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How to Buy PCB Boards Meeting Demands and Cost-Effectively

buy PCB board
pcbonline PCBONLINE Team Mon, Sept 27, 2021

When you search for "buy PCB boards", you will see numerous ads followed by Amazon. But when you click Amazon, you will probably quit in seconds because there seem no circuit boards. All you want is to custom-buy printed circuit boards from a reliable PCB supplier. So how to buy PCB boards online to meet your requirements?

Here is useful advice for PCB buyers: buy PCB boards from PCB manufacturers rather than distributors if you want to save costs; if you are buying PCB boards for business or research, buy from b2b PCB manufacturers like PCBONLINE; buy from b2c PCB manufacturers if you are buying PCB boards for hobby or DIY.

Buy PCB boards from PCB manufacturers rather than PCB trading companies or distributors


There are hundreds of PCB suppliers in the market, and they are PCB manufacturers and PCB distributors. PCB manufacturers have their factories and produce circuit boards when they accept your orders. PCB distributors are a "bridge" between PCB buys and PCB manufacturers, and when you order PCBs from them, they deliver your requirements to PCB manufacturers.

What's the difference between buying from PCB manufacturers VS PCB distributors?

From the perspective of product results, buying PCB boards from manufacturers is no different from buying from distributors -- PCBs are fabricated in PCB factories. From the perspective of manufacturing costs and time, buying PCB boards from manufacturers is better than from distributors. The back-and-forth between PCB buyers and PCB manufacturers is more straightforward and time-saving. And buying PCB boards from manufacturers is more cost-effective because there is no middleman to make a profit from the outlet price.

Buy PCB boards for business and research from PCBONLINE

If you are a senior engineer, business maker, or from a research institute or solutions company, it is suggestive for you to buy PCB boards from a b2b PCB manufacturer. The b2b PCB manufacturers include PCBONLINE, Euro Circuits, NCBA Group, etc. These PCB manufacturers have advantages in the batch production of advanced circuit boards. Among them, PCBONLINE is one of the best quality and cost-effective PCB manufacturers.

PCBONLINE has provided one-stop PCB manufacturing from prototyping to batch production and box builds to clients around the world since 1999. It has three PCB manufacturing bases and one assembly factory. PCB buyers can order any type of PCB board from PCBONLINE, such as rigid-flex PCB, FPC, HDI PCB, high-frequency PCB, ceramic PCB, aluminum PCB, and FR4 PCB. By buying PCB boards from the b2b PCB manufacturer PCBONLINE, you will enjoy these benefits:

  • One-stop PCB manufacturing including electronic component sourcing to enable you to focus on R&D.
  • Free PCB component sourcing and testing services for PCBA (PCBONLINE takes no profit from it).
  • Lowest electrical component prices in the market (PCBONLINE has procurement points around the world to find components at the lowest prices).
  • High-quality PCB manufacturing (ISO 9001:2015, RoHS, REACH, UL, IATF 16949:2016 certified).
  • ≤0.35mm fine-pitch and leadless PCB assembly (following IPC-A-610 Class 2/3).
  • OEM electronic parts for assembly are sourced from reliable suppliers (components and materials are traceable).
  • Free DFM, DFT, DFX, and one-on-one engineering support from solution experts.
  • PCBONLINE manages to save clients costs with the latest technologies and manufacturing optimization.
  • Fast PCB/PCBA delivery (the fastest PCB prototyping takes only 12 hours).
  • Free complete PCBA samples and functional testing for $5000+ orders.

Here are the steps to buy PCB boards online from PCBONLINE:

Step 1. Go to PCBONLINE's website and click the "Get a Quote" button. (if you do not have a PCBONLINE account, you need to register. This is fast.)

get a quote to buy PCB boards

Step 2. Click the "Browse File" button to upload your Gerber files. (PCBONLINE only analyses the files and doesn't store or give away any data.)

Step 3. Input the PCB quantity you want. And then check all PCB specifications on the screen.

check Gerber data to buy PCB boards

Step 4. If you have other PCBs to buy, click the "Add to Cart" button and upload other Gerber files. If not, click the "Buy Now" button to go ahead.

Buy Simple PCB boards for hobbyists from B2C manufacturers

If you are a DIY maker or electronics hobbyist, you need to buy PCB boards from a b2c PCB manufacturer. The main b2c PCB manufacturers specialize in PCB prototyping. These b2c PCB manufacturers mainly produce simple circuit boards (one or two-layer boards with a small number of traces and components). The biggest advantage of them is the low costs due to PCB pooling (multiple different PCBs manufactured on a panel) and standardized production. The shipping fee for PCB buyers is reduced because of the large amount of PCBs shipped together. But also because of that, the customer service is not that good. And they do not have the one-stop PCB services that PCBONLINE does.

The steps to buying PCB boards from b2c PCB manufacturers are similar to buying from PCBONLINE.

Can you buy PCB boards from Amazon?

can you buy PCB boards from Amazon

Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers selling almost all kinds of stuff, and the goods on it have fixed prices. However, printed circuit boards are custom, and their pricing differs from $2 for 5 pieces to thousands of dollars per piece. That means it is almost impossible to buy PCB boards on Amazon. That's why all you can find are breadboards, copper-clad laminates, and PCB board kits when you search "PCB board" or "PCB" on Amazon.


It is better to buy PCB boards from PCB manufacturers rather than distributors. Different PCB manufacturers have different positioning and advantages. If you are buying PCB boards for your company, research institute, organization, or your own business, it is best to buy from b2b manufacturers like PCBONLINE. If you are buying PCB boards for DIY or hobby, it is best to buy from b2c manufacturers.


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