Why do we have such high prices?

I was thinking about buying a lead screw and stepper motor so I browsed your site. The prices on Core Electronics are often 4 times what they are on Ebay! RS Components, notoriously expensive is often now cheaper than Core.

Frankly, I don’t mind paying a little extra for the excellent service, but I have to say I’m insulted. $84 for a Nema 17 stepper?

Come on guys, what are you pulling here?

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Which one are you looking at? Was it the one from pololu with the 18cm lead screw?

The lead screw as a motor shaft is the expensive part. The stepper itself with an ordinary shaft is only $34:

I’d suggest looking at the price for buying from Pololu direct - note that their prices are in USD. By the time you pay for international shipping you’ll find it’s cheaper to buy from Core.
Here it is on Pololu’s site:

Of course, they probably come from China originally. There’s more hands in the pot for some of the stuff Core sells, but the upside of these supply chains is reliable supply, warranty, and fast shipping. You can definitely get them cheaper elsewhere but even then there’s not that much in it. Here’s a similar one for $34 + $12.50 postage on ebay:

At the end of the day though you speak loudest with your wallet as to what’s important. You should always go with the best value proposition - you decide the businesses you want to exist every time you make a purchase. Capitalism is kind of democratic when you think about it.

Sure, but I was pointing out the 4x price hike.

The 38mm Nema 17 stepper you mention is $3.91 on Ali-Express + $8 shipping makes it around a quarter of the price when you include shipping.

Core Electronics has the advantage of bulk buys and bulk shipping, and no shops to pay rent on, so how do they expect their customers to wear such a markup?

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  • that is 3.91 $AU, though there will be 10%GST.
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If it is the Pololu part you are looking at; then that is the price. Though rest assured it is the same part that Pololu stock (along with other prominent maker retailers around the world). It conforms to the specs, without any surprises (be it one unit or a hundred).

If we stock a compatible X or generic Y then we make it clear in the write up and people know what they are in for.

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You’ve got to compare apples to apples. That is not even close to the same motor - that’s a 6v (5 Ohm) 1.2A per phase permanent magnet stepper. The Pololu motor is a SOYO SY42STH38-1684A. It’s a 2.8V (1.65Ohm) 1.7A per phase hybrid stepper.

The hybrid motor gives the ability of microstepping, and the lower phase resistance means better performance and less heating for the same mechanical power output. Have a read of this: Stepper Motor Voltage Explained | Elinco International JPC

This was the cheapest similar motor I could find:
$11.13 AUD + Shipping. Sure there’s 'free shipping ’ which will turn up hopefully within 2 months, but if you want anything faster it gets expensive quickly:

This was the cheapest similar stepper with a t8 lead screw I could find:
$20 + $20 shipping (no tracking) for it to arrive sometime within 2 months. If you want it delivered in a reasonable time frame you’re looking at $60-$70 total.

When you look at the total cost, sure it’s still cheaper up front than core, but good luck on your warranty claim shipping it back to China. For me the small premium paid to have local support and shipping wins every time. When you dig into it Core’s prices are pretty good tbh.


I’ve been buying stuff from Core Electronics for years. I do check prices elsewhere. My current policy is to buy from Core Electronics whenever possible. The price difference is usually next to nothing when you are looking at the same product. I value the fact that I’m unlikely to buy a lemon from Core Electronics.


Thanks John,

We’re glad to hear it! To answer the question as to why we have higher prices. As a company, we strive to provide the best customer support, quality products, and assist our customers to design their projects. We understand that due to operating logistics locally here in Australia, providing the support and tutorials that we do, and having a returns and refunds policy with a warranty on all of our parts, the price of operation and respectively our items can be higher. But due to this, we can assure our customers that they’re getting genuine, functional parts, and will get our assistance from the forum, tutorials, emails, phone, or online-chat 9-5 Monday through Friday if they run into issues. As well as the warranty we provide on all of our parts, including a full walkthough in the returns process (which is operated here in Newcastle), should there be any faults within normal use according to the policy. If there’s ever anything that you need please let us know.

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