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Now at a RadioShack Near You: Maker Shed Merch!

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Now at a RadioShack Near You: Maker Shed Merch!

Perhaps you’ve noticed recently when you make a pit stop at your local RadioShack that some of the displays have moved around, and there is cool new DIY merchandise for sale. Among that merch you’ll now find MAKE kits and books. Above is some of what’s for sale at the Novato, Calif., RadioShack. In fact, from Hawaii to San Juan (seriously!), from Fargo to San Antonio, 500 RadioShack stores are now carrying Maker Shed merchandise. You can find out if your store is participating by viewing this map we made, or checking out your local Shacks. MAKE is thrilled to be involved in the partnership and the DIY renaissance at RadioShack.

View Maker Shed RadioShack locations in a full screen map.

Amy Shineman, RadioShack’s brand manager, reached out to the DIY community to ask them to participate in selecting the new DIY-centric products in stores.

To check out some of RadioShack’s process behind their recent DIY initiatives and feedback from their customers, see the announcement of their final list of Top Ten DIY Suggestions from readers. They said they read through every comment — good, bad, helpful, and not so much.

And here’s their recent post announcing the Great Create Arduino Challenge.

42 thoughts on “Now at a RadioShack Near You: Maker Shed Merch!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now: Contests to replace random Radio Shack low-end electronics with Maker-Accessible variants.

    Like: Arduino-based Universal remote.

  2. Elliott J. Olson says:

    only 500 stores?

    1. Ronnie Hinton says:

      Maybe more of a broad market test than full-fledged change of heart? Toss some arduinos on the wall and see where they stick? Either way it’s a move in the right direction that should have happened years ago. Looks like an Uno on their site is $35, so they’re not charging the sort of stupidly high markup they do on most of their components. I’ll drop by and see what they’ve got some time.

  3. Stefan Jones says:

    This is good news. I’d written off Radio Shack as irrelevant to “makers.”

    1. John says:

      I felt they’d written us off as worthwhile customers many years ago.  I haven’t been inside one of their stores in a good 10 years, and I really hate the chain at this point because of their attitude.   It’ll take a lot more than a few decent products to get me to end that streak, especially with what’s available by mail order. 

  4. Parker Miner says:

    happy to hear the news. but the closest one to me is still 300 miles away. :(  there are 5 radioshacks within 45 minutes from my house in the boonies. only 2 that even sell components. I don’t shop online so i will be waiting patiently…

  5. Andy Barrow says:


  6. qwerty123 says:

    Very cool.  Just confirmed with Amanda at one of our local stores they do have stock.

    Very cool indeed.

  7. James Patrick says:

    Great news, since “The Shack” didn’t have a single component that I needed last time.

  8. Marc Tompkins says:

    Not to nitpick, but the map needs a bit of work if people actually want to use it for navigation.  The push pins are OK to within a couple of miles, but if you zoom in you’ll find that the push pins are actually located at the arbitrary center of the zip code.  The street addresses of the actual stores are in the Location field of each pin, but if you want to find that Location you have to do a separate search.

    None of which matters if your closest “Maker” Shack also happens to be your local store and you already know how to get there… but if it’s on the other side of town (as mine is), this map could get you lost if you don’t pay close attention.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, while their map shows 3 in Hawaii, two are on Oahu and one is on Big Island – none here on Maui.  I called the local store and they knew about them but didnt know if any of the arduino or Makershed parts were going to be stocked before xmas.  Guess I’ll have to stick with mail order – which I prefer anyway. Directly supporting MS, Sparkfun and Adafruit!   Maybe stick some makerspace info in/near the boxes.

  10. Justin Blair says:

    I’d rather directly support MS, Sparkfun, and Adafruit, however if we don’t encourage The Shack to stock Maker parts they will just continue to sell the same old stuff.  Otherwise it will be the same old deal.

  11. VRAndy says:

    I was surprised last time I walked into a Radio Shack. They are actually making a real effort to make their stock more attractive to hobbiests. Their parts section and their hobby section looks dramatically different than it did this time last year.

    I still wish they’d tell their staff to stop grilling me about my cell-phone plan every time I walk in the door, but I suppose that’s their bread & butter.

  12. Christoph says:

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  13. What says:

    Well, after 12 years of working for the Shack, I can say that the main reason they are getting back in this game is profit margin.  They make little profit on anything other than small and special order parts and they gave that away wen they stopped.  The problem is that Shack employees get paid minimum wage ala Mc Donalds. So I wouldn’t expect them to be able to pronounce Arduino let alone know or care the slightest bit about it.  If the salesperson sells you a cell phone and an extended service contract, they make decent commission…….Arduinos and small parts…not so much.  So there is absolutely no motivation for anyone at the Shack to sell this stuff.  I know, I worked there and spent most of my time selling computers and cell phones period, parts customers got little or no attention by design…it wasn’t worth it to me or local management.  By the way,  it is common practice at most stores to re-box returned items to sell as new…we did it all the time.  So I’d be carefull about any Arduino stuff or anything for that matter from the Shack.  Better to buy from a reputable source instead….at least someone that can spell it correctly:)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I’m looking at the map around Cincinnati, and I’m a bit disappointed.  All of the RS carrying Maker Shed items are on the west and south side of the city.  I live on the east side of the city.  Micro Center Mall is closer to me than those Radio Shacks, and they carry Sparkfun and Maker Shed items.

    I was hoping they would have had the wherewithal to try and get the four cardinal directions for major cities – one east, one west, one south, one north.  I don’t mind driving an extra 10 minutes to go to the right Radio Shack, but driving 45 minutes+ to go to a Radio Shack that MIGHT have something I want is bit of a stretch.

  15. Alex Curbelo says:

    The address to Radio Shack in San Francisco with the address, 4049 24TH ST, points to 21st and Noe when it should point to 24th and right in the middle between Castro and Noe.

  16. Daniel Kim says:

    This is the kind of thing that should be encouraged. They also host a site called The Great Create, where they ask makers to describe their projects (presumably made using RadioShack components).

  17. Joe says:

    I stopped in Radioshack last night looking for a Parallax PING))). I have been really psyched lately as they have had arduino parts galore. I picked up an ethernet shield, and some proto boards recently. I also bought a Make getting started with arduino kit their 2 months ago. They even had kits from Seeed Studio there last night.

    This is great! Making these things available to us to pop in and pick up is so nice. The ability to grab a few transistors, capacitors right on the way home is so much nicer for feeding your innovative streak. I love the internet and buy parts from Sparkfun and Jameco, but you can’t beat the convenience of Radioshack.

    Good work Radioshack, and Makezine for getting their kits in the store.


    1. Nick Normal says:

      Thanks for your note Joe! It’s really great the Shack is getting back to their roots, and yeah it’s a real convenience to be able to stop in and pick up a single part en route home, or kits these days. Thanks for reading, and happy making!

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I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

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