The Largest Electronic Component Search Engines, Compared

By Logan Wamsley

The electronics industry has recently experienced a period of steady growth and technological advancement – and many professionals who specialize in the act of buying and selling electronic components and semiconductors have come to incorporate the benefits of online marketplaces into their daily business practices.

The primary appeal of these sources lies in a marketplace’s ability, via our electronic component search engine, to connect buyers directly with reputable sellers who reflect a mutual commitment to transparency and integrity. Within a single platform, prospective buyers can (in theory) view up-to-date inventory quantities, view company profiles and applicable certifications, and request quotes. What used to take days of dedicated research and networking could now be accomplished in a fraction of the time, and procurement specialists on both sides of the aisle have felt the benefits.

There is currently no shortage of electronic component search engines available for users to explore, and each one has its own features – and disadvantages – unique to it. Choice is always beneficial in a market system, as the drive to compete is what results in better offerings.

The team at Partstat has been observing these systems for more than a decade. Our research, combined with over 27 years of industry experience, has given us the means to succeed in building a better mousetrap – the world’s largest free online search engine and marketplace that is packed with intuitive features buyers and sellers have long requested. What we wish to do here is objectively outline a few of these primary features that make Partstat unique from our competitors, and why we feel that all of the limitations of past search engines have been addressed – all without charging our users a dime.

1. Free to Upload, Free to Use

To fully understand just how revolutionary this simple concept is, it helps to look at how our competitors handle this issue. Silicon Expert offers a limited seven-day free trial of their search engine for buyers, with full access to features such as end-of-life data, lifecycle status, and data sheets locked until an annual subscription is finalized. IC Source offers a similar free trial, provided all company criteria is approved in advance. netComponents limits potential users to little more than a demo, and a membership fee must be finalized before information such as company descriptions, languages, payment terms, and even basic contact information can be viewed.

On Partstat, all the elements of Part Search are free. There’s no catch, no games, and none of the features we offer users are hidden behind barriers of any kind. Datasheets, average inventory pricing, quantities, and company descriptions are all available from your very first search. To request quotes or send Rapid RFQs to hundreds of authorized distributors, just create a free account so we can generate your personalized customer dashboard. Users even have access to our Google Earth feature, which allows them access to a satellite view of seller facilities – invaluable as a check against non-authorized suppliers.

This conscious lack of barriers extends to the seller side, as well. Provided approval is authorized following our thorough vetting process, suppliers large and small, authorized and non-authorized, can upload as much of their inventory as they want to our platform for free. Authorized distributors are also automatically enrolled into our Rapid RFQ system, granting them immediate access to the buyers they want at the point of interest. There’s no memberships or subscriptions – we believe in an open ecosystem so broad that it stretches beyond the limits of Partstat itself. Unlike any other marketplace, all of the unique parts listed on our platform are indexed, then ranked, by Google. This means that buyers who are not on Partstat will still readily see your inventory with a quick Google Search.

2. Real-Time Trending Charts

As industry experts know well, there is an inherent lifecycle mismatch between the lifecycle of an OEM product and electronic components required to support it. This discrepancy has only worsened in recent years as OEMs are putting more pressure on component manufacturers to continually push the envelope of what their offerings can offer in terms of power, efficiency, and size reduction. As a result, component obsolescence, price inflation, and allocation have become central concerns in the modern supply chain – even if options for how to address them have been somewhat limited.

Partstat changes this by giving our users free unlimited access to real-time trending charts detailing average component prices, lead times, and inventory quantities according to our Big Data. Companies such as IHS have long provided OEMs with vast quantities of information regarding electronic components, but raw data without analysis takes significant time and resources to unpack. Other services such as netComponents and IC Source do offer a degree of streamlined information such as current inventory quantities, but this does little to help buyers understand the state of the market at any given time. Especially considering that the electronic components industry is currently experiencing the most significant shortage in more than a decade, the ability to clearly understand price, quantity, and lead time trends can prove invaluable when creating a long-term inventory management strategy.

3. Store Quotes on the Customer Dashboard

The way we handle the quoting process is unlike any other platform in existence. In addition to the ability to both request individual quotes and quickly send Rapid RFQs, Partstat also conveniently stores all quotes right on the customer’s online dashboard, available to be viewed by anyone with access to the account’s login information. When we have reached out to customers with feedback about our service, this is frequently cited as one of their favorite features. There is no limit to how many quotes can be saved or for how long, and again we offer this to each and every user absolutely free. All that is required to get started is a free account.