries are now arriving as usual.

I've been happily sen
ding packets to Australia, the USA, and many other non-EU countries for years now.  Australia have instituted a new system of tax pre-payment for ebay which appears to work, and all the other non-EU countries seem to have some value limit before you will get stung for internal VAT/sales tax when your packet lands.  This varies but tends to be about $12 and items are marked by me as is appropriate to their intrinsic value.  Whatever the UK Brexit disaster of self-imposed trade sanctions brings, I'm open for business to anywhere that I can successfully post to.

General Dispatch and post.


All packets containing small items are standard letterbox size, so you should never have to go and collect your packet from the sorting office unless you have requested a signed-for delivery.  The packets are not waterproof, but waterproof thermally printed stickers are used for the address.  The boxes are made from recycled cardboard, and very small items are sent in padded envelopes with additional protection.  Larger orders might be in a larger packet.  Your address will appear exactly as you type it in your ebay address fields, so it needs to be correct to avoid delays. You don't need to write or select 'default' in empty fields; It confuses the postpeople and their systems.

UK Mail

Dispatch Time, UK Mail

During Monday to Thursday items paid for before 13:00 are usually packed and marked as sent by the evening of the same day, but will always be packed and marked as sent within one working day of payment unless the shop notices or item descriptions state otherwise.  You should receive an automatic email note when the item is marked as sent, but I've found that these frequently get blocked or ebay systems fail to send them.  If a UK item is marked as sent, it has definitely been packed, it is in the post bag and it will always be posted within 24 hours.

Postal Charges, UK Mail

Within the UK you will only ever be charged one postage charge, and that starts at a low fixed amount for 2nd class post for everything.  You can add any number of the same or different items with no additional postage charge.  You need to use the shopping basket on and pay for them altogether for this to work.  You can buy the entire shop and get it shipped for the one standard post charge.

UK Post Method and Late Packets

Economy post within the UK is sent by second class Royal Mail.  "Standard" post within the UK is sent by first class Royal Mail.  These are more than 99% reliable and packets generally arrive in good time.
  I don't recommend 1st class signed-for, as this system is despised by the postpeople who often have to write out a card and carry the item back to the sorting office if there is no answer at the delivery address.  In my experience this actually increases the probability of your packet being lost. 

If your UK packet has not arrived within 10 working days of it being marked as sent, I will always resend it or refund your money at your choice.  This is my responsibility under consumer law and there is no reason to purchase extra insurance.  On these rare occasions you will never lose out, but you may have to wait a little.

If you need something the next working day Monday to Thursday, then before 13:00 on the previous day, I may well be able to send it next day special delivery by special arrangement.  This will cost you £10, but it isn't an option on the listings due to me being unable to guarantee availability.  The best way is to send a site message before buying to see if I'll be able to reach a Post Office by the collection deadline that afternoon.

Economy International Airmail

"Economy" International mail is now sent by Royal Mail Standard Airmail.  It is sent at the same time as all UK packets.


Everything below this line is a bit out-of-date, because in the light of the information at the top of the page, who cares?  Certainly not Robert Hattrell, VP of ebay UK who " responsible for all ebay UK activities."

Postal Charges, Economy International Airmail

Many countries I can ship to at his was fixed recently however, and this finally allows me to send packets to Italy and some other countries with lossy postal services.  If the economy international post price comes up as £12.95 in the postage rates tab, you're in a country with a lossy postal service and unfortunately, it's the only option available.  A tracked, signed, or tracked and signed service will be used.  It's expensive for small single items, but don't forget it's a flat rate for any quantity of anything from the shop provided that you pay for everything together using shopping cart.

"Economy International Post," that being standard airmail via DPD-LaPoste to most other EU countries, Australia, the USA, New Zealand and many others remains a sensible price for any amount of anything, and is about 98% reliable.  You'll always get a refund if it doesn't arrive in 31 days but it's usually there within 14 working days.  Ebay Central Politburo Command in their infinite wisdom give some excessively long delivery times to AUS, NZ and some other countries for economy airmail.  Generally, it is better than their estimates, but bear in mind that it's variable.

Economy International Airmail Post Method and Late Packets

All economy international airmail now ships by DPD-Geopost / La Poste International Priority Airmail.  This service is an untracked airmail service which has proved to be very reliable.  Your packet should arrive via the standard national post carrier in your country.  The stated delivery time is ten business days, but please be aware that it will be much longer than this for about 10% of packets.  This is the same for all standard airmail carriers.  I don't know why this should be, and I assume that there are random samples taken for security checking for which there is a queue of varying length depending on the season and security alert state.

All packets will now be marked with a CN22 customs sticker indicating the contents and the approximate value.  Depending on your country, sales tax-like charges might be incurred for higher value items.  Most countries operate a system where there is no charge below a certain value, and many small items will pass below this value unhindered.  If there is a charge, you will always be notified by some system operated by the national post carrier, and the packet will not be lost because of this.

If your packet has not arrived after 20 working days in the EU or 25 working days in the rest of the world, I will always re-send it or refund at your choice.  This is my responsibility under consumer law and there is no reason to purchase extra insurance.  On these rare occasions you will never lose out, but you may have to wait a little.

I may not be able to send at all to some countries, but I am generally willing to give it a try if it is actually possible.

International Tracked Airmail Service

"Royal Mail Tracked" is available to almost all countries and claims a 3 to 5 working day transit time.  This is fully tracked only within the UK.  The service claims some degree of expedited passage through customs but this is not guaranteed.  I may not be able to send at all to some countries, but I am generally willing to give it a try if it is actually possible.

Dispatch by Courier Service

I only use courier services such as DHL by special arrangement.  Be prepared to pay an extraordinary amount, in the region of £50 GBP for any item.  I have done this recently.  The estimate is accurate, and it will take me 24 hours to arrange a pickup.  Delivery is guaranteed within four days on DHL.

The New eBay Shop Format

The new ebay shop format does not allow any useful custom pages like these.  I tried it and they disappeared.  I will be forced to transfer over at some stage, meanwhile, you and eBay UK VP Rob Hattrell might enjoy listening to some of my many telephone arguments with eBay so-called seller 'Support,' over the various failures of his pathetic toy-town website.  You can listen to them here:

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